Unique handmade jewellery legacies

At Elka London, you can find a huge array of unique ethical handmade jewellery. The artisanal creation of beautiful designs, often incorporating trinkets, gemstones and other materials, traces back thousands of years and can be found in every culture.

The first handmade jewellery items probably came out of civilisations in Africa and the Fertile Crescent, where perforated beads made of seashells from snails can be dated back 75,000 years. The oldest known jewellery has been found in Blombos Cave. Yet the process started far before this, since the ecology of the natural world means that shell deposits are an organic, replenishing source built up over the ages. By tapping into this resource in a sustainable way, and making sure future generations will also have access to the wondrous materials provided by Mother Earth, we are heirs to a millenia-old heritage of makers.

In Kenya’s Enkapune Ya Muto, perforated ostrich shell beads have been found dating back to 40,000 years ago. Meanwhile, the Cro-Magnons of the last Ice Age wore bracelets and necklaces made from bones, teeth, berries, mammoth tusks and stones. At this point in human history, we still lived alongside neanderthals!

Unique handmade jewellery is a natural and historic practice, and we are proud to add the latest styles and twists to it to bring you an online jewellery shop full of fantastic items!

By Jake Goldman