What Jewelry Was Worn in Ancient Greece?

Jewelry has always been an integral part of human culture, and the ancient Greeks were no exception. The Greeks believed that jewelry was not just a decorative accessory but also held symbolic significance.

Jewelry was often worn as a symbol of social status, wealth, and power. Let’s take a closer look at the types of jewelry that were popular in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greek Jewelry

Gold Jewelry: Gold was highly valued in ancient Greece, and gold jewelry was often worn by the wealthy upper class. Gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings were adorned with precious stones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

Shell Jewelry: The Greeks also used shells to make jewelry. They would carve intricate designs into the shells and string them together to create necklaces and bracelets.

Ivory Jewelry: Ivory was another popular material used by ancient Greek jewelers. Ivory bracelets and necklaces were often decorated with gold or silver accents.

Greek Symbols in Jewelry

The Greeks believed that certain symbols held specific meanings. These symbols were often incorporated into their jewelry designs.

Owl Symbolism: The owl was a symbol of wisdom in ancient Greece. It was often depicted on jewelry items such as earrings and pendants.

Dolphin Symbolism: The dolphin represented freedom and joy in ancient Greece. Dolphin-shaped pendants were popular among young girls.

Gorgoneion Symbolism: The Gorgoneion was a symbol of protection in ancient Greece. It depicted the head of Medusa with snakes for hair and was often worn as an amulet.

Jewelry for Men

Men in ancient Greece also wore jewelry. They would wear signet rings engraved with their family’s emblem as a symbol of their status. They would also wear gold necklaces and bracelets.

Jewelry for Women

Women in ancient Greece wore a wide variety of jewelry. They would wear gold earrings, necklaces, and bracelets adorned with precious stones. They also wore hairpins decorated with pearls and other gems to hold their hair in place.


In conclusion, jewelry played a significant role in ancient Greek culture. Gold, shells, and ivory were popular materials used by ancient Greek jewelers. Jewelry was often worn as a symbol of social status and wealth.

Greek symbols such as the owl, dolphin, and Gorgoneion were often incorporated into jewelry designs. Men and women both wore jewelry, but women had a wider variety of options available to them. The intricate designs of ancient Greek jewelry continue to inspire modern-day jewelers around the world.