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Home / The history of Creoles through time

The history of Creoles through time

Creole jewelry is one of the oldest pieces of jewelry in history and has a different meaning in different cultures. Essential of the 80’s, these Vintage earrings are back on the scene, for our greatest pleasure.

The origins of Creole

To understand their history, we must go back 2500 years before Jesus Christ. The first Creoles have was born in Nubia, an African civilization located in the current Sudan. Later, in 1500 BC, they were found in Egypt where these jewels were very appreciated by the population of the time, because they symbolized wealth for some and beauty for others. According to old legends, wearing these golden rings was to protect oneself from spirits that wanted to steal knowledge. The Greeks also appropriated these rings, which they also considered as a sign of fortune.

girl gathering saffron crocus flowers / 1630 BCE / Akrotiri Thera


However, not everyone was fond of Creoles. Unlike the Greeks and Egyptians, the Romans did not have the same judgment about them. But very quickly, they became a popular accessory for women (but also for men!). And yes, Julius Caesar, for example, wore creoles himself during his reign in the year 100 BC.

Slavery

Creoles also played an important role during slavery. These African men and women were taken from their land and families to perform forced labor on the other side of the Atlantic. At that time, creoles were the only jewelry these women were allowed to own. These jewels represented the unique element that brought the slaves closer to their family and their origins despite the distance. For this reason, these earrings have become very symbolic.

Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of a Black Woman (detail), 1800, oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre © Photo RMN-Grand Palais – G. Blot

In the 17th century, many artists depicted portraits of women wearing creoles.

Creoles in the 20th century

Let’s jump back in time to the 20th century. In the 1920s, the creoles became a real fashion accessory, very popular with women who wanted to dress up their hair with a touch of fantasy. Hollywood and its glitter have also strongly contributed to the popularity of these earrings. All the famous actresses of the 40’s wore them.


In 1960, wearing creoles was no longer just a matter of aesthetics but a true symbol of female power, mainly among African-American and Latin women. The very famous Josephine Baker, French artist of American origin, loved these gems. With the emergence of black power and the feminist movement, many women wanted to show the world their pride and attachment to their culture. A way to not forget their past and their history.

Portrait of Josephine Baker by Georges Hoyningen-Huene © Paris Musées Collections

Do you remember the 80’s? This decade marked by extravagance and recklessness? At that time, even the earrings did not escape this eccentric fashion and we could see in the ears of women, oversized creoles! Large, showy jewelry was a must have in the jewelry box!

Timeless nuggets from the jewelry box

Ladies, if you want to attract the eyes on you, opt for the creoles! Whether small or large, in yellow or white gold, they will sublimate you. Indeed, their circular shape allows to lengthen the face and to refine your features. There are so many different models that you are bound to find the pair that best complements your style.

You are passionate about antique jewelry and want to discover our collections of gems in preview?

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