Wearing something 'pretty' around one's neck has been done for thousands of years. Apparently one of the earliest forms of necklace were most probably a simple vine or sinue with shells, bone, feather or teeth threaded on. This would have been done as far back as the Stone Age for both men and women who felt the need for adornment. It may have been used with the purpose of trying to attract a mate - you would certainly attract a suitor's eye with additional trinkets around you neck than someone with none!
Certain trinkets would have been worn as jewellery to ward off evil spirits and purely for superstitious beliefs. Not forgetting crosses being worn to denote one's faith.
As skills progressed, jewellery became more advanced and with the invention of metal work in the Iron Age, jewellery would be more sophisticated and more likely to be a symbol of wealth and class. It may also have denoted the association with a certain order or group with members wearing the same or similar symbolic pieces to denote membership. With the use of clay, beads would have been made, decorated and threaded on chains or thongs.
Throughout time, the latest inventions have been applied to jewellery making with bakelite and acrylic popping up in the 20th Century.
Today it can be worn for many reasons. To express one's individualism, to show wealth or to be part of a clique. Whilst many want to 'fit in' and wear 'what everyone else is wearing' others are after the complete opposite and strive to find a unique piece to stand out from the crowd. The rich usually want to advertise their wealth and standing in society with the use of diamonds, gemstones and precious metals such as platinum and gold to signify this.
Some people wear the same pieces all the time whilst others like a different piece to go with every outfit. Silver Jewellery is extremely popular at the moment due to it's relatively low price and versatility, and glass is also highly desired due to the amazing colours and patterns that can be achieved.
So it's very safe to say that jewellery isn't going anywhere! In fact even more places are becoming fair game for adornment with the belly button, eyebrow area and other more intimate parts of the body being pieced to receive an item of jewellery.
For now I think I'll stick to my neck, ears, fingers and wrists - I certainly don't agree with the adage 'less is more'!