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By about 300 BC Greek jewellery styles had largely taken over in Italy and the Etruscan tradition faded away until European jewellers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries sought to replicate it.The Romans When Rome expanded its Empire to take in most of the ancient world from Britain to the borders of Persia, it inherited the Greek empire and often the Greek jewellers of the East and the Celtic traditions of the West.

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The Egyptians understood fire assaying to test the purity of gold, mastered the art of alloying with other metals for hardness or colour variations, and casting, including the lost-wax technique, which remain at the heart of much jewellery manufacture.

Their achievements were preserved in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, who died in 1352 BC.

'In fact, there were more different types of jewellery than there are today.' The Egyptians Unlike ancient Sumer, Egypt had much gold to hand, in the Eastern Desert and in the lands to the south.

The goldsmith's repertoire of skills advanced rapidly.

It is a symbol of the magnificence achieved in gold from ancient times.

The forms of gold work produced in Egypt remained surprisingly constant for more than 2000 years until the country was conquered by Alexander the Great.The king's body was encased in a coffin of solid gold sheet two millimetres thick, weighting over 90 kilos (2,900 ounces).The head of his mummy was shrouded in a great mask of beaten gold.THE ART & CULTURE OF GOLD KNOWLEDGE IS PRECIOUS Overview From the very first discoveries of gold along the rivers of Africa and Asia the sheer ease with which the metal could be worked inspired craftsmen to shape it for adornment.Gold's versatility, besides its beauty, recommended it above all other metals.The golden throne nearby was adorned with delicately worked scenes showing the young king being anointed by his queen.