No one really knows when or where the ancient art of wire wrap originated. It is known that Egyptian and Phoenician artists practiced the art over 5,000 years ago. It is the only known metal jewelry that is created completely without soldering or casting. The wire used may be from many different alloys such as copper, brass, sterling silver or gold.
Surviving records indicate that jewelry from the 17th century and earlier was made by braiding, twisting and knotting as part of their design motifs, similar to what you find in wire wrapping today.
Certainly jewelry of any sort was rare in that time, but what was available was usually in silver. It was mostly worn by merchants or someone with some social and monetary standing. Many people were farmers and merchants so their jewelry needed to be very wearable and sturdy.
Although this art was lost for a while in history, it reappeared during the Victorian Era, where its popularity surpassed traditional cast jewelry. In the last 30 years, wire wrapped jewelry has continued to increase in popularity due to uniqueness, flexibility, and the “create ability” of its artisans.
If you enjoy wire wrapped jewelry, Sand N Stones in Lewes, Delaware is a place you must go. Each design is unique and hand crafted by Lapidary Artist, Michele J. Buckler. She offers a collection in 14k gold filled, rose gold, Argentium (anti-tarnish AG925) Sterling Silver or a combination of both (two tone). She makes necklaces pendants, pins, earrings, rings, and bolo ties, using a variety of common and uncommon gems. You can choose a gem out of one of the cases in the store to be wrapped, or she will be happy to custom wrap a special gemstone, coin, sea glass or beach glass, broken fine bone china / pottery, arrowhead, Cape May (A.K.A. Delaware Bay) diamond, glass shards, coin, button, Swarovski Crystal, beads, or almost anything that you already own. She will also be glad to put a new look to an old piece of jewelry for you.