The Muslim West
Jewellery: Wealth, Prestige and Protection
A sign of social position and prestige.
Jewellery was appreciated among both Muslim men and women, and was used by men to decorate their clothes and turbans, at times even imitating certain feminine customs such as wearing earrings. Nonetheless, it was women who made the most extensive use of jewellery, most wearing personal adornments, regardless of their social position. According to the Nasrid writer, Ibn al-Khatib, there was such rivalry between the women of Granada in the art of adorning themselves with clothes and jewels that: '[…] unhappily, today's finery, cosmetics and ostentation, and the passion for rich fabric and jewels, have led to licentiousness'.
Casting mould

Hegira 4th–5th centuries / AD 10th–11th centuries
Umayyads of al-Andalus, Caliphate period
National Archaeological Museum
Madrid, Spain
Al-Khatib tells us that the jewellery worn by Nasrid nobles was made of pure gold and set with precious stones such as rubies, chrysolites, emeralds and pearls. Women of more modest means would have worn plain, mass-produced silver jewellery.