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Worldbuilding: Jewelry

People have always been drawn to pretty shiny things from rocks glistening in the water to ores picked from cave walls. We have spent an inordinate amount of time learning to refine and polish ordinary, even ugly, rocks into diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and opals. The rarer the item, the more expensive it became.

Jewelry and accessories turned paupers into princes and maids into queens.

What items did people wear: Chokers, crowns, tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, cuffs? Did they contain poison, deflect bullets, or indicate level of wealth?

Were ears pierced or did they wear clipons? Were piercings elaborate? Did they wear pierced jewelry on other body parts?

Did they wear rings? What kind? Why? Did they have wedding rings, signet rings, or seals? Did they indicate membership to secret societies, carry poisons or triggers, admit the wearer, or open portals?

Did they have pins or broaches? Did they hold up kilts, fasten scarves, dress up a hat, or simply dazzle? Were pins used as weapons? Were broaches made of loved ones' hair? 

Did lockets have images of loved ones or cyanide tablets or spy cameras?

What meaning does jewelry impart in your Historical, Fantasy, or Science Fiction world? 

What does it say about your character's personal preferences? Are they ostentatious, simple, outlandish, or modest?

Do jewels convey status, position, power? 

Next week, we will explore gemstones.

For advanced world-building, the SBB Build A World Workbook is available in print and e-book.

Other titles in the series:

Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict available in print and e-book takes you from story seed to conflict outline. The fourteen companion Build A Plot Workbooks, in print and e-book, offer step by step development prompts: ComedyCon, Heist & Prison BreakFantasyGothicHistoricalHorrorLiterary
(Drama),  MysteryRoad TripRomanceScience FictionTeam VictoryThriller & SuspenseWestern.

SBB II Crafting Believable Conflict in print and e-book and the Build A Cast Workbook in print and e-book help you build a believable cast and add conflict based on the sixteen personality types.

SBB III The Revision Layers in print and e-book helps you self-edit your manuscript.

Free story building tools are available at  

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