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In the XIIIth century the substantial increase in jewelry wearing caused introduction of laws restricting use of jewelry. Brooches remained the most frequently worn ornament with religious inscriptions as the most common form of decoration. Brooches came in different styles and complexity and at different prices. The most expensive were cameos and intaglios. During the late Gothic naturalism played significant role and the designs of jewelry changed. The new style depicted ladies, flowers, noble animals such as unicorns, swans, camels – all modeled with elegant and romanticized naturalism.
Both men and women wore long belts and girdles which were usually made from leather and decorated with elaborate buckles and belt-ends. Women’s girdles were wider than men’s, except during XIVth century. In the XVth century stronger influence of religion can be noticed therefore very often girdles were embroidered with figures of the saints and religious quotations.
Rings followed brooches and pins in popularity. They were worn on all fingers and very often a few on a finger. Many were simple gold bands, sometimes engraved. Engraved gems were set as signet rings, used for sealing letters and documents. Cheaper versions were made of metals. Similarly to brooches, rings were also very often engraved with figures of saints and religious quotations.
Head ornaments including circlets, chaplets and crown-shaped coronals were worn both by men and women throughout entire medieval period. Many of them consisted of richly embroidered bands stitched with gold ornaments and pearls. The circlets were usually made by goldsmiths and consisted of gold plaques decorated with stones and enamel. Coronals were grander jewels and differed from circlets by tall fleurons extending out of their upper edge. The most famous coronals date from XIVth century when they were richly decorated with precious stones and became much taller.
Large gold collars were the typical representation of late medieval jewelry. They were made o precious metals with mounts of enameled gold, precious stones and pearls. Badges of saints were also very popular. They were worn either as hat badges or pinned to the chest. Reliquary pendants and Agnus Dei medallion accounted for major part of religious jewelry. Since late XIIIth century the most extravagant devotional jewels were paternosters – sets of beads strung according to a cycle of prayers. Paternosters were made from variety of materials – from knotted cord to the finest materials including coral, Baltic amber, agates, rock crystal, glass and gold. Many had pendants of silver crucifix or a figure of a saint. Although they were religious pieces, they became such symbols of status and their wearing was at times forbidden. Beads made of coral, amber or crystal were specially restricted.