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Metalworking is one of the most important handicrafts in Iran and based on archeological evidence, Willen believes that metal was first discovered in the Iranian plateau. (Willen 15:1317)

At first, the dwellers of the Iranian plateau started making jewelry using colorful beads and became very interested in it. Geographically, Iran is located on the mineral belt of the world and enjoys a great supply of metals and minerals. As such the industry of jewelry and precious metal artifacts has a long and rich history in Iran.

The highly valuable artifacts that are kept in museums inside and outside of Iran are a proof for the long age and grandeur of the art of jewelry making in the ancient history of this land. For example, the jewelry found in The Burnt City in Sistan va Baluchestan belong to the second millennium B.C. and also the unearthed tombs with various jewelry belong to the first millennium B.C. All of this indicate the importance of this art in ancient Iran. For instance, the civilization of the Medes were true pioneers in this style of art.

This earnest interest in metalworking led to the creation of grand pieces of art during the Achaemenid era in places such as Takhte Jamshid, Pasargad, Shush, and Hamedan. The first gold coin was made during the reign of the Darius the Great known as a daric. Other coins were made during and after his reign from other metals such as copper, silver, and bronze.

During the Achaemenid era, the use of precious stones and the use of small size jewelry became quite prevalent. Also, during the Sassanid era the art of jewelry making progressed a lot. During this time the use of gold was very common in Iran and based on the writings of the historians such as Will Durant, Roman Ghirshman, Jean Chardin, and others it is clear that the production and trade of gold and jewelry and precious stone artifacts were very prevalent. We also know that the noble and affluent class used these decorative items made from gold and precious stones. The kings of these eras, such as Hormizd I and Khosrow II were quite fond of these valuable items especially in the decoration of their thrones. Additionally, the use of jewelry in the decoration of dishes, clothing items, and other objects could be seen in these times.

During the 9th and 12th centuries the models inspired by Islam in the form of a mixture of nature and geometric shapes gained popularity.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, there are examples of Iranian jewelry made from gold, silver, and bronze and also precious stones with writings on them.

The history of using jewelry to repel evil and their use as talismans against devils with depictions chiseled on them dates back to ancient Iran. Also, during this time the use of jewelry was a sign of the family class and nobility. From this perspective, Iranians had a special style for jewelry in each historical era.

Ever since the 14th century, there are handwritings that indicate the importance and credibility of Iranian jewelry and decorative items. During the Timurid dynasty, Timur was an avid supporter of art and especially colorful stones and metal encasing, and this interest kept these techniques and methods alive for the coming eras (Safavid and Qajar).

During this time, decorated hair with jewelry for women and tiaras for men was prevalent. From the Safavid era, the use of miniature models was a valuable technique in jewelry making of the time and men and women alike used this method. During this time, more expensive jewelry and making them became more specialized and common.

However, during the Qajar era, the design of jewelry came under the influence of western styles and methods. Though, ancient and traditional designs still held sway among people and acted as a very powerful means to keeping the past and ancient models alive.

This course has been designed with the aim of teaching Iranian hand-made jewelry making and offering this ancient art to all those who are eager about gemology, gem carving, making gold and silver jewelry, computer design, etc.