Jewellery was a very popular gift for women in Ancient Greece just like today. Either as a memory for yourself or your loved ones, you'll find a wide range of remarkable jewelry in Athens. There is no doubt about finding perfect pieces will be easy in Athens that suits everyone’s budget and style.
Greece developed a unique tradition of goldsmith since the ancient times. The exceptional designs are greatly connected to the Greek cultural heritage.
In this article we will explain to you the history, culture and trends about the Greek Jewelry.
Jewellery in Ancient Greece
Both today and in the ancient times, the jewellery kept being an indication of a person's social status. The wealthy people in the Ancient Greeks used to own valuable pieces of jewellery. Actually, people wearing jewellery was hardly seen in daily life, as it was used as an accessory only for very special occasions. It is right to say that the jewellery was used mainly by the woman in Ancient Greece, especially after the 4th century. But there are some sources suggesting that before the 4th century, the Greek men wore jewellery too.
Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, the designs of the Greek jewellery were changed and influenced by the different parts of the world.
Where to go for Jewellery Shopping in Athens
"Voukourestiou Street" is standing out when it comes to gold and jewellery shopping in Athens where you can find a number of renowned jewellery stores. It is a narrow street in Kolonaki district famous with haute couture boutiques. Here we have some suggestions around Kolonaki district.
Below we collected the adresses of well known Greek jewellery shops in Kolonaki district.
Lalaounis: 6 Panepistimiou Avenue & Voukourestiou street 10671, Athens
Zolotas: 10 Panepistimiou Avenue , 106 71, Athens
Kessaris: 7 Panepistimiou (El. Venizelou) Str.105 64 Athens
Vildiridis: Voukourestiou 11, Athina 106 71, Athens
Elena Votsi: Elena Votsi is a famous designer whose designs can be seen on the Athens 2004 Olympic medals and medals for the 2006 Brazilian Games.
Adress: 7, Xanthou Street. - Kolonaki - Athens
Kombologadiko: This is a very old store famous with traditional worry beads.
Adress: 9, Amerikis str.,Kolonaki, 106 72
There are more shops where you can find Hellenic style silver/gold jewellery including some with moderate prices around Plaka district.
Archipelagos: 142 Adrianou Street , Plaka, Athens
Byzantino: 120 Adrianou Street, Plaka, Athens
Kostis Jewellery Store: 131, Adrianou Street , Athens
Olympico: 122, Adrianou Street, Athens
Phos Byzantino: Dionysiou Areopagitou 12, Athens
The worry beads/rosary is a very popular accessory in Greek and Cypriot culture made of beads of bone, amber, silver, glass, wood and other materials. The worry beads were also a symbol of prestige and power in Ancient Greece. They were found buried together with wealthy people.
It was used for centuries as a reminder of their mission by the leaders/monks of major religions. They also used by the rest of the population (mainly men) in the Middle East, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa, as accessories for relaxation and self-concentration.
They are called as "komboloi" in Greece. It is possible to find several shops specialized in komboloi. One of them in the centre of Athens is "Kombologadiko" located in Kolonaki district.
Adress: 9, Amerikis str.,Kolonaki, 106 72
It is called as "μάτι (Mati)" among the Greeks, which is the most common protector against mystical evil forces and negative energy caused by another's jealousy. It is believed that what lies behind the evil eye is jealousy or grudge. The belief that a glance can bring so much cursing was so common that these ancient civilizations sought protection from it and came up with the evil eye.
Glass evil eye beads seen mainly in the Aegean Islands and Anatolia as the glass production was largely developed in these lands around 1500 BC. Evil eye remains as one of the most enduring and deepest beliefs of humanity.
You can find many stores selling evil eyes at Monastiraki and Plaka districts.
The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum
It is the first museum devoted to the art of jewellery in Greece, created by famous Greek jewellery designer Ilias Lalaounis. It was opened to the public in December 1994.
The permanent collection of the museum includes historic and contemporary jewellery and decorative arts.
The Museum is located in the heart of Athens, only one block from the New Acropolis Museum. The closest Metro station is “Akropoli”.