Who Needs Jewelry?

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow developed his hierarchy of needs. Man's basic needs are physiological (food, water, etc.). Next, he needs safety—protection from physical and emotional harm. Then come social needs like affection, belonging, acceptance, and friendship. After that comes esteem, or ego—driven by autonomy, self-respect, achievement, status, recognition, and attention. At the top is the need for self-actualization, achieved only when all the other needs are met. Jewelry is not on the list. Or is it? You can't eat jewelry, but you could trade it for food. In terms of safety, precious gems have been worn as protective talismans since ancient times. Socially, what better way to show affection and bind a friendship or commitment than with a ring or other gift? Consider the next level—esteem. How often is jewelry used to reward an achievement or convey social statu

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