Friday, December 12, 2014

The Color Red: Beyond the Holidays!

Blown Glass Clip on Drop Earrings


The color red was one of the first colors used by artists in the upper Paleolithic Age most likely because sources for this and other natural pigments like white and black were readily available.  The color red has several sources. These include red ochre (a mineral found in nature) that contains iron oxide, as well as specific insects like the female Cochineal and the Kermes, a scale insect found in Mediterranean regions. The plant world is a source of red dye too. The Madder plant has tiny yellow flowers and grows in Europe and the Middle East where India has used it for centuries to make red dye.

Red has been more than a color for artists who used it to express danger, sacrifice, passion, anger, happiness or pride. Red is the hair color of 1 to 2% of people in the world, the color of certain birds the color of poisonous snakes. It is also a warning color for insects like the Lady Bug and much more.
In Ancient Egypt red was a symbol of life, health and victory and  also used in prayer to the god Isis to protect from evil.  The word "red" (as used in place of words like destruction and harm.) At the same time, red was used in cosmetics and tomb murals as a skin color for men. Sometimes kings, queens and other people with high status dyed their hair red as a sign of beauty, wealth, and power.

From Wikipedia.org

In Ancient Rome, Tyrian purple was the color of the Emperor, but red had an important religious symbolism. Romans wore togas with red stripes on holidays, and the bride at a wedding wore a red shawl, called a flammeum. Red was used to color statues and the skin of gladiators. Red was also the color associated with the army. Roman soldiers wore red tunics, and officers wore a cloak called a paludamentum which, depending upon the quality of the dye, could be crimson, scarlet or purple. In Roman mythology red is associated with the god of war, Mars.  The vexilloid of the Roman Empire had a red background with the letters SPQR in gold. A Roman general receiving a triumph had his entire body painted red in honor of his achievement.  The Romans liked bright colors, and many Roman villas were decorated with vivid red murals.

After the Western Roman Empire fell, and the Byzantine Empire came to the fore, the princes of Europe and the Roman Catholic Church decided to take the color and use it to project majesty and authority. It was a signature color worn by Roman Catholic Cardinals.  It was used in banners by Emperor Charlemagne and for the shoes we wore on his coronation.  Red clothing was worn by merchants, artisans, and townspeople especially during holidays and special occasions.  While people of wealth wore clothing dyed red from kermes or carmine (carmine acid found in female scale insects),  the red townspeople wore tended to be made from the madder plant.   Another popular shade of red during these times was called Brazilian and came from Sapanwood trees that grew in India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Brazilwood that is similar and found in South America was also used to make red dye. Not only was it a  popular export from the region, it gave the name to the nation of Brazil.



Sadie Green Clip on Earrings #89






In Renaissance times, red was used by artists to draw attention to their work.  In most instances it was used to depict the cloak of Christ, his mother Mary or other important figures.  Also, trade routes were opened to the New World, Asia, and the Middle East. These routes imported lots of varieties of red pigment and dye into Europe where guilds of dyers specializing in a particular color or type of dye began.  The Rubia plant was regularly used  to create a dye for the common people. A different red dye called Kermes dyed  the clothing of the wealthy, and Polish Cochineal or "Blood of Saint John" to create a high quality and expensive red dye for the very wealthy.

From Wikipedia.org  

But early in the 16th century, a brilliant new red appeared in Europe.  When the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and his soldiers conquered the Aztec Empire in 1519-1521, they discovered the Aztecs had other treasures besides silver and gold.  They had the tiny cochineal, a parasitic scale insect which lived on cactus plants, which, when dried and crushed, made a magnificent red. The cochineal in Mexico was closely related to the Kermes varieties of Europe, but unlike European Kermes, it could be harvested several times a year, and it was ten times stronger than the Kermes of Poland. It worked particularly well on silk, satin, and other luxury textiles. In 1523 Cortes sent the first shipment to Spain. Soon cochineal began to arrive in European ports aboard convoys of Spanish galleons.

Three centuries later red became a symbol of revolution in France signifying liberty and personal freedom, and was used by the Jacobins and other radical parties of the time.  Many of them wore a red Phyrgian (liberty) cap modeled after caps worn by freed slaves in Ancient Rome.  During the Reign of Terror in the 18th century, women wore red caps around the guillotine to celebrate executions.  Even the French flag was changed to red, but after the Reign of Terror was over the traditional flag colors of red, white and blue were restored.

In Ancient China red was an important color in religion, culture, industry, fashions and court ritual. Silk was dyed red as early as the Han Dynasty 25-220 B.C.   China had a monopoly on red silk until the 6th century A.D. when it was introduced into the Byzantine Empire and in the 12th century to Europe.

From Wikipedia.org

Red played an important role in Chinese philosophy. It was believed that the world was composed of five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth and that each had a color. Red was associated with fire. Each Emperor chose the color that his fortune-tellers believed would bring the most prosperity and good fortune to his reign. During the Zhou, Han, Jin, Song and Ming Dynasties, red considered a noble color, and it was featured in all court ceremonies, from coronations to sacrificial offerings, and weddings.


Slender Double Drop Clip on Earrings





 Red was also a badge of rank. During the Song Dynasty (906–1279), officials of the top three ranks wore purple clothes.  The officials of the fourth and fifth ranks wore bright red; those of the sixth and seventh wore green; and the eighth and ninth wore blue. Red was the color worn by the royal guards of honor and the color of the carriages of the imperial family. When the imperial family traveled, their servants and accompanying officials carried red and purple umbrellas. Of an official who had talent and ambition, it was said "he is so red he becomes purple.

Red would become a symbol of the 20th century American Revolution, and also a symbol in Eastern Europe's Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.  Even China used red during the Cultural Revolution of 1949. In Russia's U.S.S.R., red became the color symbolizing communism along with Vietnam and Cuba. On a pleasant note, red was a symbolic color used by artists such as Matisse of France and American artist Mark Rothko.

As you can see, red has quite a rich history, but we haven't yet touched on red used for my favorite accessory...clip on earrings!  These can be found throughout the Cliptomania website in categories such as Tomorrow's Heirlooms, My Favorite Color, Pretty & Petite and Big & Bold.  There is no way to avoid shades of red, in the most pleasant sense that is!  So if you are a fan of various shades of red or just like all colors of the rainbow come by www.cliptomania.com where we have nearly every color one would want. 

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

It is that special time of year again. Happy Holidays!


Captured Dreams Clip on Earrings

Ah December, when the lion of winter arrives in force, and holiday giddiness rises. And radio stations across the United States, no matter the genre, play holiday songs.

Decorative lights are hung from the gutters or garages of houses and on outdoor trees.  And Christmas theme wreathes are hung against front doors. Inside the house, another tree goes up with treasured decorations, more lights, and maybe a decorative topper.  It is also a month with four birthstones: turquoise, blue topaz, lapis lazuli, and blue zircon. 

Even with all of this I still get sentimental over what has happened during the year and the thanks I have another good year lived.  I am also thankful once more for family, friends, and of course my cat Celia! 

I hope you will think along similar lines about this year and the special time we are experiencing.  Also please check out the holiday specials cliptomania.com offers and the many clip-on earrings that will make great gifts to the special persons in your life.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yellow is Far from Plain!: It has beauty even as clip earrings!



Class Triangles Clip on Earrings



Yellow is a color that instantly grabs my attention. Pleasantly yellow is associated with spring and fall.   One of the first flowers to bloom each spring is the yellow daffodil, and yellow appears as the autumn season gets rolling when the leaves start to turn. 

The English word yellow dates back to 700 AD when it was published in The Epinnal Glossary.  Its origins come from geolu (Old English), gelwaz (Proto-Germanic), and the Indo-European base word –ghel which means bright and gleaming, and to cry.  Even before yellow became a word it was one of the first colors used by prehistoric artists in caves.  

Ancient Egyptians used yellow extensively in tomb paintings using either yellow ochre or orpiment (a deep yellow-orange colored arsenic sulfide mineral.)  They believed yellow was associated with gold which they considered to be imperishable, eternal and indestructible.  Ancient Romans were also fond of using yellow in their paintings and murals as skin tones.  

Centuries later in the Middle Ages, saffron was sometimes used in manuscripts and some painters like Juan de Juanes, who in the 16th century used yellow to depict malice as he did in one of his paintings to create a likeness of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ.  Similarly in Spain, if someone did not renounce heresy he or she was forced to wear a yellow cape. Other painters just used yellow as one of the colors without any malice like 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner who was one of the first painters to use yellow to create mood and emotion.  



Square Art Buttons Clip on Earrings


Excerpt from Wikipedia.org
The painter Vincent van Gogh was a particular admirer of the color yellow, the color of sunshine. Writing to his sister from the south of France in 1888, he wrote, "Now we are having beautiful warm, windless weather that is very beneficial to me. The sun, a light that for lack of a better word I can only call yellow, bright sulfur yellow, pale lemon gold. How beautiful yellow is!"
At the end of the 19th century, in 1895, a new popular art form began to appear in New York newspapers; the color comic strip. It took advantage of a new color printing process, which used color separation and three different colors of ink; magenta, cyan, and yellow, plus black, to create all the colors on the page. One of the first characters in the new comic strips was a humorous boy of the New York streets named Mickey Dugen, more commonly known as the Yellow Kid, from the yellow nightshirt he wore. He gave his name (and color) to the whole genre of popular, sensational journalism, which became known as Yellow Journalism.

There are other instances in history where yellow went back and forth as a positive or negative color, but these days they are just memories.  Now yellow is as used as any other color in existence especially in fashion. And not just clothing but jewelry also, especially clip on earrings! There are three undertones yellow gives off: beige, green, or rosy. Finding which shade of yellow is yours can be known through this undertone as to whether it compliments or detracts.

At Cliptomania, yellow is the primary or an accent color in many clip on earrings.  I especially like yellow amber with cognac amber, and I love it in this creation by Joan Eagle. (C622) Every section on the Cliptomania.com website has one or more clip on earrings featuring yellow.  So if you are looking for that pop of wow color from yellow look no further than the #1 Internet retail store with over 500+ clip on earrings in a variety of sizes, styles and colors! www.cliptomania.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Orange is Far from Plain




Kiku Non-Pierced Earrings by David Howell & Co.


Orange is more than a fruit.  It’s a color located on the color spectrum between red and yellow, which when mixed together creates it.  Orange symbolizes amusement, the unconventional, extroverts, fire, activity, aroma, and the autumn season. In Asia orange has long been a symbolic color of Buddhism and Hinduism in the color of their robes, flowers, sand and paint pigments.  In ancient Egypt artists used orange pigment minerals like realgar to create skin color in tomb paintings.  The color’s name originates in Asia from the Sanskrit name “naranga” yet prior to the late 15th century outside of this region, like in Europe, it was simply known as yellow-red.  Artists of the Middle Ages used yellow-red for coloring manuscripts and in paintings.

“Naranga” was introduced when Portuguese merchants brought the first orange trees to Europe from Asia.  Eventually this name became “orange” in English and in parts of Germany, the Netherlands and Russia where the color is also called Chinese Apple.  The color orange would also take on new meanings as the Middle Ages wore on in the 16th and 17th century.  One of the most influential royal houses was the House of Orange-Nassau. Its name originated from the name of a tiny feudal state called the Principality of Orange north of Avignon, France.  The feudal state’s name came from a Roman-Celtic settlement founded in 36-35 BC called Arausio, after the Celtic water god. The family of the Prince of Orange eventually adopted this name for their own as well as the color orange.  

Hand Painted Gypsy Clip on Hoop Earrings


The color orange also became associated with Protestantism when the House of Orange took part in the French Wars of the Religion.  A member of the family of William I of Orange organized the Dutch resistance against Spain that lasted eighty years when the Netherlands finally won their independence. Then another member of the family, William III of Orange, became king of England in 1689 after the downfall of the Catholic Stuart Dynasty.  Thanks to this second family member the color orange became an important political color in Britain and Europe.  It also became an important symbol in Ireland when William III, a Protestant, helped defend the Protestant minority in Ireland against the majority Roman Catholic population.  These defenders became known as the Orangemen and the color would eventually become part of Ireland’s flag symbolizing this heritage.
Besides orange being a fruit, a pigment, a symbol of a royal house or branch of religion, orange is a natural color throughout the world.  Leaves in autumn turn its color.  Fruits like the pumpkin, mango and squash are shades of orange as is the vegetable carrot. Orange is also the color of some people’s hair, the fur color of domesticated cats and dogs as well as a color found on tigers, fish, parrots, lions, foxes, snakes and butterflies to name a few.     



And if you thought all of this was not enough, orange is in fashion and jewelry too! This year orange is again a color trend as it has been since 2011. This past February, Pantone named it “The Color of Energy” and on this year’s color chart is called Celosia Orange.  Cliptomania.com, the top site to find clip on earrings and only clip on earrings, has over a dozen non-pierced earrings with orange as their dominant color as well as others including orange as an accent.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Black: A Rich History!


Black Crystal Teardrop Clip on Earrings


The color black has a long history going back to even before the Paleolithic period and the artists who used black along with white, red, yellow and brown to paint pictures in caves.  It is believed to have always been the color of the universe surrounding the planets, moon and stars.  Once life appeared on Earth black was found naturally in the color of animals, insects, reptiles and so on.  Once humans came into existence there were many with black hair, and of course, the pupils of eyes are black. All way before clothes!

Eventually people wore attire based on what the clothing color represented.  In Ancient Egypt the color green and black were connected to one another.  Green was the color of living plants while black represented the soil, and together symbolized the growth underground that is unseen until those plants break through the soil.  As part of the Ancient Egyptian's religion, the god of the dead or Osiris, was depicted in paintings and statues as having green skin to represent life after death. 

The Chinese culture is rich in black and white as depicted in the I Ching Book or Book of Changes as light (Ying) and dark (Yang).  Each can 'creep' into the other as represented in the Ying Yang symbol, but the Chinese believe each keeps the other in balance instead of one corrupting the other.  The Chinese also believe black is an essential part of the natural world.  Traditional Chinese physics teach that there are five elements all represented by a color with black representing water.

In Japan, black is associated with mystery, the night, the unknown, the supernatural, the invisible and death, but when white and black are combined it symbolizes intuition.  Black can also symbolize experience as it does in martial arts where white is for a novice and black for an expert.

Even when black became part of the attire people wore, it was still used to symbolize something.  In the early Middle Ages nobility and the wealthy usually wore bright colors, and did not wear black except for sable furs which were a mark of the very rich.  By the 14th century high quality dyes including black, arrived on the market.  Magistrates and government officials began to wear the color to reflect the seriousness and importance of their positions.  With this happening it was not long before “sumptuary laws” appeared.

Excerpt from Wikipedia.org:

Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are laws that attempt to regulate permitted consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc." Traditionally, they were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions, often depending upon a person's social rank, on permitted clothing, food, and luxury expenditures.

By the 18th century black was not as fashionable.  For example, in Paris the fashionable colors were pastels, blues, greens, yellows and white until it switched back to black during the French Revolution. Black was commonly worn during the Industrial Revolution because of the factories output of coal smoke.  Later, the burning of oil would also coat buildings, people’s clothes and more.

In art and literature black was used to reflect melancholy or romanticism.  Poets are often depicted wearing black with a white shirt and sometimes a scarf. 

Excerpt from Wikipedia.org
The invention of new, inexpensive synthetic black dyes and the industrialization of the textile industry meant that good-quality black clothes were available for the first time to the general population. In the 19th century gradually black became the most popular color of business dress of the upper and middle classes in England, the Continent and America.
Black dominated literature and fashion in the 19th century, and played a large role in painting. James McNeil Whistler made the color the subject of his most famous painting, Arrangement in grey and black number one (1871), better known as Whistler's Mother.

Then black took a turn when it became a color associated with anarchism and fascism.  By the 20th century black was back in a whole new way! In the 1950s black was the symbol of individuality, intellectualism and social rebellion. A black leather jacket was worn by Marlon Brando in the film The Wild One, as was it worn by musicians, artists, and poets who wanted to separate themselves from the “older generation.”  In the 1960s black continued in the fore, but it also was diminishing here and there.  While actress Audrey Hepburn looked stunning in a little black dress in the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s, outside of film black was being worn less and less as formal wear. Even those wearing 'rebellious black' of the 1950s and 1960s looked neat and put together compared to the 1970s when black arrive in the punk trend. 

Punk Works Clip on Earrings


Punk clothing was initially home-made until designers like Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier started to incorporate punk styles into their clothing lines.  Soon, big name stores jumped on the band wagon and mass produced their own versions of punk clothing.  Black t-shirts incorporated words like "Destroy," inverted crosses or swastikas to adorn them. Black jeans, bondage pants, and trousers (made of leather, with leopard designs or plain) were treated the same way. Black belts had metal studs or spikes, as were blazers and leather jackets adorned with the same slogans, words, medals, or neon colors.  The black shoes were military style boots, motorcycle boots, creepers or brothel type shoes that had thick heels.  During this trend men and women also wore heavy black eyeliner around the eyes.

By the 1980s, the gothic trend came to the fore and had many of the same characteristics of punk with the addition of more black including lipstick and nail polish.  Goth clothing was usually all black from head to toe with punk accessories like spiked neck chokers, heavy bracelets and piercings.
Today black is considered timeless and classic.  It can be paired with any other color and if done well can be worn all by itself without giving off a negative feeling.  The color black like its social opposite, white, is a staple in the fashion world.

Excerpt from becomegorgeous.com

Black and white are definitely two of the most popular colors found in fashion as they are never absent from the runway fashion presentations. The black and white fashion trend is a timeless trend which will never go out of style due to the elegance and simplicity exuded by the colors.


Black Geometric Clip on Dangle Earrings




Black is not just in our clothes, but in jewelry too! Cliptomania.com has over 500+ clip-on earrings in various colors including black by itself or with other colors. On the website we have a sub-section in the Classic vertical menu called Black and White. This section contains only Black, White or Black & White earrings.  Other clip on earrings are scattered throughout the website that have black as a contributory color. Black in metal-plating is referred to as "Hematite" and in a Gemstone it is most often called "Onyx." Then there are the terms like “Jet” that refer to black as a crystal color.

Stop by www.cliptomania.com to not only see the black non-pierced earrings we offer, but all the other colors that add that finishing pop to your wardrobe.



   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Long Live Pink

The color pink is created by mixing colors white and red together, but it can also be created with other colors like blue, black and violet to create a shade of pink with a blue tint (purple-pinks), an orange tint (salmon-pink), a dark pink, or a bright/neon pink.  The color takes its name from the flower Pinks, a member of the genus Dianthus with about 300 species in existence.  Other names for Pinks are Carnation and Sweet William.

Other references to pink include “to pink” which refers to a decoration with a perforated or punched pattern dating from the 14th century.  Pink was also used in literature as a descriptive word.  Roman poets like Lucretious (99B.C – 55 B.C.) used pink in his epic poem on “The Nature of Things” and Homer in the Odyssey, dated around 800 B.C., mentioned pink also.  

In the Middle Ages pink was not a common color in fashion but it did show up in paintings of women, and was used to connect the symbolism of the body of Christ (holiness) with a depiction of the Christ Child (wearing pink). However, most often pink was used by artists to portray the color of flesh for the face, hands and feet.     

Pink would have its place in the spot light also. It was the 19th century or Rocco Period when pastel colors like pink were very fashionable in the courts of Europe.  The mistress of King Louis XV of France, Madame de Pompadour, a champion of the color, often wore combinations of pale blue and pink.  In time pink became a symbol of seduction in portraits by George Romney (1734-1802), but other artists like Thomas Lawerance (1769-1830) used pink to symbolize innocence and tenderness as he did when he painted eleven year old Sarah Moulton, who died a year after her painting was completed  in 1794.

Excerpts from www.colormatters.com/pink   
According to Jean Heifetz, for centuries, all European children were dressed in blue because the color was associated with the Virgin Mary. The use of pink and blue emerged at the turn of the century, the rule being pink for boys, blue for girls. Since pink was a stronger color it was best suited for boys; blue was more delicate and dainty and best for girls. And in 1921, the Women's Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls. (Author of the 1994 book When Blue Meant Yellow. pp. 20 -21)

On the other hand, the idea of associating blue with male babies may stem back to ancient times when having a boy was good luck. Blue, the color of the sky where gods and fates lived, held powers to ward off evil, so baby boys were dressed in blue. In Greece a blue eye is still thought to have powers to ward off evil. The idea of pink for girls might come from the European legend that baby girls were born inside delicate pink roses.

Another theory states that the sexual origins can be found in ancient China. At a time when certain dyes were quite rare, pink dye was readily available and therefore inexpensive. Since blues were rare and expensive, it was therefore considered to be more worthwhile to dress your son in blue, because when he married the family would receive a dowry.

Ultimately pink would be targeted for girls and blue for boys by merchandize marketing companies after World War II.  These companies hoped to ride the post war boom and take advantage of a growing middle class. Today’s companies are still profiting from this by advertising merchandise according to gender. There are exceptions of course.  Some men feel quite comfortable wearing a pink handkerchief in a pocket or donning various shades of pink dress shirts and ties.  According to writer Daniel Billett who wrote an article in About Men’s Fashion called Real Men Wear Pink, he says the following:

There is something alluring about pink. Maybe that’s because psychologically it is known to have a calming effect. Or maybe it’s because pink is complimentary to most skin tones, unless you already have a lot of pink tone in your skin (like me). Or maybe it’s because a man who wears pink exudes confidence, yet is sensitive. It could be as simple as the fact that pink is easy to coordinate with almost every color in your wardrobe--it goes amazingly well with greys, tans, black, navys and other blues tones.  

And an excerpt from http://www.menstylefashion.com Gracie Opulanza wrote in April 2013:
It’s a bright color that looks damn hot on men most of the time. It is a feel good color. Us girls love men in pink because it shows a strength of their character. It means they are not afraid of what other men think? There are different shades of pink and therefore it can come across very masculine.

I personally think pink is beautiful whether found in nature, architecture, edible desserts, candy – or as a bold symbol in the fight against cancer.




Last October, Cliptomania.com offered the Pink Ribbon Crystal Clip-on Earrings in an effort to bring awareness to National Breast Cancer Month.  A part of each sale was matched by the Santo family, owners of cliptomania.com.  The money was given to a local Bloomington, IN charity, Jill’s House, which provides a home-like atmosphere to cancer patients and their families or caregiver while treatment is taking place. In October of 2014 cliptomania.com will again offer the Pink Ribbon Crystal Earrings with portions of each sale going to charity. This year the charity is Little Red Door Cancer Agency of Indiana.


Cliptomania.com carries 500+ non-pierced earrings and dozens have either a pink option or are pink with other colors.  Some of my favorites are these Cherry BlossomClip on Earring from David Howell & Company, the ColoredFlower Clip on Buttons in pastel pink, blue, and cream and these Sadie Green Pearl Flower Drops Clip on Earrings . These and other pink clip on earring beauties are waiting for you at Cliptomania.com! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Color Blue - You have a Hold on Me!

Today I doubt anyone would call the color blue a minor color.  It is easy to find not just in the sky or as the first color of everyone’s eyes at birth.  For a small percentage of people it will become the permanent color of his or hers’ eyes.  Blue is also seen in signs, cereal boxes, millions of vehicles, and as the color of chlorinated pools.  It is also the color of links on the Internet --the list is nearly endless!

The color blue was not known in the Upper Paleolithic Period.  Cave paintings featured the colors red, ochre, pink and purple.  What about fabric? Blue was barely used instead: red, ochre, pink and purple were.  Blue did show up it in ancient cultures it just wasn’t that important to them.  There is a historical mention of Babylonians (604-562 B.C.) using deep blue glazed bricks in the Ishtar Gate as a background for pictures of lions, dragons and aurochs (similar to a bull). 

It is not known for sure if ancient cultures had a specific name for blue.  For example the Ancient Greeks, classified a color by whether it was light or dark rather than by hue.  The Greek word kryaneos was used for dark green, violet, black and brown as well as dark blue.  And for lighter colors glaukos was used for light blue, light green, grey or yellow.  One of the first known uses of blue as a word was as a disparaging reference, in 17th century England, toward moral codes and to belittle someone.
   
Yet blue was used well before the 17th century not just by the Ancient Babylonians.   The beautiful gemstone Lapis Lazuli, common in the Ancient Egyptian culture, used in tombs, as jewelry, and more.  Lapis Lazuli had been mined in Afghanistan for more than 3000 years and widely exported around the world. 

Ancient Rome imported indigo dye from India and called it indikon.  And Romans used another shade of blue, Egyptian Blue, in wall paintings and as the background color for friezes on buildings like those at Knossos on Crete, the largest Bronze Age archeological site and considered to be Europe’s oldest city.  Blue was also used on Greek temples and as the color of the beards of Greek statues.  It has also been recorded the Romans used indigo dye for working class people’s clothing whereas the nobles and rich of society wore white, black, red and violet.  Blue was also considered to be the color of mourning and of barbarians. (Note: This is odd considering dyes are recorded as not being in use until 2600 B.C.)

It is strange that blue, recognized and used on a regular basis, was such a minor color in ancient times!  It was as if blue was an afterthought.  Even later in the Middle Ages, the color blue had a minor role and then things changed dramatically for the color between 1130 and 1140 B.C. in Paris when Abbot Stuger, rebuilt the Saint Denis Basilica and had stained glass windows installed featuring cobalt blue glass when combined with light from red glass filled the church with a violet color.  When this became known, Saint Denis Basilica became a marvel of the Christian world and the color in the church was named "bleu de Saint-Denis."  In the years to follow other churches would install cobalt blue glass stained glass as part of their churches.



The following excerpts from Wikipedia.org:
Ground lapis was used in Byzantine manuscripts as early as the 6th century, but it was impure and varied greatly in color.
and
King Louis IX of France, better known as Saint Louis (1214–1270), became the first King of France to regularly dress in blue. This was copied by other nobles. Paintings of the mythical King Arthur began to show him dressed in blue. The coat of arms of the Kings of France became an azure or light blue shield, sprinkled with golden fleur-de-lis or lilies. Blue had come from obscurity to become the royal color.

And then artists got a hold of blue in the Renaissance period to more accurately depict the world and important religious figures like making the Virgin Mary’s robe blue or the cloth she wore over a red robe was made blue to draw the attention of the viewer.  And it was not long before painting commissions were done requesting blue be one of the paints to create the finished painting.  It was not long after that, when people began to want blue clothing - even nobles and the rich!  Centuries later blue would keep popping up.  In the 17th century Frederick William, Elector of Bradenburg, was one of the first rulers to have his army wear blue uniforms.  A century later this trend continued with other armies wearing blue uniforms when indigo dye became readily available across the globe. Over the course of the 18th century blue uniforms became the symbol of liberty and revolution but as the 19th century got older, blue increasingly became the color of government authority, the color of police uniforms, and other civil servant uniforms too.
Excerpts from Wikipedia.org

The search for the perfect blue

During the 17th and 18th centuries, chemists in Europe tried to discover a way to create synthetic blue pigments, avoiding the expense of importing and grinding lapis lazuli, azurite and other minerals. The Egyptians had created a synthetic color, Egyptian blue, three thousand years BC, but the formula had been lost. The Chinese had also created synthetic pigments, but the formula was not known in the west.
In 1709, a German druggist and pigment maker named Diesbach accidentally discovered a new blue while experimenting with potassium and iron sulphides. The new color was first called Berlin blue, but later became known as Prussian blue.
In 1878, a German chemist named a. Von Baeyer discovered a synthetic substitute for indigotine, the active ingredient of indigo. This product gradually replaced natural indigo, and after the end of the First World War, it brought an end to the trade of indigo from the East and West Indies.
In 1901, a new synthetic blue dye, called Indanthrone blue, was invented, which had even greater resistance to fading during washing or in the sun. This dye gradually replaced artificial indigo, whose production ceased in about 1970. Today almost all blue clothing is dyed with an indanthrone blue

For blue, of any shade, this was a long way to come from its early days when it was used but not recognized.   As stated at the beginning of this article blue is everywhere.  My favorite of all the uses for all shades of blue is as clip earrings!  Designer Mary DeMarco features blue in her FloralGemstone Hoop Clip on Drop Earrings, Sadie Green has used it in six styles of clip on earrings featured in Tomorrow’s Heirloom (under her name).   David Howell he has not shied away from blue either, as we have four styles of clip on earrings that have blue in them including these: ColorWheel Clip on Dangle Earrings.  I haven’t even touched on the hundreds of other clip on earrings scattered throughout the cliptomania.com website that have blue in them too!  Just type in “blue” " in the keyword search box of our Advanced Search, and be amazed at what comes up!   Blue is quite the popular color today and a majority of men and women around the world consider blue their favorite color.  Of course Cliptomania.com does not only have blue clip on earrings, we have a whole rainbow and then some in the over 500 styles we offer.