Let’s clear the confusion between jewelry, jewelery and jewellery once and forever! Before you start pulling out your hair and getting in an inane fight over the spelling of these words with your jewelry-loving friend, let’s start here: Why are there so many spellings, anyway?
The simple answer is two-fold: the use of American English and British English, and personal preferences.
If you’re living in a country that speaks English predominantly, then asking how to spell jewelry might get you three different answers. As mentioned, the difference is merely due to geography and nothing more. In the US, it’s jewelry. In both the UK and in Australia, it’s spelled jewelery or jewellery.
The juicy part of the conversation: Where did the word come from to begin with?
The Origin of the Word
The word “Jewellery” comes from the word “Jewel”, which was anglicized from “Jouel” (Old French). Before that, it came from the Latin word “Jocale,” which means “Plaything.”
The most astonishing fact about jewellery is that it was not discovered by humans but by Neanderthals.
Centered in Europe, the first form of jewelry was perforated beads that were made from sea shells. This piece of art was found dating back around 115,000 years. The beads were found in a cave called Cueva de los Aviones, which is located in Spain on the southeast side.
Other discoveries have been made such as beads made of ostrich egg shells in Kenya, a marble ring and stone bracelet in Russia dating back 40,000 years.
Back then, jewellery was used as a form of showing high status. Jewellery primarily consisted of metals, but today, it is made from different materials, including precious gemstones such as diamonds and rubies.
So what’s with the spelling confusion?
Understanding the Difference Between Jewelery and Jewellery
In Australia and the UK, the word ‘jewellery’, with two L’s, is based on the reasoning that a word’s final consonant should be doubled if the added suffix starts with a vowel. As a result, the British and Australians believe that this is the true spelling of the word.
In the US, the spelling ‘jewelery’ is set by the Oxford English Dictionary; still, Americans prefer the popularized verison: jewelry.
However you prefer to spell it, this adored item and art form is what inspires us to do what we do every day.