Keeping jewelry in beautifully carved wood jewelry boxes dates back into ancient times. The jewelry box, also known as a casket was used to keep valuable ornaments and jewels and was sometimes very elaborate. Most boxes in the west were made of metal or leather and decorated with ivory and jewels. There is no specific place of origin for the wooden jewelry box, because wood as a raw material was available in plenty almost everywhere.
The versatility of wood has lent itself to some rather distinctive creations unique to different nations. The ancients of India have been known to venerate wooden handicrafts and excerpts in early texts have been found about wooden doors used for homes. As such, the wooden handicrafts industry in India has quite a strong market within the sub continent as well as growing recognition globally. While Indian wood jewelry boxes are renowned for its use of high quality ebony and rosewood, the wood jewelry boxes of Egypt, are well known for their beautifully inlaid mother of pearl wooden boxes which are picked up by visitors, either as a souvenir or a very beautiful and unusual gift. Japan too has its version of interesting wood jewelry boxes in the form of a mechanical puzzle that requires from four to three hundred moves to click it open. These wooden puzzle boxes are used to store not only jewelry but other personal valuables due to its complex and covert nature.
The creation of wood jewelry boxes is an art form that requires a lot of skill and training in wood carving. Though there are many specialists that create beautiful pieces of art; the making of wood jewelry boxes is also taken up as a hobby by amateurs. For a complete novice, the best option would be to assemble already laid out parts that come in readymade boxes with instructions or to follow a woodworking plan. This does not provide much creative freedom, but once the basic idea has been grasped, small changes can be made without affecting the overall design.
Certain wood jewelry boxes contain more than artistic value. Boxes such as the Trial Bay jewelry box hold a lot of historical significance. Created by a German internee at Trial Bay Goal between the years of 1914 and 1918, this box is a part of a collection that symbolizes wartime struggles of the internees and the foreign policy link between Australia and Britain at that time, among others.
The advent of machine made boxes have made the obtaining of jewelry boxes for functional purposes a lot cheaper, and rather than reducing the demand for the onventional handcrafted wood jewelry box, it has only increased the appreciation of its timeless quality and beauty.