The First Grillz: the evolution of a style

Believe it or not, grillz have been around for thousands of years . You may have noticed the recent trend over the last decade of celebrities increasingly choosing to wear grillz. World-famous celebrities and athletes , from hip-hop legend Kanye West to Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte , have been photographed wearing their gold or diamond grillz . However, the history of grillz is long and together we will see their evolution through the ages!

Grillz: an ancestral origin

Archaeologists have discovered a man buried in Giza who had two gold teeth in his mouth and have carbon dated his remains to 2,500 BC . Additionally, other civilizations are also known to wear dental jewelry as a status symbol. The Mayan civilization wore jade “grillz”, fragments of which were inserted directly into the teeth. Studies show that this was a very popular trend until the 1500s . Evidence also indicates that gold grillz became popular in the Philippines in the following century.

grillz maya streetgrillz

The history of grills in the United States

Grillz as we know them today appeared in the United States in the 1980s . Slaves from Africa were the first to wear gold teeth . This may come as a surprise, but gold was one of the cheapest ways to fill cavities at the time. So, at that time, poor African Americans living in Brooklyn and the Bronx had gold teeth. New Yorkers began to love the look of these gold teeth and had custom grillz made to be fashionable. The rise of hip-hop music in New York in the 1980s led to the creation of grillz culture . What was once a sign of poverty has become, as in ancient civilizations , a sign of power, wealth and success. Since then, the gold grillz industry in the United States has evolved to the point where people are regularly investing hundreds of thousands of dollars every day to improve their smile.

StreetGrillz 80 Grills

Differences and permanence of grillz

While grillz styles have changed over the years, one thing has remained: what they represent . Grillz, whether made of gold , diamonds , jade , ruby , sapphire , silver , or any other rare metal or precious stone , continue to represent higher social status and symbolize power and wealth . However, the demographics of grillz wearers have evolved over time. Now, rappers are no longer the only ones to sport gold and diamond teeth. Influencers , athletes , models , fashionistas and artists of all genres work with luxury jewelers to create their own set of grillz. With such a long history, one thing is for sure, grillz will continue to be a staple of the high-end fashion industry.

Do not hesitate to read the following article on “ The arrival of the Grillz in France: the New Style of French Rappers ”.

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