Bracciale e collana Pandora
Bracciale e collana Pandora

The symbols of jewels

Have you ever thought that jewels are not only ornaments, but also symbols? That’s right: jewels are also messages. Very often they contain symbols that communicate a feeling, an intention, and even a request for help. But these symbols are not always known. Maybe you are wearing a piece of jewelry that has a meaning and you don’t know it. Here, then, are the symbols most used in jewelry and what their meaning is.

Il bracciale My Life In Seven Charms
The My Life In Seven Charms bracelet by Annoushka Dukas

With a premise: every moment of history, every society, every culture has its own symbols. So, a list that includes exactly all the symbols that are used in jewelry would be very long. Furthermore, the symbols used in Asia, for example, are quite different from the Western ones (for example the dragon or the circles). Then there are symbols that need no explanation, such as those linked to the zodiac signs, or the cross, a symbol of the Christian religion.

Anello in oro e diamante
Heart-shaped ring in gold and diamond

Symbols of love
Symbols linked to love are the most used in jewellery. The meaning of the eternity ring, for example, composed of a continuous line of diamonds or other gems along the entire edge of the shank, is easily understandable: the desire for endless love. From mathematics, however, comes the symbol ∞, the sign of infinity which, on a jewel, means forever, eternal love. Furthermore, it is impossible not to mention the heart, an organ which, according to an ancient tradition, contains passions and feelings of love.

Anello con il segno dell'infinito
Ring with the infinity sign

The heart is the most common symbol for love, passion, but also for charity. A crown placed above this symbol wearing it indicates that the one who gave it as a gift is the king of the heart. Another symbol linked to love is the arrow, which according to the ancient Greeks was shot by Cupid to make people fall in love. A lock or padlock protects the heart and, therefore, who you love. A padlock is also used as a union sign that cannot be divided.

Collana a catena con lucchetto, pavé di diamanti
Chain necklace with padlock, pavé diamonds by Zoë Chicco

A key, on the contrary, symbolizes the power to open the heart, therefore access to love and feeling. Or to close off access to other competitors in love. Always among the symbols of love, there are occasionally two shaking hands: they are not the sign of a deal just concluded, but a symbol of loyalty, friendship, alliance in life. But this symbol is used more rarely.

Pendente a forma di chiave in platino e diamanti
Key-shaped pendant in platinum and diamonds from Tiffany

The snake
The snake symbol has different meanings. In the ancient Greek and Roman world it meant a guardian, but also a symbol of wisdom, fertility and creative life force. More recently, however, a snake bracelet has had the meaning of eternal love in the Victorian period. Symbol of sin for the Christian religion, the snake has also become a symbol of carnal passion, of desire.

Bracciale Serpente di Bulgari con turchesi e diamanti
Bulgari Serpente bracelet with turquoises and diamonds

Lucky symbols
Since ancient times, jewels have also been used as amulets. Therefore, jewels with symbols to ward off the evil eye or as a good luck charm abound. It does not appear that a jewel of this type can win the lottery, but the fact is that a large number of people who hope to find luck wearing a necklace or a bracelet. The four-leaf clover is traditionally one of the most used symbols. In fact, luck is as rare as a four-lobed clover leaf.

Anello in oro bianco e diamanti
Four-leaf clover-shaped ring in white gold and diamonds by Recarlo

Another symbol of protection from bad luck is the eye. It is a symbol that dates back to classical Greek antiquity. The idea is that the eye protects from the malevolent gaze of enemies. The horseshoe is also a symbol often used for pendants, although their use is controversial: some think it brings good luck when turned up, but bad luck when turned down. But others think otherwise. In Italy, especially in the South, a small horn is considered a good luck charm.

Collana anti malocchio della Maison Aya
Anti-evil eye necklace from Maison Aya

Today it is less common, but every now and then some jeweler proposes a pendant or a ring with the shape of a scarab. The meaning comes from ancient Egypt, when these insects were considered a symbol of renewal and regeneration. Later the scarabs were also considered a sign of resistance of the soul.

Anello triplo grande Luna in oro giallo 14K con uno scarabeo di Labrodorite verde e diamanti bianchi taglio brillante
Luna ring in 14k yellow gold and scarab with labradorites and white diamonds by Lito

Moon and tree of life

It has no meaning related to the stars. The crescent moon, however, symbolizes the beginning of a new relationship, with the hope that the couple will consolidate over time. Another symbol that refers to nature, but also to the origin of life is the tree. And in addition to representing the cycle of biological life on Earth, in the tradition of the Christian religion the tree of life is a tree that God placed in the Garden of Eden, together with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Anello con luna crescente, oro, diamanti
Ring with crescent moon, gold, diamonds by Anthony Lent

The hand of Fatima
Called Hamsa or Khamsa in Arabic, the hand it is an amulet characteristic of the Muslim and Jewish religions. For the Jews it is the Hand of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron. For popular Islam, the hand represents an infallible remedy against the evil eye and negative influences in general. But the hand of Fatima was also a sign of freedom for women: according to legend, a woman named Fatima sacrificed her hand to be free. Today the hand of Fatima is also used to indicate spaces dedicated to women.

Anello con ciondolo mano di Fatima
Swarovski, ring with hand of Fatima pendant

Symbol of peace

The peace symbol, also called “make love, not war”, dates back to 1958: it is an idea by the American designer and pacifist Gerald Holtom. It became popular in the 1960s and 1970s during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. Although for some the symbol is a graphic representation of the physical love between man and woman, Holtom explained that in reality the graphic sign refers to the semaphore alphabet used in nautical signaling: it would represent the letters N and D, which stands for Nuclear Disarmament. In any case, it has become the universal symbol of peace and love more generally.

Il simbolo della pace
Symbol of peace

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