Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Celtic Symbols in Jewelry Design

Celtic refers to a diverse group of tribal people living in Iron Age Europe from around 500 BC to 400 AD.
The Celts are great storytellers, great drinkers, great fighters and skillful workers of metal…creatively fashioning brooches, warrior neck & arm bands, sword hilts, scabbards & belt buckles using a curvilinear decorative style of intertwining tendrils and symbols derived from flora & fauna.

Though there is very little historical record left by the Celts themselves, insight has been passed down through other cultures and generational storytelling. As a result understanding the meaning of many of the Celtic symbols is based on conjecture & supposition.

The Triquetra: "Three-cornered" this symbol carries varied meanings dependent on the different aspects of Spirit, Nature, Being and Cosmos. The spiritual trinity of Father, Son & Holy Ghost; Nature's trinity of Earth, Water, Sky; as well as the trinities of Life, Death, Rebirth; Maiden, Mother, Crone.......

Spirals: In general spirals symbolize the development and progression of life, from birth to death. Additional significance is offered based on the direction of the spirals and whether they are all going in the same direction.

The Celtic Knot: There are many variables that attribute meaning to a particular knot. How many sections, open or closed, is it a clan related insignia and other unrecorded details. According to George Bain, a 20th century Scottish Celtic art professor, Celtic knots that have a closed path, (no end or beginning), are considered to be a symbol of eternity, or represent the infinite. Those with open paths are said to signify a journey (both physical and otherwise).

The Celtic Cross: The bridge between heaven & earth, the circle represents eternal spiritual love

The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at


galadryl said...

I do like celtic symbols in jewelry, those earrings are fab.

Cat said...

That was so interesting and I love the pieces!

mcstoneworks said...

And I thought this was about a Boston basketball team. :) Seriously, Angela, interesting post.

momo2vj said...

The info. was facinating, thanks for posting it! On the gorgeous celtic tear drop pendant, is is porcelain or enamel or what and where can I buy one of the focals like it???

Leilani said...

Celtic symbols are so very popular in jewelry and I can totally understand why!