Jewelry is one of the oldest forms of personal adornment, but it also has its functionality as in the use of clasps, pins and buckles that prevent clothes from falling from one’s body. It has been used as currency or as a display or storage of wealth. It is definitely a form of artistic display and is also popular to identify one’s beliefs or affiliations in the form of symbolism. Some wear jewelry as a means of protection through the wearing of amulets and talismans.
The status symbols of jewelry in modern times would be defined by value, designer, scarcity or trend. The display of wealth or social status and the purpose of wearing for personal adornment has become the primary function of modern jewelry. However, for most of the early history of jewelry it was the actual symbols that denoted one’s status that was the primacy of jewelry. Religious, spiritual and nature symbolism were the most popular designs used in jewelry. If you were Christian you’d probably wear an Ichthys or a cross, Jewish a Star of David, or if you were married you’d wear a wedding band. It told the world something about you.
Recently, it appears that there is a shift developing in the function of jewelry which has brought about a resurrection of symbolism in jewelry design. Of course much of this symbolism is more stylistic and embellished than the often simple ancient designs. We choose our gemstones by their metaphysical properties. We proudly wear our cross, ankh, om, hamsa, yin and yang, pentacle, peace sign, green man, triquetra, et al. We are again telling the world something about who we are and what we believe.
The talented members of the SATeam have recognized this resurgence in symbolism. Here are a few of their designs.
Featuring 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 SATEAM.etsy.com.