What does snake jewelry symbolize?
The snake is once again in the spotlight. It is considered a symbol of eternity and renewal. One finds it then in the sentimental jewels (jewels carried out for the loved one) and the mourning jewels. The meaning of the serpent depends on the culture, but in jewelry, it symbolizes:
- Eternal love
Most people don't want a snake living within 10 meters of them 😅. However, the situation changes when it comes to wearing Snake Shaped Jewelry! Indeed this animal is one of the most appreciated motifs in the jewelry industry.
Far from being simply decorations, serpent jewelry is one of the oldest mythological, historical and cultural symbols. These pieces of art, and especially the Snake Rings, are very present in the jewelry business 💍. These mysterious creatures have inspired a multitude of jewelers through the ages. As a result, snake ornaments are rich in an abundance of meanings in many countries and civilizations.
This article suggests you take a look at the significance attributed to snake jewelry through civilizations and ages! In the 3rd part of this article, you'll find the Snake Rings, Bracelets, and Necklaces, and the meaning of each of these jewels 👇!
We have the largest collection of snake rings in the U.S. Check it out.
1. SNAKE STORY IN JEWELRY
A. AN ANTIQUE SYMBOLISM
Snakes have been adorning humans since Antiquity. Their special shape makes them a perfect inspiration to make rings, bracelets, necklaces, and armbands 🐍.
The origins of snake jewelry are easy to retrace compared to most ancient jewels. It's is because many of the rings and necklaces include a large amount of gold.
Jewelry with snake motifs is usually associated with the Ancient Egyptians (such as turquoise enamel combined with yellow gold pieces). Indeed, they have influenced the whole world as a result of the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt ⚰️. However, the Egyptian civilization is not the only one to have produced snake-shaped ornaments.
Even if the snake symbol has always existed in jewelry, the Symbolism of the Serpent has evolved in the last 6,000 years. In Antiquity, snakes represented wisdom, eternity, and a guardian spirit 🛡️. Throughout the 19th century, they symbolized eternal love. But at the end of the 20th century, they became a symbol of sinister danger. ☠️
B. THE SYMBOLISM OF SNAKE JEWELRY IN CIVILIZATIONS
The origin of the serpent symbolism goes back thousands of years. Many civilizations have interpreted the beast as representing many things: good, evil, renaissance, poison, fertility, death ☠️. Even if there are some negative historical meanings attributed to the snake, the animal has mostly positive significance.
Throughout history, peoples have associated very strong meanings to the serpent:
- The Pharaohs of Egypt considered snakes as a representation of royalty and divinity. They wore them as sacred necklaces around their necks.
- The Romans had different interpretations of these animals, from eternal love to a symbol of wisdom.
- The Greeks also considered the snake as a symbol of wisdom. Asclepius, the god of medicine, had a snake wrapped around his staff.
- Hindus, Hebrews, Afro-Americans, and Native Americans have all endowed the slender creature with various meanings. These range from revival and transformation, to sexuality and desire 💞.
- The Mayans and Aztecs had Serpent Gods in their beliefs. These gods were worshipped because they represented knowledge and protection.
Thanks to the archaeological excavations 🔎, we know that these people wore a multitude of jewelry with snake designs. Whether they were amulets to protect themselves from the evil forces, or bracelets supposed to bring fertility and enthusiasm to the wearer.
2. THE POPULARITY OF SNAKE JEWELRY
If snake-shaped jewelry has been very popular throughout history, it is because important figures wore it 👑.
A. QUEEN VICTORIA'S RING
It was in 1839 that history and legend gave way to the snake, which became one of the most typical motifs in jewelry. It was at this time that Queen Victoria was engaged to Prince Albert 💍. The Prince gave his sweet wife a ring in the shape of a serpent, which represents eternal love. ❤️
The majestic ring was set with an emerald, the queen's birthstone. At the time, it was common practice for an engagement ring to bear the birthstone of the person wearing it. This Victorian style, which gives personal meaning to the jewelry, is known as "Acrostic jewelry." Queen Victoria was even buried in 1901 with its ring, which inspired a New Fashion for Snakes 😮.
Queen Victoria's ring was so admired that it set the trend throughout England, and later across Europe! She created a range of snake rings, necklaces, and flexible spiral bracelets with gem-set heads 💎.
All this jewelry was destined for the richer classes of society, and most of it was set with precious stones. Until the Industrial Revolution 🏭, the process of making jewelry evolved. The pieces were made much faster than the difficult handcrafting process that had gone before. That's mean that the cost of the jewelry was considerably reduced, making the pieces much more accessible to modest people.
👉 If you are charmed by the Victorian style, then I invite you to discover our gorgeous Queen Victorian ring.
B. THE MOST FAMOUS SNAKE JEWELRY
The most famous Snake Necklace of the jeweler Cartier was made in 1968 for the Mexican actress María Félix. It was made in platinum with 2473 diamonds 😍! The underside is enameled in red, green, and black, making the piece completely reversible.
From the 1940s to the present day, Bulgari has created very complex snake jewelry thanks to a particular technique called Tubogas. This luxury jewelry company created a unique watch bracelet for the actress Elizabeth Taylor.
The brand also designed a belt that became a necklace for Diana Vreeland, editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine 📰. She wrote this note in 1968: "Don't forget the snake... it should be on every finger and every wrist... the snake is the reference motif in jewelry... You can get enough of it".
This is as true for modern collectors and designers nowadays as it was in Queen Victoria's time. Ms. Vreeland is right: the snake is a jewelry motif that will continue to be eternally Loved and Inspiring 👍.
3. MEANING OF THE DIFFERENT SNAKE JEWELRY
Serpents are one of the oldest and most famous Mythological Symbols. This is why snakes are so often represented in jewelry. Their fine rope-shaped body fascinates and fits perfectly into a spiral necklace, an elegant bracelet, or a distinguished ring.
There is an overall meaning of snake-shaped jewelry, as we saw earlier in this article ⬆️. However, it is possible to attach a particular symbolism to the three main Types of Snake jewels: rings, bracelets, and necklaces.
A. SNAKE RING MEANING
Wearing a simple ring is often already symbolic. Depending on the finger on which you wear it.
Throughout the ages and civilizations, all the peoples who mastered the art of forging made rings in a serpent shape ⚒️. For a long time, these rings were made from precious metals (gold and silver). Therefore, they were reserved for the richest and most powerful people.
The interpretation of these particular jewelry pieces could vary from one culture to another. However, here is a list of the most common meanings attributed to snake rings:
- Eternal Love: Like Queen Victoria, offering a snake ring to her partner is a symbol of eternal love. 💘
- Oneness of the Body and Mind: Wearing an Ouroboros snake ring (the snake that bites its tail), symbolizes the internal harmony of the wearer.
- Power: especially in Eastern and Egyptian (pharaoh) cultures, powerful leaders often wore snake-shaped rings. These rings, usually made from solid gold, symbolized the fearsome and dangerous aspect of their wearer.
B. SNAKE BRACELET MEANING
The bracelets are a timeless part of human civilization. There isn't a single people that haven't worn this type of jewelry.
Snake-shaped bracelets appeared very early in history, inspired by the Characteristic Shape of this animal 🐍. The oldest traces of wearing a snake bracelet reach back to Ancient Egypt and even to the Mesopotamian Civilization (dating back to more than 3000 years before Christ, and located in the current Middle East).
👉Check up our large snake bracelet collection.
Unlike the ring and necklace, the snake bracelet has much more meaning physically than spiritually. Here are the meanings that are most often given to the wearing of a snake bracelet:
- Resistance and Transformation: many marks left by our ancestors lead us to think that people who had been close to death 💀 (illness, fight, snake bite, ...) used to wear a snake bracelet to symbolize it. People who have experienced serious things in their lives and who have come out of it transformed can also wear this bracelet with this symbolism—the snake signifying the transformation through its regular molt (skin renewal).
- Wisdom and Strength: Because a bracelet is worn around the wrist, it is connected to the arm: the universal symbol of brute force. Wearing a snake bracelet symbolizes finesse and wisdom in the use of force 💪, just like the snake who chooses precisely the moment when he delivers his deadly venom.
- Agility: The wrist is connected to the hand. This hand is a reflection of a person's skill and ability. It was not uncommon for Muslim archers to wear snake-shaped bracelets to symbolize their skill with the bow. The snake was known for its agility and speed.
C. SNAKE NECKLACE MEANING
Even if all peoples made necklaces and pendants, snake motifs are less common on these jewels compared to rings and bracelets. ⚠️ However, they still retain a strong symbolic value, especially in the Nordic countries.
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The necklaces in the shape of a snake have a meaning turned towards the Spiritual. These jewels were (and still are!) worn in the form of amulets to protect oneself from bad omens or to attract the favors of a deity. Here are some of the symbols of the serpent necklace:
- Protection: the snake is a dangerous animal. Be sure to think before you attack it 🤔. Wearing a necklace with a snake means that you can defend yourself and protect your loved ones. In the Nordic culture, the snake is seen as a powerful animal in the image of the mythical monsters of Jörmungandr and Níðhöggr. These two snakes have an evil connotation in Nordic mythology. Worn as necklaces, they symbolize the harm that the wearer is prepared to cause if he or her loved ones are attacked ⚔️.
- Cunning: the snake has always been part of the human imagination as a representation of cunning and trickery. Wearing a snake necklace symbolizes the cunning of the wearer 🧠. However, this symbolism of the ruse of the snake necklace can also be applied to business. The caduceus Hermes (the Greek god of commerce) is represented by a stick around which two snakes are wrapped.
- Spiritual enlightenment: the serpent is the universal symbol of the link and balance between two opposites ☯️ (heaven and earth, good and evil, man and woman, ...). Wearing a necklace in a snake form means that the wearer has found his balance in the Cosmos and that his quest for balance has come to a successful conclusion. He knows the connection between the opposites and can understand them better. According to the ancient Nordic culture, the wearer of this type of jewelry was often wise, experienced, and well-advised.
4. THE VIPERS HOUSE JEWELS
Today, the sinuous curve of the snakes' bodies continues to confer a Fatal Femininity to the design of these jewels. But some chic rings representing a snake with an Aggressive Style may as well demonstrate the dangerousness of the man who wears them ⚔️.
At The Vipers House®, we want to allow you to wear these beautiful and atypical jewels every day. Our products are manufactured and selected with the utmost care so that they meet strict quality criteria ⛔.
Our jewels are imbued with Savoir-Faire. This can be seen in the magnificent enamellings of some of our pieces, capable of capturing the vivid colors of a snake's body ✨.
We have the largest collection of Snake Rings on the American market! Our rings feature the dangerous design of the snake, which is highly stylized in Silver 925 or Stainless Steel 316L. We also offer snake-shaped jewelry with shiny ruby or emerald eyes 💎.
Our Snake Bracelets can enhance your wrist or arm. We are adding an extremely refined and seductive touch.
The Vipers House® jewelry combines Seduction and Ferocity so that everyone can find what they are looking for 😃 ! They are an original and symbolic style of accessory to stand out in our contemporary society.
Snakes have therefore marked the History of Jewelry since Man has covered himself with jewels. And this is because the Symbolism of the Snake is one of the richest of all. If snake jewelry is still a Timeless Style today, it is thanks to this combination between the unique shape of the snake, which allows it to wrap itself around the wearer, and this strong symbolism.