We humans have been using the beauty of nature in our adornments and art from the gold jewellery of ancient times to the modern jewellery of today. Artisans get inspiration from animals to create the most stunning pieces from the rare metals and spectacular stones they use.
The impulse to use animals as symbols in our jewellery is connected to the awareness we have of what it means to be a human being, and it is this understanding that has linked art and cultures over the centuries.
Animal depictions gave us beautiful inspirations or symbols of creation, which helped to reinforce widely held beliefs or mythology.
Using animals in jewellery, helps us to understand the relationship between nature and humans, with wild beasts being the peacemakers.
Most people love animals and many of them will go out of their way to wear their animal jewellery for pure pleasure.
Some of the most popular animal jewellery includes:
Birds – jewellery depicting birds has been a favourite for centuries, with birds of all shapes and sizes being used to represent grace and freedom. The most stunning jewellery items Ike necklaces, rings, earrings, and more, were created to include hens, swallows, parrots, and many other bird species.
Bugs – bug jewellery is not what we expect to be popular, but they have featured prominently through the years. Although most people wouldn’t call creepy-crawlies their favourite animal, many of them, such as dragonflies, butterflies, and other types of insects have been used to create some of the most unique, stunning items.
Dogs – it's no surprise that man’s best friend has been used to create the most beautiful rings, bracelets, rings, earrings, and other items of jewellery. Since dogs are our lifelong companion, the jewellery depicting many breeds of dogs are featured in jewellery pieces meant to last for many, many years.
Sea Creatures – the ocean, profound, life-giving, and mysterious, might represent our dreams, with many sea creatures being used to create some of the most stunning pieces of jewellery.
Jellyfish, seahorses, and many other fish and sea creatures, represent a variety of abstract theories to different cultures, including purification, faith, harmony, rebirth, immortality, and abundance. Many jewellery manufacturers are fascinated with the natural world, and this can be seen in their designs that use seashells and other types of ocean motifs.
Starfish and seashells are popular with many jewellery designers because they bring to mind ideas of warm, endless summers and relaxing days spent at the beach. Jewellery depicting sea tortoises or turtles are a playful symbol of bliss and long life.
Snakes – perhaps one of the richest and most culturally varied icons are snake motifs, that have been used in jewellery since ancient times. Humans imagine that these venomous serpents emerged from the dark depths of the earth, are guardians of hell, and inhabit the borderline between life and death.
Snakes, from the royal courts of the Japanese empire to the kingdom of Cleopatra, have for centuries been symbols of sexual desire, fertility, healing, immortality, wisdom, prosperity, and nobility.
In 1839, Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with an engagement ring in the shape of a snake and included her birthstone. This design, a lustrous symbol of their everlasting love, was iconic and started a new fashion throughout Europe and England.
Exotic Cats – exotic big cats, panthers in particular, have become a recognised symbol of famous jeweller Cartier, thanks to Jeanne Toussaint, charismatic creative jewellery director of the company. Mysterious and sophisticated, exotic jungle cats grabbed the attention of Paris in the Jazz Era, probably to embody feminine power as well as its dangers. On the other hand, depictions of lions in jewellery, because of their powerful and noble form, have been associated with the “king of beasts.”
Frogs – to Native Americans, frogs are symbols of abundance and wealth. If the image of the frog is shown to be touching another creature with its tongue, it is a symbol of the sharing of power and knowledge between beings. Frog imagery is also believed to protect your valuables.
Frogs are definitely lucky charms when used in jewellery and wearing such an item is supposed to open your spirit to happiness and good fortune. This makes perfect sense when you consider that frogs epitomize the content and carefree relaxation that they enjoy in their ponds!
Household Pets – although humans have high regard for wild animals, we tend to hold a special place in our hearts for our pets. In days gone by, when humans tamed wild dogs and cats and introduced them into their homes, they formed a unique and powerful bond with these animals.
Most people who have brought an animal into their households are familiar with that deep attachment, that complete devotion and trust that develops from this companionship, as well as that agonising sorrow that is experienced after the eventual loss of a much-loved pet.
Animals and human beings have co-existed since the beginning of time, with certain animals finding that special place in our hearts. The above examples of some of the more popular animals used in jewellery creations exhibit the lengths that some human beings will go to, to show their love, respect, and appreciation they have for their friends in the animal world.
We are always interested in buying or selling your unwanted animal jewellery. If you have a piece and would like more information please contact us here