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LIVE 24-SEVEN


SYMBOLS As well as acrostic jewellery, heavy use of symbols in sentimental jewellery would add further hidden meaning and messages:


HEARTS The heart shape has been popular for many years and can be found in antique jewellery as far back as the Georgian era, often set with old mine cushion cut diamonds and gemstones with closed backs and detail to the shoulders with a bow or miniature coronet to the top. A crown on the top of a heart is the ultimate gesture as it symbolises ruler of my heart. The Victorians took this further with endless interpretations of this simple motif both as decoration or developed into a locket, which in itself could conceal a lock of a loved one’s hair or a small portrait. Often you would see two hearts united by a box symbolising intertwined and endless love.


HORSESHOE The horseshoe is symbol of good luck and protects the wearer from evil, which became popular around 1880, when there was an increase in superstition. It was also thought that the horseshoe should always have the opening pointing upwards; if it was turned around it was bad luck as all the good luck had been poured out.


SNAKE OR SERPENTS Queen Victoria’s engagement ring from Prince Albert was a snake with its tail in its mouth, which was a symbol of eternal love and everlasting. Peaking in the 1840s, the snake represented wisdom and eternity during this period and was the popular motif on rings, bracelets, brooches and necklaces.


Snake rings were made in several different styles. The bodies of the snake were made up of one, two or three gold bands sometimes with jewelled heads set with diamonds or rubies. The finest and well-made snake rings will show well-defined snakeheads.


The serpent bracelet and necklace was designed to show a serpent coiled around the wrist or neck. The finest snake necklaces have a royal blue enamel head encrusted with diamonds, pearls or gemstones, with ruby or diamond set eyes.


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FLOWERS Flowers symbolise the biggest part of all the jewellery symbols and from around 1830 it became popular to “say it with flowers” as a way to express love and friendship. Popular motifs included pansies, forget-me-nots and roses made from gold and silver set with diamonds and turquoise on brooches, earrings, lockets and rings. A large selection of forget-me-not flowers were set with turquoise and this became known as the gemstone for the forget-me-not motif.


CRESCENT MOON & STARS A very popular feminine symbol in the Victorian era was the mystical crescent moon and star motif, traditionally embellished with rhinestones and seed pearls. Crescent moons in Victorian jewellery often represented spirituality and the glorification of the Feminine Moon Goddess, whilst the stars were symbols of direction and guidance for the spirit.


There’s a vast array of symbols used in Victorian jewellery and this article has only touched on a few of those most magical meanings. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, maybe this year take a moment to think of a different way to express your love, armed with an array of hidden messages which will be secret between you and your loved one!


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BUYERS GUIDE ROMANCING THE S TONE


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