Thursday, February 25, 2010

Status Symbols

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.

8 comments:

angie said...

Excellent article today. And beautiful selections!

Cat said...

So interesting - and you picked some great examples to go with it!

Alegria Designs said...

Great topic and beautiful examples!

mcstoneworks said...

SATeam has such talented artists. What gorgeous examples of different symbols.

tjrjewellery said...

Interesting read, lovely examples!

faeriiidust said...

That ying/yang face pendant is stunning!

Bonnie said...

Great post, definately something to think about.

Leilani said...

Symbols mean so much to me & I use it in my jewelry designs a lot as well (and get requests too!). I think we are all looking for meaning in life these days...