Happy Earth Day! Animal companionship has been celebrated throughout all of human history, so animal jewelry is about as old as jewelry itself. A central concept to many types of jewelry is that of the talisman, or an object believed to have magical powers that are imbued upon the wearer. Jewelry created in the image of an animal was often thought to be talismanic of that animals qualities. For Earth Day this year we want to showcase animal jewelry and some of the jewelry houses that have made it famous.
Queen Victoria & The Snake Ring
For her engagement, Queen Victoria was given an snake ring with a large emerald on the head due to the emerald being Victoria’s birthstone. This emerald head snake ring was the main reason they became so popular worldwide and are still trending to this day. Snake rings had been a symbol of wisdom and commitment for a long time and for this are well suited as wedding rings.
This dynamic mid-century snake ring features diamonds for eyes and a wonderful opal which the snake appears to be eating. The scales are rendered with lifelike accuracy as this polished yellow gold snake wraps around your finger.See the listing
The animal kingdom & The jewelry Industry
Many jewelry houses are known for animal pieces, and David Webb is known for elaborate and very creative enamel animal bracelets. Recently they have been making lovely use of the big cat form, which has been a popular motif for years.
In that vein of that David Webb big cat theme, we have a lovely enamel tiger with diamond eyes and mouth here. The enamel is expertly painted on, a real special peak into the skill of the Victorian era of jewelry.
Here we have a fabulous eagle ring with incredible engraving to create the life-like feathers. The eyes are made from cabochon cut rubies and really fit with the warmth of the Victorian gold patina.See the listing
Another adorable example of animal jewelry is this delightful little fox ring. The detail in the hairs and ears are incredibly accurate, giving this a natural appearance.See the listing
These Cartier earrings make expert use of beaded yellow gold to create the real texture of a starfish. The playful curves at the end of each point drive home the easy ocean vibe.
Cartier is another famous jewelry house that has a rich history of animal themes in their works. Known especially for dragonfly pins and brooches, Cartier took the beauty of the animal world and made it perfectly ornate. With interesting color at play with wondrous gemstones to mimic the natural iridescence of the dragonfly, Cartier succeeded in this homage to the beauty of nature.
An interesting anecdote about Cartier is that the first person to commission the panther bracelet which has become so famous, was none other than Wallis Simpson whom King Edward VIII abdicated the English throne to marry in 1931.