Capturing the allure of astrology in jewelry
Astrology is the millennia-old study of celestial objects and their astronomical movements, using ancient theories to divine how this cosmic dance affects our lives. Many believe that the far-reaching power of the planets and the shifting energy in the universe can write our future. Increasingly, jewelry designers are capturing the allure of astrology by incorporating astrological meanings and symbols into their pieces.
Give Me a Sign
Of all astrological signs and symbols interpreted in jewelry, the twelve signs of the zodiac are surely the most popular, versatile and widely recognized. The well-known figural signs appear in a seemingly endless variety of styles and materials, continually updated and contemporized. The zodiac system originated in the ancient belief that our destinies are shaped by the planets. Each of the twelve sections of the zodiac circle was, and still is, represented by a symbol, well known to all of us, and believed to represent particular physical or emotional traits or characteristics of people born under the sign, at that particular time of the year. Beliefs in the influence of the planets on our lives and personalities are still strong today, which accounts for the enduring popularity of zodiac charms, rings and pendants and the concept of birthstone jewelry. Blue stones are the best match for Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). Pure and simple silver jewelry suits Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). Delicate, sparkling jewels set in rose gold reflect Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and opulent, gold designs make Fir signs shine (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius).
In the same way, the sky, stars and planets and celestial beings have always inspired auspicious and talismanic symbols; for early man, the sun, moon and the star-studded night sky were all signs of a divine presence. The sight of a shooting star has always been considered a promise of good luck. Celestial themes and motifs – stars, moon, crescent moon, comets, shooting stars – have been translated into jewels in every age and are always timelessly beautiful, lyrical, romantic and deeply emotive, particularly when depicted through the starlight brilliance of diamonds and gemstones.
The late Victorians loved to wear brooches set with moonstones carved with the face of the man in the moon, often framed by a diamond crescent. Edwardian ladies covered their bodices with diamond star brooches or wore jeweled stars and crescents in their hair and on their tiaras. Hair jewels with star and heavenly motifs are particularly poetic. Famed for being superstitious and surrounding herself with auspicious emblems, when Gabrielle Chanel was asked to make a diamond jewelry collection in 1932, she chose one of her favorite symbols; the comet or shooting star.
Today, the hugely fashionable celestial theme encompasses traditional stars, the moon and the sun, but also more mystical talismanic cosmic motifs such as the planets, constellations, Saturn’s moons, sunrays, signs of divinity and astrological phenomena like the supernova. All are linked to today’s fascination with science and all take a more graphic, abstract, modernist approach.
All images as seen in Swarovski Gem Visions Autumn / Winter 2019 and Swarovski Gem Visions Talismans & Symbols