No one loves symbolism like the Victorians loved symbolism.
In an age of complex manners and rules, Victorians used symbolism to speak a secret language.
Especially when it came to courting, jewelry held its own hidden messages. Men went through complicated processes to court women, closely guarded by their parents and chaperones, and jewelry conveyed more heartfelt messages than he was able to communicate in person.
Queen Victoria, the fashionable queen with more than a little influence on Victorian style, received an engagement ring from Prince Albert in the form of a snake, the symbol of eternity.
Sometimes it takes serious contemplation before figuring out the meaning behind a piece of Victorian jewelry.
There are plenty of complex symbols. Jewelry with different types of stones spell out a message as an acronym of the stones’ first letters. For instance, if a ring has a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, another ruby, and a diamond, it spells out “REGARD”. This is one of the most common words in acronym jewelry, and carries a meaning like “with my regards” or “I highly regard you”.
And that’s just the start of the hidden meanings. Symbols abound in Victorian pieces. For instance, if a couple was on their honeymoon, the bride would wear a pin with a crescent moon and flowers. The flowers represented the nectar, or “honey” part of the word “honeymoon”.
Do you have any jewelry with hidden symbols? Go here for a comprehensive list of symbol meaning in jewelry, and tell us if you find anything!