List Of Common Symbols In Antique Jewellery And Accessories

Antique jewellery holds such a fascination for many and most collectors are keen to learn as much as they can about these exquisite pieces, which gives them added confidence when acquiring an item.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the common symbols that are found on antique and vintage jewellery items.

Antique jewellery symbols and their meaning

Look for deeper meanings

This is especially pertinent when looking at Victorian jewellery. During a time when strict values and rules were adhered to, and symbols were often used to convey a hidden meaning.

The crown, a common symbol that stands for victory, suddenly becomes the ‘ruler of my heart’ when placed above a heart, which could well be a secret way for clandestine lovers to demonstrate their relationship, albeit secretly.

If you would like to view stunning antique jewellery, you can easily find antique shops online through a brief search on Google. You are bound to find shops with an extensive catalogue of fine antique and vintage jewellery at affordable prices.

Common good fortune symbols

  • The horseshoe: The horseshoe has always been a sign that represents good luck and is widely found throughout the eras.
  • The arrow: The arrow represented mortality or romance.
  • The four-leaf clover: The four-leaf clover was another favourite, which can be found on Edwardian and Georgian items.
  • The eye: This represented protection

It is best to search for antique jewellery items using online antique dealers that have made a name in the industry, as this ensures that you are purchasing a genuine item at a fair price.

Animal symbols

Civilisations have long been using animals to convey meanings in jewellery.

  • Bees: The bee signifies efficiency and organisation,
  • Butterfly: The butterflies were said to represent the soul or spirit.
  • Snake: The snake has always symbolised everlasting love.
  • Eagles: Eagles are supposed to represent freedom
  • Peacock: The peacock represented beauty
  • Owl: The owl signifies vigilance and wisdom
  • Snails: Snails represented perseverance
  • Phoenix: The Phoenix was to represent rebirth

Maker’s marks

They are not to be confused with symbols. As they are merely a way for people to identify who made the piece, which could come in the form of initials, signature, or even a simple squiggly line.

They can be found in pieces such as antique pocket watches. It is quite likely you will also find a date, although the item in question would have to be large enough to accommodate such data.

Gold purity stamps might also be present and with silver, expect to find the numbers 925 somewhere, which indicates its purity at 92.5%.

When you are looking to acquire antique jewellery, make sure that you deal with a reputable antique jeweller who has a good standing in the local community, then you can be sure that the items are, in fact, genuine and fairly priced.

The Internet is a good source of information and would tell you where to find a local antique dealer who focuses on jewellery so you can pay them a visit.


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