20/10/2022 0 Comments
Exploring the Star Symbolism in our Jewellery Collection
One of the fundamental guiding principles of my jewellery design is taking inspiration from nature and combining this inspiration with the personal.
This design ethos is exemplified in our trio of stars and sister's necklace. This necklace is inspired by the stars in the night sky while at the same time representing and honouring my three sisters.
Of course, different symbols and shapes mean different things to different people, and ubiquitous shapes like those inspired by nature have meanings that have evolved and changed over time and between cultures. In this blog, I want to look at star symbolism and explore how it's been used in jewellery for thousands of years.
Star Jewellery Throughout History
For milieu, cultures worldwide have been inspired by and assigned meaning to the stars. We can see this right here in Ireland. Neolithic tribes – like those who constructed the passage tomb Newgrange – demonstrated knowledge of astrology, meaning their religion was likely connected to the stairs.
The presence of the star shape in jewellery can be traced all the back to 3,000 BC. Ancient civilisations that lived around the Mediterranean and present-day Iran craved star shapes and floral designs into amulets and seals. Like the Neolithic tribes that settled and flourished in Ireland, these civilisations likely had a spiritual, religious connection to these symbols. These pieces of star-adorned jewellery were considered so sacred that mummified remains have been found adorned with star-craved jewellery.
Sapphire stones have been used in jewellery manufacturing for thousands of years. Magnificent examples of amulets adorned with sapphires have been found, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greek. The most precious of all Sapphires are Star Sapphires. When Star Sapphires are placed underneath a single light source – like the sun – they reflect the light in a star shape. This natural phenomenon is known as asterism – the word asterism is derived from the Greek goddess of the stars: Asteria.
Many Eastern civilisations thought the blue sapphire had the power to ward off evil spirits. Other cultures thought this heavenly-coloured gemstone could bestow them with the ability to commune with the dead. Sapphires are still very much used in jewellery. The most famous piece of sapphire Jewellery may be Kate Middleton's 12-caret sapphire engagement ring. Naturally enough, this ring was given to Kate by her now husband, Prince William. This ring is significant because it belonged to Prince William's mother, Princess Diana.
In the 17th century, the Star of David became a symbol to reflect Judaism and later as a symbol of Israel. The Star of David is used in modern synagogue architecture and is a popular shape for jewellery. The Star of David is often worn as a necklace to communicate and celebrate a person's Jewish heritage.
These are just some examples of the star being a powerful symbol when worn on jewellery.
Modern Meaning of the Star
In the modern world, the star represents many different things to different people.
I'm still very much inspired by the stars in the night sky when creating my Jewellery collections. As the name suggests, My North Star Necklace is inspired by the North Star. For generations, the North Star was used for celestial navigation by sea-fairing cultures. I imbued this way-finding history into the design of the piece. Our North star necklace represents courage, comfort and hope for the future.
Because of this association with direction, the North Star has a symbolic meaning. For many, the pole star symbolises personal development and finding purpose and direction in one's life.
So many of our other Irish Jewellery pieces are inspired by the stars. While creating these designs, I found inspiration and influence in how people interpret the stars. Like so many others, here at Jo Harpur Jewellery, the stars represent aspiration, imagination and courage to pursue dreams. We like to think a little of this symbolic majesty is found in each one of our star-inspired pieces.
To view our many star-inspired Irish jewellery pieces, please review our online store. In the description of each piece, you'll find information on the inspiration and the symbolism the jewellery represents. Of course, we also hope that anyone who wears our jewellery attaches their own special meaning to the piece.