Gucci, the currently very buzzed about luxury brand, is a delight to look at and wear partly because of the incredibly detailed motifs emblazoned on skirts, sweaters and even bomber and denim jackets.
One of these themes is snake imagery and appliqué, which the spring/summer 2016 collection is laden with. It lends to the quirkiness and whimsy as well as an exotic aspect of the house’s covetable pieces, plus draws a bit of curiosity about the symbolism of snakes used in fashion and particularly in gorgeous gold jewelry inspired or highlighting serpents.
It turns out that snake themes in jewelry hold more than just a way to add a reptilian detail to an articulated bracelet, but rather, a history that includes varied meanings from fertility and rebirth to healing and guardianship.
The snake can also signify a slightly darker side such as poison and evil, sexual desire and passion. Perhaps it’s the contrast and duality of the symbol that keeps us intrigued in the timeless motif.
Here are several more interesting facts about snake and serpent inspired jewelry that will make those chic wrap bracelets and 1970s serpent style pieces that much more storied.
1. A symbol of a snake with its tail in its mouth or a pair of snakes connected as an unbroken chain of tails in mouths has stood for infinity, divine wholeness and the cyclical nature of elements.
2. Snake jewelry gained popularity in the Victorian era after Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with an engagement ring that was made in the likeness of a snake with an emerald set head.
3. Bulgari’s beloved Serpenti collection began in the 1940s with the brand implementing a technique called Tubogas.
4. The serpent is one of the oldest mythological symbols representing good, evil, wisdom and eternity.
5. The serpent appears from the very beginning to the very end of Ancient Egyptian mythology with a two-headed serpent diety symbolizing the guard to the entrance of the underworld.
6. During the early centuries after the Renaissance, snakes were a common theme in mourning jewelry intended to become a symbol of the purification of the corpse and its return to earth.
7. In 2009 actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt created a snake inspired line of jewelry for high-end jeweler Asprey called The Protector, with baby spoons, picture frames, pendants and rings all carrying out the snake theme.
Shop serpent motif jewelry below.