Thu, 31 Jan 2013

Sinuous Serpent Jewels for the Chinese New Year

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By Erika Winters

Although serpentine shapes are time-honored symbols in jewelry design, this Chinese New Year--which marks the start of the Year of the Snake--has us craving the coil with fresh interest. From vintage to contemporary, serpents continue to wind their way 'round us...yessss.


Couture Cleopatra Snake Ring • Mimi So

Couture Cleopatra Snake Ring in 18k yellow gold with rubies and diamonds • Mimi So


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By Erika Winters

Sinuous and sensual, serpents have been modeled in jewelry since antiquity. One of my favorite pieces is a Romano-Egyptian snake bracelet in the Getty Villa's permanent collection in Malibu, California. The ancient snake represented a whole host of meanings and was used across the globe as a sacred symbol of fertility, renewal, and desire.

And it's easy to adore serpent jewelry from the Victorian period, a time when adornment was infused with meaning: a snake biting its tail represented eternity and everlasting love. Queen Victoria's engagement ring was in the form of a snake. So while the shape may send some running for the hills, the snake charms with a romantic message.

Although serpentine shapes are time-honored symbols in jewelry design, this Chinese New Year--which marks the start of the Year of the Snake--has us craving the coil with fresh interest. From vintage to contemporary, serpents continue to wind their way 'round us...yessss.


Couture Cleopatra Snake Ring • Mimi So

Couture Cleopatra Snake Ring in 18k yellow gold with rubies and diamonds • Mimi So


Caldwell & Co. diamond and sapphire serpent bracelet, circa 1930 • A La Vieille Russie at 1stdibs.com

Caldwell & Co. diamond and sapphire serpent bracelet, circa 1930 • A La Vieille Russie at 1stdibs.com


Arunashi diamond pavé snake ring • Marissa Collections

Arunashi diamond pavé snake ring • Marissa Collections


Lucky Snake Earrings • Ileana Makri

Lucky Snake Earrings • Ileana Makri


Julia Cohen 18k rose gold snake ring at Broken English

Julia Cohen 18k rose gold snake ring with emeralds and rose-cuts diamonds • Broken English


Victorian ruby snake bracelet • Lang Antiques at 1stdibs.com

Victorian ruby snake bracelet • Lang Antiques at 1stdibs.com


Meus large gold serpent earrings • Broken English

Meus large gold serpent earrings • Broken English




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