Snake-themed jewelry can serve as a protective amulet – wear the thing you fear, and it will protect you from that thing. This is one reason for the popularity of snakes in jewelry, and when you factor in Freud and Genesis, the serpent becomes even more compelling. The symbolism can also be reversed – rings designed as a snake with its tail in its mouth symbolized Eternity, at least in English jewelry –I can’t speak for everyone else. A diamond Eternity ring was and still is a very popular wedding band. The Eternity snake is also found on Memorial and Memento Mori jewelry from earlier periods.
Snakes lend themselves so well to jewelry, particularly rings. They can twine up the finger in a life-like way, or be just one elegant coil. In any form, snake jewelry demands our attention, and isn’t it nice to have people notice your jewelry?
Images top to bottom (l-r): Victorian gold and diamond serpent ring, ca. 1880; Memorial ring, ca. 1833, the eternity snake with its tail in its mouth can be seen surrounding the central motif; Diamond and emerald serpent ring, ca. 1920's; Ruby, diamond and emerald snake cufflinks, England, 19th c., Double headed serpent ring with rubies, England, ca. 1900; Edwardian platinum serpent ring with sapphire, diamonds, and rubies, England, ca. 1910.
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