Jewelry held a place of importance in Celtic life. The various jewelry items that have been discovered at the important sacred places and places of burial related to the Celtic life bears testimony to this. Both men and women were fond of adorning themselves with fine jewelry. The Celtic craftsmen were indeed very skilled. Based on the popular ancient Celtic patterns and themes as used by such craftsmen a thriving trade in jewelry has become established.
The Celtic ring occupies a special place among the popular Celtic jewelry articles. Weddings and engagements around the globe and especially in the western world still make use of the Celtic rings. The Celtic rings, as discovered, bear intricate patterns of knots, spirals, chevrons and scrolls- all of which hold some special significance.
The Celtic knot’s significance is hidden in obscurity. This is because of the lack of relevant material providing information about it. Some scholars however opine that the knots may be symbolizing the interconnectedness of all forms of life that the Celts believed in. It is also known that these are occasional references made about certain knots in old Celtic myths and legends though no clear theme has emerged from this.
Celtic crosses are unique jewelry pieces. They are not just any crosses with Celtic knot work and they date back to pre-Christian times. These crosses have equal arms that are enclosed or backed by a circle. This can act as a symbol representing either the four corners of the earth or the four elements- earth, air, water and fire while the circle that is present around the cross can symbolize infinity and also represent the path of the sun in the sky.
The pentacle featuring in Celtic jewelry is composed of a five-pointed star within a circle are considered to be representative of five elements- earth, air, fire, water and spirit or five stages of life- birth, attaining youth, becoming adult, aging and becoming old and finally dying. There is also the popularity of the pentacle as a pagan symbol and its particular association with Wicca.
Celts have used animals for representing various aspects of life. These have found a place in jewelry too. Similarly, geometric motifs have also been playing a major part in fashioning Celtic jewelry ever since its inception thousands of years ago. Single spirals, dual centered spirals, triple centered spirals and Chevrons that are quite akin to arrowheads used by hunters and warriors have been immensely popular as jewelry to opt for.
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Tania Penwell is an author who writes for The Celtic Place , which provides information on Celtic jewelry and more on Irish, Scottish, and Welsh cultures.