Jewelry History-Celtic Jewelry and Symbols

Jewelry History-Celtic Jewelry and Symbols. Celtic cross, Saint Patrick Cross, celtic rings, pendants, earrings and famous Celtic torc. meaning of Celtic symbols. Celtic history, culture, fashion arts and crafts. Pictures of Celtic jewels.

Celts – Celtic people
Celts were an ethno-linguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture. They lived in Europe and Asia between 2500 BC-500 AD. The Celtic art and culture was still alive till 1200 AD. It mixed with Christianity later.

Map of Celtic population in Europe (3rd century BC)

celtic map

Celtic fashion
Celtic clothes were made of wool or linen, with some silk being used by the rich. Cloaks were worn in the winter. During the later Iron Age the Gauls generally wore long-sleeved shirts or tunics and long trousers (called braccae by the Romans).

celtic fashion

Celtic jewelry
Brooches and armlets were used, but the most famous item of jewellery was the torc, a neck collar of metal, sometimes gold.
The art of Celtic jewelry making is at its core an enchanting and magical one because of the mystery and meanings surrounding its designs. Not only beautiful pieces of art, many pieces of Celtic jewelry possess excellent jewelry craftsmanship. Adopting ideas drawn from nature and applying these simple motifs and knot-work to the overall design, they produced intricate jewelry designs out of gold, silver, and bronze. Besides Celtic rings, many of their designs are found on bracelets, earrings, and pendants.

Celtic Cross – In the case of the Celtic cross, the four different arms of the Celtic cross stand for the four different elements of the earth. These are earth, wind, fire and water. The cross itself symbolizes the connection and the unity of the four elements.

Christian Celtic cross – (St. Patrick Cross, Irish cross) cross from British isles, Irish cross from time of Christianization of Ireland. Also called cross of St. Patrick. Mix of pagan and christian symbols.  is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection.

Celtic torc (torq, torque). Torc was a large, usually rigid, neck ring typically made from strands of metal twisted together. The great majority are open-ended at the front, although many seem designed for near-permanent wear and would have been difficult to remove. Smaller torcs worn around the wrist are called bracelets instead. Torcs are found in the Scythian, Illyrian[1] Thracian, Celtic, and other cultures of the European Iron Age from around the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The Celtic torc disappears in the Migration Period, but during the Viking Age torc-style metal necklaces came back into fashion.

Celtic symbols
A great part of the mystique surrounding Celtic symbols is the belief that each shape in the designs holds a secret significance just waiting to be revealed. And that the right interpretation of the right manuscript may come along and, once and for all, unlock all the mysteries.

Celtic Spirals – Next to the Celtic cross, spiral designs are the most popular designs used in a variety of Celtic jewelry pieces. Generally speaking the spiral design symbolizes the development of life from birth until death.

Rope Designs – Pieces of Celtic jewelry use the rope design to complement Celtic crosses and spiral symbols to symbolize continuity. It is for this reason that many designers of different pieces of Celtic jewelry would often use the rope design for rings and bangles as opposed to earrings and necklaces.

Celtic Knot Patterns – The knot design symbolizes togetherness, loyalty and unison. This is to symbolize eternity and infinity, whose symbol coincidentally resembles that of a knot with no beginning and end.

Celtic jewelry and symbols pictures

Celtic cross
celtic cross

Christian Celtic cross (Cross of saint Patrick)
celtic cross

Celtic jewelry – earrings with knot design
celtic earrings

Celtic torc
celtic torc

Celtic pendant
celtic pendant

Celtic brooch
Celtic brooch

Cetic ring

celtic ring

Religious jewelry

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4 Responses to Jewelry History-Celtic Jewelry and Symbols

  1. maira says:

    Thanks for he article. I am a huge admirer of the celtic culture.

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