female's hand with celtic rings and bracelets on it
Photo: ArtHouse Studio

Celtic artisans have created stunning jewelry adorned with patterns and symbols, frequently using silver and sometimes gold. The amount of detail and decoration has always met the highest period standards and rivals even today's.

Celtic jewelry can be traced back to between 2000 BC and 550 AD. The Celtic symbols, materials, and hidden meanings used by this beautiful civilization are various. Loyalty, love, unity, and power are common themes in Celtic spiritual beliefs. They have strongly influenced all of their jewelry pieces. See more here.

Symbols were significant to the Celts and had much meaning in their lives, but so did the materials used in crafting jewelry. Silver, for example, was the predominant material used in Celtic jewelry, and it was the best material for a couple of reasons.

men's hand holding celtic necklace with pendant
Photo: Rubenstein Rebello

Celtic Jewelry Materials


Some might view gold as a superior material to silver. However, gold wasn't as readily available to the Celts as silver. The Celts didn't mine for gold. But instead, they would find it in the form of nuggets in streams.

Some evidence suggests that some western tribes mined for local ores, but gold was rarer than silver in the end. Because of this, golden jewelry was often used to craft high-value and high-status objects, such as the Celtic Torc.

But even so, silver was the main material around and the primary way to express power and wealth. Combined with other types of materials and symbols, some pieces of Celtic jewelry expressed various meanings.

The primary materials used were silver, gold, and bronze, and the jewelry pieces were enriched with traditional colors with the implementation of various gemstones, such as blue topaz, green emerald, or purple amethyst.

Even the color chosen for the jewelry pieces, apart from the symbols, carried various meanings. For example, creativity, sexuality, or fertility is associated in the Celtic culture with orange. Green is associated with prosperity, beauty, and fertility as well.

Purple in many cultures is associated with royalty due to its rareness, while blue symbolizes peace and sacredness. Silver as a material is often linked with femininity, delicateness, tenderness, and an overall symbol of purity.

On the other hand, gold is linked with masculinity, a symbol of power and strength. Regardless of what material the Celtic jewelry is made out of, the most important thing is the person receiving the gift, their traits, and their characteristics.

tree lovers celtic pendant close-up
Photo: Naveen Sahu

Celtic Jewelry Associations


The material of the jewelry isn't an indicator of the genre. For example, you can wear or gift a silver Celtic Cross to anyone, hence the association with purity.

In other instances, if you want to focus on the meaning and symbolism of a Celtic jewelry piece based on the receiver, let's say a woman, the crescent moon symbolism often found in many Celtic pieces of jewelry works excellent with silver. It maximizes the feminine energy associated with both silver and the crescent moon symbolism.

If you look at gold, Celtic torcs were often made with gold and worn by warriors, and even women, such as the legendary female leader and fighter Boudicca. If you look at the hidden meaning of the Celtic torc, it hides yet another symbol, namely, the crescent moon, since it is C-shaped. This Celtic jewelry symbolizes emotion, creation, metamorphosis, or intuition in this association.

Lots of love,
Liz

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