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Unique Celtic Jewelry Designs
in Silver, Gold and Hand Carved Mammoth Tusk

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For information on the history, Celtic mythology and meaning of Irish & Celtic symbols, please take a look at our growing list articles, one of which is included below, or our Celtic Jewelry Blog.

The Meanings of Celtic Jewelry Symbols

I am aware that the title of this article is bold. My intention is not to claim knowledge that has eluded scholars and academics for thousands of years, but to offer a discourse that may help us come to some understanding about how the meaning of Celtic jewelry symbols might be defined.

Today people are looking for meaning in all areas of their lives. The most often asked question about Celtic jewelry symbolism is, "What does it mean?"

Those interested in the meaning of Celtic jewelry symbols must first take into account the time period that the jewelry is from, because meanings have probably changed over time. It has been over 4000 years since some of the first gold and silver Celtic jewelry pieces were made, so it's very likely that the meanings today are different than they were originally, since our day to day lives are much different. Due to a different perspective of the world around them, it is likely that modern interpretation of symbols, such as Celtic interlace, differ from ancient ones, except in the most essential ways.

Because Celtic art is a living tradition, we have the unique opportunity of staying connected with our past as we appreciate Celtic jewelry design in the present. If you try to define a piece of Celtic jewelry as having just one meaning, you may miss much of its history and significance. Because it is a living art, and it's symbols are constantly re-interpreted by those who create and wear them, Celtic jewelry designs are varied and rely on the artist's and owner's personal beliefs. If an artist interprets his heart-shaped pendant with a knotwork design as a symbol for endless love, then who's to say that is not what it stands for in his mind.

Historians haven't come to a consensus, and, there is no solid evidence of the original meanings of Celtic symbols, so modern pieces can be interpreted in terms that are meaningful in today's world.

Ancient use of Celtic spirals and other symbols used in Celtic jewelry are well documented, but very little evidence predates 450 C.E..

Monks that transcribed sacred texts in the 7th century have acknowledged knotwork, also known as Celtic interlace, in their graphic manuscripts. The three most renowned examples of high Celtic art are contained within the Book of Durrow, Lindisfarne Gospels, and of course the Book of Kells. These three books are intricately designed (called illumination). Although the manuscripts fail to inform us directly, it creates a context which allows each reader to discover his or her own meaning for themselves.

Scholars have had a hard time finding the definitive meaning of many Celtic jewelry symbols because there exist very few hard facts about their origin that have been discovered.

We are attracted to Celtic jewelry and art for both personal and emotional reasons. The designs' individuality and personal impact are the reasons they become important to us.

Their mystery is heightened by the potential mystery, and significance, contained within Celtic symbols' often intricate patterns. Perhaps someday a new manuscript will be found with an interpretation that will bring understanding in new ways.

Until that day, I suggest that we accept that the meanings of the symbolism in Celtic jewelry can be as personalized, and individual, as the designs themselves, and of those who wear them. The genre's popularity allows for potential growth and expanded meaning for future generations, and the debate over meanings will no doubt continue for generations.

Thanks for reading.

Since this article was written back when we started this site, things have continued to change and evolve with the meanings of symbols and Celtic jewelry. We have travelled around the USA selling our Celtic jewelry line at Celtic Faires and Highland Scottish Games, and we've talked with other designers about what their thoughts are on Celtic jewelry symbols. While we all agree on some of the symbols, many are still open to interpretation and haven't been solidifies in the hearts and minds of Celtic jewelry fans and customers.

We started a Celtic Jewelry Blog here a couple of years ago to enable us to continue this discussion in a more interactive format. If you have any insights about the meanings of Celtic jewelry symbols, please check out our blog and leave some comments. With Celtic jewlery, it is the sharing of our own personal thoughts, feelings and beliefs that will, over time, shape the meanings of Celtic jewelry designs and symbols into the future.

 

Our Exclusive Celtic Jewelry

Phoenix Celtic Pendant with Black Onyx Phoenix Celtic Pendant with Black Onyx
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Altiar Tribal Celtic Necklace with Mango Topaz Altiar Tribal Celtic Necklace with Mango Topaz
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Phoenix Tribal Celtic Earrings with Black Onyx Phoenix Tribal Celtic Earrings with Black Onyx
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Celtic Necklace w/Black Onyx Celtic Necklace w/Black Onyx
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Celtic Hounds Woolly Mammoth Tusk Pendant Celtic Hounds Woolly Mammoth Tusk Pendant
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Clannade Necklace with Drusy & Tanzanite Clannade Necklace with Drusy & Tanzanite
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Lyra Tribal Celtic Pendant Lyra Tribal Celtic Pendant
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Loriah Necklace with Mango Topaz Loriah Necklace with Mango Topaz
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Tribal Celtic Earrings with Carnelian & Golden Topaz Tribal Celtic Earrings with Carnelian & Golden Topaz
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Gold & Silver Celtic Pendant with Stone Gold & Silver Celtic Pendant with Stone
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Celtic Spirals Pendant Celtic Spirals Pendant
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Tribal Celtic Earrings with Amethyst Tribal Celtic Earrings with Amethyst
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Phoenix Pendant w/ Carnelain Phoenix Pendant w/ Carnelain
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Twin Celtic Goddesses Celtic Mammoth Tusk Pendant Twin Celtic Goddesses Celtic Mammoth Tusk Pendant
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Selah Tribal Celtic Pendant — w/ Gem Stone Selah Tribal Celtic Pendant — w/ Gem Stone
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Silver & Gold Celtic Pendant Silver & Gold Celtic Pendant
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Woolly Mammoth Tusk Rose Pendant Woolly Mammoth Tusk Rose Pendant
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Celtic Tiaras - Renaissance Circlets

Green Spirit Tiara, Green Man Tiara Green Spirit Tiara, Green Man Tiara
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Elvish Tiara, Elven Tiara, or Circlet Elvish Tiara, Elven Tiara, or Circlet
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Celtic Heart Tiara — Circlet — Crown Celtic Heart Tiara — Circlet — Crown
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From Our Customers

  1. Just recieved my order today and I must say I am very impressed with the spped of the delivery. It arrived in half the time I was expecting. I got the Celtic Tree of Life in Mammoth and it is much more beautiful than it seems in a picture. Thank you for such great service. — Joe F.
  2. I was very pleased not only the quality of the earrings - I have many compliments on the design -  but also with the prompt service. — Jeff

  3. I'm very happy with my recent purchase -- beautifully made, and looks like it cost far more than it did! — Cheryl

  4. My experience with your website and your company have been nothing short of perfect. I had no problems with your website and received the item ordered well within the expected time frame.
    I now have your website set as a favorite on my list. — Elizabeth

  5. I'd like to mention how much I appreciate your prompt shipping. Valentines, Christmas, and Mothers days all sneak up without warning. Your store has saved a very precious relationship any uneasy silences more than once. — Jim

  6. I bought the Clannade necklace and it just arrived today! The necklace is beautiful and I love it. The necklace arrived promptly and was packaged just right. I am very pleased with my purchase and plan to purchase more items from Unique Celtic Jewelry. — Cathy C.

  7. I'm very happy to report your Celtic jewelry is always well recieved. Of the several items purchased in the past few years, a tiara ordered as a Valentines day gift was probably enjoyed most. My wife wears it very proudly in the kitchen and orders the children abide the Princess' command. — Gratefully Yours, Jim

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