Celtic & Claddagh JewelryWritten by Antigone Arthur
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Each of symbols used in celtic jewelry have different meanings. Some were created by artisans, whereas others were created by tribal members.
Celtic knotwork designs are perhaps most well known celtic symbols; crafted by artisans these designs are woven into rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants and wedding bands. Symbols may reflect power and unity, and more commonly spiritual belief and kinship among people and eternity.
Other common designs crafted by Celtic craftsmen included:
The oldest and most recognized of these symbols is single spiral. Growth, expansion, cosmic energy, all of these ideas could be represented by single spiral. The tightly wound symbol has been used by many other cultures since time of Celts. Many believe a spiral spinning in a counter clockwise direction is representative of larger summer sun.
- Triskeles - The Triskele represented importance of number three, which symbolized Threefold Sister Goddess worshiped by Druids.
- Spirals - This symbol was often found on Dolmans and gravesites; true meaning of symbol isn't quite known though many believe it represents outer soul or higher spirit forms, idea of growth and expansion and higher energy. A double spiral represents equinoxes.
- Animal Motifs - Animal motifs represent a variety of different traditions; Birds were thought to represent death transitions; Boars symbolized masculine power; Bulls represent virility and wealth; Cats represented guardians; Cranes suggested punishment or deception; Deer represented profound changes in life; Dragons represent magic and power; Eagles were linked to God; Serpents cycle of life, particularly when it shed its skin.
- Crosses - The cross evolved in British Isles, with earliest form dating from 9th century. Legend has it that St. Patrick created first Celtic cross by drawing a circle over a traditional Latin cross. The circle is thought to represent eternity and God's love which is endless. The four arms of cross have been used by other cultures to denote four elements and four parts of man (mind, body, soul and heart).
- Chevrons - These symbols, resembling arrowheads linked together, represent power.
Celtic knots are considered most ornamental pattern associated with Celtic people. Celtic knotwork patterns were discovered all over Ireland in early settlements and at burial grounds. The idea that life is never ending, and that people are re-born at death is incorporated into idea of loops or knots with no beginning and no end. One of more well known celtic knots is Trinity Knot, which is actually a combination of Celtic and spiritual heritage.
Whether purchasing claddagh jewelry or celitc jewelry, you can be assured that you are investing in gems that are rich in symbolism and tradition. Celtic and claddagh jewelry have been around for centuries, and will continue to be popular in many cultures and regions of world.
Antigone Arthur is an award-winning author and freelance writer providing consumer information on such topics as celtic jewelry, antique celtic engagement rings, and celtic wedding rings.
Sterling Silver - The "Other" Precious MetalWritten by Antigone Arthur
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- Sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a cool dry place to reduce environmental damage.
- Consider keeping each piece in an individual cloth pouch to prevent scratching.
- Use a jewelry cleaner or polishing solution at least once a month to clean surface of silver jewelry to help maintain its luster.
- Use a soft cloth to clean silver; never use a toothbrush or other abrasive material that might result in scratching.
- Clean silver at first signs of tarnishing, when a yellowish tint appears on jewelry. If you wait until silver has turned black, you'll have to scrub harder and may damage shine on jewelry.
- Consider using chemical dipping agents which clean jewelry without scrubbing.
- Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia which can also turn silver jewelry black, consider soapy water instead.
Sterling silver is a popular item in part because it is more reflective than many precious metals. Proper care will ensure that silver jewelry remains beautiful for years to come. If you have other items in house made of silver, such as silver wear or other household items, always use a cleaner or dip specifically designed to clean silver metal. Never put these items in a dishwasher, because you will scratch surface and cause irreparable damage.
When buying silver jewelry, you should be prepared to take your time to select quality pieces, just as you would if selecting a more expensive jewelry item. Young consumers are often attracted to sterling silver jewelry because it is so affordable and beautiful. Sterling silver also comes in many contemporary and modern designs which are appealing to young consumers.
So what should you look for when shopping? First and foremost always check interior for 925 mark, to ensure that you are purchasing premium sterling silver rather than sterling silver plating. Keep in mind that more pure silver, more soft and likely that a piece will scratch, so don't go for anything more pure than sterling silver.
If you are looking to buy many different pieces, you might consider buying wholesale silver jewelry online. By doing so you'll be able to buy in bulk, and acquire large amounts of silver jewelry at inexpensive prices. Many jewelers and home business owners get into habit of buying wholesale silver jewelry online because they can re-sell merchandise at a higher price. There are hundreds of pieces to choose from, and you might even find a collection with a certain theme that appeals to you or people you might be selling to.
Whey buying for yourself you should ensure you know what size jewelry you need if buying a ring. You might consider buying complete sets that include ring, bracelet and charm. Sets are very popular options for consumers purchasing sterling silver jewelry.
Silver is an exceptional choice for consumers looking for fine jewelry that is precious, attractive and inexpensive. From dawn of time, mankind has invested in silver for practical and aesthetic purposes. If you haven't already, I highly recommend investing in a little silver.
Antigone Arthur is an award-winning author and freelance writer providing consumer information on such topics as silver necklaces, sterling silver charms, and engagement rings.