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The Meaning of Jewelry in Challenging Times

As one of the oldest art forms and methods of expression, the gifts of jewelry adornment are remarkably relevant today. I have been spending a good deal of my time while #socialdistancing musing on the meaning of jewelry, what it can do, and how it can help us during challenging times.

Take a look at the jewelry below that illustrates important reminders for how jewelry can help us navigate the challenges of today.

5 Meanings for Jewelry today

1) Spiritual Uplift:

Wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry can lift your spirit. A common adage of advice is, "fake it 'til you make it" and it's true--If you force yourself to smile or laugh, it will eventually transform into an authentic smile and joyous laughter that you feel in your gut.

Just as waking up and giving yourself a motivational pep talk in the mirror can lead to a magical boost of fearlessness, donning a beautiful piece of jewelry can give you an uptick in confidence and help you realize your own beauty. Wearing a piece of jewelry can make all the difference in how you carry yourself throughout the day.

2) Ritual:

The act of adornment can provide structure for an otherwise amorphous day. Getting dressed, putting on make up, and jewelry have traditionally helped women become presentable and signal to the world that we are ready to engage. This morning ritual is one many of us took for granted before Covid-19.

Continuing to don jewelry during social distancing can remind us of this physical routine and can ultimately help us gear up and focus at the beginning of a long day of Zoom calls.

3) Community:

To create any single piece of jewelry, a global community of artisans and skilled workers come together. From the family that owns the small backyard mine to the designer who sources your stones, the caster who refines the metal to the hand engraver who chisels minute details into the surface of the jewelry, many hands join to create your item.

Wearing a piece of jewelry can remind you of being a part of a larger community. During times of isolation, remembering the intricate craftsmanship and layers of thought and care that go into a finished piece can create a sense of wonder about the beauty and connectedness in our world.

4) Personal History:

Jewelry can be worn as a reminder of your personal history and the experiences and people who have shaped you. Often given as a gift or created as a symbol that marks a momentous occasion, jewelry is a token of the experiences you have had and the connections you have made. Wearing a piece of jewelry during troubling times can serve as a reminder of loved ones, personal triumphs, and the milestones you have marked with timeless heirlooms.

At right: An heirloom redesign in which an inherited earring featuring diamond leaves was recreated to celebrate the July birth of the client's first child.

5) Promise of Future:

Wearing jewelry can remind us that the future is brighter than our current isolated state.

For example, an engagement ring is made and given to transform a bond into a lasting partnership. As the ultimate symbol of hope for the future, this piece of jewelry pivots the commitment between two people, capturing the timelessness of connection in a tangible object of hope for the lifetime you will spend together.

At right: An heirloom redesign in which an inherited diamond was transformed into a custom engagement ring.


While jewelry cannot solve the current crisis, many of its features and meanings can help us navigate our own feelings by providing reminders of normalcy and joy. Let's remember to pause and look for the meaning in the beautiful things that adorn us and find comfort in the tradition of wearing objects that are created to last a lifetime and beyond, bring us together, and celebrate our perseverance.


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