One of the most popular trends in fashion jewelry, the Hamsa or Hamesh Hand is an ancient Middle Eastern symbol that represents the Hand of God. In the Hebrew culture, the Hamsa also represents the Hand of Miriam, sister to Moses and Aaron. In the Islamic faith, the Hamsa symbolizes the Hand of Fatima, daughter of the prophet Mohammed, while in the Sunni culture it represents the Five Pillars of Wisdom. Throughout all cultures and faiths, the Hamsa Hand is considered a protective sign that is believed to bring happiness, luck, health and good fortune to those who wear it. The symbol is also known to represent power, strength and blessings.
The word "hamsa" is derived from the word "hamesh," the number "5" in Hebrew, and refers to the five fingers on the Hamsa's palm-shaped design. Sometimes the design of the Hamsa Hand includes an evil eye symbol, which is thought to provide defense against the Evil Eye.
Belief in the Evil Eye can be found in almost every culture throughout the world. The earliest recorded mentions of it date back 5,000 years to Mesopotamia and almost 3,000 years to ancient Greece and Rome. According to legends, the evil eye is a look of anger or jealousy that can be directed at a person to make the person sick, to cause them injury, or to bring bad luck. In order to prevent or counter the "bad spirits" or thoughts cast upon them, a person would wear an amulet or talisman of protection against such evil forces. Such an amulet, called an "Evil Eye," is meant to reflect the look or curse back upon the person who cast it.
A popular trend among the style-savvy, Evil Eye pendants and bracelets are said to protect the wearer from envy of one's good fortune. Celebrities who wear this fashionable and symbolic jewelry include Rihanna, Cara Delevigne, Madonna, and Kim Kardashian.
A universal symbol found in nearly every one of the world's spiritual and cultural traditions, the Tree of Life has many meanings, the most common as a symbol of immortality. In Christian theology, the tree represents the one that grew in the Garden of Eden and also acts as a symbol of the resurrected Christ. In Hebrew theology, the tree is a metaphor for a life of wisdom and study of the Torah, and in ancient Egypt it represented the holy Sycamore tree which connected life and death. Other meanings include bounty, strength, beauty and redemption. A more modern interpretation of the Tree of Life is as a symbol of the interconnectedness and diversity of all life on our planet.
Also known in Hebrew as the Magen David (the Shield of David), the Star of David is the recognized symbol of modern Jewish identity, representing the belief that God rules over the universe and protects us. Chosen as the emblem of the Zionist movement, it symbolizes the Jewish religion and culture as well as the Jewish homeland of Israel. In medieval times, Jewish Mystics believed this symmetric six-sided star to be an emblem of protection in all six directions (or sides). While the Star of David first became regarded as a Jewish symbol in the seventeenth century, there are many beliefs as to its ancient origins. One is that the two interlocking triangles came from designs on a shield that King David used in battle against his enemy, King Nimrod.
Another is that the star's design represents the divine protection that God gave King David. Regardless of its history, the Star of David is a beloved icon and makes a popular gift for a Bat Mitzvah, a Bar Mitzvah, Hanukkah, anniversary, or any occasion.
For centuries, Mezuzahs have rested on the doorpost of every Jewish home. Some believe the Mezuzah is placed there as a decoration, others say it's there to keep evil spirits at bay. However, its true purpose is to be a constant, daily reminder of Jewish identity and faith. The Mezuzah is a small, hollow case that, when used for religious purposes, holds a tiny parchment scroll. Upon the scroll is written a Biblical passage, known as a "Shema prayer," that contains the words of Deuteronomy, versions 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. The case protects the scroll, and its design has been a source of creative artistry by craftspeople throughout the centuries. At Allurez, our versions of the Mezuzah do not contain scrolls but are designed as pieces of fine jewelry to be worn as beautiful reminders of one's faith.
One of the most recognizable Hebrew words and symbols, Chai means "Life." Comprised of two letters from the Hebrew alphabet — Chet (the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet) and Yud (the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet) — Chai represents the importance of life as well as a wish for a good life. The word is also numerically significant, and combined, the letters of Chai represent the numerical value of 18, a number that also means Chai and represents good luck. The Chai symbol often adorns pieces of fine jewelry, including necklaces, rings and cufflinks.
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" — These words are the first verse of the Shema Israel, a Hebrew declaration of faith and praise as well as a pledge of allegiance to God. Judaism's oldest fixed prayer, the Shema Israel has been recited twice daily, morning and evening, by followers since ancient times. This Hebrew creed is the first prayer a Jewish child learns, as well as the last prayer a Jewish person recites before dying. It is one of two prayers specifically commanded in the Torah, and was given to the Jewish people by Moses in his last words to them. In addition to being a declaration of Jewish faith, Shema Israel is also an important decorative motif in Judaism, and is often reproduced in fine jewelry such as our Shema Israel Pendant Necklaces.
Central to Christianity, the Cross is recognized as a symbol of sacrifice and salvation in reference to Jesus's death by crucifixion upon a cross, and many wear this symbol to indicate commitment to the Christian faith. The cross is also believed to protect wearers from the evil spirit or the devil. However, the cross has also played a significant role in ancient and earth-based beliefs and was the emblem of the Sun god Orpheus (the "cross of light") as well as the symbol of the Roman god Mithras, the Persian god Mithra, and the Greek god Attis. In addition, the Egyptian god Horus is often depicted holding a cross in his hand. There are many other meanings of the cross in Western Culture, and it is believed by some that all four physical elements (fire, water, air, earth) make up the cross, and that the cross symbolizes directional symbols as well (north, south, west, and east). Types of crosses popularly used in jewelry design are The Celtic Cross, Byzantine Cross, Greek Cross, and the Fleur-de-Lis.
The stylized three-petal lily of the Fleur-de-lis has been used as a decorative design and symbol throughout history. According to legend, the graceful lily is said to have blossomed from Eve's tears as she fled the Garden of Eden. To all Christians, the Fleur-de-Lis represents the Holy Trinity, while the Roman Catholic Church considers the white Fleur-de-Lis the emblem of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The symbol has also traditionally represented French Royalty but is found in the flags and coat of arms of many European countries. Joan of Arc, the patron saint of France, carried a banner into battle that depicted the Fleur-di-Lis and the crown of France being held up by two angels. For centuries, artisans and fine jewelers have incorporated the symbol into the decorative designs of their work.
One of the most common and best-loved good luck symbols in the Western world, the Four-Leaf Clover is said to bring good fortune and protect against evil. Each leaf is believed to have a specific meaning: some say faith, love, hope, and luck; others say the leaves represent fame, wealth, love and health. Genuine four leaf clovers come from the white clover plant and are a rare variation of the more common three-leaf clover, known in Ireland as the Shamrock. In Irish tradition, the three leaves of the Shamrock represent the Holy Trinity, and when a fourth leaf is found on a Shamrock, that leaf represents God's Grace. At Allurez, our jewelry collection includes engagement rings, weddings bands, pendants, and earrings incorporating the four-leaf clover design to bring the wearer both good luck and good fortune.
A symbol long associated with physicians and healing, the Caduceus also represents the traditional winged staff of the Greek god Hermes, also known as the Roman god Mercury. According to legend, the staff was originally a herald's staff adorned with two ribbons; however, over time the ribbons evolved into two snakes coiled in a repeating figure-eight shape. Hermes had links to alchemy, which included the study of medicine and pharmaceuticals, chemistry and metallurgy. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many medical groups adopted the Caduceus as a medical symbol, including the Medical Department of the United States Army, which made it its insignia in 1902. Caduceus-themed jewelry makes a thoughtful gift for anyone working in the medical field, including doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Infinity jewelry has been growing in popularity due to the beauty of its design and the significance of its meaning. Sometimes referred to as a "sideways figure eight," the shape is actually known as a Lemniscate, the Greek word for ribbon. Throughout the ages and world's cultures, the infinity symbol was used to represent different concepts, including perfection, dualism and equality between male and female. In the 17th century, English mathematician John Wallis introduced the symbol we know today as a way to represent infinity — a quantity that is bigger than any number. However, the more modern interpretation of its meaning is as a symbol of unlimited possibility and power, eternity and everlasting love. At Allurez, this elegant symbol is represented on a wide selection of fine jewelry including engagement rings, necklaces, rings and ankle bracelets.
To Native American peoples, dreams play an important part in traditional life and culture, and are believed to have the power to affect reality. The first Dream Catcher was made by the Ojibwe people and through intermarriage and trade, the concept of the dream catcher spread to the Lakota people and other nearby tribes. It is said by Ojibwe Elders that the dream catcher was given as a gift to a grandmother who prevented her grandson from killing a spider. After thanking her, the spider told her he would spin a web above her bed so that when she dreams, it will snare the bad thoughts and keep them from her." Since the 1960’s and 1970’s, dream catchers have grown in popularity and spread to other cultures to share and enjoy their beauty. The dream catcher's hoop is said to represent the circle of life, and a single bead woven into the web symbolizes the thankful spider.
The Claddagh is a popular symbol of love, betrothal and friendship. Its name comes from an Irish phrase, An Cladach, which means "flat stony shore," and is the name of the town where the ring's design came from. There are a number of legends about the ring's origin, but the most popular involves an Irishman named Richard Joyce who was engaged to be married. On a journey by ship to the West Indies, Joyce was captured in Algiers and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him the art of jewelry making. Joyce eventually gained his freedom, went back to his homeland, and settled down in the village of Claddagh where his beloved waited for him. To celebrate his return home, he created the Claddagh ring as a symbol of his love for his wife, kin and country as represented in the ring's symbols: the heart (love), the crown (loyalty), and the hands (friendship).
Traditionally, a Claddagh ring worn on the right hand with the crown facing the base of the ring finger indicates the wearer is not in a serious relationship. Worn on the right hand with the crown facing away from the base of the finger indicates someone is in a serious relationship. When the ring is worn on the left hand with the crown in either direction it means that that the wearer is married. The meaning of the Claddagh makes it easy to understand why it is such an appropriate choice for an engagement ring. At Allurez, our selection of Claddagh fine jewelry also includes engagement rings, wedding rings and bands, pendants, friendship rings and bracelets.
Knot motifs are found throughout the world, and Celtic Knots are some of the most recognizable. The Celtic Knot symbol is a complete loop, without a beginning or end, which represents the interconnectedness of life and the infinite cycle of birth, death and rebirth. One of the most common Celtic Knots is the Trinity Knot, also known as the Triquetra. Back in the 5th century, monks used this three-cornered knot to decorate illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. Early Christians viewed it to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while in Celtic lore it represents the maiden, mother and wise old woman. Modern interpretations of Celtic Knots refer to them as signs of unity, love symbols, and magic charms warding against sickness or ill fortune. At Allurez, we have a selection of rings and pendants featuring this timeless design.
One of the most well known of the five prime Hindu gods, Ganesh is worshiped as the Lord of wisdom and effortlessness, and remover of obstacles. The first-born son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesh is depicted as having the head of an elephant, the big-bellied body of a human, and four arms. He is often shown accompanied by a mouse, which represents the ability to nibble and cut through ignorance. Ganesh's enormous head signifies knowledge, his big belly represents generosity, an upraised hand depicts protection, and a lowered hand symbolizes endless giving.
Considered the primordial sound of the universe, the Om is most commonly used in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It's actually made up of three syllables — aaah, oooh, and mmm — which represent a number of sacred trios, including the heavens, earth and the underworld, and the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Repetition of the sound Om is said to calm the nervous system, slow breathing, and send the body's glands and organs into vibrational massage. Today Om is often practiced as a part of yoga and is a contemporary symbol in art, jewelry design and body tattoos.
Most closely associated with ancient Egypt, the Ankh is an enduring icon that is well represented in Egyptian tomb paintings and other art. Also known as breath of life and key of the Nile, the Ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyph symbol representing life, especially eternal life. In fact, there are many Egyptian deities that portrayed in hieroglyphs holding the ankh to represent life after death. The symbol is also called the crux ansata, Latin for "cross-with-a-handle," and may be the genesis of the Christian cross. In modern times, the ankh is said to represent the universe, immortality, and the male and female, and is often used as a Christian talisman.
Buddha is a Sanskrit word that means, “The Awakened One,” one who understands the nature of everything. It represents the life of Siddhartha, an Indian prince born in 563 BC who renounced his royal upbringing to devote his life to search for the Truth, and to find the way to free others from suffering. After many years, he reached Supreme Enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree, and then spent the rest of his life teaching others how to attain true peace and joy. Upon obtaining enlightenment, Siddhartha received the name of “Buddha.” Followers and non-Buddhists alike wear his image to encourage patience, kindness and compassion, and to deepen one's inner peace. Our Woman's Buddha Necklace Pendant features a likeness of the Buddha with his eyes closed, and his lips shaped in an all-knowing, gentle smile.
Throughout history, the figure 'X' has been used for many purposes and has represented many things. It is an indicator, an identifier and a signature; it is the number 10 in Roman numerals, the 24th letter of the English alphabet, and a symbol for Christ. In Egyptian culture, X represents the sun god Osiris, and Rx represents Horus' Eye as well as a modern pharmacological prescription. In algebra, the letter X is often used to represent an unknown quantity or variable. It is said that X was invented by the Greeks for convenience as the combination of the letters 'K' and 'S'. Symbolically, for many it represents a crossroad or a romantic kiss. In jewelry, it can represent any of these or simply be a symbol of beauty when worn on a glittering diamond necklace, bracelet or ring.
Deeply embedded in popular culture, the XO symbol is often used as a sign-off in text messages, e-mails and chat rooms. Initially meant to symbolize Christ, the first documented use of the letter 'X' to represent kisses was in a letter written by in 1763. The 'O' symbolizes hugs (arms wrapping around someone) but the history of its use is much less clear. Whatever their backstories, the two letters are now connected to love and affection, and are used by both men and women. At Allurez, we offer a great selection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings that feature this romantic symbol.
When you think tropics you picture a palm tree, the iconic symbol of island beaches, clear skies and blue oceans. The early Polynesian settlers to Hawaii brought coconut palm trees along with them as a stable food source and planted them extensively on the islands. These trees were critical to the settlers' survival and today are considered sacred by the Hawaiian people. As part of the Allurez Island Jewelry Collection, we offer a selection of palm tree pendant necklaces, earrings, and rings as brilliant reminders of the sand, surf and sun.
The Hawaiian "rubber slipper," or flip-flop, is regarded as a fun symbol of the laid back, friendly attitude of island living. In fact, it's considered the unofficial footwear of the 50th State, and as an icon represents the island's surf culture as well as its peoples' rich multicultural history. The slipper can turn up anywhere, from art galleries to tattoo shops to jewelry stores. At Allurez, we have an assortment of Flip-Flop pendant necklaces for those who wish to wear their island attitude year round.
British artist Gerald Holtom created the iconic Peace Sign in 1958 for an organization protesting against nuclear war. The three lines in the circle are based on a system of Military communication that assigns letters to the positions of flags, and the two letters represented in the symbol, N and D, stand for Nuclear Disarmament. Spreading quickly across the Atlantic Ocean, the Peace Sign was adapted as the symbol of the peace movement in the United States in 1960, and appeared in Viet Nam War protests throughout the decade. It is now considered an international peace symbol. At Allurez, our selection of Peace Sign jewelry includes rings and necklaces set with diamonds and other precious stones.
An Egyptian cartouche is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic name plate. It's a horizontal oval or oblong bar that features in the center the name and title of a king, pharaoh or royal in hieroglyphics. They could also be horizontal, if more space is needed for letters.
The word cartouche is the French word for a gun cartridge or bullet. During an expedition to Egypt, Napoleon’s soldiers commented on how the shape of the name plate looked like a gun cartridge or bullet, and the name stuck. The oval signifies a rope and the horizontal line at the bottom represents the rope being tied together to form a loop. Egyptians believed that the rope circle represented everything covered by the sun, which in turn symbolizes the king's power over the entire universe.
In ancient Egypt, the amulet-style cartouche was attached to tombs and coffins to mark who was inside. Pharaohs would also wear a cartouche to help ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Huni, the last king of the 3rd Dynasty, was the first Egyptian pharaoh to have his throne name on a cartouche. It remains a symbol that represents good luck and protection from evil. It comes in various forms in jewelry, including pendants and earrings.