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Is it Good Luck to Give Snake Jewelry Gifts?

Apr 7, 2023 | meaningful jewelry + gift guides

Snake jewelry is a symbol of good luck. From fertility to protection to power, the symbolism of the snake wishes good fortune.

Snake jewelry changes in meaning, depending on the occasion and the personality of the recipient.

Five Meanings of Snake Jewelry

Snake symbolism is adaptable, unique, and meaningful. Across cultures, snakes incorporated into a piece of jewelry can mean:

  1. Transformation and Rebirth
  2. Protection or Healing
  3. Wisdom or Knowledge
  4. Power or Royalty
  5. Adventure or Intrigue

Maybe for this reason, many high-end jewelry brands have long incorporated snakes.

And also costume jewelers for everyday wear, when diamonds aren’t your BF.

These lightweight brass gold snake dangles on 14K gold fill hypoallergenic earring backs start at only $18 with French loops.


Jump ahead to history if you want to (or slither):


Snake necklaces, snake rings, and snake earrings symbolize Transformation and Rebirth

The shedding of its skin has made the snake a symbol of transformation and renewal in many cultures.

Giving someone snake jewelry can be a symbolic gesture of support and encouragement for them to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Snake jewelry offers Protection and Healing

Giving someone snake jewelry can be a way of showing your concern for their well-being and wishing them protection from harm.

In ancient times, snake jewelry was worn as a talisman to bring good luck, protection, and to ward off evil spirits. It was also believed to have healing powers, especially for those who were ill.

Medicine has borrowed from this ancient symbolism to create its own iconic logo for doctoring.

The rod of Asclepius is the historically correct symbol of the medical profession and is employed worldwide. Asclepius was the Greek god of medicine or healing. The rod is often depicted as a fat club being held by Asclepius with a single snake, gentle and benign, wrapped around it, consistent with gentle healing and idealized medicine.
The rod of Asclepius is the historically correct symbol of the medical profession.

The staff with the snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It comes from the story of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine or healing.

Snake jewelry can mean Wisdom or Knowledge

Giving someone snake jewelry can be a way of acknowledging their intelligence, creativity, or expertise in a particular field.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the snake was a symbol of wisdom and knowledge and was often worn as a crown or headdress by gods and goddesses.

Gifts of Snake Jewelry signal Power or Royalty

Giving someone snake jewelry can be a way of recognizing their power, influence, or leadership qualities. In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs wore snake bracelets as a symbol of their authority and divine status.


Lightweight brass snake pendants echo the ancient hieroglyphs of Egyptian pharaohs.

Snake Jewelry Celebrates Adventure

Giving someone snake jewelry can be a way of acknowledging their daring, adventurous spirit or recognizing their potential to take risks and overcome obstacles.

When we first learned as kids about the pyramids, archaeology, and the treasures of King Tut’s tomb, it felt like a grand adventure.

Indiana Jones facing the pit of snakes.
Indiana Jones facing the pit of snakes in the 1981 movie.

In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the serpent is depicted as a cunning creature who tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. This has led to the snake being associated with temptation, deception, and danger in many cultures.

A grand adventure, indeed.

For affordable, everyday snake jewelry, visit my shop and browse minusOne jewelry’s collection of snake designs. I offer low-cost wrap bracelets like the Cleo and wrap necklaces and bracelets like Bulgari’s Serpenti.

A History of Snake Jewelry

Snake jewelry has been around for centuries, and its design has evolved over time. In ancient cultures, the snake was a powerful symbol of fertility, rebirth, and healing, and snake jewelry was often worn as a talisman to bring good luck, protection, and ward off evil spirits.

Snake Jewelry in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt In ancient Egypt, snake jewelry was worn as a symbol of royalty and divine status. The pharaohs wore snake bracelets as a sign of their power and authority.

The goddess Wadjet, who was the protector of Lower Egypt and whose main sacred animal was the cobra, shown in her headdress

King Tut Egyptian revival gold cuff bracelet | minusOne Cuff Collection
King Tut bracelet | minusOne Cuff Collection

The snake was associated with the goddess Wadjet, who was the protector of Lower Egypt and whose main sacred animal was the cobra, shown in her headdress.

Snakes in Ancient Greece & Ancient Rome

Ancient Greece and Rome In ancient Greece and Rome, the snake was a symbol of wisdom and knowledge and was often depicted as a crown or headdress worn by gods and goddesses.

The staff of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, was also adorned with a snake, which became the symbol of the medical profession.

Snake jewelry was often made of gold and adorned with precious stones and was worn as a talisman for protection and good luck.

This is pre-biblical history, so the snake as a serpent who tempts Eve wasn’t part of the ancient stories.

But there was always the snake-headed Medusa to show the evil of women through snakes!

minusone jewelry snake earrings

Snake Jewelry in the Victorian Era

In the Victorian era, snake jewelry enjoyed a revival in popularity. Queen Victoria received a snake engagement ring from Prince Albert, which started a trend of snake-inspired jewelry.

Queen Victoria's snake engagement ring from Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria’s snake engagement ring from Prince Albert.

The snake became a symbol of eternal love and loyalty and was often depicted as a coiled serpent with its tail in its mouth, forming a circle of infinite love.

Snake jewelry was often adorned with diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems, and was worn as a symbol of eternal love and devotion.

1920s Art Deco Snake Jewelry

The excavation of King Tut’s Tomb in 1922 gave European, English, and American consumers full-blown Egyptomania.

This is Claudette Colbert wearing Egyptian head-dress, bracelet and ring, in CLEOPATRA, directed by Cecil B De Mille, 1934. (Image © BFI Stills, Posters and Designs. Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLP for Art Deco 1910-1939. Benton, Benton and Wood, 2003, p. 49.)

There were Egyptian symbols and motifs in 1920s and 1930s jewelry, architecture and interior decorations, and of course the first moving pictures about Cleopatra.

King Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922, so it makes sense that designers during the interwar period of the 20s and 30s were inspired by Ancient Egyptian motifs.

“Egyptian Revival” Art Deco style jewelry – a trend within the larger Art Deco jewelry category – saw lots of snakes and hieroglyphics, sarcophagus (decorated coffins), and iconic images of gods and goddesses.

Read more about “exotic” influences like Ancient Egypt on 1920s jewelry.

Snakes in Mid Century Fashion

Salvador Dalí and Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura collaborated on pieces in 1941 that featured a Medusa brooch with a headful of snakes.

Vintage 1941 Dalí-Vendura Medusa brooch with a headful of snakes
Vintage 1941 Dalí-Vendura Medusa brooch with a headful of snakes

Egyptomania continued into mid-century as Hollywood remade Cleopatra into film starring Elizabeth Taylor.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing Bulgari Serpenti watch on set of Cleopatra
Elizabeth Taylor wearing Bulgari Serpenti watch on set of Cleopatra

Bulgari’s Serpenti collection was featured by Taylor both on screen and off.

Wearing Snake Jewelry Today

Never out of style, snake jewelry is classy and old-school.

The blockbuster “Treasures of Tutankhamun” museum exhibit traveled to six American cities with the help of NEH grants from 1976 to 1979. This exhibition inspired yet another Egyptian Revival, and a continuation of snake jewelry designs, both old and new.

Snake-inspired jewelry is also popular today in the goth fashion scene, with designers creating edgy pieces that incorporate fanged snakes alongside skulls and crossbones.


Today’s Celebrities Wearing Snakes

Several actresses have been seen wearing snake jewelry on the red carpet, lesser-known award ceremonies, and other formal media junkets.

Naomi Watts

Perhaps the most zealous celebrity fan of snake jewelry is Naomi Watts.

Watts is the Bulgair spokesperson, so gets to wear the Serpenti line everywhere. Lucky girl!

Julia Garner

Julia Garner also wore the famed Bulgari Serpenti snake necklace.

Here she is at the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Angelina Jolie

Dark and edgy Angelina Jolie Jolie has been photographed wearing a serpent bracelet. And holding one.

For affordable, everyday snake jewelry, visit my shop and browse minusOne jewelry’s collection of snake designs. I offer low-cost wrap bracelets like the Cleo and wrap necklaces and bracelets like Bulgari’s Serpenti.

Famous Jewelry Designers Who Use Snakes

The snake motif has been a popular design element in jewelry for centuries, and many famous jewelry designers have incorporated it into their collections. Here are some notable jewelry designers who have used the snake motif in the twentieth century.

Bulgari

The Italian jewelry house has been known for its snake-inspired jewelry since the 1940s.

Bulgari’s Serpenti collection features coiled snake designs in gold, diamonds, and enamel, with the snake’s head and tail forming the clasp of a bracelet or necklace.

Boucheron

The luxury jewelry house Boucheron also incorporates the snake motif in its collections.

Boucheron’s Serpent Bohème bangle bracelet selling in 2023 for $87,000.

The Serpent Bohème collection features abstract elements that might be considered snake in name only, were it not for the gorgeously intricate diamond-studded scales.

Whiting & Davis

Launched in the latter part of the 1800s outside of Boston, MA, Whiting & Davis were silversmiths who are still well-known for their metal mesh.

The three-coil Cleo Bracelet was reintroduced in 2016. (Short for Cleopatra, of course.)

Contemporary Whiting & Davis metal mesh Cleo Bracelets

Originals of this iconic Whiting & Davis can still be found affordably on Etsy and Ebay.

David Webb

The New York jewelry designer David Webb is known for his bold and colorful designs. Launched in the 1940s, Webb provides an example of mid-century snake jewelry design.

Webb’s snake bracelets and necklaces often feature enamel and gemstones in bright, eye-catching colors. This one feels more sedate.

Elsa Peretti

The Italian jewelry designer for Tiffany & Co., Elsa Peretti is known for her sleek and minimalist designs, including her snake-inspired jewelry.

Elsa Peretti snake ring, sold at Tiffany & Co. for only $2,200 in 2023.

Peretti’s snake bracelets and rings feature clean lines and smooth curves, often in silver or gold.

Roberto Coin

Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin has incorporated the snake motif into several of his pieces, including his Animalier collection. The glorious scales were a signature of his earlier designs.

Roberto Coin 18K gold Primavera Diamond Accent Snake Cuff Bangle
Coin’s contemporary 18K gold Primavera snake bracelet feels like a Yurman.

The list of jewelry designers incorporating snakes into their collections goes on and on. I love them all.

For affordable, everyday snake jewelry, visit my shop and browse minusOne jewelry’s collection of snake designs. I offer low-cost wrap bracelets like the Cleo and wrap necklaces and bracelets like Bulgari’s Serpenti.


And finally…what if the snake is your spirit animal?

You’re a charmer! You can hold people’s attention. Men and women with a snake as their totem require regular rebirth and renewal, often in very outward ways.

Frogs are also symbols of fertility. Snakes eat them, making frogs the underdog.

Read about the symbolism of frogs and examples of some really lovely frog jewelry.

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