The meaning of Spirals in Jewelry

Spirals can be found by marvelling at the vastness of our universe through a telescope, as many galaxies including our own, are in the shape of giant spirals.

Or, you can go small...microscopic even...and observe the spiralling staircase of our very own DNA. Spirals can also be found in nature in every size in between: from nautilus shells to unfolding ferns, whirlpools, vines, and even our very own fingerprints. 

Spiral Galaxy

Spirals in Ancient Cultures

Given their appearance in nature on every imaginable scale, it is no wonder that spirals have been pondered upon by human beings across the world for thousands of years. Rock carvings of spirals have been found on every continent of the world, and make appearances in many of the oldest surviving art forms.

NewGrange burial Site Spiral Rock Carving
Tripple-sprial Triskele symbol carved in Newgrange burial site in Ireland dating back 5000 years.

Jewelry is no exception. Spirals just so happen to be the oldest recurring symbol and motif found in ancient jewelry.

The oldest surviving metal jewelry from the Bronze Age (2000-700BC), heavily feature spirals in every type of jewelry from this age—rings, necklaces, brooches, and even diadems featuring this prehistoric symbol.
Bronze Age Spiral Jewelry
Spiral Brooch from European Bronze Age, dating back to 1100BC. Photo Credit: The Met

The Meaning behind the Spiral as a Symbol

We can only dream about what exactly spirals might have represented to these ancient cultures. Theories range from spirals being a Sun Symbol, to a representation of infinity and expansion while others believe them to represent portals into other dimensions. Some even hypothesise that spirals were used as an ancient calendar system, used as a way to measure time passing. 

The truth is that we will never know exactly what they represented to ancient cultures, and their significance is undoubtably varied across cultures, but the fact that they were often carved in sacred places like burial grounds and pyramids does give us a big indicator that it was considered a powerful and sacred symbol.

The Golden Spiral
Jump forward to the renaissance, to the discovery of The Golden Ratio, or, The Fibonacci sequence. It was discovered that this spiralling proportion appears time and time again in nature: A discovery that revolutionised the art world, as it was found that applying this ratio in designing everything from paintings to buildings results in a beautiful and harmonious composition. It continues to be one of the foundational art techniques taught today. 

Golden Spiral Shell
The Golden Ratio being displayed on top of a nautilus shell. 

Wearing Spiral Jewelry
Spirals have become a symbol I revisit time and time again in my jewelry designs. To me, spirals represent growth, expansion, and the journey of life as it unfolds. They represent the connection of all living existence, from our microscopic DNA to the force of our galaxy. 
The Spiraling Expansion Ring and Spiral Dangle Earrings by Zoe Zoe JewelryLeft: Spiral Dangle Earrings Right: Spiraling Expansion Ring, both by Zoe Zoe Jewelry

Wearing Spiral Jewelry brings the presence of this prehistoric symbol into daily life, inviting oneself to explore the infinity of the mind, the vastness of creation, and how it all connects.

I invite you to interpret their meaning in a way that speaks to you personally, and feel the power of this prehistoric symbol by wearing it in Jewelry.
Mini Spiral Rings by Zoe Zoe Jewelry

Mini Spiral Rings 
Mini Spiral Studs by Zoe Zoe JewelrySpiral Studs 

What do spirals mean to you? If this post made you feel inspired or curious, or if spirals have a special and personal meaning to you, I would love to chat and hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below or send me and email at or shoot me an instagram DM! 
Zoe Zoe Jewelry Signature

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