Celtic Jewelry

Celtic Emerald Rings

Celtic emerald rings add a sparkling green gem to traditional celtic jewelry.

The original works of the ancient celts were inspired by nature. These incredibly sophisticated jewels and ornaments included animal motifs, crosses, spirals, and of course knotwork designs that were woven into earrings, bracelets, pins and pendants as well as many a ring.

These jewels made between 2000 BC to 500 AD used gold, silver and bronze and examples can be seen at the National Museum of Ireland. Not all Celtic jewelry stayed in Ireland, however as much was traded across the Mediterranean. Incredibly, the designs that were so highly sought after back then, are still very popular today! Today, there are many makers of rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry that use the common celtic designs in their gold and silver jewelry as well as combine emeralds and other gemstones withing the design.

The Ancient Celts used symbols to represent many things in their jewelry and ornamentation. These Celtic symbols are still being used in jewelry today. Some common symbols that you might find woven into a ring, bracelet, earring, necklace or brooch include:

Celtic Cross – The cross between the earthly world and the celestial world as represented by the axis is a symbol of the bridge to other worlds.

Sprials – Derived from the snail shell, this symbolizes the flow of life and spiritual growth.

Serpents, Dragons – Plentiful in the more involved Celtic designs, dragons represent the gatekeeper to other worlds. The serpent is all knowing and has divine wisdom.

Celtic Knot – these are complete loops with no end or beginning. The crossing of the strands represent the crossing of the physical and spiritual and the never ending pattern represents the life everlasting.

Celtic jewelry is still very popular today, especially Celtic wedding rings. Many contemporary jewelers incorporate these symbols into rings that also include gemstones. One popular stone is, of course, the emerald as it is the gemstone symbol of Ireland. The Celtic knot winding it’s way around a wedding ring is a perfect marriage as the knot itself is a never ending symbol.

Celtic jewelry is experiencing immense popularity today. Emerald rings as well as plain gold and even silver rings are found in every motif. You can even get beautiful wedding rings with the Irish “Gra Go Deo” (love forever) in Irish script and accented with Celtic Knotwork

Cleaning Silver Jewelry

Cleaning silver jewelry should be done carefully to keep your jewelry in tip top condition!

Sterling silver is very soft and can scratch easily so you should always use a soft cloth and make sure there is no grit or sand or other particles that could scratch the piece. Some folks like their silver to be bright and shiny but others prefer a little bit of a patina, especially if it is an antique piece.

You don’t need any special dips or chemicals for cleaning silver jewelry if you keep up with the cleaning. Silver will not tarnish if it is worn or handled frequently, but if it is kept store away for long periods of time, consider periodically polishing it or storing it with a tarnish free cloth. High humidity will cause it to tarnish faster as will storing it with rubber or coins.

The best method for cleaning silver jewelry is to simply rub it with a soft 100% cotton cloth – maybe and old flannel shirt or pajamas, but make sure it is clean. You’ll need to use a lot of elbow grease to get the metal shiny. If it is heavily tarnished, consider using a special cloth that has “stuff” on it that will help to rub off the tarnish. Avoid using a paste rub unless you absolutely have to. I would never use those chemical dips on jewelry as the seem to strip the shine right out of the metal.

If you are cleaning silver jewelry that is not solid sterling, but plated, take care to make sure you do not rub the plating off. This is especially a concern if it is an older piece that may have been cleaned many times before. Sometimes it’s just best to give it a couple of light rubs to get the surface oxidation off and leave it with a bit of a patina.

Cleaning antique silver jewelry that has a goldwash over the sterling silver can be very tricky. The problem is that the tarnish will start to appear on the surface over the gold wash. I’ve ruined a few pieces when I tried to remove tarnish with a rubbing cloth and removed the gold wash with it! You have to be very, very careful and when cleaning this type of jewelry to make sure you rub off the tarnish but not the plating.

The best way of cleaning silver jewelry is to wear it often! That way you will reduce the tarnishing and you will always look great!