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Style spot: insect jewellery

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Insects are the most diverse group of animals on earth, represent some of nature’s greatest survivors, and comprise almost half of all known living organisms.

Despite being all around us they are often shrouded in mystery, thought of merely as a pest when they in fact represent some of the most complex animal societies, always evolving and adapting to their environment – not to mention key to the survival of human life (thank you bees!).

They have been revered throughout the ages in mythology, and their symbolism is now being celebrated in both fine and fashion jewellery designs. We’ve pulled together some examples from across QVC’s jewellery department to explain the significance of just a few species…

Butterflies

Symbolism: metamorphosis, symmetry, faith

Butterflies

The incredible transformation undertaken by butterflies as they change from caterpillar through the chrysalis stage to their final regal appearance makes them a thoughtful gift for anyone going through a period of change.

Our lives are also an ongoing demonstration of a mathematical theory called ‘the butterfly effect’, in which making small changes can have a big impact in the long term (you’ve perhaps heard of a butterfly flapping its wings causing a hurricane on the other side of the globe). Butterflies beautifully represent those whose kind acts make a small but significant change in the world.

Shop these designs:

Clogau 9ct Rose Gold & Sterling Silver Stoneset Butterfly Ring

Butler & Wilson Crystal Butterfly Ring

Little Bird by Donna Air 0.3ct Gemstone Butterfly Ring 9ct Gold

 

Ladybirds

Symbolism: luck, friendship

Ladybirds 

Ladybirds have long been linked with luck, an association that comes from ancient farmers who recognised their help in tackling crop-destroying pests like greenfly (this writer personally remembers counting the spots on their shells as a child and being told ‘count your blessings’). It is this helpful and gentle nature that also makes ladybirds symbolic of friendship.

Ladybird jewellery makes a great gift for a friend as a sign of your affection, and will help lift the spirits of someone who’s feeling a little down in the dumps.

Shop these designs:

Little Bird by Donna Air 2.2ct Garnet & Spinel Ladybird Charm 9ct Gold

Affinity Diamonds Cognac Ladybird Stud Earrings Sterling Silver

 

Bees

Symbolism: industriousness, harmony, endurance

 Bees

Bees have so many meanings in jewellery; in Mediterranean civilizations, the bee was seen to be brave, tirelessly hardworking, clean and harmonious. Their ability to fly is also considered a miracle of physics given the size of their gossamer-light wings relative to their body, representing the idea that anything is possible.

The bee can also be a royal symbol (think ‘Queen Bee’) and a sign of creativity, wealth and eloquence – a great gift for the queen bee of the house!

Shop these designs:

Bill Skinner Honeycomb Bee Pendant & Long 80cm Chain Necklace

Diamonique 0.4ct tw Bee Pendant & Chain Gold Vermeil Sterling Silver

 

Dragonflies

Symbolism: poise, maturity, efficiency

Dragonflies

The dragonfly has long been a subject of intrigue wherever they are found. Their agility – they can fly at up to 45 miles per hour, hover like a helicopter, fly backwards, vertically and straight down – exudes a sense of power and poise that comes only with age and maturity. Most impressively they can do this while flapping their wings a mere 30 times a minute – 1/20th of the rate of some other insects – demonstrating an effortless elegance and grace in the process.

Shop these designs:

Diamonique 5.9ct tw Sterling Silver Dragonfly Brooch

Butler & Wilson Crystal & Enamel Dragonfly Brooch

Butler & Wilson 5 Dragonflies on Chain 40cm Necklace

 

Beetles

Symbolism: modesty, persistence, teamwork

 Beetles

Although they come in an infinite number of sizes, compared to people or elephants, most beetles are extremely small. Nevertheless, they are capable of moving mountains in their small worlds – some can move earth up to 600 times their own bodyweight. So the next time you’re feeling small and insignificant, consider the beetle as a symbol of strength – and all the unlikely feats this tiny creature can accomplish, just like you can.

Shop these designs:

RJ Graziano Big Beetle Pin

Butler & Wilson Beetle Shape Brooch

 

Spiders

Symbolism: mystery, power, guile

Spiders

It takes a strong character to wear spider jewellery; they are amongst the most feared insects, yet intrigue scientists for their ability to produce impressively complex webs in silk that is both incredibly strong yet almost endlessly flexible.

This mathematical intelligence, coupled with an ability to plan and get what they want, makes spiders a fine symbol for bold and courageous women. Perhaps best not given as a gift, though – just in case…

See Butler & Wilson’s Vintage Spider Net Cuff Bangle

 

Moths

Symbolism: intuition, determination

Moths

Moths have similar animal symbolism to butterflies, but have one major distinguishing characteristic that sets them far apart from their winged relatives: they are nocturnal. Philosophically speaking, night creatures do not tumble in the dark, making moths symbolic for those navigating through their darkest hours or shadowy times of uncertainty.

See Bill Skinner’s Moth Stud Earrings

Shop for Jewellery here

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