What if I told you that gemstones could be used to send secret, hidden messages? Gems and minerals have been used for various purposes, including pigments, construction materials, adornments, and decorations, but have you ever heard of using them for secret codes? This is where acrostic jewelry comes into play, and we’ll discuss the history of acrostic jewelry here.
In this article, we will discuss the following:
- What is a piece of acrostic jewelry?
- Acrostic jewelry alphabet
- History of acrostic jewelry in France and England
What Is An Acrostic Jewelry?
Acrostic jewelry is simpler than it may seem. Jewelers spell out secret words and messages by taking the first letter of a gemstone and arranging them in the right order. Some people refer to this language of gemstones as Jean-Baptiste Malario, the jewelry designer for Marie Antoinette and the French court, invented it.
Acrostic Jewelry Alphabet
The concept originated with a ring that spelled “adore” using amethyst, diamond, opal, ruby, and emerald in that order. Although it may not be the most economical love letter, the idea caught the attention of many, including Napoleon Bonaparte, for whom money was no object. He commissioned various pieces of acrostic jewelry for his family members. Empress Josephine, his first wife, was famously given bracelets with the names of all of her children, while Empress Marie-Louis received bracelets with her and Napoleon’s birthdays and one with the dates of their courtship.
Imagine having to purchase enough gemstones to spell out “Marie-Louis December.” Interestingly, the letter “u” was represented by uranite, a major ore of uranium and a slightly radioactive substance. It’s not dangerous enough to pose a threat, but it can set off a Geiger counter if it’s too close.
History Of Acrostic Jewelry In France And England
Acrostic jewelry gained popularity in France, where words like “souvenir” (meaning memory) and “amour” (meaning love) were spelled out with gems. This French trend gradually spread to England, where it peaked in popularity during the Victorian era.
England was in the midst of a period of progressiveness, with near-universal literacy resulting from education reform and a shift towards science-based medicine instead of tradition and mysticism. Socially, there was a trend of romanticism and spirituality in the arts and culture. Jewelry reflected this by featuring popular themes such as the moon and stars, four-leaf clovers, animal symbolism (such as swallows, butterflies, dragonflies, and snakes), and superstitious symbols regarded as spiritual guides. King Alfred gave Queen Victoria a golden snake with emerald eyes as an engagement ring, and snake jewelry suddenly became widespread.
At the time, there were strict rules for courting. A woman’s entire family was expected to be present during the first visit of a suitor, and many private conversations were chaperoned. It’s no surprise that jewelry with secret messages gained popularity in this kind of environment.
Among the upper echelons of English society, French was commonly spoken and regarded as the language of love. Therefore, much of the acrostic jewelry in these circles was written in French. “Regard” was a popular word in English at the time, with a much more romantic connotation than it does today.
conclusion On The history of acrostic jewelry
Acrostic jewelry has a fascinating and distinct element in jewelry design, with a long history that traverses many centuries. It originated in France and gained immense popularity during the Victorian era. This style was a way for individuals to express hidden messages and emotions through gemstones. Hope this post about the history of acrostic jewelry may help you.