Anchor Symbol in Jewelry – Origins, Symbolism and Meaning

As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.

Anchors have been used for thousands of years as a way to keep boats and other vessels from drifting off into the sea. The symbol offers something for everyone, especially for those going through difficult times, about to embark on new journeys, or just anyone who wants a touch of positivity in their life.

Symbol Sage Sale Banner

The anchor symbol is ubiquitous and used in jewelry, tattoos, art, and literature to symbolize a range of positive concepts.

Let’s take a look at the history of the anchor, and its meaning and symbolism that makes it such an excellent gift for just about anybody.

A Brief History of the Anchor Symbol

Anchor bracelet seashell

To understand the symbolism of the anchor and why it’s so popular among jewelry lovers, it’s first important to take a brief look at the history of anchors.

The earliest anchors were probably just a sack of rocks used to weigh the vessels in place on the water. Around the 1st century, anchors similar to modern versions first appeared in Rome and by the 7th century, there were similar anchor designs used in Scandinavia.

The typical shape of an anchor is similar to a metal cross. In the early stages of Christianity, when Romans persecuted those who followed the religion, the anchor was a way that Christians could identify with other Christians. They would leave anchors outside their homes or even wear anchor jewelry. As a result, a fellow Christian would know that the house was safe and could seek refuge there.

Anchor Symbolism

The anchor’s use as a device to hold vessels steady in stormy weather and to keep the vessel in place is what has made it a highly symbolic object. Having an anchor when sailing means that you’ll never drift off or lose your way against your will.

Gold Anchor Earrings
Gold anchor earrings. See them here.

Here are some of the meanings that anchors represent.

1. The Sea

The anchor, without doubt, represents the sea and sailing. For someone who loves the sea and everything that it stands for, an anchor is an excellent symbol to wear. It shows our connection with the sea and is also a nod to the importance of sailing as a means of exploring the world in human history.    

2. Safety and Stability  

An anchor holds on steadfastly to keep the vessel from drifting off. It represents holding on to your values, beliefs, hopes, and goals, regardless of what’s happening around you. This symbolizes being rooted and grounded no matter what happens.    

3. Hope

Anchors symbolize hope and a positive outlook. It doesn’t matter what the weather may be like today, just hold on and wait and work for a better day.    

4. Determination

For a person going through hard times, the anchor represents determination, to see the hard times through without giving up.

5. Eternal Love and Fidelity

An anchor is steadfast in how it holds firmly to one place. It doesn’t go wandering off when the weather gets rough. This is symbolic of a strong, steady, and loyal love where the person is deeply connected to the other through good and bad times. This has made the anchor an excellent symbol for close friends, lovers, and family.

Anchor Jewelry

Considering the symbolism of the anchor, there’s something for everyone to value in this symbol. No wonder then that the anchor has become a popular symbol for jewelry lovers.

The anchor is a unisex symbol and is beautiful in both male and female jewelry. Here are some ways to wear anchor jewelry.

1. Anchor Pendant

Wearing a pendant is a classic and stylish way to keep the anchor symbolism close. Because of the anchor’s versatile design, it can be styled in many ways, from classy and high-end to rustic and minimalist. Typical anchor designs may feature nautical themes like rope or a ship’s wheel. Adding gemstones to the design gives it a touch of color and can be very symbolic as well.

Anchor Symbol pendant yellow gold
Anchor with emeralds. See this pendant here.

2. Anchor Ring

Who would’ve guessed that the anchor design can be made into rings? One popular design is to shape the band to look like an anchor. Another is to stamp the image of an anchor into the metal. This can be done in the style of a signet ring or a wrap-around ring.

Sideways Anchor Symbol Ring
Sideways anchor ring. See it here.

3. Anchor Earrings

The anchor’s perfect proportionate shape makes it ideal for little earring studs or dangles. It’s also great for mismatched earrings with a nautical theme.

Anchor Birthstone Earrings
Anchor birthstone earrings. See them here.

4. Anchor Bracelet

Anchor bracelets are perfect as friendship bracelets. They’re usually in a boho style, coupled with leather and other natural elements.

Anchor symbol bracelet
Boho-themed anchor bracelet. See it here.

When to Give Anchor Jewelry

Because of how versatile the anchor symbol is in terms of design and meaning, it makes for an excellent gift for a range of occasions. Here are some ideas of when to gift anchor jewelry:

Couple holding fingers with anchor symbol tattoo
  1. A well-chosen high-quality piece of anchor jewelry is an excellent Valentine’s Day It could imply that you’re their anchor and will always be there for them. Or it could also mean that they’re your anchor in life and they keep you grounded and secure.    
  2. Anchor jewelry is ideal for a graduation gift, as it signifies that the person will always have good friends and family to be there for them. It’s also a reminder to remember their roots and to be grounded regardless of the success and achievements that life has in store for them.    
  3. A beautiful anchor ring or pendant is a perfect wedding gift as it symbolizes the couple being each other’s anchors and facing the world together regardless of what may come their way.    
  4. For a friend or loved one about to go on a long trip, an anchor jewelry gift is a reminder to keep safe, to keep steady, and to remember home.

Where to Buy Anchor Jewelry

There are many retail stores that sell anchor jewelry but we suggest taking your search to online stores like Etsy and Amazon for the following 6 reasons:

  1. You’ll have endless options to choose from
  2. There’s something for all price ranges
  3. You can find vintage and modern pieces
  4. Many top jewelry retailers tend to sell via these two platforms anyway
  5. Easy to compare and contrast styles and prices
  6. Hand-made, artisan designs and often excellent customer service

Ready to browse? Search for anchor jewelry here.


Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

Jewelry Guide