Arrows in Jewelry: Decoding Their Symbolism and Significance

The arrow is a meaningful symbol that can be interpreted in several ways. Because of its versatility and beautiful design, arrow symbolism is popular in art and fashion, especially in jewelry and tattoos.

Let’s take a look at what the symbolism of an arrow is and what it means when worn in jewelry.

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A Quick History of Arrows

Arrows have a long history, dating back thousands of years as practical tools for hunting and warfare, crucial for survival and defense across various cultures. Over time, they became powerful symbols with different meanings.

In Native American culture, arrows represented protection and strength, with a single arrow meaning defense and a bundle symbolizing unity and strength. In Greek and Roman mythology, arrows, linked to gods like Eros and Cupid, symbolized love and desire, with the image of an arrow piercing a heart representing love’s surprising power.

Arrow motifs in jewelry have mirrored these meanings throughout history. People have worn arrow-themed jewelry as protection amulets, love tokens, or as symbols for achieving goals, reflecting the arrow’s sense of direction. During Victorian times, arrow brooches and rings were popular as romantic gifts, symbolizing love and affection.

Today, arrow motifs in jewelry remain popular, still carrying their historical symbolism. They often symbolize moving forward, achieving goals, and represent a warrior spirit in overcoming challenges. The arrow has evolved from a simple tool to a symbol with rich and varied historical meanings, now beautifully incorporated into jewelry designs.

Arrow Symbolism and Meaning

Meanings of arrow

The meaning of an arrow can vary depending on the direction or type of the arrow. Before we go into that in detail, here’s a quick rundown of the general meanings of an arrow:

1. Concentration

An arrow deeply symbolizes concentration. An archer needs intense focus to hit the target, connecting mind and body to aim accurately. An arrow stands for this focus and determination. It teaches us to ignore distractions and concentrate on our goals.

This kind of focused mindset is key to success in life, just like in archery, showing the importance of a disciplined approach to achieving our objectives.

2. Reaching Goals

An arrow strongly represents achieving goals. Its main purpose is to hit a target, symbolizing the journey toward reaching objectives. This is true for personal, career, or other goals.

The arrow points to a direct path to these goals, encouraging persistence and precision. It reminds us that with clear goals and focused effort, reaching our targets is possible.

3. Protection

Arrows have traditionally been used for defense, symbolizing protection from threats. This goes beyond physical safety to include emotional and psychological protection. The arrow suggests shielding oneself from negativity and being ready to face challenges. It brings a sense of confidence and security, highlighting the need to be alert and resilient against life’s challenges.

4. Sustenance

Arrows, traditionally used for hunting, symbolize sustaining life. They represent the effort to fulfill life’s necessities, beyond just food. The arrow indicates striving to provide for ourselves, whether through getting resources, nurturing relationships, or personal growth. It reminds us of our natural ability to meet our needs, emphasizing persistence, skill, and sometimes tough decisions.

5. Moving Forward

An arrow’s flight from a bow symbolizes progress and moving forward. It represents the desire to advance and seek new goals and experiences. The arrow urges us to keep moving, be it in personal growth, career, or overcoming challenges.

It encourages leaving the past behind and moving into the future with optimism and determination, embodying the spirit of constant improvement and embracing change for growth.

Arrow Symbol in Jewelry

Depending on the direction of the arrow and the way it’s depicted, the symbol can hold a completely different meaning. Here are some of the more prominent ones.

1. Arrow Pointing Downward

An arrow pointing downwards symbolizes peace. While not as popular as the peace symbol, this is a beautifully subtle statement.

initial and arrow necklace
Rose gold arrow necklace. See it here.

2. Looped Arrow

An arrow is known for being straight and precise on its way to reaching its goals. So an arrow with a loop represents the opposite. It means that you’ll get to your destination, but maybe not in the way you’d originally imagined. On any path, there are obstacles and hurdles that need to be overcome but in the end, you can still reach your goal.

Arrow with loop pendant
Twisted arrow pendant. See it here.

3. Crossed Arrows

When two arrows are crossed, they represent friendship and close ties. In this design, each arrow represents one party of the friendship, and the cross pattern shows an evergreen friendship.

Crossed arrow bracelet
Crossed arrow bracelet. See it here.

4. Moving Arrow

A round twisted arrow symbolizes motion and movement. It’s a representation of power and independence that shows confidence in your purpose and in knowing where you’re heading. It can also represent doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals.

Twisted round ring arrow
Round twisted arrow ring. See it here.

5. Arrow Pulled Back

An arrow pulled back by the bow and about to take flight represents standing on the threshold of your dreams, looking towards the future, and anticipation what’s to come. It’s a symbol of positivity, hope, and potential. However, it’s also a reminder that in order to go forward, you’ll sometimes be pulled back, but that taking a step back isn’t always a bad thing. This can also be a symbol of the Sagittarius star sign.

bow and arrow necklace
Pendant with an arrow pulled back. See it here.

6. Heart and Arrow

Although this typically symbolizes wounded emotions from love and passion, today this symbol symbolizes unending passion and love for a person. It’s a way to say that you’re captured by them and have eyes for no one but them.

This comes from the symbolism of Cupid’s arrow, where according to legend if you’re struck by Cupid’s arrow, you’ll have an undying love for the first person you set eyes on when the arrow hit you. Corny? Maybe. But still cute and one of the oldest symbols of romantic love.

Heart and arrow stud earrings
Unique take on pierced heart and arrow. See these earrings here.

7. Infinity Arrow

The infinity arrow is a stylized symbol that merges the arrow and the infinity symbol. It looks stunning, simply because it blends so well together. The infinity arrow can be interpreted to mean endless possibilities, potential, and things to discover awaiting you.

silver infinity arrow bracelet
Infinity arrow bracelet. See it here.

When to Gift Arrow Jewelry

Arrow symbolism is one that many can relate to and it fits a variety of different occasions. If you’re looking for a gift for someone special, a close friend, or a family member, an arrow jewelry gift can be meaningful and symbolic.

Here are some occasions when arrow jewelry gifts are appropriate:

  1. An arrow is perfect as a coming-of-age gift as it’s a way of wishing a person luck and of acknowledging that you believe they can achieve what they set out to do. A twisted arrow or a single straight arrow is perfect for such a gift.
  2. Perfect as a gift between lovers, arrow jewelry makes for a good Valentine’s Day
  3. An arrow jewelry gift is a nice touch for a graduation gift as it’s a reminder of things to come and things to achieve.
  4. As a wedding gift, an arrow accessory speaks of promise and potential. When coupled with a bow, it’s a reminder that marriage is about teamwork and that in order to get where you want to go, you need to work together.

Where to Buy Arrow Jewelry

When considering buying arrow jewelry, Etsy and Amazon are excellent starting points. These platforms boast a vast array of options, catering to diverse tastes and budgets.

  • Etsy is renowned for its unique, handcrafted pieces, often created by independent artisans. Here, you can find personalized and one-of-a-kind arrow jewelry that adds a special touch to your collection.
  • Amazon, on the other hand, offers a wide selection from various sellers, including both contemporary and vintage styles. It’s a convenient choice for a range of arrow jewelry designs at different price points.

Wrapping Up

Arrow jewelry isn’t just stylish; it carries important meanings like protection, guidance, and goal achievement. You can find a piece that matches your life’s story. With the wide range of choices on Etsy and Amazon, it’s easy to find arrow jewelry that fits your style and budget. So, choose a piece that holds meaning for you and add it to your collection.


Nadi Alahakoon

Nadisha has been a fashion aficionado for as long as she can remember! From following the latest trends to checking out vintage styles, she’s always curious about what’s in and what’s out! She has a background in Nursing, literature, and English. When she’s not writing about jewelry and diamonds, Nadisha spends her time window shopping, dancing, or traveling the beautiful landscapes of Canada.

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