Jewelry Guide

Symbolism of the Butterfly in Jewelry

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The first to always emerge in spring after a long winter, butterflies are beautiful and intriguing creatures that transform from caterpillars into awe-inspiring winged creatures. In most cultures, sighting a butterfly is a sign of positivity and a good omen.

Butterflies In History and Mythology 

minimalist butterfly ring
Minimalist butterfly ring. See it here.

In most cultures, butterflies are associated with the human soul. This came about from the Greek term for butterfly i.e., ‘psyche’ which also means soul. In Roman mythology, there is even a legend of a love story between the god, Cupid and a human woman named Psyche where they overcame several obstacles.

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In Europe, the butterfly symbol became popular in mourning jewelry around the 19th century when it was believed to represent the soul, human growth, and death. In Germany, butterflies were said to be the souls of children, and killing white butterflies was in fact forbidden. Christian beliefs associate the butterfly with resurrection and also with spiritual transformation. 

Aztecs believed butterflies to be the souls of the dead and believed to have the power to communicate with the souls of the departed and their ancestors. The Hopi people of America also believed that any wish whispered at a butterfly would come true and they even performed ceremonies called the Butterfly Dance for good health, long life, and for rain. 

Butterfly in Jewelry  

butterfly wing studs
Butterfly wing studs. See them here.

The butterfly symbol has been popular in jewelry since ancient times and has been used on a range of jewelry from wedding and engagement rings to necklaces, pendants, amulets, bracelets, and so on.  

When paired with gemstones, they are unparalleled in beauty as well as profound with spiritual meaning and symbolism. While fashion trends may change, butterfly symbols on jewelry continue to remain timeless and versatile. 

Symbolism of the Butterfly  

butterfly engagement ring
Butterfly engagement ring. See it here. 

Due to their metamorphosis, butterflies aptly symbolize transformation and spiritual change on all levels of life. Most often, humans are considered to be akin to caterpillars who have no idea about their future but listen to their instincts and allow themselves to transform into a butterfly.  

Just as the caterpillars struggle and fight to break out of their chrysalis shell and turn into beautiful butterflies, we also fight our situations for a better future and struggle to get across all the barriers to become our best selves. This is only possible by accepting change in our lives. 

Butterflies also symbolize hope, bravery, and rebirth. A butterfly only encourages you to be confident and transform into your best self.  

Butterflies also symbolize freedom always flying free.  

It calls upon each of us to let go of any old cycle that we are stuck in and find our true inner selves. It encourages us to spread our wings and find our place in the world and in our own lives. 

Many cultures and religions, including Christianity, associates the butterfly with the soul, seen as trapped within the body, but which gains freedom in a new life. It signifies the journey of life with its endless twists and turns along with the many changes. 

In mythology, a butterfly is associated with royalty and magic due to their ability to camouflage itself when required. It is also related to the life cycles of all living beings as well as the concept of reincarnation. 

butterfly bracelet

Protection from Evil 

Some believe that butterfly jewelry has magical powers that protect its wearers not only from evil spirits but also from all negativities and is useful for those in difficult phases of life. It is said that it gives courage and confidence to those who wear them. It also keeps away bad dreams from a person’s life. 

Butterflies are sometimes seen as guardians that protect and guide their wearer from all harm and reminds us that although you cannot control everything that happens in life, you can always choose how you react to it. 

Change and Transformation 

Butterfly jewelry is a symbol of a new life and a gentle reminder to us that transformation and change are inevitable parts of life and only by being accepting of this can we move towards and achieve all our new goals and dreams.  

This type of jewelry is especially popular amongst those who have undergone certain major changes in life including those getting married, moving away from home, who let go of an addiction, and so on. These pieces of jewelry also serve as a symbol of hope in uncertain or bleak situations and are also used by those in mourning to remind themselves of their loved ones as their legacy. 

This jewelry is also a firm reminder that we need to be resilient and adaptable to our environment like the butterflies with their intricate and delicate yet strong wings. It also shows us the power of community and the need to stay connected and help each other. It also encourages us to share the joys and sorrows of others. 

Hope and Strength  

butterfly earrings
Butterfly earrings with mother of pearl. See them here.

Just as the short lives of the butterflies, all things in life are transient and ephemeral, they must be enjoyed while they last. While we may be worried about what the future holds or regretful of the past, this necklace will always serve as a reminder to enjoy the present moment while we can. 

For those who have overcome adversity and only emerged stronger than before, a butterfly necklace is a reminder and symbol of that strength and of the hard work that paid off. It is also encouraged that if you are struggling through hardship, you will only be stronger and more beautiful at your new beginning. 

In Celtic culture, butterflies are thought to be fantastic guides in making good decisions when life presents someone with a second chance and is thought to be the metaphor for hope.  

Love and Passion 

butterfly pendant
Diamond and emerald butterfly pendant. See it here. 

In Asian countries, butterflies are often a symbol of love. A Chinese legend tells the story of a young man who chased a butterfly into a garden and encountered his soulmate. In Japan, butterflies represent marital bliss. Several countries also have the custom of releasing butterflies at weddings to wish the newlywed couple, all happiness and love in their married life ahead. 

The butterfly symbol is often used in engagement rings and wedding rings as they show the loving relationship and the commitment between a married couple. In Chinese culture, two butterflies are said to be a symbol of love when they are flying together. 

Good Luck and Blessings 

origami butterfly earrings
Origami butterfly earrings. See them here. 

Pieces of jewelry with butterflies are said to bring luck to their wearer, rejuvenating you and providing you with courage and a peaceful state of mind.  

Those who wear butterfly jewelry are also known to be adaptable to change and like to move forward in life.  

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Butterflies also represent a long life in China, making them a popular choice as jewelry. 

Butterfly Jewelry as a Gift 

  • Friends or family in a transitional phase.  

Jewelry with butterflies on them is a great gift idea for family or friends, especially for those who are in the transitioning phase in their lives or are going through a significant life-changing event. 

  • Someone going on a new journey.  

When someone close to you is going on a new journey, a beautiful gesture to support them and wish them a happy and safe trip is by giving them butterfly jewelry. It is also reminiscent of the transformational experiences they will go through in all their travels.  

  • A gift for a newborn.  

Jewelry featuring butterflies when gifted to newborns means that they will lead a long and wealthy life. Butterflies act as spirit animals of children ensuring that they are protected throughout their lives. This also symbolizes the transformation of a child or a youngster into an adult. 

  • To close friends. 

It is said that when butterfly jewelry is gifted to your friends as a token of friendship or of your love, it ensures that they will overcome their obstacles and open their hearts to your friendship.

  • Symbol of passion and love. 

Butterfly in wedding jewelry is a beautiful symbol of a passionate connection between the newlyweds and holds a close resemblance to the new life awaiting the couple after marriage. 

Jewelry with butterflies is also a great gift for lovers as it symbolizes the love and affection between the couple. It is also gifted to show your lover that they are your soulmate. Women especially enjoy necklaces with butterfly pendants or chokers as they represent love, renewal, freedom, and transformation between the different stages in life. 

  • To someone in mourning 

Butterfly jewelry when gifted to someone in mourning also holds deep meaning and helps them cope with all the suffering and their loss. It acts as a reminder that death is not the end and is a natural part of life. It also symbolizes that the person who passed away will not be forgotten and they have just begun another journey within the endless fountain of life. 

Butterfly jewelry makes great gifts for those going through difficulties in life as butterflies give hope and encourage looking forward to all the wonderful things in life yet to come. 

Wrapping Up 

With their two to three weeks’ brief lifespan, butterflies are a reminder to all of us that life is precious, and we should live to the fullest at every given moment.  

Signifying values such as hope, freedom, life, rebirth, and so on, the butterfly is a symbol that is not only beautiful in itself, but also extremely meaningful to those who own them as pieces of jewelry.  

These representations of perfect symmetry in nature are more than just a design on the jewelry but are a form of expression and a reminder to all that it stands for. 

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