13 Symbols of Courage and Resilience Used in Jewelry

Courage is not the absence of fear.  Instead, it is the ability to keep going in the face of that fear, and despite knowing the risks that come along with it. Resilience, on the other hand, refers to the ability to adapt oneself to changes in the environment. This particularly refers to factors that cause stress and trauma. Let us take a look at symbols that represent these two uplifting values.

1. Lion

Lion ring
Gold-plated lion ring by Bella Mantra. See it here.

Symbolism: Courage, Strength, Pride, Royalty

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Known as the king of the jungle, the lion is a fierce and proud animal. Its every movement is filled with both grace and power as it struts through the forest or as it hunts its prey.

As a symbol, it has been widely used in both ancient and popular culture. In more recent years, it has even served as the inspiration and main character in fiction books, movies, and television series in more recent years, all of which depict the lion as a brave and honorable existence.

The lion motif in jewelry is powerful. While it symbolizes many things, courage and resilience are two main associations. Lion jewelry can be as subtle as an outline of the animal or as eye-catching as a detailed necklace, like this stunning piece.

2. Wolf

Wolf earrings
Silver wolf earrings by Popkimi. See it here.

Symbolism: Bravery, Strength, Loyalty

For most Native American tribes, the wolf is seen as a representation of courage as well as loyalty and strength because of its great hunting skills. They look up to the wolf and often wish to borrow the bravery of the wolf when they are faced with danger, such as during battle. Many Native American myths involve stories about the wolf, with the most popular one being about wolves that have the ability to transform into humans.

Wolves are associated with courage and resilience, for their ability to survive and adapt in the wild, as well as for their fearlessness in the face of danger or confrontation. These animals are beautiful and powerful, making them great motifs for use in jewelry.

3. Griffin

Griffin cufflinks
Silver griffin cuff links by Dedalo. See it here.

Symbolism: Valor, Strength, Leadership, Nobility

The griffin is a mythical creature believed to serve as either the guardian of the gods or of treasures hidden away by royalty. It is described as having the body of a lion with the wings and talons of an eagle and is attributed with the characteristics of both powerful animals.

The earliest images of the griffin have been traced to ancient Persian palaces, where statues and symbols of the creature were found. Over the years, its imagery has evolved into one of strength and valor, used by heads of states to represent their leadership and nobility. Today, the griffin symbolizes courage, power, and resilience in the face of all odds.

4. Dagger

Dagger earrings
Gold dagger earrings by Gold Spoon Jewelry. See it here.

Symbolism: Courage, Daring, Deception, Treachery

As one of the primitive tools created by humans, the dagger has been talked about a lot throughout history. It has served as a weapon both to attack and defend, and as such, its symbolism is also contradictory.  On one hand, it is associated with daring and bravery in combat, while on the other it is also related to deception and treachery.

In jewelry, the dagger is ideal in pendants and earrings due to its long shape. It’s not a common motif, so when worn, it tends to catch the eye.

5. Borage

borage silver hook earrings
Silver borage flower earrings by Ehilburn. See it here.

Symbolism: Courage, Daring, Deception, Treachery

Borage is a small plant, with its entire body covered in white prickly hair. It produces star-shaped flowers in shades of blue. Though it is sometimes taken as a weed, it is actually quite beneficial since the flowers are edible and attracts bees, thus encouraging better production of honey.

Its name is said to come from the term “carago”, which means “I bring courage”. It was a Celtic practice to add borage in their drinks before heading to war, believing that it would boost their courage. Roman warriors, on the other hand, ate the leaves and flowers, while knights in the Middle Ages would adorn themselves with pieces of garment containing images of borage flowers to make them feel more daring.

While not a popular flower today, the borage is still associated with courage and valor. In jewelry, it makes for beautiful nature-inspired motifs.

6. Golden Fish

fish pin
Gold dipped pewter lapel pin by Jim Clift. See it here.

Symbolism: Courage, Freedom, Contentment

Golden Fish are symbols used in Buddhism to represent courage, freedom, and contentment. This is because of their behavior of continuing to move freely in the water despite the danger from bigger fish and human traps.

In many parts of Asia, the golden fish is visually drawn in the likeness of the carp because of its graceful appearance. For the Chinese, the carp itself also symbolizes strength and tenacity as it swims against the current. In Chinese legends, the carp transforms and becomes the sacred Celestial Dragon upon overcoming the final obstacle in the Yellow River.

7. The Color Red

Coral red earrings
Rhinestone jewelry set by Rock a Stud. See it here.

Symbolism: Courage, Passion, Good Fortune

The color red represents many meanings in different cultures, such as good fortune, anger, love, and passion.  In some instances, it also stands for courage and bravery, which is why this shade is a familiar sight in flags and other national emblems.

In jewelry, red gemstones are among the most common, with gemstones like ruby and garnet among the most popular. It’s easy to incorporate red jewelry into your wardrobe – it adds that perfect pop of color to elevate any outfit.

8. The Colors Green and Brown

serpentine tigers eye hamsa hand bracelet
Natural stone hamsa hand bracelet by Bling Jewelry. See it here.

Symbolism: Resilience, Youth, Growth, and Prosperity

As the colors of nature, found in leaves and barks and stems of trees, both green and brown colors have been associated with resilience, youth, growth, and prosperity.  It represents the ability of plants to thrive and persist amid adversity in nature such as storms, floods, and drought.

9. Helix

Helix ring
Silver double helix rings by Alevizou Jewellery. See it here.

Symbolism: Resilience, Survival, Evolution

The helix is a spiral shape that is evident in different aspects in nature. From changes in the weather, in the patterns of leaves and flowers, on the shells and horns of animals, to the structure of the DNA, science has found traces of the helix. 

It is considered to be part of sacred geometry and has been used in many cultures and religions since ancient times. It symbolizes the evolution of life, as well the innate ability of living things to push for survival, overcome challenges thrown by nature along the way.

10. Monarch Butterfly

monarch butterfly necklace and earrings
Monarch butterfly necklace and earrings by Baway Jewelry. See it here.

Symbolism: Endurance, Transformation, Rebirth

As the only butterfly species that can finish a two-way migration, flying more than a thousand miles each way, the monarch butterfly is the embodiment of resilience and loyalty. Every autumn, they will fly over to warmer climates, crossing over North American borders, only to travel the same distance when they return in spring.

Since their life span only runs for four to five weeks, it is their offspring that continue on and completes the journey. Because of this, they have also been associated with transformation and rebirth.

Butterflies in jewelry make for a beautiful motif. The color of the monarch as well its bold patterns result in eye-catching stunningly detailed jewelry.

11. Lotus Flower

lotus pendant
Moonstone lotus flower silver necklace by Be Jewelike. See it here.

Symbolism: Perseverance, Enlightenment

The lotus flower is a popular symbol in Buddhism used to portray enlightenment and purification. But aside from this, the flower is also a representation for endurance and resilience. Buddha himself is often depicted as sitting on a lotus flower, which signifies the state one can achieve after overcoming the trials of the material world.

Growing and thriving in muddy waters, the flower itself exhibits the values of perseverance.  Despite the dirty and unhealthy environment in which in grows, it is still able to thick foliage and beautiful flowers.

This makes the lotus among the most meaningful symbols used in jewelry. What’s more, the beautiful shape of the flower makes it versatile, weather used in casual jewelry or stunning pieces, like this lotus diamond ring.

12. Plum Blossom

plum blossom flower brooch
Enamel plum blossom brooch by Jena Aldwinckle. See it here.

Symbolism: Tenacity, Virtue

Plum blossoms have become a sign of tenacity and virtue as they are the first to appear after winter, even when snow still covers the ground.  The flower is a popular symbol in East Asia and is even hailed as the national flower of Taiwan.

13. Semicolon

Semicolon pendant
Semicolon gold necklace with birthstone by Gi Gis Petals. See it here.

Symbolism: Resilience, Survival, Mental health

The semicolon is a familiar sight in literature as used in sentences, to indicate the author’s intent to continue with the thought or the sentence. Its appearance indicates that it is not yet the end. In recent years, this punctuation mark has become synonymous with mental health, as people work to overcome depression and suicidal thoughts.

Using the semicolon as a symbol, like in a tattoo or work of art, signifies an individual’s decision to choose life, despite its many challenges and difficulties. It means that like an author, they could have ended their life, but they choose not to.


Courage and resilience are values that push people to keep moving forward despite their fear and regardless of obstacles that stand in their way.  Using symbols that represent these values can help remind you of these values, especially when going through a difficult phase in life.

Symbols of courage and resilience jewelry


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.

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