Butterfly Symbolism in Jewelry

Butterfly Symbolism In Jewelry

By: Kaitlin Zeik

Butterflies… Our long-lost acquaintances of the early 2000s. They’re back! But they are so much better than you think they are. Butterflies are not only gorgeous botanical insects reminiscent of gardens and sunshine, they are also powerful symbols that can hold an abundance of meaning. Whether you love butterflies for early 2000s nostalgia (think butterfly necklaces and hairclips), or if you hold ancient symbolism dear to your heart, here are three reasons we simply love butterflies.

As most of us learned in elementary school, caterpillars go through a dramatic process of transformation to become butterflies, called metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is truly amazing and has awed humans for hundreds of years.1 With transformation also comes the very closely related themes of change or growth. For these reasons, butterfly jewelry can be a wonderful gift for a graduation, birthday, or anything that represents a new phase in one’s life (pun intended).

Syna 18kt mother of pearl and diamond studs available at Leonardo Jewelers

In ancient times, many cultures believed butterflies represented the soul. Ancient Egyptians believed butterflies awaited you in the afterlife, and the ancient Greek word for butterfly is literally psych which means soul.  Aztecs believed the dead would visit in the form of butterflies to assure their living relatives that all is well. Around the time of Dia de Muertos (Day of The Dead), Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico, and like the ancient Aztecs, the butterflies are seen as souls of the deceased. The soul is ephemeral and makes butterflies a gorgeous allegorical concept in jewelry design. 2

Butterflies are simply beautiful. They can have vivid color and patterns, and are gloriously symmetrical creatures. They evoke a softness due to the delicate nature of their wings and the way they fly. The butterfly silhouette itself makes one think about lightness and whimsy. It was American biologist and author, Jeffrey Glassberg who described the butterfly aesthetic best: “Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.”

18kt rose gold diamond ring available at Leonardo Jewelers

If your heart flutters for butterfly jewelry, stop in one of our showrooms or shop www.leonardojewelers.com today.

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/caterpillar-butterfly-metamorphosis-explainer/
  2. https://www.baylor.edu/lakewaco_wetlands/index.php?id=34628#:~:text=Since%20ancient%20times%2C%20the%20winged,%22%20%5BManos%2DJones%5D.