Pomegranate jewelry holds a special place in many cultures. The distinctive shape and color also makes the pomegranate an interesting design inspiration for many jewelry items.
Meaning and Symbolism of Pomegranate Jewelry
The pomegranate is an ancient fruit and references to the fruits and the tree are found in ancient cultures from around the world. The pomegranate also has a special meaning in many cultures and religions. It is also the symbol of fruitfulness. The special symbolism, combined with its attractive and interesting shape, makes pomegranate jewelry an interesting choice.
While anyone can wear pomegranate jewelry for the sheer beauty of it, there are also symbols and meanings associated with it that can enhance your appreciation of it.
Ancient Societies and Pomegranates
Cultures as far back as ancient Sumeria revered the pomegranate. In ancient Sumeria, the fruit was a sign of everlasting life. They believed that the souls of the dead would become immortal if they consumed pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate seeds have been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt, and ancient Babylonian texts refer to it as well. For the most part, all of these ancient societies celebrated the pomegranate as a source of fertility and life.
Cultural Significance of Pomegranates From Greek Mythology
One of the most prominent mythological stories about pomegranates is centered around Hades and Persephone. The story goes that Hades brought Persephone to the underworld and gave her twelve pomegranate seeds to eat. Eating anything from his realm would require her to stay there with him. She ate six, and the Fates decreed she would have to return there for six months of every year, which, according to Greek mythology, is there are six months of warm weather (when she's allowed to be in the world of the living) and six months of cold (when she's in the underworld with Hades.)
These myths give rise to the pomegranate being a symbol of femininity and feminine power along with the fertility that Persephone herself represents as Demeter's beloved daughter. To this day, pomegranates are prominent in the Greek culture, used as food or as decorations during many celebrations.
Cultural Significance of Pomegranates in Judaism
The pomegranate has a strong presence in Jewish tradition as well. The pomegranate is known as one of the "seven species of Israel" listed in the Torah. It's frequently eaten as part of the Rosh Hashanah seder and is found adorning many scrolls and texts of the Torah, as well as on ancient Judaic coins. Among those of Jewish heritage, the fruit symbolizes love and fertility.
Types of Pomegranate Jewelry
There are many different types of pomegranate jewelry. When you are considering buying a piece of this unique jewelry, there are a few things to consider.
Gemstone Set Jewelry
One of the most distinctive features of the pomegranate is the mass of bright red seeds. These are often used as a design feature, and many items of pomegranate jewelry are set with red stones. The type of stone varies and this will alter the look and the cost of the piece of jewelry. Rubies are often used in high quality pieces of pomegranate inspired jewelry. These are bright red and are typically cut into facets that reflect the light and cause the stones to sparkle. Garnets are also reminiscent of pomegranate seeds, making garnet beads an attractive addition to jewelry inspired by this fruit. Low-cost alternatives include red quartz or synthetic stones. For a unique effect, look for jewelry that features enameled pomegranate seeds.
Jewelry with pomegranate designs is made from a variety of different metals. Base metals are options for inexpensive items of jewelry, however they are generally of lower quality and are not suited to everyday wear. Precious metals, such as gold and platinum, are of the very best quality and can be worn every day, however, the cost is significantly greater. One of the benefits of yellow gold is that it complements the bright red seeds and creates an attractive finish.
The pomegranate shape lends itself to both contemporary and traditional styles. If you are buying a pomegranate item as a gift for another person, consider what style of jewelry they normally wear and try to match the pomegranate to this. The pomegranate shape can be stylized or realistic. The designs can also be very ornate or more classical in shape. If the pomegranate is to be worn only for special days, then large and dramatic designs will work well. Everyday wear may require a more subtle design that will not catch on items of clothes.
Beautiful and Meaningful
Whether you are buying a piece of pomegranate inspired jewelry because of the symbolism or simply because it has a unique look, the range of options means that there is bound to be a stunning piece of jewelry to suit your style.