28 Oct Excuse me, but I think you have something on your shirt…
Here’s something just in time for Halloween that’ll definitely give you the creepy crawlies – insect jewelry! Now wearing insects from beetles to butterflies isn’t something new at all. Throughout the centuries people have been creating and wearing insect jewelry (both alive and dead) for many reasons.
In Egypt, the most popular symbol for spiritual struggle and life was the Scarab beetle. Since it was first adopted thousands of years ago the scarab became the most powerful symbol of the victory life wins over death. Ancient warriors heading into battle would wear scarabs as an amulet of spiritual protection against enemies. The scarab was also was also seen as an example of “new” and “old” depending on whether a scarab was coming up from the ground (birth) or going underneath (death).
The insect jewelry phase wasn’t only popular in the Middle East. Just a couple hundred years ago there was a strong Victorian trend in America and Europe for insect jewelry. While many of these inspirations were crafted from precious metals and wood, there were instances in which real insect parts were used. Some women’s dresses were embroidered with butterfly wings! “Throughout the Victorian era, natural themes were popular in jewelry, fashion, and furniture design. These designs embody the dynamic between the emerging industrial era and a romanticized notions of the natural world.”
Insect Jewelry Today
The Mexican Maquech Beetle
First gaining popular traction in the 80s, the Mexican Mequech beetle has been worn for centuries by locals to sustain loving relationships. Usually the beetles are painted and adorned with beads or semi-precious gems. The can be breathtaking and becomes even more so when the pendant begins to move on its own! A live bejeweled Mexican Maquech Beetle can trade for as much as $500USD, although importation of the beetle into the United States is outlawed.
The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
The Giant Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) achieved short-lived popularity as live jewelry. Fashion designer Jared Gold popularized the “roach brooch” trend with the inclusion of the Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in his 2006 collection. The cockroaches were hand-decorated with crystals, accessorized with a leash set and were sold as “ready to wear” jewelry.
Don’t want your jewelry wandering off?
Let’s be honest. Bug jewelry can be unique and even beautiful, but do you really want a broach or ring that can just walk away? While we don’t offer “living” jewelry, we do display some of the most beautiful and inspiring pieces this side of Mother Nature. Crawl on in – we mean come on in today to find a selection that matches your style.