One of the most captivating insect to grace our skies and meadows are the iridescent-winged dragonfly. The ancient and fascinating dragonfly is one of the few creatures to move between water, land, and air. Indeed, this unique winged creature has fascinated men and women, particularly children for centuries, and has been a constant inspiration in fashion and jewelry.
Just like animals and flowers that became a popular motif during the Victorian era, the dragonfly made the spotlight as well. Thanks to the Art Nouveau period, the enigmatic rebellious and artistic forms of expression took their place that dragonflies landed onto fashion such as dresses and jewelry pieces with newfound beauty.
Let's dive deeper to know more about why dragonfly jewelry flourished for centuries and understand the significant symbolism and meanings of gifting a piece of dragonfly jewelry.
Its History and Meanings
In Japan, the dragonfly motif in fashion, art, literature, and jewelry began in the 8th century. According to the Japanese literary book Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, the dragonfly was regarded as the rice plant's spirit and a harbinger of rich harvest as told in Japanese mythology. During the Yamato Period in the 8th century, the dragonfly became the symbol of power and was mentioned in poems set to music.
Japanese incorporated dragonflies as a design motif in their lacquerware, porcelain, and colored woodcuts. It has been highly appreciated by Japanese children and thought to be responsible for bringing good tidings. Japanese children developed a throwing game involving dragonflies wherein they have to catch a large dragonfly and then tie it pebble to each end and throw it into the air.
In Eastern culture, a dragonfly became a symbol of the coming summer. The Japanese believed that dragonflies symbolize military valor. With this, one of their customs is to sacrificed dragonflies to the gods for success or victory. The Island of Honshu was called the Island of Dragonfly, according to folklore. A famous legend stated that a dragonfly Tunb represents Japanese bravery and is responsible for bringing happiness and good fortune.
Chinese regarded dragonflies as the onset of summer and represents instability and weakness. Dragonflies' behavior sets the tone for the impending change of weather and is considered the most sensitive indicator of the rainy season.
For the Native Americans, dragonflies symbolize whirlwind speed and activity. In the West, the dragonfly is mostly linked with witches.
The craze for the dragonfly motif had flourished in Western art in 1860-1870 when Japan opened up for trade. An artifact found in the Manhattan museum portrays a kingfisher swooping over the water looking for a fish to eat while the fish, on the other hand, is preoccupied with catching the dragonfly. This artifact represents the life cycle of nature.
Jewelry makers in America were inspired by dragonfly's beauty and way of life. One of the known American jewelers, Ms. Sandecki, interpreted that "the dragonfly does not appear solid, so jeweler can do all kinds of stones." The dragonfly's long posterior appearance and outstretched wings make it a very valuable candidate for the setting of precious stones.
Swedish folklore foretold that dragonflies have been used as devil's instruments to weigh people's souls. Slavic people viewed dragonflies with fear and prejudice as they relate them to evil.
Its World Culture, Myths, and Symbolism
Dragonflies are one of the most respected symbols in almost all parts of the world. Since these insects exist all over the world. With this, we would like to present to you the fascinating dragonfly symbolism based on a few legends and myths that prevail up to this day.
Swedish people associated dragonflies with goblin and ghouls. That is why for them, spotting dragonflies might indicate oncoming tragedy. They also viewed dragonflies as the ones responsible for identifying bad souls and took them into the forest.
Romanians believed that dragonflies represent evil and dark magic. As stated in one of their legends, the dragonflies came from the devil. The story told that when a devil failed to convince a fisherman to take him across a river in his boat, the devil right away turned himself into a dragonfly.
Germans folklore claims that the dragonfly was created because of a curse. Interesting right? The legend claims that a mean princess refused to talk to a man in her kingdom and ran him over with her horse. The man cursed the mean princess and turned her into a dragonfly that forever joined to her horse. Therefore, this story associated dragonflies as evil and curses, and spotting a dragonfly has been seen to be a bad omen.
Japanese adored and loved the dragonfly, which is often an inspiration in art, poetry, and haiku. A famous legend foretold a young emperor was out in the forest and was viciously attacked by an unknown dangerous insect. During the attack, a dragonfly appeared and ate the insect, preventing any harm inflicted on the emperor.
"I love to see the sunshine on the wings of the Dragonflies. there is magic in it.” - Ama H.Vanniarachchy
Looking at dragonflies' iridescent wings shows a glimpse of magical memories in time but eventually helps us realize there is only a visible reality. Dragonflies somehow bring a bit of magic into our lives and fascinate us everywhere it is known.
Here are some of the established meanings and symbolisms of dragonflies that can be traced back from ancient civilizations and still acknowledged in many parts of the world up to this date.
Symbol of Change and Transformation – One of the most notable dragonflies' characteristics is its own life changes. The dragonfly's life cycle is interesting since it would be born in water as a larva and later on be developed to grow some wings to conquer the sky and be an ultimately grown dragonfly. Dragonfly is also known to exist in every part of the planet, presenting another notable characteristic: to embrace and handle whatever changes may occur. With this, as generally accepted in most parts of the world, dragonflies became a symbol of change and transformation.
Symbol of New Beginnings - The way of life of a dragonfly transforms several times throughout its lifespan, and each change marks a new chapter of its life. Dragonflies symbolize accepting new beginnings and new opportunities because of a significant change in one’s life.
"Live your life to the fullest" - Dragonflies are known to have a very short lifespan of 6 months maximum. The dragonfly only has a small part of its life to experience being a fully developed dragonfly. They spend most of their time as a nymph inhabited below the water's surface. With this, dragonflies symbolize living in the moment and practicing the maxim, "You only live once, so live your life to the fullest."
Maturity - Most cultures thought that dragonfly transformation in its stages of life symbolizes a change in self-realization. This perse represents maturity in understanding the greater meaning of life and conveys a message that you go past self-created illusions that limit your growth and ability to change.
Poise and Beauty - Dragonflies are graceful flying insects that flap their wings only about 30 times per minute. It can fly quickly in almost any direction possible, and it is done with simplicity, efficiency, and strength compared to other of its kind. One can imply that dragonfly flies with grace and elegance like a ballet dancer- perfect sense of poise and beauty.
Dragonfly Sterling Silver Jewelry
Have you seen dragonflies flying from flowers to flowers? I wonder if you have the same magical and mystical feeling about these fascinating winged insects that wearing it as a jewelry piece added a touch of whimsy and magic. This fleeting experience with dragonflies and the meanings and symbolism imbued inspired our creative artisans to handcraft several dragonfly jewelries in sterling silver.
Today, dragonflies are called new butterflies and will continue to amuse and soar everyone to guarantee their place in the jewelry industry for many years to come.
Wearing a piece of our dragonfly sterling silver collection can add a level of charm and excitement to anyone. As mentioned above, dragonflies are marvelous creatures in nature that land a place in the jewelry industry and can make someone wearing a piece of dragonfly jewelry look more mystical and elegant.
Sterling Silver Dragonfly Rings
Oval Mother of Pearl Dragonfly Ring
Oval Mother of Pearl Dragonfly Ring is handcrafted out of sterling silver. With its head and wings resting on a natural mesmerizing white shell, the iconic elongated dragonfly ring brings a tranquil feel to one's heart. A fascinating nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry that suits perfectly for formal occasions.
Dragonfly is frequently used as a sign of change and good luck, and the Mother of Pearl is said to attract prosperity and traditionally use to purify environments. Oval Mother of Pearl Dragonfly Ring is a timeless treasure.
Rainbow Dragonfly Ring
The Rainbow Dragonfly Ring is stunning handmade sterling silver jewelry paired with iconic colorful Zircon stones. The iconic elongated body with its wings decorated with multicolored crystals, this ring brings joy to one's heart.
Wearing this fabulous nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry brings joy and happiness and expresses a fine lady's maturity and adaptability. This fascinating dragon sterling silver jewelry is a great accessory for formal wear.
Sterling Silver Dragonfly Necklace and Pendant
Dragonfly Leaves Necklace
Dragonfly Leaves Necklace is a perfect gift for an adventurous girl who welcomes every experience and faces it head one. It is also a simple but meaningful present for any woman who exudes maturity and wisdom.
This necklace's special feature is its interlocked two ornaments - leaves and dragonfly - in the middle of the piece. This clever design allows for more creativity and flexibility on the side of the wearer.
Cute Dragonfly Pendant
The dragonfly's transformation is significant and impressive to be an inspiration as a piece of nature-inspired jewelry called Cute Dragonfly Pendant. Our artisans perfectly combine the gold and silver hues to form a cute dragonfly in sterling silver jewelry.
A piece of must-have jewelry that radiates the happiness and joy of every lady wearing it. A timeless piece of handmade silver jewelry perfect for your everyday wear.
Sterling Silver Earrings
Amber Dragonfly Earring
The Amber Dragonfly Earring is a timeless treasure and a stunning nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry. A piece of handmade sterling silver jewelry that every woman would love to wear for a special occasion.
Dragonfly Labradorite Earring
This two-in-one Dragonfly Labradorite Earring comes with a detachable labradorite ornament that can be used multi-purposely as a necklace pendant. The dragonfly design serves as a reminder to someone to spread her wings and embrace the changes.
Labradorite gives feelings of strength and perseverance to people. It is also used to relieve stress and anxiety.
For all those who yearn for change, a piece of jewelry with labradorite would be a perfect symbolic present. It can also be given to those who will experience major changes in their lives, such as an expectant mother, a fresh graduate who just got her new job, or a newly-wed.
Dragonflies have been part of Earth and the cycle of nature since the Jurassic period for about 300 million years. With this, humans have had a long time to watch and admire them to the point that it becomes a part of many legends and myths written across the globe
Dragonflies have very interesting characteristics that resonate with us in many ways. It would be very difficult to replace the grace and beauty imparted by this creature in our humanity.
Discover amazing dragonfly sterling silver jewelry options in our online store Lotus Fun and bring home a piece of unique nature-inspired jewelry that represents great qualities that a dragonfly conveys.