16.4.11

What Is Acrostic Jewellery?

Article

Your jewellery may not only look beautiful, but convey a special message by the way its gems are arranged.

Acrostics, is a word which is used for spelling a message, using the first letter of a series of words. The word ‘acrostic’ was derived from the Greek term meaning ‘top of verse’.  Several of the Hebrew psalms in the Old Testament used acrostics. There is also evidence that acrostics were once commonly used in poems and letters to convey secret messages in the Victorian times.

Acrostic ‘jewellery’ first appeared in 17th century England and France.  This involved setting combinations of crystals and gemstones into rings, brooches and bracelets. The gems would be set so that the first letters of the name of each gem, when arranged, spelled a message or sentiment. For example ‘Love’ could be spelled with lapis, opal, vermeil and emerald.

Jewellers sometimes resorted to what they called, ‘cheats’, to ensure the correct message was created in arranging an acrostic piece. For example, they used alternative names for some of their crystals and gemstones, such as the Chinese name ‘Yu’ for ‘Jade’ (using the Jade gem for the letter ‘Y’).  Modern jewellers often use simpler cheats such as ‘Yellow Zircon’ for the letter ‘Y’, and ‘Fire Opal’ for the letter ‘F’.

Although acrostic jewellery is not as popular as it once was, it is still available today at many jewellers. The most popular acrostic piece in Victorian times was the ‘Regard’ ring (picture above). The crystals and gemstones used were; Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby and Diamond. Today, the most common acrostic jewellery will usually spell the words, ‘charity’ or ‘hope’, in a ring or bracelet.

CHARITY
Cat’s Eye
Hyacinth (Zircon)
Aquamarine
Ruby
Iolite
Topaz
Yu (Jade)

HOPE
Hyacinth (Zircon)
Opal
Pearl
Emerald


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