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The Gothic Side

In different parts of the world, the word Gothic can mean different things. This one word has had many symbolisms and representations throughout history. As a result of its history, if you choose to start a conversation about Gothic, and do not specify gothic jewelry or subculture, understand you may receive different reactions from different people in different parts of the world.

The term ‘gothic’ derived from Visigoths, an army led by Alaric who sacked Rome in 410AD. This led to the fall of the Roman Empire. When the French understood what had taken place during the Renaissance period, it inspired the style of architecture we know as ‘Gothic’. Therefore, if you go to certain parts of Europe, mostly Italy and France, and ask about anything Gothic, you may be taken to church. The reason for this is many of the Catholic churches in parts of Europe were built with the gothic architectural style. Gothic architecture differs from other styles in that the arches are pointed, tall spires, gothic architect first introduced stained-glass windows, and they also boast statues of gargoyles and flying buttresses.

If you go to Great Britain, or even get around a group of people who love to read, and begin asking for something Gothic, you may be taken to the library or the bookstore. The origin of Gothic literature came about in 1764 when English author Horace Walpole wrote his novel The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story. Gothic fiction, which is seen in literature and film, is a combination of various genres put together. In gothic fiction you will mainly see horror, but you will also see death and romance. A very well-known novel in gothic fiction is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which dates back to the late Victorian era.

The term ‘Gothic’ that is mainly known of today is regarding the subculture. Also, derived in Europe, more specifically, in England, the Gothic subculture includes fashion, jewelry, and music in the gothic lifestyle. In the early 1980s the subculture emerged embracing the dark side - black clothes, black eyeliner, and hair dyed jet black. It was influenced by Gothic fiction, which mainly focused on horror. The subculture, itself, along with the jewelry represents death and reminds some that life on earth is short and widely embraced in Paganism.


Gothic jewelry, depending on the pendent, has deeper meanings embraced by the one who wear it. Mainly symbolizing death, and therefore emphasizing living, gothic jewelry varies in style. You can choose to wear a skull ring as a representation of someone who has died, and to remind yourself to live while you can. You can also choose to wear a cross to represent the deep spiritual aspect of life. Tribal art can be incorporated into both skull rings and crosses, along with other types of gothic jewelry. Each tribal print holds its own meaning.

Because the term ‘gothic’ is seen in various lights, depending on where you are, expressing your gothic side in the form of skull rings or gothic jewelry will allow others to catch on to what you mean by the term ‘gothic’.

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