Men's jewelry has long been used to symbolize power and status. Throughout history, men have been relying on various symbols to communicate authority, dominance, and other traits. Not only that, but certain symbols can identify a person’s affiliation with a group, religion, or culture that emits strong ‘power’ vibes.
Power Symbols: History Retrospective
Some of the earliest examples of men’s jewelry date back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. These cultures used jewelry to adorn their rulers, priests, warriors, and nobles with precious metals and gems. Some of the most popular jewelry symbols of power in ancient times include:
- Crowns - represented royalty or high status;
- Scepters stood for royal power and authority;
- Ankhs as a symbol of life and power in ancient Egypt;
- Lions as an embodiment of strength, courage, and royalty;
- Dragons denoted power, strength, and wisdom in Chinese culture.
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that jewelry was a way to communicate with the gods. Therefore, men’s body ornaments of that period often featured images of powerful deities and sacred animals. The pharaohs, in particular, wore elaborate headdresses, collars, and bracelets made of gold and precious gems. They were supposed to imbue the rulers with divine power and authority.
In medieval and Renaissance times, men’s jewelry became more elaborate and diverse, reflecting the influence of different regions, religions, and artistic movements. Along with that, body ornaments displayed one’s social class, profession, or political allegiance. Kings and royal dynasties utilized power symbols to communicate their authority and strength to the subjects and enemies alike.
Some of the most popular symbols of power in this period include:
- Crosses, which represented Christian faith and devotion;
- Rings, which were a symbol of marriage, loyalty, and authority;
- Brooches stood for nobility, chivalry, or heraldry;
- Medals signified honor, achievement, and recognition;
- Pendants were used to convey personal identity, affiliation, or sentiment.
In this day and age, men's jewelry has evolved to include a wide range of designs and styles. However, the symbolism of power and status remains. From the signet rings worn by the wealthy elite to the bold chains and pendants favored by hip-hop stars, men's jewelry continues to be a powerful tool for self-expression and communication of power.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular symbols of power in men’s jewelry in general and Bikerringshop jewelry in particular.
The lion is one of the oldest symbols in men's jewelry. Both people of the past and modern fashionistas use this symbol to represent qualities such as courage, dominance, and confidence. A lion’s muscular build and fierce expression make it a perfect emblem of masculinity.
Known as the "king of the jungle," or “king of beasts” a lion also denotes royalty and sovereignty. In ancient cultures, he was considered a sacred animal, with many rulers incorporating the lion into their regalia and jewelry. Today, lion head rings and pendants continue to be popular among men as a way of showing their respect for this majestic animal and the things he stands for. This jewelry can also be a way of expressing one’s own power as well as conveying a sense of confidence and dominance.
Dragons have been inspiring many generations of men. Since the flying serpent has the ability to breathe fire, fly, and control the elements, its symbolic meaning goes far beyond strength and power.
In many cultures, the dragon is a mystical creature with immense strength and intelligence. In Chinese mythology, it is a benevolent being able to bestow a deserving individual with good fortune, prosperity, and success. Oftentimes, men’s jewelry featuring Eastern dragons doubles as a lucky charm.
In Western mythology, the dragon is often portrayed as a fierce and powerful beast. It is admired by men who want to be as courageous and strong as the winged reptile. With dragon rings and pendants, they try to manifest boldness as well as showcase their inner power and ability to overcome challenges.
The arrow is not only the symbol of power but also direction. With its sleek and aerodynamic design, it represents focus, purpose, and determination. Originally, indigenous tribes deemed the arrow as a symbol of hunting and warfare, as well as traits associated with them – valor, braveness, fearless, etc. Later, the symbolism was adopted by various cultures and its belligerent significance was complemented with the meaning of protection.
The arrow is a simple yet powerful symbol that can have different meanings for different men. It can represent strength and courage, as it is used to hunt or fight. It can also stand for speed, direction, purposefulness, goal setting, and focus as it is used to guide, aim, and hit targets. Finally, it can speak of love and passion, as it is associated with Cupid, the god of love. So, when wearing jewelry featuring an arrow, you can express your personality and convey a meaning resonating specifically with you.
The material of arrow jewelry can also say about your individuality. A bronze arrow is able to show your adventurous spirit, a steel arrow displays your confidence and determination, while an arrow made of leather can manifest your warmth and affection.
The Ankh, also known as the key of life, is an ancient Egyptian symbol that looks like a cross with a loop at the top. With its unique and distinctive shape, the ankh represents eternal life, vitality, and power. Legends have it, the ankh was associated with various gods and goddesses, especially Isis and Osiris, who were linked to resurrection and rebirth. Along with that, the Egyptian cross was the choice of pharaohs as a symbol of their connection to the divine and their power over life and death.
In current jewelry trends, the ankh is a popular ornament for men's necklaces and bracelets as a way to honor Egyptian culture or one’s hope for eternal life and power. Wearing an ankh symbol in jewelry can serve as a reminder of one's own strength and vitality, and their connection to the divine energy that flows through all creations.
The circle is a timeless representation of such things as wholeness, completeness, balance, and unity. Its smooth and continuous shape refers to eternity as well as represents the cyclical nature of life and the universe.
Many world cultures view the circle as a conductor of divine energy and spiritual power, and subsequently use it in sacred geometry and meditation practices. In contemporary jewelry, it can symbolize a person’s interconnectedness with the universe as well as the infinite possibilities that life has to offer. Apart from that, this powerful symbol is able to add a sense of grace and elegance to any outfit.
As always, the choice of material affects the meaning of the symbol. For example, you can wear a gold circle pendant to signify prosperity and success. A silver circle ring will symbolize wisdom and creativity. If you opt for bronze as material, you are able to show off your endurance and perseverance.
The crown is more than just a headpiece. It is a symbol of authority and leadership used for centuries by the mightiest rulers who had somewhat divine power over their subjects. But why should they have all the fun? Men’s jewelry can also incorporate the crown motif to express such admirable things as confidence, charisma, and nobility. You don’t have to be a king, not even a person of noble descent, to have crown jewelry. However, you are required to be a leader, inspirer, motivator, and a person others look up to in order to deserve the right to wear it.
A crown can also represent one’s achievements, goals, and aspirations. It can remind one to be proud of who they are, what they have accomplished, and how they got to excel despite obstacles. A crown symbol is able to inspire one to strive for more and reach new heights. Besides, it can show one’s respect for tradition and culture. It can connect one to their ancestors and heritage.
Whether it’s a ring, a pendant, bracelet, or cufflink, a crown can add a regal and sophisticated touch to any outfit.
The Eye of Ra
The Eye of Ra is an ancient Egyptian symbol that looks like a stylized human right eye with the markings of a falcon. Also known as the Udjat Eye, it has long been associated with might and protection.
According to Egyptian mythology, Ra is the sun god, the creator of all things, and a watchful entity. The Eye is a symbol of his power and authority, and it was said it could both create and destroy. Hence, it has a two-sided meaning, which is protection and wrath. The Eye of Ra could act independently of his owner – Ra sent it to punish his enemies or restore order.
Interestingly, The Eye of Ra can also be a symbol of femininity and girl power. That’s because some ancient Egyptian goddesses could turn into the Eye of Ra. For example, Hathor, the goddess of love and joy, Sekhmet, the goddess of war and destruction, and Wadjet, the goddess of protection and justice, could take the form of the Eye of Ra to unleash fury on his enemies. Thus, ladies can also use this symbol to say that they are powerful in their own right and a force to be reckoned with.
The gavel is a symbol of power and authority in the legal system. No wonder it eventually ‘migrated’ to jewelry to represent the same concepts.
The gavel is a small hammer used by judges and presiding officers in courtrooms to signify the beginning and end of a session, call for order in the courtroom, or deliver a ruling. It represents the power to make important decisions, to administer justice, and to uphold the law.
When it comes to jewelry, it is a popular choice among those who work in the legal system such as judges and lawyers to demonstrate their respect for the law and the legal profession. However, the symbol is not restricted to law representatives. Anyone can choose it to convey one’s sense of fairness, integrity, and wisdom. Besides, it reflects a person’s values and principles. For example, it is capable of indicating one’s willingness to listen and reason, as well as demonstrating one’s leadership and influence. Finally, it can signal one’s authority and responsibility.
The bigger brother of the gravel, a hammer is often associated with craftsmanship and hard work. Hence, it represents the ability to build and create something from scratch. On top of that, the hammer can symbolize power and control, as it is used to shape, transform, and mold raw materials into something useful and valuable. In a metaphorical sense, it represents a man's ability to shape his own destiny and achieve goals.
The hammer is not only for creation but also for destruction. One mighty strike can turn obstacles into a pile of rubbles. Thus, a hammer is able to stand for the power to overcome adversity and fight fears. At the same time, a hammer is a symbol of protection. It can be seen as a shield against evil and a weapon against those who would do harm.
In Northern mythology, the hammer is a weapon of the god Thor. All the statement traits of the god can also be applied to his weapon of choice – strength, might, dignity, nobility, etc.
In modern jewelry, the hammer symbol can inspire the wearer to be productive, work hard, as well as strive towards their goals with determination and perseverance. It can also help express one’s creativity, skill, and passion.
Symbols of Power in Bikerringshop Jewelry
Here are just a few symbols of power you can see in men’s jewelry. At Bikerringshop, we ensured to incorporate them into our rings, pendants, bracelets, and other awesome pieces. We believe that everyone has the right to express their traits, aspirations, and passions. Do you like the idea of demonstrating your masculinity and the ability to affect your own and others’ lives? Then go ahead and check our range of edgy men’s jewelry.
There are many more symbols able to convey a sense of authority and strength. Learn more about them from The Symbols of Power in Men’s Jewelry: Part 2.