We all have a special something we wear for a job interview, before the big game, on a final test, when we travel or we give something that “captures” the feeling a person has on a certain special occasion and we want to make sure they will relive the moment every time they see it, well that special something is a token.
Without trying to write a treaty on jewelry I can tell you that token jewelry is of course designed to be worn, but it was also intended to enhance or highlight a particular mood, religious belief or spiritual significance.
Since prehistoric times jewelry was designed and worn as a protection from dangers, ornament and of course as status or rank; archeological sites have shown different ornaments made with shells, stone, bones, and in some cases feathers and animal skin. As the human race evolved and metalworking techniques were discovered jewelry production bloomed as a craft, status, fashion, trade and religious icons.
For example, in ancient Greece, jewelry was often used by women as offerings to deities and as dedications for thanksgiving for securing a loved one during wartime, in fulfillment of a vow, on a successful childbirth or for a cure. But male jewelry from officials and civil men were customary at the temples, however they were in the form of wreath, armlets, shields, pectorals and family symbols or scuds.
But jewelry was not exclusive of individuals, as the matter of fact, the State and Priests were the fondest of using jewelry for ritual offerings, military symbols, ranks and of course… protection.
As the centuries passed by and religions spread throughout the world, jewelry reflected the dramatic influence of status, religious origin and protective belief. Materials such as gold and silver was destined for royalty, nobles and high ranked members of the clergy; while copper, iron and pewter was usually left for the rest of humbler origins. Whichever the case, the distinctive mark was the cryptic inscriptions or symbols crafted on the jewel as a token for protection, love, union, military victory, you name it.
But not everything in token jewelry is exclusively about magic or religious beliefs, nowadays the origin and significance is far broader: foreign languages alphabets, words and colors, crystals and gemstones, universal symbols even vintage objects. Everything that denotes something special to us and makes us feel better is more powerful because of the energy and feeling we “place” on it.
Do you wear a special token? I know I do, actually… several of them! it all depends on what am I going to do, go or feelings I have.