Mythical fire-breathing dragons always piqued people’s curiosity, especially in Eastern cultures. Since time immemorial, their images were celebrated in arts around the globe, and the art of jewelry is no exception. We didn’t stop loving dragons in the 21st century. Before putting on a dragon ring or necklace, wouldn’t you like to know what secrets these mysterious creatures hide?
Dragons in the West and East
Legends and myths depict dragons as strong and wise creatures covered with scales and breathing fire from their mouths. There is something irresistibly beautiful about them but, at the same time, frightening. Different cultures endowed flying serpents with different features.
In Japanese mythology, a dragon is considered to be a water deity. Traditional drawings depict it with the head of a camel, tiger paws, eagle claws, and carp scales. Jewelry and accessories crafted in Japanese fashion signify balance in life.
Similarly, dragons are held in high regard in China. They represent strength and victory over foes. Chinese dragons symbolize good luck, wisdom, and goodwill. Along with that, they signify power because only Chinese rulers were allowed to wear clothes and accessories with dragon motifs.
Oriental cultures in general deem dragons as benevolent creatures. This cannot be said about their Western counterparts. In Europe, dragons were the embodiment of evil. For German people, for example, these creatures personified greed and dark spirits.
Asian and European countries even depicted dragons differently. In Asian countries, dragons look like huge serpents with four legs but no wings. In the West, they have a thick body with a long neck and large wings.
Meaning of Dragon Jewelry
The look and ‘nationality’ of a dragon affect its meaning. While a dragon from Western countries is evil, cruelty, selfishness, and represents all facets of negativity, Eastern dragons are the exact opposite. However, if you choose Western-style dragon jewelry, it won’t mean that you are full of bad traits. On the contrary, you will show that you try to become a better person by defeating evil in yourself. The theme of self-improvement is especially clearly visible in jewelry that depicts a knight slaying a dragon.
In general, winged creatures from European fairy tales can often be seen in dragon gothic pendants, rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Gothic loves delving into negative aspects of human life, so a dragon is a perfect motif for this outlandish jewelry trend.
Jewelry in an Oriental style is an attempt to gain the favor and protection of a powerful being. We admire its strength and wisdom and want it to become our friend. However, a dragon won’t become your patron just because you want it to. You need to carry a special ritual to open the dragon’s eyes and activate its power. You can find how to do it on the Internet and try to wake up your dragon. But this ritual alone is not enough to make a flying serpent cooperate. You must take good care of your talisman at all times. Otherwise, it may take offense and use its power against you.
If you don’t believe in Feng Shui rituals and magic in general, dragon jewelry is still a great choice to set yourself apart from the crowd. Oriental dragons are graceful, noble, and beautiful, so are the pieces of jewelry that carry their images.
Dragon Images and Their Significance in Jewelry
Dragons are rarely captured still in jewelry. Their pose, facial expression, and general appearance elaborate on their significance. For example, a dragon showing its teeth and wings spread wide means power, hostility, and adversity. A dragon that rushes upwards denotes good intentions but if it flies downward it might have a hidden agenda. A resting or sleeping serpent denotes peace of mind and serenity. And if you notice a tiger next to a dragon, this is one of the numerous Yin-Yang representations.
In general, jewelry and any other piece of art that depicts dragons carries the meanings of greatness, power, wisdom, courage, longevity, prosperity, mystery, power, chaos, and brutality.
Colors an artist used to draw or craft a dragon are important as well. A red dragon is passion and love on the one hand and hostility and anger on the other hand. However, more often than not, this dragon will use this anger to protect its family or wards. Then it becomes a protector. Red color can be added to jewelry via colored enamel, scarlet gemstones, or plating.
A black dragon symbolizes respect for parents. To showcase this dark color, jewelry is normally constructed from tungsten, wood, or oxidized silver. Golden dragons stand for kindness, gentleness, and wisdom. It doesn’t have to be made of 14K or 18K gold; plated silver will do as well to craft its golden scales. If a dragon carries a lot of blue inlays (such as gemstones or enamel) it becomes a symbol of immortality, calmness, sincerity, and serenity.