What Is Acrostic Jewelry?
Acrostic jewelry came into existence in the Gregorian era and flourished through Queen Victoria’s reign. It was a popular kind of jewelry during the Gregorian and Victorian eras and is characterized by having the first letter of the name of each stone spell out a word.
An obscure subgenre of jewelry today, acrostic jewelry has gems with secret messages coded in them. It was developed as a way to communicate terms of endearment and important dates or names using the first letter of each gemstone contained within the piece.
In acrostic jewelry, the first letter of each gemstone in a piece spells out a word. You most commonly see acrostic jewelry spelling out classic terms of endearment, like “adore,” “regard,” “dear,” or “dearest.” For example, an acrostic ring spelling out “dear” would feature a Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, and Ruby to spell out D-E-A-R. Another popular example during Victorian reign is “regard” rings which featured a Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, another Ruby, and a Diamond. “Adore” and “Regard” were among two of the most popular phrases spelled out with stones, but people also used dates or spelled out their own messages that were more personal, some of which might’ve taken longer to decipher. Usually, it was very clear in that it was an acrostic piece because of the sometimes odd combination of stones.
It is believed that acrostic jewelry was first created by Jean-Baptiste Mellerio of the House of Mellerio, who started designing jewels with gems that spelled out “j’adore.” Napoleon Bonaparte admired Mellario’s acrostic designs and commissioned acrostic jewels for both Empress Josephine and his second wife, Empress Marie Louise.
Secret messages of love encoded in gems went perfectly with the Georgian and Victorian love of romance and symbolic meanings. These sentimental jewels would have been gifted to lovers, family members, or even treasured friends. Acrostic pieces are highly collectible and are becoming harder and harder to find. Most of the pieces featured in this post are already held in precious collections of collectors in a safe somewhere, but not all. If you see one you adore, don’t miss the opportunity to possess it!
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