What Does Butterfly Jewelry Symbolize?

woman holding a diamond and gemstone butterfly necklace in her hand

Butterflies have long held the fascination of people all over the world as a symbol of life, transformation, and spiritual change to name a few. This is likely due to the nature of a butterfly’s life and its magical metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a beautiful winged creature. Let’s learn more about the symbolism of butterflies and how to wear them as jewelry. 

Butterfly Symbolism in History

Butterflies have played a role in mythologies of many cultures which contribute to some of its modern symbolism. Throughout history butterflies have been seen as symbols of not only transformation and purity, but also death and sin. For some these transitions are symbols of hope, a sign that the human soul can break free from earthly ties, darkness and confinement and to fly into the light. The ancient Greeks were transfixed by this notion, identifying the butterfly with the essence of our being; the Greek word for butterfly is ‘psyche’, which means ‘soul’.

The Aztecs in Mexico believed butterflies were the souls of the dead, and the Hopi people believe that a wish whispered to a butterfly will be granted once the creature flies up to the sky. In Germany butterflies were believed to be the souls of children, and in Irish folklore it’s said that these creatures are symbolic of creation and transformation, and possess the ability to cross into the ‘other’ world. In some Christian beliefs the butterfly is associated with resurrection others with spiritual transformation.

Since the release of her 1997 album Butterfly, Mariah Carey has become synonymous with butterflies. Her iconic sequin butterfly top was the stuff of 90s teenager dreams, and she was never without a statement butterfly ring or necklace. Butterfly came at a tumultuous time in her life with her separation from Tommy Mottola. The music video for Butterfly captures a common butterfly metaphor perfectly as Carey escapes a dark, claustrophobic cocoon and goes out into the world with her wings spread wide.

Butterfly Symbolism in Jewelry

Metamorphosis and change are perhaps the most common associations with butterflies. For some it’s a totem animal to call when you need support dealing with changes in life. This beautiful winged creature can also represent the struggles that someone faces in life. If you want to mark an important milestone or if you’re looking for a reminder of your personal growth and progress in life, a butterfly ring or bracelet is easy to see as a daily reminder. 

When we think of butterflies we might also think of love; ‘falling in love gives you butterflies’. In Japanese culture butterflies are symbolic of marital bliss and in the West, there’s a wedding tradition of releasing butterflies after a ceremony and wishing happiness and love for the newlywed couple. Butterfly jewelry, including engagement rings and wedding bands are perfect for symbolizing a loving relationship. 

In many cultures butterflies are also considered a token of good luck. In Han culture the first character for butterfly has a similar sound as ‘good fortune’, and the second character is similar to the Chinese character for ‘the elders’, making butterflies a representation of a long life. If you want to attract luck and celebrate long life, a pair of butterfly earrings or a necklace is a stylish and meaningful choice.

Change and transformation are inevitable for all of us at one time or another in our lives, and for that reason and many others, people will choose to wear a piece of butterfly jewelry. If you’re considering a gift or looking for something for yourself, we can help you find the perfect piece. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!