“Slinky, sexy and sleek, real and faux snakeskin is slithering into fashion this season. From neutral hues to bolder dyed colors, python and snake prints are capturing attention on both ready to wear and accessories.” – Accessories Magazine, September 5, 2018
Snake prints are having a moment this fall…on the runways and IRL. Judging by the way A-listers Rihanna and others have embraced snakeskin on the red carpet, it’s clear the reptile look will be with us for quite some time. So I’m polishing up my favorite serpent jewelry and shopping for some new and dazzling pieces for the seasons ahead.
Won’t you join me?
An Enduring Motif
The snake has been a popular motif with jewelry lovers since ancient times. One of its most famous fans was Cleopatra, who wore snakes on her crowns and upper-arm bracelets. Queen Victoria also collected serpent jewelry; in fact, she particularly loved her gold snake engagement ring.
Jewelry historians tell us the snake cuff, as we know it today, first appeared around 1890. The wraparound style gained popularity starting in the 1940s, when Italian jeweler Bulgari introduced its Serpenti collection of bracelet watches.
Snake jewelry had “a great resurgence in the 1970s, with slinky materials such as chain mail dominating the disco nightclub scene,” reports 1stdibs. Today, serpent jewelry from the ‘60s and ‘70s is highly collectible, while contemporary designs are available at every price point.
What I’m Buying
I’m obsessed with an amazing Chain Mail Snake Cuff from the 1970s, available on 1stdibs for $245. Manufactured by the esteemed metal mesh makers Whiting & Davis, it still has its original label intact. The massive gold-tone snake coils around the wrist four times, looking as fierce and powerful today as it did when it was produced. I consider this bracelet a vintage bargain, one I know I’ll wear again and again.
I also love a certain Sterling Silver Snake Ring on 1stdibs for $595. It’s pricey, so I’ve put it on my holiday wish list (hint, hint). The unusual setting features blue, black and white diamonds totaling 1.50 carats—a rare Fine Jewelry find that is well worth the cost.
The listing on 1stdibs says, “This ring is pre-owned and being sold in great pre-owned condition. Piece has been professionally polished and cleaned.” Once it’s mine, I’ll use my Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik to keep it dazzling through the New Year…and for years to come!
Did you enjoy this article on snake prints and serpent jewelry?
Read more about the meaning of snake jewelry, and see affordable examples inspired by top designers here.