Zodiac Jewelry: History Written in the Stars

by Alexander Baran
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In recent years with the popularity of modern astrology and the newest developments in astronomical research, the zodiac has become an interesting and noted topic of discussion.  The mass acceptance of astrological paraphernalia has also led to  a new trend in the world of piercings: zodiac body jewelry.

Zodiac jewelry is fun and unique, and believe it or not, has a history all its own.  The zodiac itself dates back further than 1000 BC, when different ancient civilizations began mapping, recording, and naming the constellations.  Astronomers from ancient Babylon are credited with crafting the first twelve section division of the sun’s ecliptic path.  Even today, the common English names for the twelve astrological signs are not actually English, but the original Latin.

The modern zodiac was not completely defined until very recently, when the exact boundaries of it’s corresponding constellations were fixed and designated in 1930. The twelve Western signs are Aries (March 21st-April 19th), Taurus (April 20th-May20th), Gemini (May21st-June 20th), Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd), Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd), Virgo (August 23rd-September 22nd), Libra (September 23rd- October 22nd), Scorpio (October 23rd-November 21st), Sagittarius (November 22nd-December 21st), Capricorn (December 22nd-January 19th), Aquarius (January 20th-February 18th), and Pisces (February 19th-March 20th).

Zodiac jewelry, including corresponding gems and birthstones, dates back to biblical times, although this too did not find it’s modern definition until the early 1900’s.  Ever since the 1970’s when astrology and horoscopes experienced a surge in popularity in the United States, all kinds of Zodiac jewelry have become available.  Some of the more common items include necklaces and pendants, charm bracelets, and belly rings.  These pieces generally come in silver, steel, pewter, enamel, or glass, and some even have clear or colored gemstones.  With more and more people wearing their astrological sign around their necks and on their bellies, the world may just be less likely to hear that age old question, “what’s your sign?”

by Alexander Baran

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