When you visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can see the scarab bracelet of Wah. Dating back to Egypt’s middle kingdom around 1981 B.C., this silver and gold bracelet was found on a mummy that was located in Upper Egypt. Yet it is not just a bevy of Egyptian mummies that have been found wearing scarab bracelets. In fact, these bracelets are currently one of the hottest trends in jewelry all across the United States.
Of course, this is not the first time that the bracelets and associated accessories have been popular. Victorian England in particular was quite fond of Egyptian motifs and scarab bracelets. This coincided with several well-known British explorers who sent news of their discoveries back to the English queen. In the United States, Egyptian jewelry experienced its heyday in the 1950s. Amulets were popular jewelry items at the time, and Egyptian scarabs had the right type of mystique. The recent revival of the jewelry pieces can be credited to the latest re-release of “The Mummy” movies in theatres across the nation.
The original fascination with the scarab beetle is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt. Symbolizing rebirth, regeneration and revitalization, these ornamental scarabs were thought to offer wearers increased vitality and protection against eternal death. Not surprisingly, Egyptians incorporated the scarab into virtually all articles of jewelry, clothing and ornamentation. In the past, they were fashioned from clay, semi-precious gemstones and bone. Modern versions are made of precious stones and metals.
Green, blue and red used to be the favorite color choices for authentic scarab bracelets. They symbolized new life, the sky and the sun. In real life, scarab beetles are a lot less glamorous. In fact, they are a type of dung beetle that rolls balls of dung along the ground. In antiquity, it was said that this process mimicked the sun god’s celestial task of rolling the sun across the sky. While modern American audiences do not particularly care for the intricacies of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, they cannot help but appreciate the beautiful creations of the artisans.
Gorgeous metal work and intricate gemstone carvings have led to some of the most amazing jewelry pieces depicting the scarab. Added to bracelets as charms or beads, these pieces are fashioned from gemstones, glass, gold and other materials. Some estate pieces feature larger gemstones in oval settings. These stones carry rudimentary carvings that imitate the look of the scarab from the top. Although basic in design, the combination of gold, gemstones and a hint at the mysterious was sufficient to start another generation of Americans on a search for the once so desirable scarab bracelets.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts at vintage and estate jewelry and often carry scarab bracelets in our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut—stop on by and see us!
Or, if you prefer shopping for vintage and estate jewelry online, head on over to our eBay store where you’ll learn we are a top-rated PowerSeller with over 5,000 transactions to day and 100 percent positive feedback.