September 29, 2021

What Is Acrostic Jewelry?

Colored gemstones

If gems could speak, what would they say? Well, thanks to acrostic jewelry, gemstones are able to share secrets, messages, and feelings. Called the Language of Stones, acrostic jewelry places gemstones in specific orders in order to spell out words.

The Language of Stones

In acrostic jewelry, the first letter of each gemstone in a design is used to spell out a word. For example, a necklace with a diamond, emerald, amethyst, and ruby would spell out “dear.” Traditionally used to send messages of love or endearment, acrostic jewelry pieces are precious secrets known only to the wearer and the giver.

The History of Acrostic Jewelry

Experts believe that a French jewelry designer named Jean-Baptiste Mellerio was the first to create acrostic jewelry. As the story goes, back in the 1700s, Mellerio was inspired to create a ring that spelled out “j’adore,” French for “I love,” using an amethyst, diamond, opal, ruby, and emerald in that specific order. As Mellerio was a well-known jeweler in the French court, his idea soon captured the interest of none other than Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine.

In the Georgian Period, romanticism and glittering jewelry were both very popular. So, it makes perfect sense that these secret, gem-based love letters became equally popular all across France and the rest of Europe. The trend even caught on in Britain despite the ongoing wars between the two countries. 

Acrostic jewelry only increased in popularity, reaching its height in the Victorian Era from about 1837 to 1901. The Georgian acrostic pieces were quite obvious in their love-letter nature, usually shaped like hearts or love knots. The Victorian acrostic pieces, however, were much more subtle and were often easily confused with standard jewelry.

Popular Acrostic Words

There are a limited number of gems used in jewelry, so there are a limited number of French and English words that can be spelled using the Language of Stones. Some of the most popular acrostic words included:

  • Regard – This word was so popular that acrostic jewelry is sometimes referred to as regard jewelry. It was spelled out with a Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, and a Diamond.
  • Dearest – This word was spelled with a Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, and either a Turquoise or a Topaz. Because “dearest” is a longer word than other acrostic messages, pieces spelling it out were often much more expensive.
  • Adore – As the story goes, the first acrostic word ever was the French “J’adore.” It’s an easy translation into the English “adore” with the gems Amethyst, Diamond, Opal, Ruby, and an Emerald.
  • Amitie – French for “friendship,” amitie was a popular acrostic piece between friends or confidants. It is traditionally spelled with an Amethyst, Malachite, Iris, Turquoise/Topaz, Iris, and an Emerald.
  • Amour – Amour is French for “love,” so, naturally, it was a very popular acrostic message with the gems Amethyst, Malachite, Opal, Uranite, and Ruby.

Write Your Personalized Message With F. Silverman Jewelry

F. Silverman Jewelers in Bergen County can help you create a stunning, personalized jewelry piece that can whisper a secret message or simply symbolize a feeling. Visit us today!

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