Serpent jewelry was not always a subject of natural wonder or as an object of zoology but was used to symbolize a thought. Over time the snake came to symbolize many things, both positive and negative. In early Egyptian times, snake jewelry symbolized royalty. In Biblical representation, the snake was negatively used in the Book of Genesis where the serpent offered the apple to Adam and Eve. In the Dark Ages, snakes symbolized death and resurrection. A snake bracelet from the Victorian era usually possessed a snake’s head covered in turquoise stones with garnet eyes and a gold coiled body.
The serpent itself symbolized undying love or eternity. The turquoise stones symbolized remembrance and much later the garnet eyes symbolized blood disorders and anger. I have also seen a snake bracelet made out of finely woven hair with a gold head and tail. The bracelet was probably not considered a piece of mourning jewelry but a piece of loving jewelry.
The hair most likely belonged to a beloved husband or child. The hair was a constant reminder of their cherished family member. Over time snake jewelry came to symbolize sexuality, rebirth and wisdom. Other positive symbols of the snake were illustrative thoughts of rebirth and regeneration. Although snakes and serpents have many symbolic meanings-both positive and negative, snake bracelets from the Egyptian or Victorian time periods had positive symbolic meaning.