The meaning of frog jewellery has many dimensions to it. The frog is a Native American symbol of wealth and abundance. When a frog’s image is shown touching other creatures with its tongue, this symbolises the sharing of knowledge and power between beings. Frog imagery can supposedly also keep you from losing your valuables. Frogs carved into house posts were believed to ensure infrastructural strength in some Native American tribes.
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In Ancient Egypt, frogs appeared by the millions each year after the flooding of the Nile. Because of this, the frog was frequently seen as a symbol of life and fertility. This association is likely linked to the Egyptian frog-goddess of fertility, Heqet. As a result of the link between frogs and fertility, Heqet was usually depicted as a frog in Ancient Egyptian carvings. Sometimes, she took the form of a human woman with a frog’s head. When Heqet was feeling especially direct, she was a frog’s head atop a phallus.
In Ancient Egypt, it wasn’t uncommon for people to have statues of Heqet at various places of worship and near water. Heqet also featured in people’s homes to aid in fertility. The Ancient Egyptians also associated Heqet with resurrection due to her role in the Osiris myth. In the story, Heqet breaths life into the god, Horus. In this sense, frogs were intricately linked to the circle of life in Ancient Egypt.
Daderot [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
In Ancient Greek and Roman societies, fertility was also associated with frogs. Furthermore, they were also linked to harmony, and even licentiousness. There is a story of frogs praying to Zeus for a king of their own. Zeus sets up a log to be their new ruler. The frogs complain and protest this choice, wanting a more inspiringly powerful king. In typical Ancient Greek style, Zeus sends them a stork instead, and the frogs are summarily pursued and devoured by their new overlord. The licentiousness linked to frogs is understandable in this context. Their link to harmony is a little baffling, however.
In Medieval England, frogs were a somewhat divisive symbol. This is because frogs were separated into categories of ‘land frogs’ and ‘water frogs’. As a result of this, the land frogs were viewed by the Medieval English culture as representations of righteousness, while the water frogs were symbols of sin and all things sinful. Possibly because of this link, Medieval society also linked frogs to witchcraft, both as witches’ familiars and even as ingredients in love potion recipes. A result of this is that frogs have become linked with romance and love. You can see this in fairytales such as the classic story of the Princess and the Frog. In this story, a prince is in disguise as a frog, and only the kiss of the princess return him to his human form.
The meaning of frog jewellery can be whatever you want it to be, it would seem! Whether you love them or hate them, frogs have always been an important part of society. Furthermore, frog jewellery might bring you good luck; it might even find you love. A glistening frog can fix a multitude of problems if you let it.
Regardless of their reputation throughout history, frogs have always been a fairly common theme in jewellery. You can find them leaping on brooches and tangled up in pendants, and even wrapped around your finger in a ring. Because of this, we are lucky enough to have several items in our inventory that span a wide range of time featuring frogs. Delightful amphibians as they are, frogs are the perfect subject for accessories. Their vast array of colours and patterns make them easy targets for using gemstones in jewellery. Furthermore, they have a big range of shapes and sizes, perfect for lots of different kinds of jewellery. Check out our animal-related items for more prosperous pieces!
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.