The meaning behind swallow jewellery is completely and utterly romantic. I mean, it makes sense – swallows mate for life and are said to always go back to their nest. The swallow is associated with loyalty, love, and peace. The swallow itself is a very joyful, hopeful, and decisive bird. I think many of us would like to think that the swallow is their spirit animal – I certainly would. Whoever put the swallow in jewellery knew what they were doing! Today, I’ll be exploring some of the more well-known meanings behind the swallow brooch.
‘I Will Return’
It is believed that swallows lead ships home when they were coming into port, and prevented the crew from getting lost. Because of this connotation, swallows often represent faithfulness and a wish for your loved one to return home to you safely. An item with a swallow on it was often given to loved one when they set out on a journey. An item of swallow jewellery was also given to loved ones who were seeing a loved one off, to express ‘I will return’. This piece of jewellery would be thoroughly cherished while the loved one was away. It even became a sort of symbol associated with World War One as it was often gifted during this period to family members or loved ones.
Another symbol associated with the swallow is the swallow’s nest, which symbolises a happy marriage and blessings of children – just another beautiful meaning behind the swallow brooch. It is in this way that a swallow brooch, particularly one including a nest or eggs, could be a stunning wedding present, or baby shower gift. A great option, particularly if you’re struggling on the gift-front.
Some of us may not know, but in Christianity the swallow actually is a reference to Incarnation of Christ and his Resurrection. This is because it appears every spring, in a way to announce the arrival. It appears in many murals and paintings, so keep your eyes peeled whenever you visit an ornate Church or Cathedral.
A swallow brooch then will have an even more special meaning for those who follow the Christian faith. It would therefore make a gorgeous confirmation or baptism gift, or even perhaps an Easter gift.
It has been said that in the past people believed that the swallow was a representation of the soul of someone who has just died. The idea being that in death the soul passed on, and took on the form of a swallow. I personally quite like the idea that our loved ones have moved on but are enjoying freedom, and take to the skies when their soul moves on. A swallow brooch then could be a beautiful reminder of someone you have loved and lost.
It is worth saying that birds in general have some beautiful symbolism behind them. Many of us admire birds, how care-free they seem, their ability to fly, and their general beauty. This beauty is therefore a great choice for incorporating into jewellery. I might be slightly biased, but I have to say that the swallow is my favourite bird to be immortalised in an item of jewellery.
What do you think? Have you been moved by the meaning of the swallow brooch? Have you done some digging of your own? Let us know in the comments below.
Rachel Atkinson – Digital Assistant
Rachel is AC Silver's Digital Assistant helping the website and marketing team with many digital tasks including blog post creation and social media assignments.