Onyx & Crystal Skull Mala
This modern skull mala looks great on both men and women! Hey, and ladies if you buy it for your guy, you can even borrow it (shhhh!) Hand strung on strong nylon cord with 6mm matte black onyx beads and silver glass seed beads. Skull is crystal (glass). 108 beads.
The tough and sometimes menacing symbol of the skull actually has positive connotations that extend beyond its modern rock-and-roll image. The skull symbol in jewelry has been around for more than 1000 years, worn by everyone from kings and queens of old to kids and ladies who lunch.
The skull made its first real appearance as a fashion statement in the 15th century. Originally considered a symbol of power by philosophers like Plato and Tibetan monks, the skull became popular as an icon people wore as a “memento mori”—a reminder of their own mortality. (Directly translated, it means “remember, you must die.”) Eerie as that may sound, back then, death didn’t have the negative connotations it has today in western cultures. Instead, it represented the natural circle of life, including passage into the afterlife—under the protection of a range of mighty and all-powerful gods (depending on what you believed).
Queen Victoria started a trend of memorial jewelry in Elizabethan Europe, and the skull symbol featured prominently. Skull-adorned jewelry was worn to commemorate a loved one. Queen Victoria wore hers to honor her late husband, attaching locks of his hair to her jewel. At the time, it was a powerful way to hold loved ones near and dear.
In the 1960s, the symbol of the skull was embraced by the public—and was worn by rockers, A-listers, and more. More recently, Alexander McQueen made it a centerpiece of his fashion collections—and before you knew it, even children were sporting skull motifs on their clothes. Today we think of the skull icon as a little dangerous, a little tough, and stylishly edgy.
What does the skull symbolize to you? Would you add it to your jewelry collection now that you know the meaning behind it?