Very popular in the late 16th century until the early 19th century, memento mori jewellery was used to remind the wearer of death and those who have died. It could take the most literal form such as a silver rendition of a human skeleton or skull, or maybe a coffin. It could be symbolic representations of death like the Grim Reaper or miniature busts of deceased loved ones. This provided a mystical approach to men’s jewellery that went beyond the functional and aesthetic value of jewellery.
Memento mori jewellery has evolved from the reminder of men’s mortality to something that aspires to the mystical aesthetic of things. A lot of people today wear skulls-and-bones inspired jewellery that appeals to men. It speaks of a beautiful horror that is death. This type of jewellery appeals to man’s inner quest for immortality or the reminder that we are not.
Artisans today of the highest calibre, craft the most intricate designs usually from silver, gold and even platinum which are the most pliable of metals. They can be twisted and pulled to form frightening skulls or fierce looking snakes that make up men’s rings. They can be used to make interesting details like human faces or a delicate flower to serve as pendants. They can even be made into hour hands and straps for watches. They also have the highest potential to be polished into shiny masterpieces.
The need today for highly decorative men’s jewellery is consuming. Men want object, symbol or human renderings in their jewellery to show people their personality and beliefs. This can be done easily. Customized men’s jewellery has been the rage lately. Like a tattoo, it can be done for any customer. Clients can go to specialty jewellery shop or internet sites that offer customized jewellery. They can search the catalogue or database for any design that they want and can add certain details that can be incorporated into the overall design. The personal touch is now the way to go in men’s jewellery. Customers can even sketch their own designs and take it to the shop for crafting. This may be a bit more expensive than ready-made piece of jewellery but it’s worth it.
Choosing the right design is also important for the person’s personality to show. A lot of men make the mistake of buying jewellery that doesn’t suit their personality. Some, in order to impress the ladies would pile on tacky pieces of gold necklaces or put a ring in each finger to project the godfather image. Men should remember that jewellery is an accessory. They are not meant to be the centre of attention. They should be worn to complement a man’s overall appearance. Their personality should not be covered by lots of jewellery but should shine through.
Like the memento mori jewellery of yesterday, men’s jewellery should represent something and not just as decorative objects. A man can project a stronger personality with the right jewellery; it all depends on his choice or the options available to him.