Antique & Estate Jewelry / Diamonds / Gold

5 Pieces That Demonstrate the Endless Allure of Serpent Jewels


With origins that can be traced back to ancient Greece, serpent jewelry has been around for thousands of years. And it’s had its moments, time and time again over the years—including (but certainly not limited to) Queen Victoria’s engagement ring from Prince Albert that depicted a snake with ruby eyes, a diamond mouth, and an emerald head wrapping around her finger. While it might not seem like the most romantic of creatures, it’s actually believed to represent protection, femininity, prosperity, and rebirth. Currently, brands (such as Bulgari and Tiffany & Co.) have adopted the cold-blooded creature as their own. Below are five prime examples of the animal used in jewelry.

Bulgari serpent watch
Serpenti Seduttori watch in stainless steel and 18k yellow gold with white silver opaline dial, $8,550; Bulgari

Inspired by a serpent’s scales, Bulgari’s Serpenti Seduttori watch is flexible and lightweight, lying on the wrist like a second skin. It’s an iconic symbol of seduction.

Jessica McCormack serpent ring
Golden Snake ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.95 ct. t.w. marquise-cut diamonds and round sapphires, price on request; Jessica McCormack

Certainly a statement piece, Jessica McCormack’s Golden Snake ring drips down the side of the palm to portray the sense of a snake’s slithering movement. With a Georgian-era aesthetic, it’s a playful mix of antique and contemporary elements.

Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co bangle
Elsa Peretti Snake bangle in 18k gold, $5,700; Tiffany & Co.

A streamlined interpretation of a serpent, Tiffany & Co.’s snake bangle, designed by Elsa Peretti, sticks to polished yellow gold that twists around the wrist. It’s a modern take on the age-old symbol.

Ileana Makri curled snake necklace
Ileana Makri Curled Snake necklace (also at top) in 18k gold with 0.49 ct. t.w. diamonds and 0.02 ct. t.w. tsavorite, $3,490; Net-a-Porter

Part of a larger Snake collection by designer Ileana Makri, this necklace is a delicate take on the motif. Depicting a coiled boa, the piece is meant to serve as a reminder to continue to be adaptable and transform.

Vintage serpent ring
Vintage Serpent ring in 9k gold with garnets, $755; 1stDibs

Having an almost handwoven braid effect, this vintage ring represents two intertwining snakes. It’s a more romantic take on the reptile.

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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