Let’s face it: Over the last year or more, hands have been considered kind of gross. Even our own, when and if we ventured out, became a trap for germs and didn’t feel safe until they were doused in sanitizer. And don’t even get me started on how we’ve worried about the things others’ hands have touched.
“Wash your hands!” “Don’t touch your face!” “Wear gloves!” “Keep your nails short!” While we’ve spent much of the pandemic focused on covering our faces in public, our hands have been publicly pummeled, too. Long gone are the days of handshakes, to be replaced by elbow taps or, even better, polite nods or waves from across the room.
Those days aren’t in the rearview mirror just yet (and handwashing is just a good hygiene tip anytime, frankly), but what we’ve learned about this virus has taken the pressure off the things we touch (just a bit), as we instead focus on the air we breathe.
And so, let’s take a moment for our hands, shall we? There’s been a noticeable trend in jewelry featuring the likeness of the hand—and though this trend isn’t spurred by the pandemic, we can find a way to relate it the pandemic, should we choose to. Our hands are the ultimate tools of our lives, our opposable thumbs giving us the power to do things so many other beings can’t. “You’re in good hands,” “Lend a hand,” “I wanna hold your hand”—think of how comforting and even romantic just the mention of a hand can be.
We use our hands to communicate: with sign language; with a wave to say hello, a thumbs up to communicate pleasure, a thumbs down—or perhaps the middle finger—to display, uh, displeasure.
Our hands have the power to destroy and create, and in this industry, perhaps that’s the most powerful idea of all: how precise, talented hands have given us such incredible bejeweled gifts. And of course, many jewelers concern themselves with hands when they create, be it an engagement ring or a bracelet.
So purchasing jewelry that celebrates the hand doesn’t seem such a unique notion. Spiritually, hands are celebrated as symbols of strength and power (the hamsa being perhaps the most iconic cultural symbol of protection), but on a personal level, we should stop to appreciate them on a regular basis, because hands are indeed one of the most miraculous things about us. So long as we keep them clean.
Top: Hand-drawn hand motif earrings in sterling silver and polysterol with sweetwater pearls, €120 ($147); AnzuFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine