The Menagerie: 20 Animal-Inspired Jewels to Be Wild About Right Now

20 animal jewels header

Each year, or in some cases a number of years, one animal or another seems to dominate the trends, from fashion to jewelry and home decor. By no coincidence, the Chinese calendar imparts its influence, from the coiled, slithering jewels that rose during the Year of the Snake to the equestrian-inspired styles seen this year, the Year of the Horse. But aside from those albeit gorgeous and popular looks, a number of other wild designs are making the rounds in a number of industries, jewelry being one of them. Below, some of my favorite stand-out species.


 Samuel B. multicolor gemstone peacock ring

The Samuel B. Collection

Peacocking (v): display oneself ostentatiously; strut like a peacock. Or, according the Urban Dictionary, dressing for attention.

The peacock motif—be it the entire animal or just its majestic feathers—has been popular for quite some time, with that popularity dwindling over the past couple of years. But I think it’s on the uptick again, and I have been seeing more designs that show off as much. And if peacocking defines the art of dressing for attention, what better way to demand a response than with jewels like these?

Evocateur double disc peacock feather earrings



Belle Etoile Love in Plume peacocks pendant

Belle Étoile

See: 5 equestrian jewels for the Year of the Horse


Cristina Sabatini Pavone pear earrings

Cristina Sabatini


Temple St. Clair emerald and sapphire peacock earrings

Temple St. Clair

Under the Sea. The nautical trend naturally gives way to a more literal interpretation of sea life, with creatures from the ocean such as seahorses, starfish, and even mermaids (not exactly what you’d traditionally call an animal, but maybe half?). Especially in the final breaths of summer, these motifs reign supreme (and bring memories of warmer weather when the temperatures drop).

Italian Design Jewellery Mermaid collection pendant

Italian Design Jewellery


BELLARRI Sea of Life pendant



Magerit blue topaz mermaid ring



West Coast Jewelry ELYA Designs nautical seahorse bracelet

West Coast Jewelry


Erica Molinari baby seahorse and starfish pendant

Erica Molinari

Super safari. Like it or not, leopard print isn’t going anywhere (though some wish it would). But a more literal translation of the safari trend is given life with animal favorites such as zebras, elephants (thought to bring luck!) and wild cats such as panthers, cheetahs, and the mighty lion.

Evocateur Zebra Dreams cuff bracelet



INOX Jewelry cheetah head ring

INOX Jewelry

See: 10 jewels for the Year of the Snake


Momentoss Simboli elephant necklace

Momentoss Jewel


EFFY panther bypass bangle



Charm America Giraffes in Love pendant/charm

Charm America


What’s bugging you? I’ll be the first to admit it: Even the tiniest spider is cause to send me clear across the room. But in jewelry, the arachnid is less scary, more interesting, and, dare I say, cool, even. The same goes for other oft-threatening species like scorpions. We’ve been seeing a ton of designs featuring bumblebees, a motif I love even if I cower in fear of getting stung by the real thing. And finally, the never-scary, perennial favorite: the butterfly.

Karina Ariana spider on a leaf pendant

Karina Ariana


Bibi van der Velden Midsummer Night's Dream cuff bracelet

Bibi van der Velden


Atelier Minyon black diamond scorpion ring

Atelier Minyon


Gumuchian B collection cuff bracelet



Lorenzo citrine butterfly jewelry suite

Lorenzo USA

What are your favorite animal-inspired jewels to sell in store? Share in the comments!

Need some help getting it into your showcase, or looking for something specific? Email me.