Honoring Mom: The History and Significance of Mother’s Day Jewelry Gifts

Have you ever considered the origins of Mother’s Day? A common and surefire way to impress the mother figure in your life is with some jewelry, but where did that start? Simple appreciation? Or is there something more to it? Take a look at our guide to the history of Mother’s Day and worshiping your mother figure.

Modern US Mother’s Day

The first official Mother’s Day was celebrated in the US in 1907, when Anna Jarvis hosted a service of worship at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. It came about, oddly enough, due to the Civil War. The idea was to reunite all the surviving and grieving soldiers with their mother’s that were waiting on them to return, in an attempt to resume some peace. At that point, it’s not likely that gifts – if any – were so glamorous as jewelry, but the soldiers made do with what they had. Whether that was flowers picked on the way home or simply their presence, the mothers were happy to receive them. And so, the holiday developed from there.

Mother’s Day in Europe

In Western Europe, Mother’s Day isn’t in May, but in March, and is technically called Mothering Sunday. Specifically, it is held during the fourth Sunday of Lent, where it is mixed in with other Christian springtime celebrations like Easter Sunday. The medieval origin of the concept of Mothering Sunday sees people getting baptized and taken into the Mothering Church.

This is all despite it not being an official Christian holiday. Mother’s Day is a day for everyone who has or appreciates a mother in their life. The concept was co-opted by Constance Adelaide Smith and with the popularity of the American holiday, was expanded to honor the Mother Church, Mother Nature, the Virgin Mary and the “mothers of earthly homes”, i.e. your mother figure.

If we are looking for inspiration in history’s mother figures, the Virgin Mary is often depicted with a sapphire pendant or necklace in Renaissance paintings, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, since blue and red clothes were the universal symbolism for Mary.

Jewelry as gifts

Jewelry as a gift for your mother is a relatively new concept in comparison – one that makes perfect sense. Jewelry has always been used as a way to show appreciation. That started with being a gift to ward off bad luck and ill health, but the beauty and value of jewelry have sustained and therefore makes an obvious choice to show your appreciation to your mother.

Birthstone rings

There is an argument that birthstones throughout history were not in fact meant for children but for mothers. So, while Westerners might be buying birthstones to add to their own collection of jewelry, there is also a history of gifting mothers birthstones of their children.

Fast forward to today, you can get rings, necklaces, charms, and bracelets that feature the different birthstones of the different children in the family to offer to your mother. With trends in colorful gems rising in rings particularly, you can get lovely arrangements of various birthstones in the one piece. If you’re interested in looking at Mothers Day rings, take a look at the Best Brilliance Mother’s Day collection.

Worshiping Rhea

Of course, there are lots of mothers in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. The Greek god family tree is extensive and overlaps sometimes, but Rhea was the mother of all gods. As the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia, arguably the mother of the planet, Rhea was mother to the six eldest Olympian gods, including Hera, Demeter, Hestia, Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades.

She was worshiped on the Greek island of Crete, not least for her role in saving her children who were being consumed by their father Cronus so as to not overthrow him. There are lots of temples dotted throughout Greece in her name, including in Akriai and Attika.

However, a lot of us don’t really have the means to build temples in the name of our mothers. Think of the paperwork alone! So, if we are to take a tip from Rhea’s followers, we should dance with tambourines and drums in her honor. However, Rhea’s defining symbol was her crown, so should the people of Crete have a few more pennies in their pocket that would have made a great offering the way a necklace to your own mother is today.

Worshiping Nut

Going even further afield, the Egyptian goddess, Nut, was considered the mother figure of Egypt. Her role as goddess of the sky, stars, and cosmos only added to her motherly figure. She was famously depicted as an enormous cow that stretched across the heavens, feeding her subjects from her udders.

Though we don’t suggest making that comparison with your own mother figure, it’s no secret that the Egyptian nobility loved their gold and gems and often offered them as gifts to the gods and goddesses.

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