With the sun peeking through the clouds in more ways than one, we’re emerging from our hideouts–our solitary cocoons where we’ve spent 13+ months. While it may take us a minute to adjust to the light (and social interaction), we’re here for it – for light, for hope, for rainbows.
A long-used symbol of hope in cultures across the world, rainbows are making a comeback – and not just in jewelry. Over the last year, children-made drawings and paintings of rainbows have been displayed in windows across the world, providing a recognizably colorful symbol of hope during the darkest of times. Google maps created a Rainbow Connection Map to showcase these rainbows across the world.
Rainbows have been used in Western art and culture since God sent Noah a rainbow after the flood. Aboriginal people of Pennefather River in North Queensland, Australia believe in the Rainbow-Serpent, one of the oldest continuous religious beliefs in the world. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the rainbow was goddess Iris. In Buddhism, the rainbow is the highest state before Nirvana. The rainbow is Indra’s archer’s bow in Hinduism, whereas it’s a crack in the sky created by five colored stones cast by the mother goddess Nüwa according to Chinese culture. The list goes on.
One of the most commonly used rainbows today, the rainbow flag was designed by artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker in 1978 as a sign of LGBTQ+ pride. It has since become a worldwide totem of LGBTQ+ social movements, as well as a symbol of hope for social equity and acceptance.
While the whimsical use of both the classic rainbow arc and ROYGBIV gemstones were growing in popularity pre-pandemic, infusing color, light and hope into our daily jewelry lineup feels more appropriate than ever. Whether the classical symbolism of the rainbow resonates with you, or brightly colored stones evoke My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite, rainbows are undeniably a sign of something better, brighter, and magical. And we all could use a little brightness these days.