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A History Lesson On Why We Love To Wear Skulls

Image: GETTY

Image: GETTY

Before Keith Richards wore skull rings on every finger, Herodotus, Plato and Tibetan monks claimed it as a symbol of power. In the 15th century people began adorning themselves with anything that reminded them of their mortality—skulls, and skeletons included—creating what are known as “memento mori.” The term translates to “remember you must die” not the brightest of sentiments, but death was different then we suppose. Queen Victoria took this idea and started the trend of memorial jewellery which rather than mark the inevitability of death, commemorated the memory of a loved one who has died (in her case, The King.) Skulls made it back in the 1960s on rock star royalty and then worked their way—albeit newly studded with diamonds—onto the immortal hands of the ladies who lunch..

#1. Sydney Evan 

Courtesy of Sydney Evan

Courtesy of Sydney Evan

Ruby and green garnet stud earrings ($880, approx. RM3421.90), sydneyevan.com

#2. Fred Leighton

Courtesy of Fred Leighton

Courtesy of Fred Leighton

vintage skull pin and black jade pendant necklace ($7,500, approx. RM29,169.30), fredleighton.com

#3. Shamballa

Courtesy of Shamballa

Courtesy of Shamballa

Rose gold and diamond bracelet ($54,430, approx. RM211,649.60), shamballajewels.com

#4. Catherine Michiels

Courtesy of Catherine Michiels

Courtesy of Catherine Michiels

Sapphire pendant necklace ($745, approx. RM2896.90), ylang23.com

#5. Amedeo

Courtesy of Amedeo

Courtesy of Amedeo

Black diamond ring ($2,860, approx. RM11,121.90), shop.amedeonyc.com

#6. John Hardy

Courtesy of John Hardy

Courtesy of John Hardy

Cufflinks ($550, approx. RM2137.70), johnhardy.com

#7. Ippolita

Courtesy of Ippolita

Courtesy of Ippolita

Gold and diamond cameo skull charm ($2,995), ippolita.com

#8. Alexander McQueen

Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Skull bangle ($345, approx. RM1340.80), alexandermcqueen.com

#9. David Yurman

harpers-bazaar-malaysia-david-yurman-skull-amulet

Courtesy of David Yurman

Skull amulet ($195), davidyurman.com

#10. Holly Dyment

Courtesy of Holly Dyment

Courtesy of Holly Dyment

Diamond and sapphire ring ($7,200, approx. RM27,997.20), shopbob.com