Many men who wear jewelry prefer the skull motif. Whether on a ring, a men's bracelet, a pendant, etc. If for some people a human skull symbolizes something terrifying, not everyone has this same interpretation. For some it is a question of curiosity, for others of admiration because they understand the true symbolism of the skull. Controversial or spiritual accessory? Let's shed light on the meaning of skull men's jewelry.
Symbol of skull jewelry
To get straight to the heart of the matter, skull men's bracelets, rings and other pendants are more than accessories intended to convey a certain idea of virility. For bikers, for example, the skull serves as an amulet. Its purpose is to protect them from accidents, to tame death in a way. It was the bikers who popularized men's skull jewelry throughout the second half of the 20th century.
This is mainly due to the fact that the skull symbolizes immortality. In ancient civilizations, bones represent the link between the mortal world and the afterlife. The reason is simple: unlike flesh, which breaks down quickly, bones can last for thousands of years, hence the association with eternity.
This explains why human and animal skulls have become ritual props in many tribal ceremonies. Even today, the skull and bones continue to be used in certain esoteric and occult rituals.
That said, we cannot deny that the skull also symbolizes death. It is found on the flag of pirates (in order to intimidate sailors), or in a more contemporary way on the packaging and bottles of products that represent a danger. We also find the symbol of the skull in martial history.
The skull was already used in the Middle Ages on the standards of certain Germanic tribes. This insignia will then be taken up by the Prussian army, and more particularly the order of the Totenkopfs (this word meaning skulls and bones in German). It will then be found everywhere in the German divisions, in particular in the Wehrmacht, the armored divisions, etc. It was also taken over by the infamous SS. Which probably explains why the skull enjoys such a bad reputation among those unaware of its full history and symbolism.
Who wears skull jewelry?
Rest assured, the vast majority of men who wear skull jewelry are not admirers of the 3rd Reich. It is more bikers, rockers and followers of the gothic style who prefer this kind of accessories. But also people that everything seems to keep away from these circles, a small skull to add a cool touch to a well-made masculine jewel.
The skull and crossbones was originally adopted by the American founders of the biker movement in the 1950s as a sign of rejection of the social political system that was created in post-war America. This taste of the bikers for the skull increased when they discovered the traditional Mexican rings which exploit this motif. This is a long tradition that dates back to the Aztecs, who used to draw inspiration from the skull to create jewelry, but also lots of decorative objects.
There is a certain death cult in Mexico, but it is not macabre. It simply represents the acceptance that without death there is no life, and vice versa. This is how bikers understood that the skull and crossbones could become their guardian angel.
For followers of the Gothic movement, this is an accessory that perfectly conveys their taste for esotericism, darkness and the suffering that life represents.
You have understood that, depending on its positioning and understanding, the skull can take on many meanings. If for some it is something negative, for others it is something positive. Lucky charm, esoteric, spiritual or violence symbol, there is no set answer. And because of this, the skull is also a symbol of freedom and independence. It shows that you don't care about the snap judgments that others might have against you because of this detail.
Many celebrities like to wear skull jewelry. You can think all you want of Johnny Depp, but he's definitely not an assassin! Or of all those rock stars who love this kind of jewellery, from Mick Jagger to Billy Idol via Ozzy Osborne. But, to tell the truth, the skull and crossbones is so widespread that it is much less associated with the circles that allowed it to establish its popularity. Adopting it or not is up to you.