Style Snapshot: Halo or No Halo? Halo or No Halo Style Snapshot: Halo or No Halo?
by Sam Niemeyer, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The halo, also referred to as a nimbus, is a ring of light used to represent a holy or sacred figure or person in art, most notably--the angel. As angel designs gain popularity in the jewelry industry to promote themes from peace to protection, designers are wondering, when does an angel have to be represented in jewelry designs with a halo?

Designing angel jewelry either with or without this famous symbol can represent different characteristics--both of which are recognizably angelic. Throughout history, angels with a halo have represented peace, beauty, friendship and charity, while angels without the halo have represented protection, strength and guidance.

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The classic angel image with the halo was developed by artists as far back as 60 AD in Asian culture and later in European culture when they wanted to show something or someone’s heavenly nature. As time has gone by, the halo has also been shown as a light-hearted and cherubic symbol associated with cartoons and Christmas decorations. This more modern depiction of the halo is valuable for creating jewelry with nostalgic appeal.

Other imagery associated with angels besides the halo includes stained-glass, feathered wings, angelic or cherubic faces and even swords, armor and capes. Using angel-based art (or inspiration from art like that used in Design CA0T) set in a bezel setting with ICE Resin®, you can create a pendant with a more traditional tone.

By utilizing the sense of beauty and light associated with the halo, you can create angelic jewelry lines without showing the actual angel figure. The halo, the similar optical phenomenon called a "glory," and other circular icons are special because they occur in a circle, which is a shape universally understood as protective, visually perfect and peaceful. This sentiment is the inspiration for bridal halos, tiaras, flower wreaths and headbands. The heavenly effect can be achieved through strands of yellow and clear crystals, pearls, feathers, flowers and precious gems like diamonds. It can even be achieved through the simplicity of a gold or silver neckwire with angel or wing charms and crystal drops or points.

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