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Brooke's gold flower ring 3

A Unique Gold Flower Ring Design and its Special Girl Power

A Unique Gold Flower Ring Design and its Special Girl Power

What’s in a flower anyway?

As William Shakespeare famously mused in his play, Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” While a seemingly simple observation, it opens up a world of questions. If a name doesn’t define identity, why was the name “Rose” (popular a few generations ago) reserved for girls? Can’t boys embody sweetness too? Absolutely. Yet, flowers have long been associated with femininity. Why?

To uncover the relationship between women and flowers, one must visit the history of Western Civilization, its progression towards sophistication, and its undeniable association with women.

The Link Between Women and Flowers

Flowers and their role in society go way back. In ancient Greece, Aphrodite, the revered goddess of beauty, love, passion, and fertility, was always associated with flowers in Greek mythology. They were a potent symbol of her love and attraction. Poets of that era frequently extolled the allure of flowers and used them as metaphors to articulate concepts of love and desire.

The ensuing Romans were among the first to value cleanliness while culturally celebrating flowers and their pleasant smell. They esteemed good personal appearance in the form of hygiene and cleanliness. Romans felt that smelling nice distinguished themselves from the population of their neighboring Barbaria. An excellent observation, though not everyone would agree on the distinction. 

Chivalry and Flower Power  – a Precursor to Flower Jewelry

From the Middle Ages to contemporary times, the development of acceptable social norms has been significantly influenced by women, with flowers playing a fragrant role in the historical advancement of etiquette.

During the 1100’s, before she commanded armies and embarked on crusades, Queen Eleanor Aquitaine of France used poetry as a means to teach military husbands how to treat ladies. It was one of the first attempts at setting expectations of propriety between men and women. Shortly after, Daniel of Beccles published the Book of the Civilized Man making belching in public or having too much hair in one’s nose officially socially unacceptable. I am not kidding.

Queen Elanor of Aquitaine

It was during this period that the term “chivalry” was coined. It refers a code of conduct developed in the courts of Europe that outlined how men should act around women in order to respect their honor and dignity. Chivalry is also what started the tradition of men gifting women with flowers. It became common for a knight to give elaborate bouquets of flowers to the woman he was courting. From then on flowers became associated with love and romance.

Romantic photo of knight giving lady flowers

Throughout the Middle Ages, women of noble birth often cultivated private gardens, known as “pleasure gardens.” These were spaces where they grew an array of flowers for both decorative and symbolic purposes. The gardens served as places for leisure, socializing, and contemplation. Women and flowers became more and more intricately intertwined. 

women and flowers

The Feminine Touch on Middle Age Tableware 

It’s noteworthy that during the 1450’s the Venetian drinking glass gained tremendous popularity due its fragility. The upper class of Europe wanted to teach men to use their fingers tenderly, to become aware of their strength and its effect on other people and things. Not breaking something easily breakable became a social status. To be delicate and careful with one’s hands and words had started to become elegant. It was equated with being well-mannered and civilized – traits the female gender never had to learn from a book.

Later, when King Henry the II of France married Catherine de’ Medici of Florence in the 1500’s, she brought a wonderful innovation with her – the fork. If you think about it, the fork is a tool that slows down the process of eating as it allows you to cut your food into smaller pieces. Fork use replaced the practice of quickly ripping your dinner apart only to gobble it all down. Queen Catherine is credited with the fork use successfully spreading throughout Europe. Although the sophistication and fun of being a girl runs far deeper than the mere use of a fork, history certainly exemplifies the positive influence of feminine manners.

The innate wonderful advantages to being a woman are well documented. But the civilized feminine influence on the way we drink and eat aside, flowers continued to carry significance in their social meaning as time progressed.

Queen Victoria in a black and white photo

Back in Victorian England, upper lips weren’t just stiff, they were completely closed. During these rigid times, flowers were sometimes used instead of words. In fact, flowers began to symbolize not only women but specific messages. Floriography, also referred to as the language of flowers, is a symbolic communication system where different flowers and floral arrangements are used to convey meaning or sentiments, just like sending a personal note to someone.

During this era, flower species were assigned various meanings and used to express emotions discreetly, especially in situations where verbal communication was restricted or frowned upon. Nuanced messages were conveyed through the deliberate selection and arrangement of blooms. Floriography enabled people to communicate sentiments such as love, friendship, gratitude, or even secret messages in a subtle, aesthetically pleasing way.  

A Special Gold Flower Ring Design 

Brooke's gold flower ring
Brooke’s Gold Flower Ring

 Brooke’s Gold Flower Ring

The evolution of how we use flowers in society has certainly come a long way. And while the historical connection with women is clear, flowers continue to symbolize women and their beauty into modern times.

However, at Zeira, we have created gold flower jewelry not only because flowers are feminine and beautiful, but because we have a special mission. One that we wish to share with everyone, regardless of gender. 

A beautiful young girl, Brooke Hester, shined her light for only eight years because she lost her life to neuroblastoma. She had always loved flowers and when she got sick and lost her hair she was comforted by her flowered hair band. She took great pleasure in making more flowered headbands and giving them to other little girls who also lost their hair due to treatment. She made bandanas for boys going through cancer treatment, too. We are partnering with the Brooke’s Blossoms Foundation, founded by her mother, Jessica Hester, who is still sending flowered hair bands to children around the world who are battling cancer.

Brooke Hester, may her memory be blessed

Sending hair bands and bandanas to children fighting cancer is only part of the foundation’s mission. The Brooke’s Blossoms foundation also raises money for research into earlier detection and cutting edge, targeted therapies for pediatric cancer.  Therapies should be gentler and more tolerable throughout all stages of the disease – discovery, diagnosis, treatment, and remission. Cancer patients shouldn’t have to suffer so much, especially children. 

Brooke's Gold Flower Earrings - gold drop earrings
               Brooke’s Gold Flower Earrings

We modeled our gold flower rings, earrings, and bracelet after what Brooke loved – flowers, pink, the number 6, and making people smile. It was part of her feminine charm.

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