According to reports, Sylvester Stallone is gearing up for another installment of ‘The Expendables’ which promises to be meaner and cooler than ever. While there’s no dearth of bulging veins and biceps on celluloid, one can’t get enough of the insanely cool merchandise that the franchise made popular.
At the forefront, is the skull ring with the raven on it.
Skull rings are nothing novel. They have been around for decades, possibly more. But their popularity has skyrocketed in recent times thanks to a celeb obsessed generation that peers into the fashion trends followed by celebs.
And Hollywood’s obsession with the skull shows no sign of waning anytime soon. But it’s not just Hollywood. Sportsmen, rock stars, pop icons and even the average joe loves to sport the skull.
What is it about the skull that makes it so popular among both masses and classes?
Today, we analyze the reason behind the undying obsession with the skull and also show you some of the celebs who sport it like a boss on their fingers.
The symbolism behind the skull
Most people associate skull rings with leather clad biker gangs and the subcultures of the 70s that undoubtedly played a key role in making it a popular fashion accessory.
But the symbolism behind the skull in jewelry dates much earlier.
It is believed that the use of the human skull as an ornate object dates to the early 14th century when it was common to use the skull of the enemy as a sign of victory in war.
The practice is said to have originated in England but soon spread to other parts of the world.
Art was always inspired by the macabre and the skull with its deep rooted historical use associated with mortality and death has been a continual inspiration to portray various emotions. Shakespeare has used it repeatedly in his work. So have Venetian painters in the 16th century.
It eventually graduated into symbolizing danger and various additions like the cross bone and the wings were added to it. The wings in particular, symbolizes after life.
The rise in popularity in recent times has nothing to do with the history and the symbolism though, and everything to do with the uniqueness that it brings to the wearer.
Why people love wearing skull rings
One of the lesser known aspect of skull related symbolism is that it is often used to depict strength and masculinity and that may be one of the reasons why it remains so popular among men.
Bravery:Be it the motorcycle gang subculture or the notorious gun clubs of the underworld, wearing the skull is associated with masculinity, bravery and rebellion. Many men continue to use skull rings every day along with other jewelry to prevent it from standing out or looking like a sore thumb. But the fact is that it makes them feel confident and better about themselves. In a very interesting article, we read about this person who wears a skull ring because he and his wife were diagnosed with Mesothelioma and fought the disease successfully. According to him, the skull reminds him of his resilience in the face of adversity. But that’s not the first instance that we have heard of the skull ring depicting something other than what it’s commonly associated with. It was considered as a symbol of power in ancient Tibet by monks too. If anybody thought that the skull was worn by only violent and dangers people, then that puts that theory to rest.
Irrespective of whether you believe in reincarnation or not, skull rings are used as a memoir of a loved one passing away and the belief that there is life after death. Rather than portraying a grim reminder that death looms large over us, it is considered as a celebration of the life that happens after one dies. People have crafted their skull rings from precious metals and accessorized it gemstones to customize it.
It’s a staple for rock lovers
If you love rock, then you must have your own skull ring collection and wouldn’t be caught without it on your fingers. Be it Keith Richards from Rolling Stones who has sported the skull ring forever or Steve Tyler or Axel Rose, almost every rock star has used skull jewelry in one way or the other. Steve’s skull rings are crafted by ‘Courts and Hackett’, the London based jewelers. But you don’t need to spend anything nearly close. You can find skull rings made of stainless steel or sterling silver which look equally good and are available in a whole array of stunning designs.
Because it is cool
And if you do not need to associate it with symbolism, skull rings look insanely cool. They represent freedom, individuality and the fact that you don’t adhere with the rules set by society. You make your own rules and you live your life by them.
Some celebs that sport skull rings
One could argue that rock stars are able to carry off skull rings because of their overall edgy appearance with leather and tattoos dominating their fashion ensemble. But rock stars are not the only ones who have used skull rings and jewelry. Here are some of the other names that have been seen sporting the skull on more than one occasion.
Johnny Depp: And we are not talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean either. Johnny has a collection of skull rings including one that features a wedding band. His obsession with the skull doesn’t end there. He also sports a tattoo featuring, you got it, a skull and a cross bone.
Rita Ora:Rita Ora has been spotted wearing the skull not just as a ring. She has rocked the stage in a casual and contemporary skull printed outfit that was matched with skull bangles.
Joe Manganiello:Joe takes his skull ring obsession beyond the sets of ‘Day of the dead’. He has been spotted wearing the ring on many occasions and sources suggest that he’s kind of obsessed with it.
Katy Perry:Katy’s fashion sense has always been kind of, well, outrageous. Skulls are her way of adding to the quirky style that she sports. Remember the skull drop earrings in the Grammys followed by that risqué photo shoot in that sheer blouse? Jeez!
You can use it as a symbol that depicts darkness, but you can also use it to portray your courage in the face of adversity. It can be casual, rebellious or plain edgy. So to answer the main question, YES! Skull rings in 2019 are the most versatile jewelry pieces in the world and you will never find yourself short of reasons to wear it.