While it is generally known the world over that women love jewelry, that has never been more obvious to me than here on St. Croix. While I am accustomed to seeing women wear their jewelry when they go out socially, here on the island it seems like everyone wears their jewelry all of the time. Whether going out on the town, to work, shopping, swimming, or just hanging out at the beach, you will see the Crucian women proudly wearing wrists full of bracelets, custom-made earrings and necklaces, and beautiful rings.
You will probably notice many women here on the island have anywhere from one to dozens of bracelets (which they generally wear all on the same arm). In most cases, one of the bracelets will likely be a St. Croix Hook, also known as a Crucian Hook. The Crucian Hook is a band style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp (or ‘hook’) that is recognized as a symbol of true love here on St. Croix. If the hook is worn opening towards your heart, it symbolizes that your heart is taken. If the hook is worn opening away from your heart, it symbolizes that your heart is still available to find true love.
While the Crucian Hook is the most popular of that style of bracelet on island, there are many others such as those featuring cultural icons, hearts, shackles, or woven knots. There are also a number of bracelets to choose from that feature symbols of tranquility, family, strength, unity, positive vibes, or love; some even represent the different hurricanes that have hit the island.
Some of the local jewelers have also create symbols for their favorite causes, and donate a portion of the sales of those bracelets to their cause such as the Elkhorn Coral jewelry offered at ib designs (which supports coral restoration on St. Croix), Leatherback Sea Turtle bracelets from Crucian Gold (which supports sea turtle conservation through the St. Croix Environmental Association), or the Tree of Knowledge jewelry from Joyia Inspirational Jewelry (which supports Good Hope Country Day School).
The popular island bracelets are available at many local jewelry stores and are offered in an array of widths and sizes, as well as in silver, gold, white gold, rose gold, or a combination of several metals. Some bracelets also include pieces of chaney. (Chaney is essentially broken pieces of pottery dating back to the 1700’s, which were historically found and used by island children as play money. Now, chaney is made into jewelry making it wearable art since each piece of chaney is different in size, shape, color and pattern.)
Each jeweler seems to have a niche and offer something you can’t find anywhere else, so there really is something for everyone. In fact, there are so many talented jewelry designers on St. Croix that if you can’t find what you are looking for you can likely find a jeweler to custom-make it for you! And don’t worry guys, I know I talk about Crucian women and their jewelry but there is jewelry available for men as well!
Whether you live on-island or are just visiting, make sure to sport your Crucian bracelet. If you don’t have any yet, shop around and enjoy all of the beautiful and unique jewelry St. Croix has to offer and take your time picking out just the right bracelet for you!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor
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