Professional Jeweler Archive: Ogham Jewelry

May 2001

Precious Metals & Bench/News

Ogham Jewelry

Based on ancient Irish letters

Many pieces of Irish jewelry incorporate the Ogham alphabet, the linear script that’s said to be the oldest form of writing in Ireland. The Ogham symbols were carved on stones and correspond to the modern alphabet, according to Ogham Design.

Some believe Ogham writing was used by followers of Danu, the goddess of an ancient Irish people, according to Lee Bros., which produces a line named danu. These goddess worshippers believed trees had magical powers: the oak to give protection, for example. Each Ogham symbol relates to a different tree.

The danu collection, created by Irish designer Breda Haugh, features three of the Ogham letters, including the “D” symbol shown here. The letter D corresponds with the oak tree, and it’s believed that as a result, doors were traditionally made from oak to provide protection for families.

• Ogham Design, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland; (353-1) 276-5133,

• danu collection, Lee Brothers, Dublin, Ireland; (353-1) 862-1314,

– by Peggy Jo Donahue


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