Every part of the world has something special that mentally takes you back to that place. For the Virgin Islands, its usually pirates, rum, white sandy beaches and buried treasure…but residents and frequent visitors know the secret significance of the area’s signature piece of jewelry–the Virgin Islands Hook Bracelet.
The hook bracelet has a unique and simple design. Usually, it’s a beautiful gold or silver hook that slips into a hole created by a wrapped wire, which looks like gold or silver fishing line, to catch the hook– thus the name.
Shannon Sterling’s original legend of the hook bracelet as found her site www.TheIslandHookBracelet.com is as beautiful as the bracelets themselves. According to her story,long ago on the island of St. Croix, a beautiful young girl fell desperately in love with a sailor, and they planned to marry. She wanted to present her husband-to-be with a wedding gift that would signify their deep and unending love, but wedding rings–or access to them on a scarcely populated Virgin Island–were not an option. So, she raided his tackle box for fishing hooks and heavy leader and began to create. She snipped and smoothed the hooks, wrapped and braided the wire, and the first Hook bracelet was born. She made two,and on their wedding day, they clasped the bracelets around each other’s wrist with the open hook facing toward their hearts. They did this to signify that they were “hooked” to each other in love, and the tradition continues today.
If the open hook is worn facing the heart, it means you are lucky enough to have found your true love. If it is worn with the open hook away from the heart, good fortune will smile on “your every cast” and one day, you are sure to reel in true love.
The signature hook bracelet style is still the most popular among locals and tourists alike, yet there are more than 30 different Hook bracelet designs, each signifying different things. Some of the Hook bracelets are designed to commemorate storms that were devastating to the islands, like Hugo and Lenny. Local celebrities, like country artist Kenny Chesney, wears a hook bracelet to bring love and luck his way.
While hook bracelets are available on line, we highly recommend buying yours when you’re actually “on island.” The Hook bracelet should be personally sized for you, and it will have more meaning for you when you meet the artist and personally select your design. Custom made hook bracelets are available at local jewelry shops. Many shops on the island offer a variety of sizes and diameter length, so finding the perfect fit is never a problem. The Hook Bracelet is for both men and women, and is popular among couples who want to pledge their love to one another.
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