Charms have been worn for thousands of years, not just for their decorative appeal, but often to symbolise good luck, love and spiritual forces. During prehistoric times, charms were made from shells, animal bones and clay. Later charms were made out of gems, rocks, and wood. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt believed their charms would pass with them into the afterlife. Knights of the Middle Ages wore charms on their belts to identify their status and ancestry. During the sixteenth century, talismans would be carried into battle to ward off evil and bring good fortune to their owners. Queen Victoria invented the charm bracelet as we now know it and her appreciation of these jewels quickly spread throughout European nobility. Charms reached a new height of popularity after the Second World War when service men would bring charms home to their sweethearts from all over the world. With people longing for connection with each other, charms became a way to express feelings and preserve memories. By the 1950s, every girl had a charm collection, with each new bobble commemorating a life milestone. Charms remain a popular jewelry item, as personalized keepsakes feel more intimate in an increasingly mass-produced jewelry market. Popular themes include initials, horoscope signs, birthstone charms, travel souvenirs, and family keepsakes.
The Mano (meaning 'hand') Figa (meaning 'fig' - a slang term for female genitalia) is a well known talisman dating back nearly 8,000 years. It's depicted by a clenched fist, with the thumb protruding between the index and middle finger. Known around the world with a variety of meanings, antique figa jewelry is especially common in Italy and Brazil, and vintage figa amulets are now very popular among collectors! It's meaning has evolved over the ages from something offensive to now being a good luck symbol. The gesture is supposed to be so 'obscene' that is scares away evil. Ha! Whether you believe it is an obscene gesture or a talisman that protects from evil, it still is relevant today. This Victorian carved bone Figa has long spirals of gold inlaid along the arm with little gold finger nails too! It would look great layered in with other charms. It shows wear consistent with age.
About this item
Hallmark: not visible
Metal: 14k gold
Stone: carved bone
Measurements: 1 1/8x3/8"
Condition: Good (item shows moderate wear).
Please note this charm is sold without a chain. If you'd like it on one of our chains, please select one in the drop down and we will assemble it for you. If you'd like to see full length shots of the various chain styles, head over here.
If you'd like to layer it on your own necklace at home, that may or may not require a jeweler to solder it (it all depends on the size of the bail + the clasp on your personal chain). In an effort to streamline things and save everyone time and money on shipping, if you need it professionally assembled on your personal jewelry, we politely decline that service and recommend taking it to a local jeweler. We're happy to give our input on how they should assemble if needed.
Notes About This Collection
The entirety of the Heritage by Ariel Gordon Collection has been inspected by a 3rd generation, GIA-certified Estate Jewelry dealer so we feel confident about the pieces that we are passing on to you. Every piece here has survived generations and we are so excited that they are finding a new home with you. Please keep in mind that these heirlooms are sold as-is and will show wear consistent with their age. We believe that this wear isn't a defect, rather it's proof that the piece was worn with love in generations past. We will describe any notable wear or damage as accurately as possible and to the best of our ability. We are only selling pieces that we've determined are in wearable condition. That being said, please know that jewelry in general is fragile, especially antique jewelry and should be handled with extra care. We will assess all repair requests on Heritage pieces on a case by case basis.
We know that shopping online for estate pieces can be intimidating, which is why we will accept returns on our Heritage pieces (with limited terms). Due to the one-of-a kind nature of these pieces, you can return it within 5 days of receipt of the item with a $25 restocking fee.
If you're unsure about anything, please reach out to us via our concierge portal with any specific questions about this item.
Please accept our terms to complete your purchase:
Because we make all our jewelry to order and the price of our raw materials is so high, all orders purchased using a discount code are only eligible for either a FULL refund in the form of a store credit or a refund to the original payment method MINUS a 15% restocking fee.
AGJ offers free returns for a full refund or store credit within 45 days of delivery of your new jewelry. Exclusions may apply. Returns only valid on eligible items. Custom / engraved / birthstone / personalized jewelry is final sale.
We make all of our pieces by hand in our studio in Los Angeles and do our best to turn orders around as quickly as possible. Due to Covid-19 we are experiencing delays and appreciate your patience as we navigate this new normal. As such, all items in the
IN STOCK collection will ship within a few days. All other styles will be added to our production queue and will ship in 5 - 7 weeks.
All international orders are subject to import taxes, customs duties and brokerage fees levied by the destination country and the recipient is responsible for paying these fees. All international orders are final sale.