Winterchild Silver Jewelry - Symbolic, meaningful sterling silver jewellery from Canada's North.
 

Symbol Selection

All of our handmade, sterling silver and two-tone copper & sterling silver jewellery (necklaces, earrings, and bracelets) are available in 46 original Canadian symbols. Esther Winter, jewellery designer draws each original Winterchild symbol by hand. The symbol is then forged into a hardened steel stamp. Next, the stamp is hammered into the sterling silver or copper to create an imprint. Final touches include curving the silver or copper and polishing. Handcrafted in the Yukon, Canada.

Alternatively, you may wish view our symbols by theme.

 

Reference Scale

Jewellery Reference Scale

Scale shows size of the symbols on a sample 14mm silver disc.


 

45 Symbols to Choose From

 
Arnica (Northern Daisy) Silver Jewellery

Arnica (Northern Daisy)

These cheerful yellow daisies stand tall and proud and can be found growing on the gravelly roadside banks. In our very short Yukon summers the first arnicas to arrive bring an instant smile to my soul. They are my favourite flower.


Aurora Dancing Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Aurora Dancing

I named this lovely dancer Aurora, she dances to her own rhythm, and in her wake she leaves beauty. Were I the wise woman of an earlier, less-scientific time, I believe this would have been my explanation of the magical Aurora Borealis.


Beautiful Mother Silver Jewellery

Beautiful Mother

For the Chinese, the symbol of the Day Lily central to this design represents "honouring one’s Mother". As a child, no other face is as well loved and as beautiful as that of our Mothers. She has nurtured us and given so much of herself and in return we love and honour her.

"I love you... beautiful mother of mine"


Beaver Silver Jewellery

Beaver

Beavers are animals I have a lot of respect for. I admire their remarkable work ethic, their ability to actually construct dams and lodges and especially their tightly knit family unit. I’m sure you’ll agree that the seconds between catching sight of a beaver and hearing the sharp slap of its tail on the water is truly delightful!


Buffalo Sterling Silver Jewellery

The Buffalo

As a child of the great depression my Father spent many summer days searching the nearby dry lakebed for arrowheads. Many years before native hunters must have hunted buffalo at this exact spot. What an honest hunt this would have been. The hunted buffalo would have provided food, clothing, fuel for fires and shelter for their tribe.

It is one of the unpardonable pieces of our history that the buffalo nearly became extinct. Thankfully, today the buffalo’s numbers are steadily increasing through private and public efforts.


Butterfly Silver Jewelry

Butterfly

We are all happily caught off guard by the sighting of a butterfly, and effortlessly a smile steals across our faces. This universal reaction truly is amazing. Butterfly's metamorphosis also captivates us and gives us inspiration during difficult times in life. When life's journey is hard we need the hope that we can succeed. May this symbol inspire you to keep pushing on.


Canada Goose Symbol on Sterling Silver Jewelry

Canada Goose

The sight and sounds of a flock of Canada Geese flying overhead in their wide heavenly “V” are such a welcome sight every spring and fall. They truly mark the changing of the seasons for us. I admire their strong family bonds including mating for life and keeping their young with them for an entire year.

As a flock they are perfect examples of how much teamwork can accomplish, during migration flying an astonishing one thousand kilometers a day. This is a truly extraordinary accomplishment and a lesson for us to learn about how very important teamwork is.


Caribou in the Moonlight Silver Jewellery

Caribou in the Moonlight

The image that comes to me when I am thinking about the caribou, is how they are on a seemingly endless journey throughout their lives, never resting long in any specific place. Their journey has them swimming across ice-laden rivers and marching through mountain passes to the vast northern plains of the Yukon. It is a truly admirable journey undertaken by the youngest calf through to the oldest in the herd. What an incredible life to lead.

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Cat Paw Print Silver Jewellery

Cat Paw Print

This symbol was created as a tribute to our feline friends. Cats are prime examples of independence and personality. I love that they always land on their feet and how they have perfected the art of lounging about and demanding all the love and attention they need!!!

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Dandelion Fluff Jewellery

Dandelion Fluff

What child hasn't delighted in making a wish and blowing the fluff from a dandelion on a lazy summer afternoon?

The symbol of the dandelion fluff lazily floating in the air captures this feeling of endless possibility. We are reminded to slow down and enjoy living in the moment.


Dog Paw Print Silver Jewellery

Dog Paw Print

Oh, how we love our dogs... their antics bring us smiles every-day! Who could ask for a better friend? Our dogs love and adore us and are as loyal a friend as we will ever know.

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Dolphin Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Dolphin (Pacific White-sided Dolphin)

The dolphin is perhaps the most well-loved of all ocean mammals. Their speed and acrobatics delight us, but it is their friendly character that really charms us.

While often thought of as a symbol of warmer areas, dolphins can be included in Canadian symbolism as well for they live in all of the oceans surrounding Canada, the North Pacific, the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic.

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Dragonfly Sterling Silver Jewellery

Dragonfly

A favourite memory is canoeing lazily in a pond near Mayo, with flashes of iridescent blue and green dragonflies buzzing everywhere. Few performances have captivated me so well. They had my undivided attention.

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Eagle Circling Sun Silver Jewelry

Eagle Circling Sun

There are so many things to admire about the eagle. In this design, I envisioned her high up in the sky, circling the sun. She is soaring higher and higher, delighting in her freedom and her strength.

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Elk Silver Jewellery

Elk

One morning I recall the pleasant surprise of waking up to a resting Elk calmly munching away on the grass just outside my tent. What an unforgettable morning that was!

Elk are the second largest members of the deer family in North America. Being very social, elk are often found in herds and are very vocal with each other. Anyone fortunate enough to hear the sound of a male elk bugling during rutting season will not soon forget such a remarkable performance.

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Falling Star Silver Jewellery

Falling Star

In her final performance, Falling Star dives gracefully and swiftly, going out with such extreme energy and brilliance that she leaves all of us on earth breathless.

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Fireweed Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Fireweed

The long, graceful fireweed is the Cinderella of the flowers. Where there is only charred wood from a past forest fire, the fireweed, as if by a wave of a wand covers this cheerless scene in a fuchsia blanket and we can then see beauty where before we could not.

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Friends Sterling Silver Jewellery

Friends

Isn't this what we all want for our closest friends, to grant them their dearest wishes, to save them from their sadness, and to bring them deep joy?

These young friends playing dress-up and the one granting her friend's wish captures the meaning of friendship beautifully.

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Grizzly Cub Silver Jewelry

Grizzly Cub

The image of the grizzly cub brings to mind a playful, inquisitive fellow who is so much like we are as children. Grizzly cub's zeal for life is completely captivating. I am inspired to watch, listen, touch and taste as they do, to experiment more, and lose myself in the moment more often.

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Grizzly Paw Print Silver Jewelry

Grizzly Paw Print

When coming upon a Grizzly Paw Print we are instantly more aware of our surroundings and our senses become heightened, we quickly assess how old the print is and gauge our actions based on this.

The Grizzly Bear is one of the most admired as well as the most feared of all the animals. The Grizzly Paw Print symbolizes strength, fearlessness and respect for boundaries.

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Harvest Moon Silver Jewellery

Harvest Moon

Once this image came to me I could not get it out of my mind, it is the true harvest moon, complete with a branch of fall leaves along his crest and dried leaves gracefully floating below into space.

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Horse Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Horse

As the daughter of a rancher I started riding horses very young and recall proudly getting to skip kindergarten classes in order to help round up our cattle from the high range. My fondest childhood memories of my father are of these days.

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Hummingbird Silver Jewellery

Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are spectacularly skilful fliers, both capable of hovering and changing direction in midflight. As well, their wings beat at an incredible 55-75 beats per second, an almost impossibly fast action.

Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas and when Spanish explorers first encountered hummingbirds in the New World they called them "Joyas Voladoras". I believe this is the perfect name for the hummingbird for the translation means "flying jewels"!

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Husky Racing Sterling Silver Jewellery

Husky Racing

Every winter, Yukoners avidly follow the progress of the dog teams participating in our world famous Yukon Quest. In the Yukon's past, however, the people of the north befriended the husky and relied heavily on it for survival. This image shows the oldest of friendships, the one between humans and dogs.

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Inukshuk Silver Jewelry

Inukshuk

The Inukshuk is a well loved symbol of northern Canada. Built to look like humans the Inukshuk had many purposes, to show directions, to pass on messages or to help with hunting. Pictured here, an Inuit father and son are getting their bearings through observing the Inukshuk. This Inuit statue reminds us of how important it is to lend a hand to each other.

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Ladybug Silver Jewellery

Ladybug

Who isn’t fond of ladybugs? In many cultures this tiny red and black beetle is considered a symbol of "good-luck"! In the Middle Ages, during a time when crops were being destroyed by pests, farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help, soon afterwards ladybugs came into the area and ate the pests. In gratitude they were given the name, "Beetles of Our Lady" and have since become known as ladybugs!


Loon Silver Jewellery

Loon

The call of the loon is one of the most familiar sounds to a Canadian's ear. It evokes in me the image of a still, misty lake with a mother loon and her babies following close behind.

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Love - Heart Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Love

If you blur your eyes by squeezing them nearly closed, you’ll see that the outline of these two embracing friends are actually the shape of a heart. It may be just whimsy, but I love the notion of such an embrace being the origin of the "heart" symbol.

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Low-bush Cranberry Sterling Silver Jewellery

Low-bush Cranberry

Every fall the women around Mayo can be heard discussing the state of the cranberries. With bear spray in hand, and, usually a dog or two we spread out all across the Stewart River Valley to favourite berry patches and gather in our cranberries for winter. It is such a special time.

Note: A single low-bush cranberry image appears on drop earrings, square earrings, and square necklaces.

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Maple Keys Jewellery

Maple Keys

They are the seeds of the majestic maple tree! A great memory I have of maple keys, is watching them peacefully helicopter to the ground through crisp fall days.

They signify the quiet of autumn for me.


Maple Leaf Sterling Silver Jewellery

Maple Leaf

Oh Canada! Strong, free, and beautiful. Canada has so many beautiful natural places, oceans, lakes, rivers, islands, mountains, flatlands, how fitting that the beautiful maple leaf, a symbol of nature be chosen to embody Canada on our flag.

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Midnight Sun Silver Jewelry

Midnight Sun

In my Yukon community, on the Summer Solstice, most people never get any sleep. With the near 24-hour sun shining, we run marathons or have parties on a nearby mountain top. Truly, we do anything but sleep. With eyes closed and a smile, this image is my conception of the midnight sun. Always present, he must sneak in a few winks whenever he can!

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Moose in the Moonlight Silver Jewellery

Moose in the Moonlight

Moose are an integral part of life in my community. Most conversations will include reference to where a moose has last been sighted. My children are regularly coached on how to do a cow or bull call, as funny as they sound now they will both one day be able to actually call a moose. This image is of a bull moose in the moonlight. His daily views are places most of us can only dream about -- un-peopled, pristine northern wilderness.

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Mother and Child Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Mother and Child

When creating this image I envisioned my children's great, great-grandmother as a young Gwich-in woman. She is smiling with delight as her baby plays with her braid and thinking how perfect her baby is. She represents the unfaltering love that connects all mothers with their babies throughout all of time.

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Musk Ox Sterling Silver Jewellery

Musk Ox

Musk Ox, protected in their long blankets of fur, are often seen huddled together sheltering one another from harsh arctic winds. With long outer hairs offering protection from the elements and extremely soft under-fur named "qiviuq" acting as insulation, the Musk Ox have adapted beautifully to the arctic climate.

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Orca Silver Jewellery

Orca

The Orca, also known as the Killer Whale, is a highly intelligent, social mammal that inhabits all of the oceans of the world. Scientific studies have shown that Orca appear to teach behaviour patterns from generation to generation and that different pods have their own unique vocal dialects. Pods consist of closely knit members that hunt together and protect each other.

Orcas seem both beautiful and also frightening. I love watching them glide through the water and especially enjoy the final glimpse of their flukes as they dive down to the depths, what an exquisite departure.

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Polar Bear Sterling Silver Jewellery

Polar Bear

The polar bear, the most beloved symbol of the Canadian north because of its strength, intelligence and beauty.

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Raven Silver Jewelry

Raven

The raven is always present whenever I am outdoors. Sometimes ravens sound like they are having conversations with one another. They are so intelligent that I have no doubt that they actually are! I am pleased to share this space with them.

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Salmon Spawning Silver Jewellery

Salmon Spawning

Every July, as the salmon make their way up the Stewart River to their spawning areas, excitement builds and the people go about getting their fish camps ready. The salmon have always been an important part of survival here and their arrival brings families together to work and bring in the salmon for the year.

Note: A single salmon image appears on drop earrings.

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Sisters Sterling Silver Jewellery

Sisters

In this image the big sister is determinedly combing pigtails into her baby sister’s short hair. As a baby sister, I can honestly say that my sisters were my first friends in this world. Having this shared past with each other makes for an especially unique friendship.

A sister is the one friend who will give her straight-forward opinion without offending us, love us no matter what and always be depended on. She is a most cherished companion and we are truly blessed to have her at our side in body and spirit through life’s journey.

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Snowflake Falling Handcrafted Silver Jewellery

Snowflake Falling

The fact that each snowflake is unique caused me to create this special image. On winter days when you can make out the individual shapes of snowflake a sense of amazement always comes to me. If you look very closely, the Winterchild is in the snowflake's center, she represents the individual spirit of each snowflake as it falls to earth.

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Sweet Daughter Silver Jewellery

Sweet Daughter

What is closer to our hearts as a mother, than our sweet daughters? She is first a child to nurture yet with the passage of time she becomes the dearest of friends and our confidante.

"I love you... sweet daughter of mine."

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Wild Rose Sterling Silver Jewellery

Wild Rose

The wild rose grows in abundance in the summertime, its flower varying from the palest of pink to a deep fuscia. In winter the red rosehips add beautiful contrasts to the whiteness of the snow. The wild rose adds so much color and beauty to our surroundings, and we can only respond with heartfelt admiration.

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Windswept Pine Jewellery

Windswept Pine

Having been transformed by the winds off the Great Lakes, each windswept pine stands out in the landscape, it's imperfection and perseverance capturing our admiration.


Wolf Silver Jewelry

Wolf

One winter afternoon I caught sight of a lone wolf while driving. Slowing to a halt, I watched him walking in the snow, he stopped and looked directly at me before going on at the same pace. The pure confidence in his gaze made me fully understand why the wolf is so loved and respected.

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Wooly Mammoth Silver Jewellery

Wooly Mammoth

The wooly mammoth was a remarkable animal, key to it's survival was it's ability to adapt to the intense cold of the Ice Age. It is thought that the warming of the climate caused their extinction. Today they are fondly remembered as an outstanding symbol of the prehistoric north.

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