“The serpent is a symbol of mythological importance in almost every ancient culture: it symbolizes power, fertility, transformation, and protection,” says jeweler Erica Weiner, who channeled the regenerative force of her own ouroboros ring even during childbirth despite warnings that it might need to be cut off (it wasn’t). According to Weiner, this kind of decorative accessory is a timeless style that dates back to the 3,000-year-old tombs of Egypt. The elegant circularity of the ouroboros imitates the continual rhythm of the universe, and its association with eternal love has made it a popularly used design in mourning jewelry from the late 1700s throughout the 19th century (consider this Georgian enameled option on Weiner’s site, which has an actual lock of human hair preserved below the snake’s orbiting underbelly).