Vannucchi jewellery not only loves working with different woods because of their visual aesthetics, but also because of the deeper, more unique qualities that differentiate them from one another. For some, these materials hold real spiritual and symbolic meaning, which I think gives this material a whole new purpose and value. As part of my series of blogs discussing the materials used in my work I also consider what these woods might mean to you the wearer.

In my previous blog I discussed the mighty Oak, the king of trees and partner to this majestic British queen of trees, the Beech. This is a historic tree which will have seen the passing of centuries, living often up to 400 years. This beauty is native to much of Europe and it provides shelter and protection under its canopy of lush greenery. Beeches are recognisable by their smooth, grey bark, sprawling branches and sweet, edible nuts. The giving nature of this species only adds to its identity as a nurturing and protective tree. They can usually be found in temperate climates with well drained soils. Here in the UK the Beech is most commonly found in the south east where the soil is more likely to include limestone, chalk and light loams.


Looking up the length of a Beech tree. Bright green leaves.

Photo by Taichi Nakamura



Growing up to 160 ft tall these trees are part of the fagus genus species. Beech trees (Fagus) are members of the Fagaceae family. This family includes sweet chestnuts and of course its partnering tree the oak. 

The European, American and Asian Beech are all valuable sources of hardwood, traditionally used in flooring, furniture and toy making and musical instruments, due to its easy to carve, but strong and malleable qualities. It is believed that some of the earliest books and writing tools were created using tightly bound leaves and thin strips of Beech wood.

Over the centuries, beech trees have largely been associated with femininity due to their protective and nurturing qualities giving shade and food to humans and animals alike. It has acquired many meanings that are both religious and mythological. Slivers of beech were once carried as a talisman to bring good luck and increase creative energy and wisdom to learn. Knowledge, wisdom and femine strength are key symbolic qualities given to this wood.

It has been believed by some, that a beech forest has been the inspiration for many a cathedral, with its mystical peace, power and glittering green light shimmering through the expansive canopies. I know that when I find myself in the middle of the woods, surrounded by these splendid trees, I feel deep calm and my mind clears. In fact I often do my best creative thinking during and after one of these walks.


Ethereal Sunlight shining through a Beech tree forest.

Photo by Michael Held

In my work I have used spalted beech, which brings a whole other quality to this lovely wood. A much desired effect caused through decay of the wood which provides a natural detailing that is visually very striking. The beauty of working with wood that has spalted also means that every cut is unique in appearance, so as a piece of jewellery this means the wearer has complete individuality and style. What often makes an item more expensive with this choice of wood is that it may have been work hardened due to spalting, or will have been coupled with a more expensive material to stabilise it. 

In conclusion, when considering the meaning of this wood coupled with its beautiful appearance, I believe that it makes for the perfect choice of material when developing my jewellery. It brings so much value to a gift/piece of jewellery for you and your loved ones beyond that of the actual material costs. 

I think that it’s truly something special to know that the material itself holds so much history and you the wearer get to carry a part of that around with you.

Also as a final thought, if you are about to get married or it’s coming up to your fifth wedding anniversary and you are considering something unique for your partner, why not consider something made of Beech to tell that special someone that they’re your queen. 

Next up in my series of blogs will be the gorgeous Walnut, which I also use a lot of in my work, so pop by next month for more on this stunning wood, its value, its variations and its hidden meanings.

FRIDAY 3RD March 2023