Essential for navigation, the nautical compass has been a staple of ship captains the world over since the Middle Ages. Whether you sail your own ship or merely admire the classic compass rose design, the symbology of the compass is powerful for anyone seeking to find their direction, make their own path, or just stay on track. Peter Stone invites you to find your direction with the beautiful sterling silver Compass Rose jewelry featured this week.
Invented in China in the 2nd century, and commonly used as a navigational tool by the 11th Century, the advent of the magnetic compass made ocean voyages much safer and more efficient. Without a compass, direction must be gauged from the position of the stars, a complex calculation that required esoteric knowledge of the hemispheres, the seasons, and the cyclic pattern of heavenly movement. Mariners often stayed within sight of land to minimize their reliance on celestial navigation, choosing to navigate by landmarks on shore instead, limiting possibilities and slowing journeys.
The advent of the compass was a key contributor to the onset of the Age of Discovery. Because navigation became possible during overcast or foggy conditions, and easier and faster even when the sky was clear, the scope of sea travel expanded exponentially, allowing for longer voyages, new frontiers, and greater exploration.
The first use of magnetite (or lodestone) in China was NOT for navigational purposes. Early references point to the use of magnetic compasses to harmonize and organize Chinese buildings, homes, and communities for optimal feng shui conformity. It was centuries before the earliest navigational compass was designed: a sliver of magnetite floating in a bowl of water.
The compass is an ancient marvel of innovation, a tool with a history, and whether you admire its usefulness or it’s stately, classical beauty, there’s no denying that the distinct compass rose design evokes the concept of security, direction, and exploration. Peter Stone’s finest craftsmen have captured the timeless elegance, power, and symbology of the compass and translated it into stunning sterling silver—so you can take your heading, find your path, and make your way forward into your destiny.