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The Thistle Kilt Pin

A hand-cast sterling silver thistle kilt pin based on traditional Scottish designs


Thistles have long represented the hardy resilience and beauty of the Scottish people. This detailed design from our Heritage Collection prominently features an intricate thistle set with a colorful CZ stone. The central figure stands out in full relief with three-dimensional, textured leaves. The central stone is available in five different jewel tones: citrine (pictured), amethyst, garnet, emerald and sapphire. A sturdy barrel clasp on the reverse ensures a secure wear for years to come.

The original kilt pin dates from the early 20th century, and elements from the design can be seen in dozens of variations in the years that followed. We intensified the level of detail in our recreation, and we cast the piece to be more durable, nearly doubling the weight of silver from the original. The piece measures just under 1.5 inches across.

Found across the Scottish nation, the beautiful purple thistle was first used as a royal symbol of Scotland in 1470. In fact, according to legend, the lowly thistle was instrumental in turning the tides of a Norse invasion at the Battle of Largs in 1263.

An invading battalion of Norsemen, on orders from King Haakon of Norway, landed in Ayrshire. They intended to subdue the Scots as Scotland was, at that time, part of the Kingdom of Norway. Removing their footwear to better surprise the sleeping Scots, the Norse invaders crept through the nighttime darkness until one of Haakon’s soldiers trod across a patch of prickly thistles. His cries of pain woke the Clansmen of Scotland. Alerted to the approaching army, the Clansmen rallied and drove off the invaders, securing Scotland’s freedom for another few generations.