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May, 10, 2021


Symbols carry power. They can evoke memories, emotions, ideas, and meaning and we have used them for thousands of years to get a message across. Symbols are characters or designs to represent something, and they often evoke powerful emotion. They can be recognized internationally across a range of unique cultures, and in using characters instead of words, they are universally understood. Since gratitude is the most powerful emotion, it is only fitting that it has an internationally recognized symbol to carry that power through cultures, communities, and countries alike.

Our brains have the ability to see the design in a symbol and process it in association with a specific word or meaning. When you hear the words “yin and yang” or “fleur-de-lis”, does your brain instantly visualize the symbol behind those words? This is the power of the symbol. As individuals, symbols carry personal power as well. They can be dear to our hearts because of what they signify, and we harness their power through art, tattoos, jewelry, and anything else we see frequently. 

While until recently there was not an official symbol of gratitude, it is believed the modern-day gratitude symbol is tied to Celtic symbolism. Celtic symbolism frequently used spirals in many of their ancient symbols dating back to 500 BC. The current day gratitude symbol uses this as a baseline, representing how gratitude is the center of all things.

gratitude symbol


The official gratitude symbol has two main parts to it: a simple spiral center and three circular dots on the lower exterior of the spiral. It also has a third secondary part on the bottom of the spiral which resembles a hook. This hook is recognized as a Makau, which has a significance in Hawaiian cultures. When dissecting the symbol closely, there is also a subtle lowercase G on the inside of the symbol, subtly representing gratitude.

Part 1: The Spiral Center

The perfect circle is the core of the gratitude symbol with a spiral in the center. A spiral is often used to symbolize many powerful concepts, such as rebirth, the circle of life and evolution, and is often seen as a symbol for change and development. As one of the oldest symbols used in spiritual practices, it also represents accepting the constant changes that life presents to you. These concepts are closely tied to gratitude. Gratitude is, at its core, the act of giving thanks for what you have. Gratitude prompts personal growth which is often seen as personal evolution or even rebirth. 

Part 2: The Three Dots 

A series of three dots is commonly recognized as an ellipsis, although ellipsis dots do not vary in size like the gratitude symbol. The series of three dots is believed to have a variety of meanings, all of which tie into a gratitude practice. The first thought comes from a grammatical perspective which is that a series of three dots stands for taking further thought or action. This symbolism closely relates to a gratitude practice, as a practice always seeks to find things to be grateful for, and take further action to journal or give thanks.

The secondary meaning of the three dots is a mathematical thought, which represents an infinite list. The beautiful thing about the mathematical representation is that a gratitude list can be truly infinite. There is always something to be grateful for and our list of things to find gratitude in is an infinite number. 

Part 3: The Hook (Makau)

The hook at the bottom of the gratitude symbol closely resembles another symbol called Makau, which is an ancient Hawaiian symbol. The Makau is a symbol that represents strength, energy, and abundance. The Makau symbol fits perfectly within the gratitude symbol, as gratitude helps us increase the power of our happiness, giving us emotional strength and energy. 

bracelet with gratitude symbol


The gratitude symbol is used to represent the spirit of gratitude. The meaning can vary person to person, but ultimately, it stands to remind us of the good in our lives. It can be used to remind you to practice gratitude in that moment, or gently provoke a spirit of gratitude in your heart when you feel otherwise.

It is a symbol to remind you of all you have to be grateful for and to give thanks whenever you see the symbol. 


There are a few colors that are believed to represent gratitude, and since colors have the ability to impact our moods, it is important to understand the colors that represent gratitude as well as the symbol. The most popular color associated with gratitude is pink. Pink is universally recognized as the color of love for yourself and love for others. It is believed to regulate moods while simultaneously decreasing aggression. It is the perfect color to represent gratitude as it promotes happy energy and positivity. 


There is not a single stone that is specifically representative of gratitude and many stones can be used to represent gratitude. Here is a list of few of our favorite stones and how they incorporate gratitude.

 Rose Quartz is one of the stones most associated with gratitude. Pink in color, rose quartz represents the spirit of unconditional love and can help open the heart to giving and receiving feelings of love. This powerful stone will also help release stress, helps with internal healing, and promotes love for yourself and others.  

Tree Agate is known for peace and calming. A calm heart can sift through the stresses of everyday life to focus on all they have to be grateful for. This gemstone will serve as a gentle reminder to focus on calming your mind in order to focus on the blessings you have in life.

Amethyst is used for calming. When you are at peace within yourself, you can focus more easily on everything you have to be thankful for. The wearer of this gemstone is encouraged to choose to slow down for a brief moment each day and reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. 

The beauty of gratitude is that it can be found in all things. Many crystals and gemstones hold positive meanings, and gratitude can be associated with so many of these emotions! We also use Lava Stone and Turquoise to represent gratitude. While these stones have other meanings, we find they are reflective of the properties of gratitude, too. 


Gratitude is everywhere we look. It can be a symbol, it can be a practice, it can be the way you think and act, it can be the reason you change the world. We know gratitude has the power to change everything, and it can bring so many other blessings to our lives. 

We can express gratitude with our words, with our thoughts, and with our actions, but the most important thing is that we express our gratitude to other people. Take a moment to tell someone you appreciate them and watch their day turnaround. We all deserve to be reminded that we are appreciated and should take time to share this with the people we care about as often as possible.

Read more about the power of gratitude in our Ultimate Guide to Gratitude or experience it for yourself by exploring our daily gratitude journal.

gratitude journal


Spread Gratitude.

Change the World.

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  • Beautifully written! Your symbol for gratitude and the explanations behind the symbols were so very interesting. I love symbols and this one is a perfect reminder to have gratitude front and center in my life. Thank you. Your article is very much appreciated!

    Sherri Fox
  • Thank you – I just began my GRATITUDE JOURNAL today- after our Sunday message in church- be thankful/grateful.

  • Olá! Eu escolhi este símbolo de gratitude para tatuar em meu pulso, pois é muito significativo pra mim..

  • This page made my day! Thank you! 🙌🙏🥰

    Shannon Leilani Lawson

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