AA logo

I am making a belt buckle for a dear friend who is a recovering
alcoholic. What would be a suitable decoration to use as a gentle
reminder to abstain. Simplicity is the key and it will be applied
insome manner to the ironwood front. My mind is a total blank and I
need help. I have been watching the list for about a year and this is
my first effort to ask for help.

James M Brown

James, I suggest that you contact the local AA referral service and
talk with one of the knowledgeable and helpful people who answer
phones. There are slogans or basic beliefs that are short and very
meaningful for the recovering addict or alcoholic. Only one who has
walked that walk knows what will be most useful.

Perhaps one of our Orchidians has such experience. Mine is with a
different 12- step group and the message would be inappropriate for
the buckle.

Good luck with it, and what a good friend you are!


The AA logo is a triangle within a circle (wasn’t sure if you knew
that.) inlay might be nice. I’ve seen triangle shaped amethyst
mounted on gold and that was nice. One of the key slogans says “To
thine own self be true.” Anyway- hope any of this helps. I’m sure
whatever you do will touch his heart.

Mountain Sister Enterprises

Hi James. What if you put 3 or 4 bezels (with just a silver dome
in 3 of them but a turquoise or whatever in one of the 4. Let him
know that each year he abstains you will replace on of the silver
domes with another stone? Just a thought. Nice of you to do
something for him.


I am sure you will get a few responses on your request. What you
are asking is about art and not ornamentation. I applaud your
wishing to make a powerful statement for your friend, and for
his/her wish to stay sober. A very good friend of mine is in her
second year of sobriety, and I have been priviledged to watch her
artwork grow and blossom.

What you are asking for is a a metaphor for a recovering alcoholic.
There are a couple of ways I would go about it and these might
assist you in arriving at your own design.

One idea I have is to recreate a set of stairs, 12, for the 12 step
program. I also know that people in AA receive a token as a reward
for staying sober for a set number of months. This image could be
etched into the metal in some way that it is only recognizable to
your friend.

I like the idea of your using ironwood, as it takes a will of iron
to stay sober. Using the idea of ironwood, possibly iron could be
used on the belt buckle and have the idea play off the two

The reverse of the buckle could be used for something more literal,
as only the wearer would know that it was there. When I make
jewelry, I make sure that I place something on the back as a secret
for the wearer.

Think of the kinds of grains or fruits that alcohol is made from.
Perhaps one of their images could be used. Or how about a chemical

There are many different text fonts where you could maniuplate a

Hope this helps. Let us know what you finally come up with.


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph: 781/891-3854
Fx: 781/891-3857
email: @Karen_Christians

Hello James,

I don’t remember the exact logo but I think it is an open triangle
pointing down, inside of a circle. As a pendant this could be a
subtle yet constant reminder. Hopefully someone will verify this.


Helloooo Orchid, Let’s not forget that a “logo” in this case is a
registerd trademark and permission to reproduce might be "appropiate"
unless of course as a gift that’s not necessary, not quite sure about
that? Anyone know the scoop there? Peace Karl

The Alcoholics Anonymous logo is a triangle (upright) in a circle.

Lee Einer

James: My father is a recovering alcoholic (15 years!) and I have a
coin I was given in high school when we were going through tough
times. It reads, “Came to believe…faith in a power, hope in a
program, love with honesty, a new life!” Perhaps a positive message
on the belt buckle would be nice. Hope this helps.


HI My mom was a recovering alcoholic. She had a pin that had a camel
with the number 24 in the center meaning a camel can go 24hrs
without a drink so can I. there slogan is “one day at a time.”

Gold Smith / Diamond Setter

Hi James, If memory serves me correctly the logo for Al Anon is a
small circle inside a triangle. Neil KilBane, Ireland

Dear James, This is a wonderful thing you are doing!

You can see a lot of examples of AA chips–from various eras–in
ebay; this might give you some ideas. For non-official lapel pins,
you can look at: http://www.recoveryemporium.com/Shop/Pins.htm

My suggestion would be the logo in its simplest form–plain up-ward
pointing triangle within a circle (although sometimes you see the
circle inside the triangle)–on the front, because even other people
in AA wouldn’t be absolutely certain it’s the logo (although your
friend is likely to get asked if s/he’s a friend of Bill!).
Butterflies are also a symbol for recovery–and even less obvious.

I like Karen’s idea of a “gentle reminder” on the back and would
vote for “One day at a time”–visible both when the belt is taken off
and put on. But I would not do anything “commemorative,” i.e. that
marks the number of years your friend has been sober. Slips are
depressing enough…and far too common. Actually, “happy, joyous, and
free”–a quote from the Big Book–is unrecognizable to most people,
even those in other 12 Step programs, so it might even work on the

Best wishes,
Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
(and friend of Lois)

Since the second “A” in AA stands for “anonymous”, some feel that it
is not appropriate to advertise membership. The actual copyrighted
logo is an equilateral triangle within a circle that is in contact
with the points of the triangle. The letters AA are inscribed in the
center of the triangle. Ask your friend if she will take you to an
open AA meeting for your research.

Jim M.

I didn’t think he wanted the logo for Al Anon. They aren’t the ones
that had the drinking problem. That’s Alcoholics Anonymous. If
Neil is correct tho about the logo, then the logo for Alcoholics
Anon is the opposite – a small triangle inside a circle…

why not inscribe it with either “one day at a time” or some key
word(s) from the serenity prayer - courage, wisdom, hope, serenity -
I think. You’d want to double check that. – Dee Dee

What I did for a friend (in a pendant) is set an amythest on the
inside of the pendant. Amythest has “traditional powers” to “ward
off drunkeness” and it would be a special secret between the two of
you, and the outside of the buckle wouldn’t let the world know he’s
in recovery. Wendy Newman

Dear Orchidians, I am not sure whether this legal or not but here
goes. The response to my query about a suitable decoration for a
recovering alcoholic was overwhelming. Ladies and gentlemen I have
been humbled by your responses I really don’t know how to thank
everyone. I will cherish your responses and ever so often will reread
them. I made a 7/8" dia. circle out of 14 ga square wire, soldered
that to 22ga sheet then bezel set a triangular piece of black jade
in the center. I drew the equilateral triangle using a 30-60 degree
triangle then transposed the drawing to some black jade I hammered a
design (blunt nail set)in the open spaces on the plate then drilled a
7/8" dia. hole, with a forstner bit, in the ironwood to the depth of
the square wire… With a little fitting I then inset the silver
into the front of the buckle. This took all of a maximum of 2 hours.
I felt inspired by the Ganoksin / Orchid family. Thanks to all!!!
My friend is getting married at the end of the month so all of you
can take pride in his happiness.

James M Brown