Jem Glyphs


At some point in the process of signing the first 777 Green Jems, Steve Vai started writing hieroglyphs under some of the signatures. These are more than symbolic, Steve once said that he had developed his own written language, almost like a short hand. You can see this writing on the cover of Passion and Warfare. I started collecting samples in an effort to one day decipher it. While backstage at a 1996 G3 concert I showed Steve a collection of a half dozen symbols and asked if he would give me a clue what any of them say. He declined with a smile and signed it instead.

Some, as with #245, are so slight they almost look like a signature flourish. Others, like 209 and 355 have very complex symbols drawn.

Below are some of the glyphs collected from the backs of Green Jems starting with the first documented instance; Green Jem #112.

Know of a Vai glyph or a Green Jem? Let us know!


Green Jem #unknown

Green Jem #115

Green Jem #127 (Vai mistakenly re-signed this one "187")

Green Jem #132

Green Jem #142

Green Jem #145

Green Jem #160

Green Jem #184

Green Jem #194

Green Jem #195

Green Jem #201

Green Jem #205


Green Jem #209

Green Jem #212

Green Jem #220

Green Jem #223

Green Jem #233

Green Jem #236

Green Jem #239

Green Jem #245

Green Jem #254

Green Jem #279

Green Jem #298

Green Jem #326

Green Jem #331

Green Jem #377

Green Jem #341

Green Jem #345

Green Jem #349

Green Jem #355

Green Jem #359

Green Jem #362

Green Jem #366

Green Jem #380

Green Jem #386

Green Jem #690

Green Jem #778