Religion is an important part of life for many individuals throughout the world. In fact,nearly 85% of the entire world’s population identifies with some type of religious group. And of those groups, Christianity is the most sizable, with over 31% of the world identifying as Christian.
Devotion to religion, regardless of your faith, is a way to build a stronger relationship with your spiritual side while also connecting with those around you. This can look like attending religious services, reading Bibles, or praying at night.
However, a prominent way to show devotion to your faith is through jewelry. This allows people to always know where you stand while simultaneously enhancing your physical appearance. Cross pendants are the most common religious markings that can be worn on jewelry, so let’s take a look at its history and meaning so that you always know what your piece represents.
History of the Cross
The cross is a universally accepted symbol of the Christian faith. It’s common to see decor, paintings, clothing, and jewelry depicting this symbol. But because of its abundance, it can be easy to forget just exactly what it stands for.
The cross recalls the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, as this was the vehicle onto which he was nailed. Thus, the cross is a symbol of Chris himself and of the Christian faith. However, this is only theliteralinterpretation of what the cross means.
As far as what itmetaphoricallyrepresents, Christ’s death represents fulfilled prophecies and full promises, love, and humility, as well as finality. Therefore, the cross can have universal meaning outside of Christianity that makes it an accessible symbol for all.
Each cross can have its own personal meaning, and there’s no better way to show that it means something to you than by wearing a cross pendant around your neck for all to see. But why exactly did the cross start getting used in jewelry?
Early Cross Jewelry
The cross has been seen in history in a multitude of ways, particularly throughpaintings. Strangely enough, no art of crucifixion exists in the first few centuries after Jesus’ death. However, crucifixion soon became a prominent expression through art from the Roman Empire onward.
Paintings that utilize the cross have persisted since this time. Similarly, cross necklaces being used to display Christian devotion can be traced back as far as the 6th century.
The first cross pendants were large, heavy, golden pieces that were exclusive to clergy members as a sign of reverence and devotion. Likewise, it was symbolic of hierarchy within the church itself, with only the Church’s most esteemed members being able to wear the garb.
These early pendants were much more ornate than what we see today. They were made of expensive, precious metals and often contained large gemstones in their centers. However, other versions of the relics weremade with bone, pieces of stone, or wood. This allowed pedestrians and plebeians to partake in religious devotion in a similar manner.
Large cross pendants have even been used in burial tombs for kings and queens, as well as monks and bishops.
But regardless of the material or the reason for its display, it is clear that expressing faith was, and still remains, important to followers of Christianity.
Cross Pendants Today
Back then, no one was concerned about fashion or style, especially when it came to their accessories. Clergymen weren’t too worried about if their cross pendant was going to match their cloaks, and kings weren’t concerned if their golden cross wasn’t able to make a bold statement the next time he went for a walk.
But today, things are a bit different. As much as showing our devotion to faith is of utmost importance, we also need to be thinking about our holistic style and the profound effect that our gems might have on people’s first impressions.
With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and wearing cross pendants.
Diamonds Are Necessary
While there might be a time and a place for gold and silver crosses, now isn’t it. Current trends are proving again and again that bigger and bolder will always be better. Gold crosses just don’t have the same eye-catching factor that diamonds do.
ADiamond Cross Pendant is filled to the brim with icy gemstones that are cut to perfection. They reflect the light in a way that is unmatched by most metals, so everyone around you will know that you care about your faith just as much as you care about your drip.
Diamond Cross Pendant
This diamond pendant can even be plated in gold or white gold, so if you still wanted to be able to harken back to the OG clergymen who wore these pieces long before us, you could do so without sacrificing your style.
When wearing a diamond cross pendant, or any pendant, it is important to make sure that the chain itself matches the medallion to complete the look.
8.5mm Diamond Figaro Chain White Gold
When wearing a diamond chain with a silver-colored base, it is a good idea to match it with cool-colored chains rather than bronze colored. For example, if you’re going to sport a white gold diamond cross, make sure the chain iswhite gold, silver, or stainless steel. This will ensure that the colors are properly balanced.
Don’t Stop at the Pendant
Chains and pendants are perfect additions to any outfit because they’re often the first things that people will notice. However, you shouldn’t stop there.
Bracelets are good complementary pieces for necklaces because they can help to provide some balance to your appearance. If you just wear a necklace, your lower-mid body will seem off comparatively. It’s important to wear a bracelet so that your whole body is studded with some icy diamonds.
12mm Diamond Prong Cuban Bracelet White Gold
Be sure to use bracelets that are white gold, like aDiamond Prong Cuban Bracelet, as these will complement the diamonds nicely. If you get a bracelet thin enough, you could even wear your diamond pendant on your wrists instead of around your neck.
Other Religious Pendants
Christianity isn’t the only faith that can be represented through jewelry. In fact, there is really no shortage of religious symbolism that can be employed on a pendant.
The second most populous religion in the world is Islam, and devotion to faith is no lesser between them and Christians. You can express the Islamish faith and always stay close to your god by wearing aBaguette Crescent Allah Pendant. These are studded with diamonds from top to bottom and come in both white or 18k gold, giving you freedom in how you want to invest in your look.
Baguette Crescent Allah Pendant
Another religious pendant is thisHamsa Hand in white gold. Although the symbol originated in Jewish texts, it is regarded in all faiths as a protective talisman that can bring good fortune, health, and happiness. This pendant also has a large surface area, so it looks exceptionally icy when paired with a diamond chain.
There are also multiple different variations of the standard cross pendant that you can incorporate based on your outfit for the day. AnIced Praying Hand Pendant uses the cross symbol, but also incorporates stylized hands that have a large surface area for loading up with gems.
Iced Praying Hand Pendant
If you can’t seem to find a pendant that matches your religious faith or style, you can alwayscustomize one yourself. Through jewelry customization, you can have the freedom to express whatever word, picture, or symbol you’d like.
The cross is the most recognizable symbol of the Christian faith. Symbolic of both the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as well as love, finality, and sacrifice, it has become a staple of literature and art regardless of religious identification.
Early instances of cross pendants were worn by clergymen and royalty. While these were typically made of solid gold and gemstones, some people wore versions made of bone or stone.
Today, the element of style has been added, with diamonds being the most popular material to craft a cross pendant. Other religious symbols like Allah Pendants and Hamsa Hands have also been created based on our desire to keep our faith close to ourselves at all times.
The Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center
Artistic Responses to the Cross Throughout History | Be Thinking
Ancient Medieval and Byzantine Crosses for Sale | Ancient Resource