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Religious Jewelry Information

Historical religious jewelry

As many jewelry trends seem to go, the origins of wearing religious jewelry can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Of course, the symbols were pagan and organic because Christianity has not yet been introduced. Egyptian pieces were very ornate- made of gold and gemstones. The scarab beetle was a common symbol in Egyptian religious jewelry as they believed it brought them luck and it was a symbol of rebirth. The ankh, meaning eternal life, was another common symbol of ancient Egypt. Many of these early pieces were likely worn as pendants or as symbols on cuff bracelets.

During Roman reign, religious jewelry exhibited common symbols if Christianity which included the cross, the fish and the use of prayer beads or rosary. However, Christianity is not the only religion that celebrates faith by the wearing of religious jewelry. Judaism, Islam and Buddhism- pretty much every religion has its own symbols commonly displayed on jewelry. Native Americans also have a long history of wearing symbols of their beliefs. Perhaps the most popular and recognized pieces, however, are Christian and Jewish jewelry.

Popular Christian jewelry

Cross jewelry is the most popular form of expression for the Christian faith. In gold, silver, with diamonds or plain, it is the universal symbol for Christianity. It can be found in pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, brooches- all kinds of pieces. Another seemingly contemporary symbol, though it originated thousands of years ago, is the fish. This simple design symbolizes Jesus and can be found in all sorts of jewelry. Other symbols popularly displayed in Christian jewelry are Saints medallions, praying hands, images of the Bible and many other common symbols of Christianity.

Popular Jewish Jewelry

The Star of David is probably the most recognizable symbol of Judaism. This hexagram, or six-pointed star, is comparable to the Christian cross in that it is a universal symbol for their faith. The origination of the star came possibly from King David's shield- it was either the shape of the shield or an emblem on the shield. Star of David jewelry is a beautiful and popular way to celebrate Judaism. The Chai symbol is another object that is found in Jewish jewelry. It is often used as a pendant and the symbol is Hebrew for "living." Another Jewish symbol often found in jewelry is the mezuzah. This is a cylindrical shaped case that holds spiritual words on scrolls. The mezuzah makes a lovely pendant.

Religious Jewelry : Ornate to simple

Religious jewelry can also be a fashion statement as well as a faith statement. Cross jewelry varies from a simple gold cross to a large embellished cross with filigreed edges and gemstones in the center. They may be made with diamonds and other precious stones and come in all sizes. Some religious cross jewelry even depicts the crucifixion.

Occasions for Religious Jewelry

There are many special occasions that are a perfect time to give religious jewelry as a gift. Christenings are a common time when a baby receives her first piece of jewelry. Baby religious , cross jewelry such as necklaces, rings and bracelets are all popular gift items. For the Jewish teen who is transitioning into adulthood with their Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, a gift of Star of David Jewelry makes a special commemoration of the event. Baptisms, confirmations, graduations, weddings and births are other occasions that can be made even more special with a gift of religious jewelry.

Why people wear Religious Jewelry

There are many reasons why religious jewelry is worn. In ancient times, it was used as an identifier to people of the same faith. It let them know that they were like-minded and could speak freely of about their faith without fear of persecution. Today, pieces are worn openly as a show of faith and love for their god and savior. Some people also wear pieces for protection. The legend of fending off vampires by wearing a cross is really an old belief that wearing cross jewelry protects against evil influences. Medallions bearing the image of certain Saints are also believed to bestow protection to the wearer. The Star of David is like a badge of honor for the Jewish faith, particularly after its wide use by the Nazis to identify Jews. It was already a special symbol for the faith, but after the Holocaust, it became a symbol of their strength and perseverance in the face of evil. Of course, cross jewelry and other religious symbols are also worn as simply a fashion statement as opposed to a statement of faith. When the red carpet becomes bedecked in religious jewelry, wearing pieces also becomes popular on Main Street. Whether it is worn for faith or for fashion, there is no shortage of options when it comes to religious jewelry.