Walk into any contemporary fashion store, and you’ll run into cross jewelry. But, why do we wear a cross necklace? What’s the story?
WHY CROSS JEWELRY ROSE IN POPULARITY
Though the cross has long been a symbol of Christianity, crosses weren’t always worn openly. Before rising to become one of the world’s major religions, Christians were frequently persecuted and had to worship in secret. As more converted to this growing religion, it became acceptable to openly celebrate one’s faith. As a result, the popularity of wearing a cross also began to rise.
THE BLACK PLAGUE
As the Black Death and the Age of Crusaders rolled around, there was an expanding business in cross necklaces. Believers thought the cross brought comfort and peace in times of trouble.
The jewelry also helped people spread their faith, as it transcended language barriers. In fact, many Native Americans were given silver crosses as gifts if they converted to Christianity during colonialism
KING FREDRICK VII OF DENMARK
When his daughter Alexandra was about to marry the Prince of Wales, King Fredrick VII of Denmark gifted her a Dagmar. A Dagmar is a type of ancient cross. Immediately considered fashionable, this skyrocketed the cross jewelry business as nobles and commoners sought their own.
When photography became a respected way of taking one’s portrait, women would show off their style in the most modest way possible. To display their devotion, women would wear high cleavage tops, emphasizing their cross jewelry. This led to a high demand in daintier crosses, as wearing a cross was fashionable and feminine.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CROSS AND CRUCIFIX?
At first glance, both look very similar as they incorporate the Christian Cross into their design. However, there is a major difference. The Crucifix displays the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in somber fashion. For many, it is a highly-regarded symbol, and may not always be found in religious jewelry.
WHEN SHOULD I GIVE CROSS JEWELRY?
Cross jewelry is used as a symbol of faith, hope, and love among Christians. It’s a popular gift, suitable for many religious events and holidays. In fact, the cradle, the cross, and the crown are often considered the three main symbols of Christmas.
The cross represents Jesus and His love for people, as Jesus was the only one born with the “intention of dying.” Therefore, a cross is the perfect reminder of His sacrifice for religious holidays such as Easter. There are many events and holidays that are appropriate for gifting a cross.
- First Communion
For secular milestones, like graduation, a cross gift is powerful symbol for the recipient. In these times, it symbolizes the inner strength we receive from our faith as we enter new phases of our lives. It reminds us of how we can accomplish anything when we trust in a higher power.
MODERN CROSS JEWELRY
Crosses are one of the most popular icons today. Many subcultures incorporate the cross as a core symbol of their culture. For example, gothic outfits tend to feature black crosses in their jewelry, while rock stars might sport a cross as a way to display their devotion despite being controversial.
Some claim that the cross trend matches with all outfits, as different variations of the cross allow self-expression. This creates a high demand for cross jewelry, even if the buyers are not religious themselves.
The cross is a universal symbol of Christian faith, no matter denomination. This makes it popular, as the simplicity of the cross allows more personalization, such as a birthstone crosses.
CHOOSING CROSS JEWELRY
Choosing cross jewelry for your loved ones is exciting! With a surprising amount of options, it’s easy to choose a cross necklace in a suitable metal. You can even accent it with their birthstone or favorite gem!
STAINLESS STEEL CROSS
Monochromatic and easy to match with any outfit, try gifting them a stainless steel cross necklace. Standing tough against daily wear and tear, there also very affordable. Give a stainless steel cross to anyone who is hard on their jewelry, and needs the extra protection that steel provides.
For something a bit more luxurious, a cross pendant in sterling silver is a stunning choice. A white metal, sterling silver offers the same accessorizing options as stainless steel. It’s the perfect option for those who prefer something a little finer.
Did you know the religious roots of birthstones? Perfect for the traditional type, a birthstone cross connects the symbolism of both into one incredible gift. It’s a great way to preserve the solemn meaning of wearing the cross, while introducing a fashionable element that has its origin rooted in the Breastplate of Aaron.
Not everyone loves a necklace, so gifting them a ring is also appropriate. Although it seems a lot more casual, rings are subtle pieces perfect for those that want something low-key. Plus, you could wear a ring as a necklace by looping a chain through it!
Now that you know about its history, how do you celebrate with cross jewelry?