Some styles may come and go, but faith is always in fashion. Crosses, crucifixes, saint medals, and more, these are the jewelry pieces that we will cherish forever. But the hottest new styles in Christian jewelry are the ancient symbols of faith, which predate even the cross.
These symbols, such as the Ichthys, anchor, and dove, are the oldest symbols used in Christian jewelry. Each has a very special and very specific meaning. Because of these special qualities the ancient symbols of faith are making a huge resurgence in Christian jewelry and fashion.
The symbolism of ancient Christian jewelry:
The cross did not become openly used in Christian jewelry until around the 3rd century A. D. , when the emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome. Since then the cross has become the most significant of Christian symbols, and has been widely used in art and Christian jewelry.
Christian jewelry played a large part in the protection and promotion of early Christianity. Since early Christians were often persecuted for their faith, it was not safe to openly display the cross. Early Christians instead wore other forms of Christian jewelry, such as:
The Ichthys: The Ichthys consists of two intersecting arcs resembling the profile of a fish, and in modern Christian jewelry usually has the name “Jesus" written in the center. The Ichthys is symbolic of Christ as “the fisher of men". The clean, simple lines of the Ichthys form an elegantly understated piece of Christian jewelry, for the person who revels in the richness of simplicity.
The anchor: The anchor obviously has special significance to mariners, and is in fact commonly known as the mariners cross. But it was originally used not only by the seagoing, but also by Christians from all walks of life. The anchor is used in Christian jewelry as a symbol of Jesus as the anchor of Christian life, as well as hope based in the faith in Christ. The anchor is the perfect piece of Christian jewelry for those who spend a lot of time at sea, as well as those who need steadfastness in their lives.
The dove: The dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The story goes that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of the dove. The dove is also a universal symbol of peace and purity. The dove is the perfect baptismal gift.
The Lamb of God: The Lamb of God, or Angus Dei, is the oldest depiction of Jesus. Jesus was named the Angus Dei when John the Baptist, upon seeing him, proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". In Christian jewelry he Lamb has become the symbol of innocence and triumph over sin.
These are just a few of the ancient symbols found in Christian jewelry. With so many different symbols with so many different stories it is easy to find the perfect piece to celebrate the individual, while still celebrating faith.
When the Emperor Constantine converted all of Rome to Christianity the cross became far more widely used in Christian jewelry. Soon many different variants of the cross would emerge. These ancient forms of the cross have withstood the test of time, and are still as popular today as they were fifteen hundred years ago. Some examples of ancient cross forms in Christian jewelry are:
The Latin cross: The Latin cross is the most commonly used form of the cross. The Latin cross is a cross with a long vertical bar intersected slightly above center by a shorter horizontal bar. The Latin cross with the body of Christ, better known as a crucifix, is used by the Catholic and Orthodox churches as a representation of Christ’s sacrifice, while the Latin cross left blank is used by the Protestants as a representation of Christ’s resurrection. The Latin cross is perfect for the quiet, devout person, as it showcases the strength of simplicity.
The Greek cross: The Greek cross, a cross with equilateral arms, is the most ancient form of the Christian cross. It is used most often by the Greek Orthodox Church, and represents the union of the divine and the human worlds. The Greek cross is a stunning piece of Christian jewelry, for those of the Eastern Church, as well as those who wish to be slightly different in their jewelry.
The St. Anthony cross: The St. Anthony cross, or Tau cross, is a cross in the shape of the letter T. Some believe that this is the actual shape of the crosses the Romans used for crucifixions. The St. Anthony cross is a perfect piece of Christian jewelry for those who seek discipline in their lives.
The Celtic cross: One of the most popular pieces of Christian jewelry, the Celtic cross is a cross with a circle around the cross bar. The circle is believed to originally have represented the sun, or possibly the moon, both of which were worshiped by the Irish prior to their conversion to Christianity. Nowadays the circle has come to represent to many the endless love of God as shown through Christ’s sacrifice. The Celtic cross is a one of the most visually stunning pieces of Christian jewelry, and you don’t have to be Irish to wear one.
The cross is definitely the most popular form of Christian jewelry, and with so many styles to choose from, it is easy to find one that is perfectly suited to the individual. Here is a good page to see a wide selection of Christian jewelry .
Where is the best place to purchase Christian jewelry:
To get an idea of the different styles and prices that are available in Christian jewelry it is more convenient to view them online before shopping around at local jewelry stores.
Retail jewelers will sometimes carry a small selection of Christian jewelry, but you are more apt to find a greater selection online. Just type “Christian jewelry" into an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and you will find several reliable websites that specialize in Christian jewelry.
The cost of Christian jewelry is dependant upon many variables. In solid 14K yellow or white gold, crosses and other ancient symbols should cost about $50 to $300 depending on size.
The true heart of Christianity:
The true heart of Christianity lives within us all. With Christian jewelry we are able to elegantly express the faith of our hearts. The ancient symbols and crosses of Christianity are the perfect way for us all to show our faith in an elegant and personal fashion. Perhaps this is why the ancient symbols of faith are the hottest new styles.
Casey Buell is an expert in the field of religious jewelry, and a contributor to the award winning religious jewelry website located at http://religiousjewelryshop.com .