July 21, 2021

Although crosses are now some of the most popular pendants to be worn by bling lovers today, this trend was once not only nonexistent but also dangerous. Wearing a cross before the rise of Christianity meant exposing yourself to possible persecution.

Most early cross necklaces were rather worn beneath layers of clothing in secret or stuffed inside clothing pockets as a sign of hidden faith.

The cross necklace has undoubtedly come a long way since its more secretive origins. Today, you're almost guaranteed to spot at least one person wearing a cross necklace in public.

The popularity of crosses is not the only factor that has changed dramatically over time, though. The design of cross necklaces has also morphed and reinvented itself several times throughout history.

In this blog, we'll delve into the different types of crosses and their history to examine how this iconic jewelry has changed over time.

Gold Cross Pendants

One of the most classic and recognizable cross necklaces is the gold cross pendant. The gold cross pendant is made from solid gold and has a simple and sleek design. The minimalistic composition of this necklace roots back to some of the earliest manufactured gold cross pendants.

History of Gold Cross Pendants

There's no known recording of when gold cross pendants were first worn; however, the emergence of major religious events such as the Crusades and The Black Plague all influenced growing popularity toward wearing gold cross necklaces as a sign of faith.

Gold crosses also gained popularity as photography portraits became more popular. Women often wore these necklaces with modest tops to show off their dedication to faith.

Gold vs. Silver Crosses

Although early-age Christians also wore silver cross pendants, gold cross pendants were always more sought after. Since gold is a noble metal, jewelers primarily produced necklaces with this metal.

However, silver crosses were worn more commonly in other regions of the world. For example, Christians colonized Native American lands and offered them silver crosses to convert their faith to Christianity. These necklaces were meant to symbolize faith and connect recently converted Christians with other Christians of different cultures.  

The Ankh Cross

While most crosses are derived from a denomination of Christianity, these symbols can also relate to other cultures and beliefs. In fact, crosses were a symbol long before the creation of Christianity. For example, the ancient Egyptian ankh cross is one of the oldest and most unique cross designs.

The ankh cross has a T-shape bottom that opens up into an oval loop at the top. Many ankh crosses are often thicker to include added designs and gemstones inside the structure. The oval at the top of the ankh cross symbolizes eternity since the loop has no end. 

History of Ankh Crosses

The ankh cross is an ancient Egyptian symbol that translates to the key or cross of life. Ancient Egyptians placed some of the first ankh crosses on the lips of recently deceased Pharaohs. Since Egyptian cultures believe that death is a transition to immortality rather than an end to life, these crosses were symbols of continuing life after death. Over time, historians have theorized the ankh cross to hold several different meanings.  

The Ankh Cross May Also Symbolize:

  • Transformation
  • Respect for the dead
  • Fertility
  • Gender Fluidity 

The Nail Cross

Nail crosses are often less worn than gold cross pendants. However, these necklaces have an incredibly unique design. Nail crosses consist of three piercing silver or gold nails that intersect together to form the classic formation of a cross. The centers of these necklaces are intricately designed to look like a rope bounding each of these sharp needles. These crosses are commonly thicker, heavier, and edgier than standard cross jewelry.

History of Nail Crosses

In 1940, a cathedral in Coventry, England, was bombed and destroyed by German bombs. In the rubble of the fallen church, clergy members found three roof nails laying in the shape of a cross. After clergy members found this marvel, the design of the nail cross was born.

Since its origin, the nail cross has changed in design to become a symbol of faith and fashion. Musicians and singers often wear nail crosses as a stylish and classic edge to their performance outfits. Religious figures also wear these crosses as symbols of forgiveness and friendship.

The Crucifix

Although many people assume that a crucifix necklace is the same as a standard silver or gold cross pendant, this jewelry is entirely different. Crucifix necklaces include a pendant of a sacrificed Jesus Christ in the center of their design. Christians often wear these necklaces to symbolize Christ's love for humanity.

While cross necklaces are versatile to wear with any outfit, crucifix necklaces are more reserved for somber occasions. Wearing a crucifix with a more laid-back or casual fashion style could be offensive for some people who believe the inclusion of Christ's body in the necklace requires a higher level of sanctity. 

This jewelry holds high importance for many different groups and denominations of Christians.

History of Crucifix Necklaces

The history of the crucifix necklace is similar to gold cross pendants. Since Christians were first persecuted for practicing their faith, they wore these symbols in secret. Crosses were believed to be symbols of protection and soon became symbols of sacrifice as well.

Christians began to include Jesus Christ on crucifix necklaces as a reminder of this sacrifice and love. This crucifix symbol is also used for other sacred religious items such as prayer beads.

Cross pendants may be popular today, but these necklaces have had a long history of different meanings and symbols. We hope sharing some of the origins and uses of these crosses will help you find cross necklaces to fit your fashion and lifestyle.  

Now that you've learned all about the different types of crosses and their history, explore our collection of cross pendants to find a necklace that best suits you. Whether you wear this jewelry for faith or fashion, our Gold Presidents website has a wide variety of jewelry to explore. Whether you're searching for a gold cross pendant or solid gold nail cross, we've got you covered. To begin shopping or to learn more about our jewelry, check out our website.

The Different Types of Crosses and Their History

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