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A Cross Pendant: Is it Costume Jewelry of a Sign of Your Religion?

A Cross Pendant: Is it Costume Jewelry of a Sign of Your Religion?

Church shops offer a wide variety of saints’ jewelry. Many believers wonder if they may combine saint medals with cross pendants. And do we have the right to wear crosses as decorative elements of our look following the current fashion trends? Religious people and fashion designers have controversial opinions on this matter. Still, they come to a consensus that the cross must be treated with reverence and care. The cross is able to touch up your look but only if you choose it properly.

Is it OK to Wear Cross Pendants?

Every person can wear a cross pendant or a pendant showing an icon of a saint. However, it is impossible to replace a pectoral cross with saints’ jewelry. After all, the cross carries certain significance for a person and other jewelry is simply incapable of taking its place. Indeed, we often start wearing the cross since birth, and thus we endow it with special meaning. We can complement our cross jewelry with other pieces but we can’t entrust these other pieces with the same mission. Sacred jewelry should be worn under clothes and, if possible, hidden. It is best if you hang this cross on a long necklace so that you are able to remove it without using a clasp.

It is a different story if a cross pendant for men is just a piece of jewelry. You may wish to put it on for specific occasions or themed looks. It is unlikely that you think of this piece as something special or sacred. In this case, you can combine your decorative cross with any pendant or necklace you like.

The Best Way to Wear Your Cross Pendant

Many people ask if they can wear crosses together with pendants featuring other religious symbols. The answer is yes, you can, but make sure both pieces have their own chain or string. You need to separate religious symbols from each other because the cross is the central figure of Christianity and other images play only a secondary role. It also makes sense to choose the same metal for your cross and other pendants. So, if the symbol of your spirituality is made of silver, pick other decorative elements to match it.

Should your cross be the largest of your pendants? Not necessarily. The church teaches us to be moderate when it comes to our spiritual jewelry. If you obey its rules, your cross is probably fairly small. You can choose other jewelry to match it but there is nothing wrong if your other pendants are larger. After all, believers are encouraged to hide their pectoral cross, but they don’t have to hide all their jewelry pieces.

Materials for Your Cross Pendants

Although modesty is the virtue of a true Christian, we make our choice in favor of precious metals when looking for crosses. This choice has a practical justification – precious metals are resilient. The same cross can be our companion from the moment of baptism until death. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that gold, platinum, and silver crosses dominate religious jewelry. Still, if you want to combine modesty with durability, you give preference to silver crosses. This metal is noble and at the same time, it is devoid of pretentiousness.

Over time, silver cross pendants may tarnish. Many people believe that this is a manifestation of the amulet’s protective qualities. They say it turned black saving its owner from negative energy. In fact, tarnishing is the normal reaction of silver to sulfur. A darkened cross is easy to clean in warm soapy water.

Metals are not a hard and fast choice for religious jewelry. The very first pectoral crosses were made of wood. You can find plenty of wood models now but they need to be worn very carefully. You should avoid contact with water, body lotions, sweat, and such stuff because they will harm the delicate material. Although the church doesn’t recommend taking off a pectoral cross, if it is crafted of wood, you have to remove it every time you go to shower, swim, or exercise.

‘What about steel crosses?’ you may ask. Although many people consider them costume jewelry, the symbol of your faith can be made of this material. Unlike silver, it won’t tarnish. It doesn’t react with water or chemicals, and its price is more than affordable. Still, out of respect to crosses, we recommend silver. The price of silver crosses is not much higher, but they offer so much more nobility.

Should your cross be deprived of embellishment? The time-tested ways to enhance decorative qualities of a pectoral cross are engraving (especially if it features a prayer), embossing, enamel, as well blackening if this piece is made of silver. The church has an ambiguous attitude to inlaid jewelry. On the one hand, priests wear truly luxurious crosses. On the other hand, they preach modesty, and precious stones cannot be called modest. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. If your inlays are small and don’t distract attention from the cross itself, then you have nothing to worry about.

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