All About Jewelry Crucifixes

Many people wear jewelry crosses, but for different reasons. Here are some of the more popular types that are sold today.

You've probably seen many different people wearing a cross suspended from a chain around their necks. While crosses are found in other types of religious jewelry such as earrings and bracelets, they are most often crafted into decorative necklaces.

The cross represents the way in which Jesus Christ, believed by Christians to be God's Son, gave His life for the sins of the world. Even though He miraculously rose from the dead three days later, the cross (and not the tomb) remains the primary Christian icon that people wear to represent their faith.

But not everyone who wears a crucifix is religious, or even Christian. Some wear a cross because it is attractive, controversial, or even cool. Others continue a tradition that was started by a parent or grandparent. But there are those who proudly wear a crucifix as a symbol of their belief in Jesus.

Whatever your views, if you like cross necklaces, you may be interested in the various types that most department and jewelry stores offer in a range of prices and designs:

1. The Maltese cross features equal-size projects from the center of the cross, so that cross beam and ground pole match. The projections are fairly wide so that this cross seems to resemble a flower or shamrock in some ways. Popular with Europeans as well as Americans, the Maltese cross continues to attract many jewelry shoppers.

2. Celtic crosses have slender cross beams and ground poles that gradually widen near each end. It looks pretty much like a cross, however, with less intricate or floral design than a Maltese cross. A knotted Celtic cross is adorned by woven or knotted strands within the parameters of the cross, creating an intricate, aesthetically-appealing design. A claddagh Celtic cross features a circle behind the intersection of the two pieces that seems to represent a halo or light. Often used for artistic or decorate purposes, the Celtic cross is worn in many cultures for religious and fashion reasons.

3. The mariner's cross is shaped like an anchor with a hook at the end. Designed for sailors or those who relate to or support them, this crucifix is less widely worn and enjoys mainly a marine-type image. Those who are employed in nautical or marine positions often use these.

4. The Byzantine (or Orthodox) cross includes an angled foot piece that is not found on other crucifixes. Representing the Eastern, Russian, and related orthodox branches of the Catholic faith, this crucifix is distinctive in design from the traditional Catholic cross.

Jewelry crucifixes can be made of wood, metal, or jewels, depending on where you shop and how much you want to pay. They can be tiny or large, simple or ornate. Christians often give them as gifts for baptisms, communions, birthdays, and weddings. Some people choose to be buried with a crucifix.

You can shop for jewelry crosses at religious bookstores, online Websites, and jewelry stores as well as many department stores and other merchandise outlets. You may want to try on several types to find the one that fits your personality and wardrobe.

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