JERUSALEM CROSS PENDANT: COMBINING GREAT ARTISTRY WITH RICH CHRISTIAN TRADITION
The Christian faithful have always worn pendants since the dawn of Christianity, more than two millennia ago. By the time of the Crusades, one type of pendant became very popular among Christians – the Jerusalem cross pendant. The unique design of the Jerusalem cross became not only a way for Christians to express and symbolize their faith; it has also come to be regarded as an attractive piece of jewelry and ornamental item.
The basic Christian cross is universally recognized by almost everyone, but the Jerusalem cross features a unique and different style due to its particular historical roots within Christianity. The design of a Jerusalem cross pendant is a direct descendant of the Crusader cross, which was chosen as the emblem of the Templar Crusaders around the time of the short-lived Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. Historical references point out that the Jerusalem cross was used by Godfrey de Bouillon, who used the symbol on his coat of arms when he ruled Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades.
The Jerusalem cross pendant features a design based on the traditional cross shape, but it has additional four smaller crosses on every corner of the larger cross. Also, the central cross tends to be more symmetric compared to other crosses, which are rather ’top-heavy’.
The Jerusalem cross pendant, as a consequence of its design, expresses unique symbolic significance for Christians. The central cross either represents Christ himself, or it could be a symbol of the Holy City of Jerusalem, considered by many as the spiritual center of the world.
The smaller crosses in the Jerusalem cross pendant represent the four corners of the world. The crosslets are on each branch of the central cross, and it can also represent the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Additionally, the four crosslets can also be taken to mean the Four Gospels being spread out to the four corners of the world.
Christian jewelry still makes wide and popular use of the Jerusalem cross. Pendant designs featuring the cross can be seen in wooden, metallic, or crystalline jewelry pieces. In recent years, the designs have been gaining popularity in the online community. For example, crosses and pendants that are made in Jerusalem itself are fast becoming hot items on the Internet. Sellers of these items have noted that the symbols have been appreciated even by non-Christians, perhaps because of the uniqueness of its design.
Perhaps one thing that may interest Christians and jewelry-fanciers alike is that the Jerusalem cross can now be directly etched on precious stones. This Jerusalem cross pendant features a 24-karat gold etching of the Crusader Cross, engraved on the face of the stone. New printing techniques also allow 24 k gold letters to be etched on the stone. One Jerusalem cross pendant is imprinted with Luke 9:50-52: “As the time approached Him to be taken to heaven Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”
This timeless jewelry piece offers a great item for Christians who not only want to profess their faith in symbols, but like to express it with great artistry blended with rich cultural tradition.