Star of David Necklace: Symbol of Jewish Tradition and Heritage
The Star of David (named after King David of the Israelites) or Magen David is a universally recognized symbol of Judaism or Jewish tradition. In a secular context, the star is a symbol of Israeli political and cultural identity. Formed by the shape of two intersecting equilateral triangles, the symbol is also sometimes called the Star of Solomon. Its use in art (such as in a Star of David necklace) is almost always seen as a mark of the Jewish faith, but increasingly, it appears more and more prominently in non-religious settings as well.
The Star of David’s religious use probably dates back to the Middle Ages, in decorative motifs in synagogues and in religious objects. Long before this, however, the symbol was used in ancient times for esoteric and for plain aesthetic purposes. Some scholars suggest that the appeal of the symbol to Judaism is because of its 3+3+1 configuration (six arms of the star surrounding a center), which is congruent to another sacred object in Judaism, the menorah. Most Jewish traditions consider the number 7 as a highly symbolic number.
Art and fashion: Star of David necklace and other jewelry
As mentioned above, the intrinsic beauty of the Star of David has made it a favorite decorative symbol even outside its usual religious denotations. The perfect symmetry of the star makes it a widely-used motif in architecture and interior design. Patterns based on the Magen David are also popularly used in textile and other printed art.
Apart from these, the star design is also used in a wide variety of jewelry pieces. It can be made into a pendant – a simple geometric shape, yet full of evocative meanings stemming from rich Jewish cultural traditions. The star could also serve as the head of a ring – whether made of textured metal or of metal set with gemstones, it forms a subtle yet elegant piece of jewelry.
To design a Star of David necklace, it is not necessary that the pendant be shaped as a star. For those who would rather wear a gemstone pendant, yet somehow want to incorporate Jewish symbolism, there is a novel way to add such a religious touch to an otherwise ‘plain’ piece of jewelry. A new trend in jewelry design is to engrave a stone pendant with symbols (whether art or plain text). What this means is that the Shield of David can itself be engraved on the surface of gemstones.
In this design, gemstones (which could be naturally-occurring precious stones, or in most cases, synthetic gems such as cubic zirconia remain to be the chief pendant, although they are now engraved with the symbol. A thin layer of gold, for example, may be imprinted on semiprecious stones using in this technique. A Star of David necklace, whether featuring the traditional star-shaped pendant or the innovative gold-engraved stone, is sure to be a symbol of Jewish pride. Religious art has never been this fashionable.