The word “Jewelry” is generally used to refer to any decorative piece that is used for enhancing the beauty of our bodies and accessorizing the clothes that we wear on different occasions and at various places. Using jewelry dates back to the ancient times as it has been used by people in different countries around the world although they belong to diverse cultures. Jewelry is sometimes considered to be a reflection of the person’s personality, financial and social status, political affiliation, religious beliefs and more features that can be reflected through the jewelry pieces that we choose to wear. There are specific cultures that started to use jewelry for reflecting religious affiliation and beliefs. Do you know anything about these cultures? To get more information about the cultures that used jewelry in the form of religious symbols to create this type of jewelry that is called religious jewelry, take a look at the following religious jewelry pieces and the cultures that they belong to.
♦ Religious jewelry in Roman Christianity
After Christianizing the Roman Empire, there were many Christian symbols that appeared during that time and are still considered to be very popular among people till now such as the cross, the Christian fish charm and the rosary. Rosary beads are used as prayer beads especially by the Catholic Church while the cross was used in the past and is still used as one of the most popular symbols in the religious jewelry that is worn by Christians to represent God’s love and to remind us of what the Christ suffered from. Christian jewelry nowadays includes additional symbols such as Last Supper that is depicted on different jewelry pieces and the tiny rosaries that are given to babies on their Baptism.
♦ Native American religious jewelry
Creating native American religious jewelry was based on using natural materials such as feathers, metals such as silver, minerals like turquoise and other materials that are used to remind people of the Earth around them. Native American religious jewelry was worn on different occasions such as harvest rituals, healing ceremonies, after marriage for newly married couples and other events that require wearing religious jewelry in specific colors, materials and symbols that suit the event or occasion on which the religious jewelry is worn.
♦ Jewish religious jewelry
The most famous and widely recognized religious symbol in Judaism is the Star of David which is also known as Magen Star. Wearing such a symbol shows that its wearer is a Jew and this six-sided star stands for good luck.
♦ Religious jewelry in ancient Egypt
Egyptian religious jewelry that was used in ancient Egypt was really symbolic and effective to the extent that the symbols which appeared in ancient Egyptian religious jewelry are still used in Egypt till now and are also considered to be attractive pieces for the tourists who visit Egypt. The symbols that appeared in ancient Egyptian religious jewelry include lotus, falcon, scarab, serpent, ankh and the Eye of Horus that appears in various jewelry pieces which are created for both men and women nowadays. The Eye of Horus stands for healing, scarab represents resurrection and brings good luck and there is also ankh which is one of the most famous symbols in ancient Egypt and is also known as the key of life which represents eternal life.
Ancient Egyptian religious jewelry was not cheap as it was created from precious metals such as gold and incrusted with semi-precious stones but after the arrival of the Roman era, the Egyptian religious jewelry was created of cheap materials and using Christian symbols increased. After the arrival of Islam in Egypt, wearing gold jewelry was limited to women and men were forbidden to wear this type of jewelry but they are allowed to wear silver jewelry which has become more common in Egyptian religious jewelry. The symbols that are used in Egyptian religious jewelry nowadays are completely different from what was used in the ancient Egyptian religious jewelry and the materials are less expensive and luxurious.
Religious symbols can be found in different types of jewelry pieces that we wear such as bracelets, pendants, rings, necklaces and even earrings. Most of the religious symbols that were used in jewelry in the past are still present and are used nowadays but for decorative purposes, fashion, style, accessorizing what we wear and enhancing our beauty instead of being worn for a religious purpose as it was in the past. It is thought that wearing religious jewelry strengthens one’s faith and always reminds us of God’s existence, do you believe in that?