The incredible array of religious jewelry designs
surpasses even the number of religions, extinct
or still present today. Through the history of
mankind religions arose, some stayed while
other vanished into obscurity. A number of
symbols from each religion - or at the very least a
belief system - were created to represent the
various significant / sacred items pertinent to
each individual religion.
Religious jewelry is an outward symbol of a
person's beliefs, thus this type of jewelry is often
seen as the physical manifestation of those
beliefs or at the very least as a talisman that will
emotionally help them or save them from various
types of evil. The most representative and
recognized symbols of each main religion are as
Christianity: the cross represents the instrument of
the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. A crucifix differs
in that it also includes a representation of Jesus'
Judaism: the 6-point Star of David (also known as
the Shield of David) is formed by the compound
of two equilateral triangles.
Buddhism: the Dharma Wheel basically stands as a
representation of the cycle of reincarnation.
Islam: the Star and Crescent is a relatively new
representation of the religion since the early
Muslim community did not have a symbol.
Hinduism: the Aum (also spelled Om).
Taoism: the Yin Yang describes how opposite
forces are interconnected and interdependent.
There is a myriad of other symbols and sacred artifacts
that can be made into jewelry, especially pendants
and bracelets. Some of those symbols and their
accepted meanings include:
The Eye of God: otherwise known as the Eye of
Providence, it symbolizes God watching over all
things. The symbol is formed by a stylized eye inside
of a triangle.
The Ichthus: a symbol consisting of two intersecting
arcs extending beyond the meeting point so as to
resemble the profile of a fish. It is related to Jesus
mentioning to his disciples " I will make you fishers
The Hamsa: palm-shaped amulet featuring a stylized
eye popular throughout the Middle East believed to
protect against the evil eye.
The Ankh: it is a cross of Egyptian origin that
represents the concept of eternal life.
The Lotus flower: it is a symbol that parallels the
growth of the actual flower with the process one has
to go through to achieve enlightenment.
The Trisula: also spelled trishul or trihsula, it is a
trident spear emblem of the Hindu god Shiva.
Celtic endless knots: the Celtic knot can represent the
uninterrupted life cycle.
The Tree of Life: depending on the culture, it either
represents the interconnection of all life on earth or
the union of heaven, earth and underworld among
Prayer boxes: this pendant was originally worn as a
ritual object, now it is used primarily for sentimental
reasons. One can place a small meaningful object
inside the prayer box and hope for a wish to come
The Irish Claddagh: usually a ring, it features two
hands clasping a heart surmounted by a crown.
Traditionally, this rings indicates a person's marital
status or emotional availability.