Jewelry with religious meaning has been worn for centuries by people who wish to feel closer to God and to reaffirm their faith by wearing sacred and ornamental symbols. Each separate religion has its own set of symbols and icons which represent different aspects of their faith; these are also shown in their different styles of jewelry, clothing and decorations. Wearing jewelry with religious meaning is a silent and important way for many to show and declare there faith while going about their everyday lives. Many people will receive gifts of jewelry when they have a religious ceremony and a celebration of their faith during their childhood and their spiritual education. Family and friends will cement their religious education with a simple gift of jewelry.
Christians are known to wear small crosses as pendants as well as the commonly worn St Christopher as a talisman for protection while travelling. At a child's baptism and confirmation, gifts are often given by the god parents of the child in the form of medals, jewelry and ornaments that represent a specific Christian meaning to aid the child's spiritual growth. In Ancient Egypt, symbols were very prominent in religious jewelry, the most common symbol being the Ankh, a loop above a cross, which represented eternal life and happiness. The Jewish people have a lot of jewelry and decoration containing the Hebrew Star of David which is a six-sided star thought to bring good fortune and luck to all who wear it, while in the Hindu religion many Gods are used in jewelry such as the elephant God Ganesh which is used in many different ornaments and decorations. Buddhists wear pendants in the shape of Buddha
Fashion and religion are merging in the jewelry trade and the markets now are full of beautiful earrings, bracelets and necklaces that depict many different aspects of all the worlds religions. In today's societies there are certain issues arising with people wearing religious jewelry in the work place or in school. People are trying to eradicate religion as a problem in certain places and, as it a personal choice, there should be no need to wear jewelry to affirm their own faith.
Jewelry is only one of the many ways in which religion and cultural beliefs are shown through how we look and what we wear on our bodies. Sikhs wear turbans covering their hair, Muslim women wear a head scarf and Jews wear a cap, these are all symbols of our religion which are worn in a similar way to jewelry, rosaries are carried by Catholics while prayer beads are also carried by Muslims. There are many beautiful ways in which we can use clothing and jewelry to show, recognition of spirituality, our love for God and our respect for our own religion whatever it may be.