Derived from the Latin word ‘Pendere’ meaning ‘to hang down’, a pendant (aka; heart chakra), is an ornamental element that is suspended through another piece of jewelry worn around the neck. Pendant jewelry are ornaments that are suspended from another piece of jewelry such as a necklace, chain, or a thread with a loop, usually made to be detachable, so that it can be used with different necklaces or with a pin- back to be worn as a brooch. Pendant jewelry is believed to be one of the earliest forms of bodily adornment carrying ornamental, protective, and devotional or religious significance.
The existence of pendants can be traced back to prehistoric times when bones, teeth, and shells were used dangling with a thread to be worn around the neck. The Venus of Hohle Fels – a figurine carved from mammoth’s ivory, in the shape of a woman’s body is an example of a prehistoric archaeological artifact. Later from 300 BC, the Greeks started using pendants as a form of jewelry, after they mastered making colored jewels, pearls, and emeralds. The popularity of pendant jewelry kept growing and growing until today, when most people wear it without even thinking.
Throughout history, pendants were available in different forms – serving varied purposes.
Amulets: A most common form of a pendant, ‘amulets’ are worn around the neck or on the arm or leg. These are believed to possess magical power and protect against danger or evil influence. The holy cross is a classic example of an amulet that has been worn since the development of the Roman Catholic Church.
Talisman: Similar to amulets, talismans are a form of pendant believed to have supernatural powers. However, unlike an amulet, a talisman bestows special benefits to its wearer.
Locket: A locket is a flat, round or oval shaped casket form of a pendant which is meant to hold small objects – maybe a photograph, a shell or even a hair follicle. Mostly lockets have a hook that holds a chain or a thread and could be even worn around the arm from a bracelet.
Medallion: A medallion is an oval shaped metal usually worn like a pendant around the neck or even clipped to clothing. Mostly medallions are given as awards or in the form of religious blessings.
Functional pendants: Functional pendants are characterised by the virtue of its property. Maori Pounamu pendants are used as tools, whistle pendants – Shepherd’s whistles, Bosun’s whistles and Ocarinas are some examples of functional pendants. Portable instruments and tools have also been worn as pendants. Today, fancy USB flash drives have been introduced as pendants; that’s how far pendants have come.
The trend of wearing pendants have drifted over the centuries from a mere cultural value to something of fashionable significance. A pendant symbolises a personal treasure, or something of importance to the wearer. A few typical trends include:
Sports pendants: A blend of sports and jewelry can be logically showcased in the form of a sports pendant. From being a hardcore sports team fan to identifying with a sports icon, these pendants symbolise the sportiness for both genders.
Relationship pendants: An ideal way to exhibit a union of emotions, this can be derived through relationship pendants. May it be a friendly gesture, a first proposal, or a saga of true love – all can be encompassed with this kind of pendant.
Gemstone pendants: The classic pendant, a gemstone pendant entails a high quality crystal to make it special. A birthday, a wedding, or an anniversary can be well tethered with special gemstones. An array of precious and semi-precious stones including a ruby, a sapphire, a diamond, an amethyst, rose quartz, or clear quartz can add a significant importance to any life event, or simply just worn as crystal pendant jewelry.
Fashion pendants: A vogue of generational trends can become more meaningful with fashion pendants. These pendants are iconic of the whirl of fashion through every era.
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