Cross Necklaces Opera Deus Henri Maillardet

The history of the Cross Necklace and how it transcends generations

CATEGORY: Exclusive Jewellery Henri Maillardet AUTHOR: Voice of Henri
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You keep it in the palm of your hands in the eve of strong emotions, be them feelings of fear, happiness, impatience or love. The Cross Necklace is a very powerful symbol with special bonds for the ones who choose to wear it. This symbol has been a part of human culture for centuries, mostly associated with religious events and clerical figures.

Of course this has changed with time, meaning that the cross has borrowed its exclusivity to people outside the clerical world. Many types of cross necklaces, made of different materials and with various purposes have been worn throughout history – to make a statement, to protect, to adorn and to serve the higher purpose it was always meant to serve. Because the cross sign is a very delicate symbol, incorporating it in jewellery design has always been a matter of beauty and controversy at the same time.

A brief history of the emblematic Cross Necklace

Religious symbols have been worn as jewellery since the age of Ancient Egyptians as a way of celebrating and worshipping Gods or a system of beliefs. 

The cross necklace became more and more popular as a Christian symbol when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity and the religion was no longer persecuted. Thus, the cross that was previously regarded as a means of execution, became a widespread emblem of love and hope – as was Jesus’ crucifixion. During the the first few centuries after this emblematic event, however, the symbol was to be worshiped and worn in secret.

In the beginning of the 4th century, the Christian religion became tolerated though the Edict of Milan, later becoming the official religion in the Roman Empire. Since then, the crucifix became a prominent symbol in art going forward, being particularly present in paintings. Once it became safe and acceptable to openly celebrate one’s faith, early Christians began to wear symbolic jewellery as a proclamation that identified them with their religion. As a result, as more people converted to this growing religion, the popularity of wearing a cross also began to rise.

At first, the cross pendants were golden pieces exclusively dedicated to clergy members as a sign of reverence and devotion and they were very large and heavy. These necklaces were made of expensive and precious metals, often decorated with large gemstones in their centres. However, in order to allow plebeians to partake in religious devotion in a similar manner, bone, stone and even wood versions of the cross necklace were created.

As believers thought the cross brought comfort and peace in times of trouble, during the Ages of Crusaders and the Black Death, the pandemic that started in Prague, more and more people chose to wear a cross necklace in order to help them overcome these difficult times. Furthermore, large cross pendants have even been used in burial tombs for kings and queens, as well as monks and bishops. 

This type of jewellery has also helped people spread their faith, as it managed to transcend language barriers as a result of its powerful spiritual meaning. In fact, during colonial times, many Native Americans were given silver crosses as gifts if they chose to convert to Christianity.

The Cross Necklace – beyond the religious bond

Apart from the religious component, the cross necklace has become a stylish item for many people. From 1863, when King Fredrick VII of Denmark gifted his daughter Alexandra with a Dagmar – a type of ancient cross – as she was about to marry the Prince of Wales, the piece immediately became a must have. Furthermore, this act skyrocketed the popularity of cross jewellery as nobles and commoners sought their own.

Another factor that helped the spreading of cross necklace trend was the photography industry, as it became a respected item to wear when having a portrait made. Women would show off their style in the most modest way possible, wearing high cleavage tops that emphasised their cross jewellery, in order to display their devotion. As a result, this led to a high demand in daintier crosses, as wearing a cross was fashionable, feminine and demure.

No matter the denomination, the cross is a universal symbol of faith and it is exactly this characteristic that makes it popular, as the simplicity of the cross allows more personalisation, such as adding your favourite precious gem in its centre. 

Opera Deus, the new Henri Maillardet design jewellery collection, aims to express the purity and love of your faith. The entire concept is built on the powerful foundation of spirituality and brought to light in a majestic way by artisans. It is destined to celebrate the deepest emotions reflected in our understanding of divinity. The cross necklaces from this special collection are decorated exclusively with the finest and most precious stones. As they touch your skin, they connect your intentions to your actions.

The most suitable material to give the well-deserved nobility to cross necklaces is definitely gold. Its properties, its timelessness and undeniable value completes the classical symbol perfectly.

A precious interpretation of a classic symbol, the refined Opera Deus collection is the modern way to wear your spirituality out in the open. The most beautiful round, cut to perfection, diamonds, rubies and sapphires enrich the two sides of the cross, thus transforming these necklaces into works of art. And a true declaration of living a life full of love and care for others and yourself.

The history of the cross symbol in jewellery can inspire strength and dedication in your everyday life. Wear it as an amulet to inspire yourself and others to live life with gratitude. Whatever the meaning derived from this symbol speaks to you, as long as you wear it with understanding and appreciation, it becomes a precious heirloom that undoubtedly transcends generations.

DATE: 04.08.21 CATEGORY: Exclusive Jewellery Henri Maillardet AUTHOR: Voice of Henri


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