Pendant, in jewelry, ornament suspended from a bracelet, earring, or, especially, a necklace. Pendants are derived from the primitive practice of wearing amulets or talismans around the neck. The practice dates from the Stone Age when pendants consisted of such objects as teeth, stones, and shells.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore pendants that were sometimes of huge dimensions, usually bearing commemorative or auspicious scenes in which the sovereign is being deified. Other pendants were in the shape of flies, winged scarabs, vultures, the eye of the god Horus, falcons, and sacred serpents. An exquisite example of an early gold pendant is that of two hornets clasped together, found in Mycenae and dating from the 17th century BCE. Etruscan pendants were decorated with spindles and cylinders, figured, or in the shape of human heads. Greek and Hellenistic pendants usually formed the entire necklace. Pendants in the shape of a bulla are frequent in Roman necklaces, but there are also examples of cameos, intaglios, and gold coins mounted as pendants.
During the Middle Ages, characteristic jewels were the reliquary, or devotional, pendant, and the cross, chased or enameled with religious subjects and often set in an architectural frame. One of the most famous early pendant reliquaries, which belonged to Charlemagne, contained relics of the True Cross and the crown of thorns under a sapphire set with gold. In the 14th century, it was customary for noblemen to wear necklaces with pendants bearing heraldic subjects; pendants are worn by women who generally depicted sentimental subjects.
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Gorgeous texture highlights the unique but classical beauty of this cross motif pendant. Featuring white hue detailing on the horizontal section, this beauty is designed in 14k tri-color gold.
An inspiring round religious medal is encircled in a lovely textured halo in this dramatic and awe-inspiring 14k yellow and white gold pendant.
White tone heart and geometric accents highlight the symbolic meaning of this Claddagh style cross pendant. Made of 14k two-tone gold.
Magnificent, flourishes, in yellow tone borders the white hue textured center of this stunning cross pendant crafted in 14k two-tone gold.
An outer cross motif with a rectangular block-like ends borders a slender center detailing on this gorgeous pendant. Truly striking in 14k two-tone gold.
An exquisitely designed figure in a white tone adorns the middle section of this budded design crucifix pendant. Crafted in superb 14k two-tone gold.
Wonderfully charming, this pendant features an intricate love knot style and line textures. Quite lovely in 14k yellow gold and sterling silver.
A classic symbol of the sea and nautical adventures, this textured gold anchor pendant hangs gracefully from a fine chain. Pendant measures 25 millimeters by 10 millimeters. The pendant is 18 inches long and closes with a lobster clasp.
The smooth surfaces and slightly organic form give artistic appeal to this expertly crafted open circle pendant. Highly polished gold delights the eye while the center aperture provides interest. Suspended from a movable bail the 18 inches box chain included.