What is a pendant?

Many people use the words ‘pendant’ and ‘necklace’ interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference between the two. A pendant is in fact a type of necklace, usually a plain and unadorned chain that features a large jewel or other motif hanging in the middle over the wearer’s chest area.

Many cultures across the Earth have examples of early pendants within their cultural jewellery. Natural materials like bone, shell and decorative rock have been discovered as ancient examples of pendants. They could be used purely for aesthetic purposes, or also often as a symbol of good luck, also known as a talisman.

In the middle ages, pendants were worn to showcase people’s religious beliefs. Symbols of Christianity were very popular, to demonstrate the wearer’s devotion to their God: a cross, or a crown of thorns for example. They were especially popular amongst royal society. Meanwhile, in Ancient Egypt, large pendants showcasing painted mythological scenes or carved into the shape of sacred animals like the scarab beetle were worn by the ruling Pharaohs.

Mythology continued to be a popular subject of pendants throughout the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. More precious gemstones started to be used: sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds were all popular, as well as less expensive onyx and agate that were fashioned into intricate cameos. Locket pendants were also all the rage and came in many different metal types that could be engraved and set onto a long chain for daily wear.  

Later, the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements were incredibly influential on the design of the pendant necklaces of the day. Visually appealing animals such as butterflies and peacocks were heavily featured, as were the iconic geometric designs of the period.

Pendants are so versatile, and can range from elaborate and formal to simple, clean designs that are suitable for everyday wear. They are a highly-valued symbol of effortless class and personality in many cultures today. Check out the gorgeous range of Trollbeads pendants now, and find one that showcases your signature style.