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In the Christian religion, the cross is a powerful symbol of love and sacrifice, and the cross necklace's meaning epitomizes that. It represents how Jesus, the Son of God who came to earth as a human, died to save all people. He was crucified on a cross, buried, then rose from the dead three days later.

As opposed to a crucifix which depicts Jesus’s body on the cross, the figure of the plain cross is always empty. The meaning of wearing a cross necklace is a symbol that focuses on the hopeful resurrection of Jesus after his death, rather than the suffering he endured during his sacrifice.

The history of the cross and the cross pendant meaning


The wearing of religious symbols on jewelry dates as far back to the Ancient Egyptians, who wore their jewelry as a way to celebrate and worship a god or belief system. The cross itself became popularized as a Christian symbol when Rome converted to a Christian empire, and the religion was no longer persecuted.

Once it became safe to express their faith, early Christians began to wear symbolic jewelry as a proclamation that identified them with their religion. The cross, previously a horrific execution device, became a widespread emblem of love and hope adorned on wearable pendants on pewter cross necklaces and silver cross necklaces .



A cross necklace is often worn by Christians today to celebrate and declare their faith. They’re commonly given as gifts for religious celebrations, such as baptisms, first communions, Christmas and Easter. Crosses can be a coming to faith present, a re-dedication to someone already seasoned in their beliefs, or a reminder to anyone going through a challenging time to keep their trust in God.

From simple to ornate, a cross necklace can be found in a multitude of different designs. There are plain in gold and sterling silver cross necklaces, while others have added symbols or meaningful words. And in some instances, men's cross necklaces can be personalized with a name or birthstone representative of their faith as well as their family.

The variety in design is what helps make cross necklaces so personal. Most people can find one that feels like it represents them and their own personal journey of faith. But what about the wearers who feel connected to a cross necklace because of the design, not the traditional silver cross necklace meaning?

Cross necklaces in fashion


Now, it’s not uncommon to see a cross necklace sold by high end fashion brands or fast fashion shops. The jewelry has developed into a style statement and has become popular among trend followers. While some may see this new adoption of the cross as insensitive or offensive, others are okay with the newfound appreciation of the symbol.

At Stephen David Leonard, I sell an array of cross necklaces that were each designed with a different meaning and purpose in mind. And while many of our necklaces are purchased by people wanting to express their faith, I love how we also have customers buying cross jewelry out of appreciation for a beautiful, meaningful piece– even if it’s outside of their own beliefs.

What does a cross necklace mean? Just as the cross and crucifix hold different symbolic purposes within the faith, the cross necklace can have a unique meaning for each wearer depending on their own life journey.

Wearing a cross necklace

wearing a cross

Symbols are complex because they are often highly influenced by context. From an execution device to a religious image, when we look at the history of the cross, we see how it transformed from a symbol of death and pain to one of hope and life. And now, in present time, the cross is not only worn as an emblem of faith, but also as a fashion trend.

This change can feel like it devalues the deep, meaningful purpose of the cross as a Christian symbol. That’s why it’s so important that all wearers come from a place of understanding and appreciation when they wear a cross as jewelry. If you know and value the spiritual purpose of the cross (and you’re here reading this article, so you’re already on your way there!), then it can be a significant piece to add to your jewelry collection.


To people of different beliefs and values, the cross can hold a different significance. Here are some ways a cross can be meaningful to you, wherever you’re at.

Religious Meanings

For a Christian, what does wearing a cross necklace mean? A cross necklace is a wearable reminder of God’s loving sacrifice, and is a way for Christians to connect to their faith.

If you’re a Christian, then chances are you already know the purpose for your cross necklace. You may wear your cross as a physical proclamation of faith that can open up conversations with those around you. Or it may be a grounding reminder to encourage you in the challenges of life. Your necklace can also inspire you to live your life with grace and faith.

You can wear the cross for all of these reasons and more. But there is no denying the powerful purpose behind such a symbolic necklace to each and every believer. By asking yourself “what does the cross necklace mean, you can discover the intricate and powerful details of what it means specifically to you.

Non-religious Meanings

What does a cross pendant mean to non-Christians? The sentimental feeling towards the cross doesn’t just belong to Christians. Many non-Christians find themselves connecting to the symbol for different reasons. With the diversity in style and look, almost everyone can find a cross necklace that they’re drawn towards.

The history of the cross can inspire strength and dedication in your everyday life. The story of Jesus dying to save others may be one you feel deeply empowered by, even if you don’t practice the faith. After all, you don’t have to be religious to understand the importance of sacrifice– especially for the lives of others.

You could also wear a cross as a reminder to have faith in love, in hope, or in people. It can be a motivator to grow into the best version of yourself, or a declaration of living a life of love and care for others.

Whatever purpose you derive from the cross, as long as you wear it with understanding and appreciation, then it can be a great personal piece to own.

At Stephen David Leonard, we create cross necklaces with thought and meaning in mind. Take a look at our diverse collection and find a design that connects to your story.

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