Pendant necklaces: Cross my heart and hope to buy…

When you think of pendant necklaces, you probably think of either a silver cross pendant necklace or a heart pendant necklace, and with good reason – these have been around for ages and ages, especially the cross ones. Obviously, the cross pendant has a more religious connotation than the heart pendant and has been around much longer, but today both are equally sought as fashion jewelry. Of course, to cover the subject of pendant necklaces in detail we'd require a book and a few hours of reading, so here we'll just take a fleeting glimpse of what's "in store", though you might be surprised at the range of pendants necklaces on virtual and real shelves.

Cross-shaped pendant necklaces

First, let's look at the various models of cross heart pendants and necklaces. With the kind of popularity they enjoy, it's only expected that the number of variations are huge. Cross shapes themselves are indicative of various cultures, eras and styles. There are budded crosses with three-pronged end caps, called orthodox crosses; Latin or Western crosses, also known as the chapel cross, which has equal width along every arm, or slightly flared towards the ends; ornate decorative crosses, which are modern interpretations of older designs; each of these has an astounding number of variations representing different styles, but the basic commonality is the essential cross shape. On a pendant these have been worn for centuries by men of the cloth and a personal fashion statement of wealth by men and women for equally as long.

Have a heart, I'm a writer not a mathematician

Heart pendant necklaces are more recent, but they've become as popular in that shorter period of time. Here too, there are several variants on the basic heart design. It is interesting to note that the traditional 'heart shape' is most likely from the shape of a seed from the plant called Silphium. Surprisingly, the herb was used in ancient times as a form of contraceptive; go figure! Whatever the true source of the shape, its simple symmetric outline made it one of the most popular icons in history, even though its resemblance to the actual human heart is minimal at best. It also deserves mention that the shape can be drawn using the mathematical formula (x2+y2-1)3-x2y3=0, but for the sake of preserving the erudite reputation of the writer of this article, no further explanation will be given (self-initiated research by the reader would be much appreciated, encouraged and lauded at this point, along with a note to the article writer once you've done so!)

Back to the heart part

Having extricated myself (just) out of that situation, let's continue with heart-shaped pendant necklaces. There are essentially two types – flat and 3-D. Again, there are several variants on the original basic shape, and you're sure to find the one you have in mind if you spend a little time browsing.

For the 'necksclusive' buyer

Pendant necklaces for the more upmarket neck can be found with Swarovski and other exclusive fashion jewelry retailers. Any shape you can think of, they've probably already made and sold hundreds of. Try Swarovski's special range of metallic coatings, like the Aurora Borealis (or AB), which gives an oily-film rainbow refraction kind of finish that really sets the night on fire in the right light.

Custom-made precious metal pendant necklaces

There are many more options, like sterling silver or 14k gold pendant necklaces that are available in a range of price points from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for the diamond-studded ones made popular by rap and hip-hop artists. In fact, all you need to do is come up with a design and a setting, and any jeweler worth his acid gold test kit should be able to translate that into a pendant necklace. What you wear will also be a function of how comfortable it is, so avoid porcupine designs for a start; other than that, you'll be pretty much alright.