Jewellery has always been a means of expression and has the potential to powerfully portray an intended image to the world. The majority of people on the planet tend to depict their opinions and beliefs in some manner and that expression must be brought into communication in some way to be rendered a reality. At times the image we portray isn’t intentional at all but still says something about us. Jewellery tends to make a statement just as much if not more than any other thing that we choose to adorn us. It always helps us tell our personal stories. It can speak of our religious or political beliefs, our cultural identities or tribal affiliations as well as our belonging to any formal or informal groupings. We may also ¬†choose to wear a piece of jewellery simply for our appreciation of the skill in it’s making, it’s monetary value, fashion statement or sheer beauty.

The pendant or necklace has always been a major focal point for our expressive tendencies. As an object it hangs or sits center stage in the middle of the chest at varying lengths. It gathers the attentions of others as it moves and exists with the body. The use of and desire for symbolism in the design of pendants seems almost universal and helps make certain forms of expression possible. Adorning the body with symbols associated with beliefs and life experiences can be quite powerful for the wearer and lend the object an amuletic or talismanic quality.

Amulets and talismans are usually objects worn on the body (but not exclusively), usually symbolic in nature with the intent of bringing the wearer protection, good luck or healing. An amulet is usually a natural object and a talisman man made. Either one can be used imitatively and often are, lending the wearer the qualities and properties that the object engenders. This is seen often in metaphysics where the wearer dons a certain crystal or stone for it’s spiritual or healing properties. In Catholicism and Christianity the crucifix and rosary are considered extremely powerful and capable of invoking God’s protection if held, worn, prayed over or kept in the environment. In european countries such as Greece, Italy or Turkey the belief in the evil eye is common and many different types of amulets and talismans are employed to protect the individual. Sometimes many objects are worn at once on one chain to deflect and counteract it. Gold horns, hamsa hands, blue and white beads, magical symbols, colored threads and bells are used as well as any kind of shiny object.

Besides having protective and talismanic properties many symbols are represented in pendants that can be personally meaningful and powerful for that individual at a specific time in their life. These symbols may indicate an interest, belief or affiliation, or may simply represent an emotion or feeling.

The butterfly is commonly seen represented by jewellers and artists and it’s meaning is manyfold. In Greek culture it’s a symbol of the soul and in Christianity indicates the cycles of life. It is a symbol of transformation and metamorphosis and of the ability to courageously accept drastic changes that are a natural part of life. It also is associated with happiness, love, patience, rebirth and freedom.

The swallow is a symbol that became popular with sailors as tattoos and is also seen depicted in pendants and jewellery. The birds became a symbol of home, as they were often the first to land on ships that had been away at sea for great lengths of time. In the old kingdom of Egypt the swallow was associated with stars and the souls of the dead. Later the swallow also became synonymous with new love in Egyptian love poetry. It is a bird of good omen and fortune and is a symbol of faithfulness, reliability, regularity and predictability.

The umbrella, in Buddhism is one of the eight auspicious symbols that represent and make up the body of Buddha. The umbrella is seen as a symbol of protection, royalty and divinity. The ability to protect oneself from inclement weather and intense sunshine has always been a status symbol. Umbrellas have always been a part of processional rituals and held above the heads of deities in their depictions as a sign of respect. The symbol of the umbrella in dreams may represent the release of emotional tension with the strength for it to occur.

The heart is a symbol of love, truth, trust, compassion, joy, charity and passion. The heart symbol may signify the divine love of Christ’s sacred heart as well as higher consciousness. In the Egyptian book of the dead the heart portion of the soul was weighed out in relation to the feather of Ma’at indicating it’s level of evolvement.