If you want a cross to stay with you wherever you go and whatever you do, it is not necessary to wear a cross pendant. A cross ring will help delicately replace (or complement) the common Christian jewelry item. Moreover, a cross ring is not only for faithful Christians, but also for impudent fashionistas who are not scared of rocking powerful religious symbols.
Is it right to wear a cross ring?
If you are a religious person, then cross jewelry is a reminder that you must keep your thoughts clear, honor God, and serve him. Although the common religious ornament is a crucifix or discreet cross pendant, the church does not prohibit wearing of jewelry featuring religious symbols. In the end, people wore rings to demonstrate their religious beliefs even before crosses and crucifixes took over. Besides, clergymen wear rings (for example, Piscatory Ring on the Pope’s finger, bishops flaunt rings adorned with amethyst, not to mention various personal rings belonging to priests and clergy), so why can't you?
If you are not a believer, whether to wear cross jewelry or not is a controversial matter. In the 21st century, society is very tolerant to a person’s manifestation of his or her inner self, so you are free to express your individuality as you please, including putting on cross rings. The church did not monopolize the image of the cross; therefore, despite the dissatisfaction of some Christians, wearing a cross as an ornament is not a crime.
Types of Cross Rings
No doubt, the most recognizable is the Latin (Roman) cross aka Catholic cross. A ring featuring such a symbol will certainly draw in the eyes of passersby. If you desire to enhance the eye-catching effect, you can choose an item crafted of contrasting materials. For example, a ring itself may be made of silver while the cross features a gold hue. If you consider yourself a bold person who is not afraid of vivid images and attributes, you can also go for a crucifix ring.
It is not necessary to show off the most famous Christian symbol to make a statement. There are about a hundred varieties of crosses, each of which is able to adorn any piece of jewelry. For example, a trefoil cross transforms a familiar shape by smoothing the angles and adding a trefoil-shaped extension at the ends of the cross bars. Encrusted with shimmering gems, a trefoil Cross ring will be an accessory that commands attention.
The Greek cross is historically considered the earliest. Unlike the Latin Cross, its bars are equilateral, i.e. look like a plus sign. This shape is also called the square cross, as well as the cross of St. George. It was a traditional Byzantium cross (Greece was the part of Byzantium, which is why the cross obtained this name). This cross is frequently found in emblems (for example, in the symbolism of the Red Cross), including coats of arms and flags of many states (such as Greece, Malta, and Switzerland). With a Greek cross ring, not only do you pay homage to the early Christian symbol, but also celebrate its significance in world culture.
Another cross that has come down to us from the Byzantine Empire is the Byzantine Cross. Constantine, the ruler of the Byzantine Empire, was an ardent supporter of Christianity. Thanks to his efforts, Christianity spread out throughout Byzantium. The main symbol of Byzantine Christianity was the cross expanding at the ends. In fact, this is the same Latin cross but with flared beams.
The above-mentioned cross symbols are much loved and revered by all Christians. However, there is a category of crosses that causes negative feelings in pious Christians. Some of them have earned a reputation as satanic crosses, while others have fallen victim to ideology and are forever rejected by regular people. Having said this, you should not deprive yourself of a stylish accessory just because it can raise somebody’s eyebrows.
For example, the infamous Iron Cross gained notoriety after Nazi Germany made it the main military award. Prior to this, the Iron Cross was awarded to soldiers of the Prussian Empire for achievements in military affairs and was considered a symbol of masculinity and courage. The iron cross was a little bit luckier than the swastika, another symbol perverted by the Nazi ideology. After the end of the Second World War, the Iron Cross became widespread among American bikers, for whom it became a manifesto of disobedience. Bikers were not neo-Nazis, but as soldiers, they picked up the military awards of the fallen enemies as trophies. When the war wrapped up, they used the awards to shock the public. Today, the Iron Cross ring on a biker's finger no longer causes shock. This is one of the established biker symbols and it only means that a motorcyclist belongs to a biker community.
The Celtic Cross, despite the fact that it symbolizes Celtic Christianity, evokes ambiguous feelings. On the one hand, it is a Christian symbol. On the other hand, it features pagan signs. Indeed, the central element of the cross is a circle, which denotes the sun. It is no secret that many pagans worshiped the sun, and the Celts are no exception. So that the process of introducing Christianity in Ireland went smoothly, St. Patrick decided to combine the symbol familiar to the Celts (the circle) with the symbol of the new religion, that is, the cross. The Celtic cross restored its popularity when jewelers began to depict it on rings, necklaces, and pendants. The unusual shape and intricate patterns known as the Celtic knot make this cross attractive in the eye of every fashionista.
Another cross featuring a circle is the ankh. Because this cross accommodates a circle atop, it is often called the Cross with a handle. This cross is a religious symbol of Coptic (Egyptian) Christians and it means life. It became controversial after the main characters-vampires in The Hunger movie flaunted an Ankh pendant. Due to cinematographers, the sign became associated with Satanists, vampire fans, and Goths. This is a frequent motif of Gothic jewelry.