There are many different religions and there are as many different forms of religious jewelry that coincides with each religion. There are religious jewelry pieces for the Protestant faith, Catholic faith, and Islamic and Jewish faiths as well. Religion and ceremonial practices go back to the Old Testament of the Bible, and jewelry has been associated with the earliest practices of faith.
Archaeologists have discovered various religious jewelry pieces dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. Some of these symbols are still being employed in jewelry today. For the Ancient Egyptians however, jewelry would bear symbols such as serpents, seeing eyes, scarab or beetle, and the Ankh. To the Egyptians, for religious purposes, the Ankh represented eternal life, the eye represented healing, and the scarab represented good luck. As time went on however, Egypt began to lose its ancient religious practices. Roman Catholicism was on the rise and soon, Egypt was taken over by the Muslim faith. Thus putting a quiet end to the ancient Egyptian religious jewelry.
Catholicism became very popular during the Middle Ages and so did
the wide spread of Catholic religious jewelry. These pieces include
rosary beads, jewelry bearing the cross, and the fish symbol. Both
Buddhist and Islamic faith also use rosary beads.
Native Americans also had their own religious jewelry. Many Native American beliefs centered on the earth and man's harmony with nature. The type of jewelry created by the early Native Americans evidences this. The jewelry was mostly constructed of natural materials, such as feathers, beads, silver, and turquoise.
Many tribal rituals and ceremonies also involved the use of religious jewelry. Religious jewelry has been used to signify status, wealth, and power and there are still examples of these attributes being identified by jewelry as evidenced by tribal body piercing to the