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Beauty in Religion: The Many Faces of Jewelry in Religion

Wed, Aug. 02, 2017 Posted: 04:20 AM


Beauty is inherently in all religions. The stories told in ancient texts tell of incredible feats of the human spirit and of untold wonders that lie beyond the gates of life. There is little that can be compared to what people imagine the heavens could be like, except for jewelry. There are several types of stones and precious metals that capture people's imagination, which is probably the reason jewelry has been used in religion for all sorts of reasons that are going to be explored here.

Ancient Use of Precious Stones
Precious stones have been used for spiritual purposes since they were discovered. For example, diamonds were once thought of as supernatural stones that could ward off evil spirits and help people deal with ailments. Some people swallowed small fragments to get rid of diseases. Ancient Vedic texts also speak about gems and their power to heal a person. Christians used to use precious stones and metals to establish a channel of communication between God and themselves.

Precious Stone Use Today
Believe it or not, there are many religions and even scientists who have noted that some precious stones seem to give off energy waves. Some of that ancient knowledge might have some truth to it.

Of course, stones and precious metals are not normally used to ward off spirits in modern-day religions, but there are plenty of religions who still use gemstones to help balance energy. People who practice yoga, spiritualism, some Hindu religions, and even some Christians also use stones or precious metals to promote energetic balance.

Of course, the most common use of precious stones and precious metals in religion is in accessories and jewelry. The following are just some of the different ways religions use jewelry:

Christians
The most common way Christians use stones and metals is in jewelry. It is normal to see Christians wear necklaces with crosses or earrings in the form of crosses. The point of doing something like this is to honor the sacrifice that God made when he gave his only begotten son to the world in order to forgive them. Crosses are sometimes adorned with stones, crystals, or other types of gemstones for added beauty.

Catholics
Catholics use stones and precious metals for reasons similar to Christians, but there is a small difference. Some Catholics use metals and precious stones to make rosaries. These look like necklaces, but they are tools that Catholics use to pray. Some use them because it makes them feel closer to Christ while others use them to keep track of the people and things they need to pray for.

Jewish
Jewish people have their own necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that bare symbols associated with their religion. These are used to remind them of their religion, and it also serves as an identifier. Those who wear these symbols are telling other Jewish people that they are practicing their faith.

An example of a special way that precious metals or stones are used in the Jewish community that might differ from other religions deals with the mezuzah. This is a small case usually made from precious metals with a few stones adorning it, which is placed on the doorposts of Jewish homes. The case contains handwritten words that correspond with the words of God, which is meant to help Jewish people keep the word of God in their hearts at all times.

Hindu
Those who practice Hindu religions also wear jewelry in some of the ways mentioned earlier. Bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are commonplace, but one specific item is special to this religion, which is called a bindi.

The bindi comes in many shapes and sizes. Some are nothing more than paint, but others are made out of thin pieces of silver or gold. Bindis are small dots that are worn right between the eyebrows. They are meant to represent the Third Eye, though some believe they represent wisdom. This religion uses precious metals in an interesting way.

Of course, these are just some of the ways religions use stones or precious metals, but there are others. Attempting to understand different cultures is probably the easiest way to figure out how other religions use jewelry today or how it was used historically.

George Smith