A sterling silver twist cross pendant

At Mallards, many of the pieces of jewellery we create are inspired by particular architectural details or items – the Tudor Roses in Westminster Abbey, for example, or the portcullis symbol of the House of Commons. However, we also work on original designs, and we’ve recently created a sterling silver “twist cross” pendant.

Although we designed and made it for Westminster Abbey’s gift shop, the silver twist cross pendant is based on a traditional style of cross rather than being taken from an object specific to that church.

It’s made from a single, wire-shaped piece of sterling silver, which is carefully twisted to form a contemporary version of a classic cross pendant. However, although the graceful style of the twist cross seems modern in design, it’s actually a traditional Christian symbol, with significant meaning for its wearer.

The endlessly looping design of the twist cross represents the infinite love of God and everlasting faith; and this style is sometimes called an “eternal cross”.

A symbol of suffering leading to salvation, the cross is recognised by most Christian faiths. It’s been used by Christ’s followers since the very beginnings of Christianity; however such an overt symbol of belief in a hostile climate meant that those who displayed it risked persecution. Believers in those early days preferred to use the “ichthys” symbol as a secret sign. When the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian in the fourth century, Christians no longer had to hide their faith and the symbol of the cross became widely used. These days, many Christians choose to wear a cross pendant or badge as a sign of their faith. It’s also worn simply as a piece of jewellery.

A sterling silver cross patonce charm
The sterling silver cross patonce charm

There are many different types of cross pendant. Broadly, the main variants are the Latin cross, which has a longer lower portion, and the Greek cross, which has four equal limbs. An example of a Greek cross is the “cross patonce” of Westminster Abbey, which we’ve recently created for the Abbey’s gift shop. A further variant is the crucifix, which features a figure of Christ on the cross.

Another popular design of cross worn as jewellery is a Celtic cross, which is a ringed Latin cross first seen in early medieval Britain and Ireland. We’ve also worked with Westminster Abbey to create a Celtic cross pendant, based on Lady Margaret Beaufort’s altar cross. Like the new twist cross, this pendant has a contemporary feel, making it an attractively modern piece of jewellery.

A large silver pendant featuring Lady Margaret Beaufort's Altar Cross
Large Lady Margaret Beaufort’s Cross pendant

The sterling silver twist cross is available at Westminster Abbey’s gift shop, and is sold along with a matching chain to form a complete necklace. It would be the perfect gift for a baptism or confirmation, or simply a lovely souvenir of a visit to the beautiful Abbey.

If you would like a piece of bespoke jewellery creating for your heritage attraction or business, please get in touch with us at Mallards.