This handsome necklace is comprised of blue turquoise slabs framing a vintage Sterling silver Jerusalem cross. The necklace measures 17-7/8 inches, including the silver pewter hook clasp, and has a pendant drop of 2-1/2 inches. The pendant is nearly 2 inches wide. (Okay, it's 1-15/16 inches, in case you're getting out your measuring tape.) The turquoise slabs vary in length from 7/8 inch to 1 inch. The spacers include turquoise nuggets of unknown size (I got tired, okay?) and lead-free zinc alloy 6mm discs. Whew!
The back of the pendant says, "Jerusalem Silver 925." I do not know whether it is simply identifying the type of cross or indicating that the pendant was made, or at least sold, in Jerusalem. The pendant was sold to me as vintage but I do not know its actual age. It has acquired a little bit of patina, which I have chosen to leave out of respect for the purists among you. I will not insult you by chirruping that the patina adds to the charm. The thing needs cleaning.
The turquoise has been dyed and stabilized.
The Jerusalem cross consists of a large center cross with a smaller Greek cross (a cross with four equal arms) in each quadrant. Also known as the Crusader cross, the Jerusalem cross dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries, when the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099. Even after the overthrow of the Crusader state in 1291, the cross remained a symbol of Jerusalem for Christians.
Religious symbols such as crosses have been used for adornment since early Christianity. However, the Jerusalem pendant is more of a "pilgrims' cross," used by people all over the world, including nin-Christians.
Thanks for visiting my history class/shop today.