Substantial Jerusalem cross features an iconic design with the addition of ornate embellishments. This is quite large and measures 3 inches from top to bottom (including the highly detailed bale) by 2 1/2 inches wide. It is signed JERUSALEM and JORDAN, as well as SILVER and 950. The back of the cross where the signatures are found features a highly detailed surface as well. This weighs 37 grams.
The origins of the Jerusalem cross dates to the 11th century, when the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, establishing Christianity in the area. One of the leaders of the Crusades, Godfrey de Bouillon, was the first to use the Jerusalem cross as a distinct symbol of the new Crusader state. The cross remained a symbol of Jerusalem for Christians, even after the overthrow of the Crusader state in 1291, and it became the emblem of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The meaning of the four crosses has been associated with the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the four corners of the earth. The large cross symbolizes Christ. What a fabulous find and true keepsake!
The number 950 refers to the amount of pure silver (in parts per thousandth); 950 silver is used in France, Japan, the US, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.