What Is The Meaning of Side Cross Necklaces?

For generations people have worn jewelry featuring the cross symbol.  Depending on the wearer, the cross may have a religious implication or be a fashion statement or both.  The sideways or side cross is a relatively new approach to this type of jewelry, and has rapidly grown in popularity among celebrities and fashion savvy shoppers everywhere.

This type of cross is connected onto a gold or silver chain at its top and bottom points.  This makes the cross hang on its side horizontally, instead of up and down vertically.

A Bit Of Controversy About Sideways Cross Necklaces

There seems to be some concern about the orientation of the sideways cross on necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry.  Some people have stated that they find it offensive that the cross is lying down when worn on the neck or wrist.  They view the cross as a highly respected, sacred symbol of Christianity, and as such they feel it should only be depicted in an upright position.

Gold Sideways Cross NecklaceBut the majority of those speaking out about it, including designers themselves, feel that it is really only a new take on this beautiful traditional symbol.  To them it may be a unique artistic view of their faith, or simply a new fashionable piece of jewelry that is unconventional compared to the upright cross pendants that we have long been accustomed to seeing.

In fact, the side cross necklace can actually be worn so that the cross is standing upright if the wearer so desires.  All one needs to do is move the chain a few inches to the right or left so that the off-center cross now hangs vertically on the neck.

Several Interpretations

Different people have come up with their own individual interpretations of what does the sideways cross mean.  Some of these are:

  • It means you are well grounded and self-aware and you clearly recognize your place in the world
  • It represents the earth and humanity
  • It signifies Jesus Christ carrying the cross and suffering for mankind
  • It signifies the cross having been laid down after Jesus Christ has risen
  • It shows your readiness for the coming of the Creator, with the cross facing God at final judgment
  • It shows you are fashionable – no more, no less

Other Places We See Sideways Crosses

Long before sideways cross necklaces and bracelets became popular, there have been other instances where the cross is depicted lying down. For example, sideways crosses are often depicted on tombstones in a symbol of resurrection of the soul. Flag of Finland They may also reflect the resurrection of Christ.

Plus the flags of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland all display a cross that is horizontal.  This is a  patriotic symbol of honor and pride, making the side cross necklace popular for people of these nationalities.

Bottom Line

Really, like any other jewelry or clothing item, a sideways cross necklace means whatever it means to the person wearing it.  So it can have any or all or none of the meanings outlined above.

But regardless of their meaning, these make beautiful pieces of jewelry.  And they come in such a wide variety of sizes and styles, in gold, silver, diamond, and other gemstones and colors, that you are sure to be able to find a design that works well for anyone you have in mind.