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For other uses, see Pendant (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with pendent, pennant, or pedant.
This article is about the piece of jewellery. For person who is excessively concerned with formalism and precision, see pedant.
Spanish pendant at Victoria and Albert Museum.
Indonesian pendants

A pendant (from Old French) word "pendre" and the Latin word "pendere" which means "to hang down" is a loose-hanging piece of jewellery, generally attached by a small loop to a necklace, when the ensemble may be known as a "pendant necklace".[1] A pendant earring is an earring with a piece hanging down. In modern French "pendant" is the gerund form of “hanging” (also meaning “during”).

One of the earliest types of bodily adornment is the pendant. Primeval man liked to put a tiny hole in a beautiful rock and slip a string usually made of grass or vine so it could be hung around the neck. Shells and other indigenous materials could also be used. In Ancient Egypt, Pharaohs normally wore scarab beetle pendants to symbolize their wealth and power. Royalty and nobility in Egypt also wear a certain type of pendant called a cartouche.[1]

Pendants can have several functions, which may be combined:

The many specialized types of pendants include lockets which open, often to reveal an image, and pendilia, which hang from larger objects of metalwork.

In the first decade of the 21st century jewellers started to incorporate USB flash drives into pendants.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b "The Early Pendant: A Jewelry And A Talisman". Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  2. ^ Yamamoto, Mike (1 February 2007). "USB as fashion statement". CNet. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Yamamoto, Mike (11 June 2007). "The hot trend in designer jewelry: USB keys". CNet. Retrieved 3 October 2013.