Clothing or jewelry worn around the neck: this is the basic dictionary definition for a necklace; yet, there used to be much more to it than a simple fashionable accessory that completes a trendy casual or elegant dress. To the ancient people, a necklace meant a lot more than a mere decorative item: first of all, the manufacturing process was a lot more difficult than it is today, and jewels as such were plainly used to suggest some form of differentiation or belonging to a group or a class. Wood, rocks, plant beads, shells, gems and so on, were all used in the design of neck jewelry.
Past symbolism has partly survived in the special nature of a certain type of necklace: many Christians now wear a cross or a crucifix as a faith epitome. Such a necklace is considered to protect and help the wearer in difficulty by its direct connection with Jesus Christ, His Love and Sacrifice for humanity. Nevertheless, there are some who wear the cross necklace out of sheer decorative pleasure, without attaching any hidden meaning to it; such cases would definitely explain the wide variety of cross-like jewelry that is presently available on the market.
The way a woman wears a necklace is completely different from the way a man does; this is basically relevant for the fact that for the latter, the necklace is a way of drawing attention to the cleavage. A necklace doesn't suggest sexuality, it only accents femininity, charm, elegance and the fine curves of a delicate neck. Men on the other hand wear some choke-type necklace models that have a mere decorative function; yet they still send a clear message about the wearer: he is interested in good looks, trendy in style and therefore, a man of his times.
Offering a necklace as a gift is more than common nowadays, and we often have the tendency of attaching some form of emotional value to it. People come to associate a piece of jewelry with the dear one that presented it to them, and this is how mothers leave their necklaces to their daughters and so on. Even the most common necklace could mean a fortune for someone when it is about more than mere good looks. Except for such unique cases, wearing a necklace is now part of the daily routine that requires us to look nice and trendy both for ourselves and for the others.