Original vintage St Christopher pendant. Enamel and Silver. Made in Japan, circa 1960. 1" high x 7/8" wide. This is a used pendant. It shows wear consistent with age and use.
Throughout history St Christopher has been known as The Protector of Travelers. He earned this recognition because he stood 7.5 foot tall and took on service to God by carrying people across a dangerous deep water stream where many were meeting their death... and so the legend began. During the rise of the automotive industry people used to pin St Christopher metals on their visors and paste them on their dashboards. Sailors, train engineers, bus drivers & traveling salesmen of faith would carry a St Christopher medal for protection. The Spanish have the phrase "Si en San Cristóbal confías, de accidente no morirás" ("If you trust St. Christopher, you won't die in an accident").
We're not sure who the first surfer was to introduce this custom to the world of surf. In the sixties the California surfer boys used to purchase the St Christopher pendants at the Catholic bookstores and wear them as they became one with nature and took risks in the water, traveling across the waves. The pendants soon became the surfers version of the class ring or letter-man sweater and became the item of choice of the Surfers' Girlfriends. The nuns at bookstores up and down the California coast probably didn't know what to make of the sudden run on pendants.
This tradition of wearing a St Christopher in the surf and giving a pendant to a loved one for protection is an insider tradition that continues today. So much so that numerous imitation pendants have been made and are now sold in commercial surf shops around the globe We've sold St Christopher pendants since we opened.
We had one charming father, in with his family of six who purchased one for each family member; his wife down to the five year old. "They do a lot of traveling even just on their daily commutes and these should keep them safe" he said with a wink and a smile. It's customary for couples to stop by and buy one for the other... And then there are the surfers. All ages, all faiths.... Surfers of the waves and surfers of the dreams wear St Christopher pendants on their necks, carry them as key chains, put them on their dashboards. It's an amazing story of a popular culture phenomenon. The secret is in the knowing of which one to buy. There are several varieties, metal, gold, silver, vintage enamel, one-sided, two-sided... some with a little wear, some that have been well used and there are the newer commercial releases. There's a price difference and a quality difference. But there's one for every budget and we keep quality versions across the spectrum stocked. So next time your feet take you on a journey and you feel you need a bit o' protection for yourself or a loved one you know where to turn. We'll set you right... we'll make sure you know the original from the reproduction, assist you with your selection and wish you safe travels. Please contact us for current inventory, prices and availability.