As my regular readers know, I tend to focus my reviews on literary works, and only occasionally branch out to review a truly exceptional product.  I am pleased to tell you today that I was recently asked to review such a product.

Before I review the piece of jewelry I was given, I would like to give you a little bit of background. During a visit to the Manger Room in the Cave of the Nativity in 1963, Stanley Slotkin, a philanthropist and amateur archaeologist, noticed a portion of the cave’s inside wall being removed. Bethlehem’s mayor and Slotkin’s host Elias Bandak explained that this one-time excavation would allow another exit for the thousands of devoted visitors who came to the Cave of the Nativity each year.

Slotkin saw the significance of the stones that were being removed and knew that many people worldwide would cherish a relic from such a holy place. The Nativity Stones are the only stones ever authorized to be removed from this sacred site, excavated just a few feet from the star that marks the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Nativity Stone cross

The jewelry piece I was given to review is called the Classic Nativity Stones Cross. The cross is a filigree pattern and made of alloy that is layered in 18K gold. It measures 2.25" in length and 1.375" in width, and it comes attached on a 22" rope chain. The focal point is, of course, the Nativity Stone which  is prominently displayed in the center and surrounded by the 14-pointed star. The significance of the 14-pointed star is tied to the Cave of the Nativity. In the Cave, there is also a 14-pointed star on the ground, which commemorates the actual place of Christ's birth.

Each cross comes with a lovely gift box, an explanatory booklet, and a numbered certificate of authenticity.

It comes with a chain. It seems that with so much jewelry today, the chain is sold separately, but this one already comes with one.

The Classic Nativity Stones Cross is unisex and can be worn by male or female, young or old.

There are multiple designs. If you're a guy and think this one still might be a little feminine, check out the Carpenter's Cross, which is an "unassuming" silver. I also like the pendant that is just a Nativity Star. If you already have a special crucifix you wear, you can pair the Nativity Star with it.

The cross is not connected to the chain by a drift ring, but instead the hole that you slide the chain through is directly connected to the cross. If you've ever lost a piece of jewelry on a chain, because the drift ring sprung, you don't have to worry about that with the Nativity Stones jewelry. Our 1-year old son has tugged on the jewelry, and it has held up just fine. (Thanks to my wife for pointing out the perils of drift rings and being the eager test subject to wear the jewelry.)

"In the year 2000 the Nativity Stones were honored with a plaque placed in the Vatican further validating their authenticity." If it's okay with the Vatican, it's okay by me! To read more about their authenticity and see scanned copies of the actual letters, click here.

Last, and certainly not least, a portion of all sales go to charities. Some of the charities include Esther's Aid, World Vision - Haiti, and Catholic Charities, but to read about more of the charities, click here.

The only down side for me was that the metal isn't pure 14K or 18K gold. I know this would drive up the price, but for a jewel (the Nativity Stone) this valuable, it seems worth it to display it in pure gold.

As you can see from my long list of pros, this is truly a great product.

Interested in purchasing one?

Use coupon code CATHOLICMOM at the Nativity Stones store for 15% off your order.

Copyright 2014, Stuart Dunn