Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” not only has people debating the last hours of Jesus’ life, but also running out to buy such souvenirs as crucifixes, lapel pins and cards tied to the film’s promotion.
A particularly popular item is a pendant fashioned from a single nail made of pewter and attached to a leather strap, say officials of Bob Siemon Designs, which is licensed by Gibson’s Icon Productions to produce jewelry tied to the film. The pendants represent the nails used in the film to fasten Christ to the cross.
“This thing has turned into this kind of overnight phenomenon that we can’t believe,” Siemon said. He said his staff is working 10- to 14-hour shifts six days a week to keep Christian bookstores supplied with the pendants, crucifixes and other items.
The company has shipped roughly 75,000 cross pendants and about the same amount of nail pendants, said Dwight Robinson, the company’s marketing manager.
The nail pendant costs about $17 and contains scaled-down versions of the nails seen in the film. It was designed by Siemon, himself a Catholic, who said he came up with the idea after seeing a preview of the movie.
“It’s the new symbol of the Christian,” he said. “It’s just a way of identifying and perhaps starting a conversation with someone.”