The Dagmar Cross is named after the queen who wore it—Queen Dagmar (pronounced "Dowmer") of Denmark. This beloved queen was of royal birth, a princess from Bohemia, who married Valdemar the Victorious (ruler of Denmark, 13th century). When her grave was opened in 1690, this cross was found on her remains; thus, it became known as the Dagmar Cross. Of Byzantine design and workmanship, it is believed that this beautifully detailed cross was produced around A.D. 1000. Several holy images are found on the cross: front and center is the half figure of Jesus Christ with the Theotokos to the left and St. John the Evangelist on the right, St. John Chrysostom at the top and St. Basil below.
On the reverse side of the cross is a crucifix with the letters "IC" and "XC," the traditional Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ. "IC" are the first and last letters of ISOUS (Jesus), and "XC" are the first and last letters of CHRISTOS (Christ).