Champagne Topaz “Beacon” Necklace and Geometric Faceted Citrine Nugget Necklace Commissions
These commissioned necklaces make the projects page because they are both milestones in my jewelry career and they both challenged me to once again push the boundaries of what I think is possible with my designs.
The couple that commissioned these necklaces (the Citrine for him and the Topaz for her) are not only awesome (they are extremely awesome), but they have a love of unique design and an appreciation of stones and metals that makes my nerdy heart beam with joy. They own several of my pieces and I’ve spent many hours with them learning about who they are and what they love, and sharing my philosophies and passion with them. I get really excited about stones and design and life in general, and I can go on for hours about it… and they share in that excitement and enthusiasm, which has made for some phenomenal conversations and jewelry designs that would never have been if not for that combined enthusiasm that we all share.
His geometric faceted Citrine nugget necklace marks the official beginning of my branching into the world of men’s jewelry. He (along with Rafi and a few of my closest friends) have been encouraging me to step out into that world (and I have previously made a few men’s pieces), but this piece has given me the nudge I needed to leap in with both feet. For this necklace, I was going for a masculine but pristine beauty with the shape of the Citrine and the setting. The setting is minimal, following the lines of the stone and finishing with prongs that are arranged to give the impression that the stone is almost floating there and couldn’t possibly be held by the prongs themselves. To accomplish the floating look, I designed the setting with inward facing rods going into the center of the stone, a technical challenge that I wasn’t sure was even possible but one that came together perfectly. I photographed the setting while I was creating it and it looks like some sort of strange and wonderful metal creature with legs sticking out in all directions. It was an awesome project and I was so happy with the end result that I teared up a bit at the sight of it.
Her spectacular Champagne Topaz was a stone that she purchased from a local lapidary artist and brought to me to create a piece. I was instantly enamored with this stone. It has a subtle warm glow and facets for days, oh, and it’s huge and magical. The word that kept coming to mind was “Beacon”. A bright shining, guiding light. The optical qualities of this Topaz are unbelievable and both sides are worthy of taking center stage, so it needed a double sided design that would enhance and not intrude upon the stone. I wanted a super clean minimalist prong setting for the front that would also be sturdy enough to hold such a substantial stone. For the back, a delicate woven wire setting that would nest the stone but not cover much of the faceting. It needed a heavy gauge wire bezel around the perimeter and heavy gauge prongs. It was my first time forming and shaping such a solid setting and then combining it with the most delicate of wire weaving. Every step along the way I was nervous and exhilarated… and yes, when it was finished I teared up at the sight of it also. One of the coolest features of this setting is it’s optical illusion quality. From the front, you can’t see the back setting and from the back you cannot see the front prongs, so all the focus is on the stone where it should be and it appears to float magically.
These commissions were some of my all time favorite as a designer and a total gemstone nerd. I am currently working on another exciting commission project for this awesome couple, which is sure to make the projects page as well.