• Vittoria d'Aste-Surcouf

Cyclical Pendants ~ A Creation Story

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Recently, a client came to me with an amazing idea. He wanted to create five matching pendants for five important women in his life. What an amazing guy, right? The first two pendants were for his wife and young daughter, the third for his mother-in-law and the fourth and fifth were for his sister-in-law and her young daughter. The idea was that all five pendants had to match to celebrate their strong bond as well as be elegant and sturdy enough for daily wear. The older women of the group are true forces of nature in their strength, kindness and intelligence. They are survivors, fighters, entrepreneurs and doting mothers who are not only bonded through genetics but a family business, their noble Greek Spartan heritage and a deep rooted love for each other.

Hand-engraved 18k yellow gold and diamond matching pendants.

The initial designs were inspired by the Greek Evil Eye, or Mati, which has long been worn as a talisman to ward of jealousy and protect the wearer from negative emotions. However, the pendants morphed into something even stronger. We decided to proceed with the circle shape as this is a universal symbol. The circle represents the notions of the infinite, timelessness, cyclic movement and a representation of the Self . A perfect matching shape for a group of trail blazers to wear who share genetics and are passing down their traditions to the younger generation. The circle also represents the masculine and the feminine, a yin and yang. Symbolically appropriate for women who fearlessly conquered the traditional world of “men” at a time when this was still lukewarm and yet are warm, embracing and all mothers in their own right.


Details of the personalized backs of the 18k yellow gold circle pendants.

Under the steady hand of the master craftsman, the gold was transformed into rays of sunshine (a perfect symbol of masculinity) emanating from the center giving off an aura of spun gold. The glittering diamonds in the center representing the unbreakable feminine soul, encircling waters, the embryo-- a maternal principle. While it is a lovely idea to have all five pendants matching, it was important to make each one somewhat unique from the other. We accomplished this by having the first letter of each of their names on the back of their respective pendant.

Practice makes perfect. Even a master jeweler has to practice on a prototype before starting the final engraving.

Hot off the jeweler's bench and ready for engraving.

I was beyond thrilled with the way the pendants came out. While they were still in the fabrication stage, I held them in my hand and I felt as if I was holding ancient Greek coins. The weight of the gold was just right and the size lent itself to perfect proportions.

The bespoke process is one that marries the personality of the wearer (in this case genetics) a detailed design process and a dedication to timeless European craftsmanship. These three things are the impetus that make the bespoke design process both memorable as well as create heirloom pieces of jewelry.

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