A Custom Pendant Story

I know plenty of us like acquiring new accessories, because who doesn’t like shiny, new baubles? But it’s always extra memorable when the piece has a story behind it. I recently got one that I wanted to share, because it was unexpected but turned out wonderful. And it all started with a raffle…

Raffle prizes; image from @glitters_and_ice.ph Instagram account

One of the local accessory-making IG accounts I follow, @glitters_and_ice.ph, announced a raffle for assorted loose gem stones to promote their business. Long story short, I joined the tag promo and won a rose quartz (cabochon cut) and amethyst (rough piece). And while the seller was okay to ship out the gemstone prizes as is, I was hoping to have something I can immediately wear.

The sketch

We started discussing fashioning a ring from one of the two, but there was the issue of finding out my ring size and that the stones were on the chunky side. It wasn’t exactly practical to go out and try stuff on as it is in the middle of a pandemic. But what about a pendant instead, so that I could already have both stones set? And so we started talking about pegs and what we could do. And the owner/silversmith/gem cutter, Harrycris, came back with a sketch that I immediately loved.

Shaping the Amethyst to cabochon

I like that the design was a collaborative process. Aside from the pegs, I made suggestions and asked how feasible certain options were. It does help that I’ve previously researched jewelry design while writing articles for a bridal magazine, so I knew that I favored a bezel set cabochon rather than employing prongs. I also requested photo updates of the stages because I wanted to learn more about jewelry crafting, and Harrycris did not disappoint.

Bezel setting

Putting everything together

Some of the additional options brought up was vail thickness and whether or not I wanted there to be a back plate for the gems. I requested for a versatile vail size as I wasn’t sure what chain to use, and we eschewed the back plate because I wanted to be able to examine the stones through the light.

Front and back

I later found out that Glitters and Ice is actually Vigan-based. BTW, I’ve never been to Vigan before, so it’s a nice thought that at least my accessories were from there! The pricing for the labor and materials is reasonable and, I think, at par with a lot of local silversmiths. And while I know that a lot of accessory lovers are already fine with selecting pre-designed pieces (and the MINE battles that ensue), I highly recommend commissioning a piece if you have the budget. On labor and materials alone (excluding, of course, the stones), it costs less than P2,000 for a special collaboration design. It’ll make for a lovely gift with a fascinating story behind it.

The finished product in my possession

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