Rivière, derivative from old French for River is the term for a necklace of gems that increase in size toward a large central stone often set with diamonds or precious stones.
These scarabs above are the WHY I've chosen to collect and set vintage scarabs for you all. I was so attracted to the beautiful carved sardonyx. This being one of the most common specimens, an orange-reddish and white banding. I spent over 2 years of scouring vintage gold-filled brooches and bracelets to find the right graduated sizes and specifically matched tones of orange and white. Each one consisted of one stone that I needed and 5-8 others in various beautiful natural stones.
Slightly before the obsessive search began I'd made my co-workers and myself a few scarab pendants in silver from some vintage scarabs our boss had. When I began designing this masterpiece in my head I was left with the questions like “How do I make this profitable?” “What do I do with the extras?” Each one of the amethyst, rock crystal, lapis, onyx, and agates was collateral "waste" in the search for this large collection of stones.
We've designed a beautifully modern tapered setting for these stones. Each one carved between 1930 and 1970 to be “set” or glued into gold-filled costume jewelry. Lovingly purchased but now broken, chipped, or forgotten in a drawer… now being sold at auction.
Selling these precious little amulets in 14k gold gives them a whole extra lifetime of bringing beauty and pleasure to us. It's up-cycling in the simplest way, but it's also reinvention of a century long trend and design fascination with the Scarab Beetle and Egyptian Revival.
This summer we were able to finish our collection of the orange and white banded onyx stones, fabricate the 18k yellow gold bezels, and cast the graduated fleur de lis details. This job has not come without it's costs, but to answer my first question “How do I make this profitable?” You all have wholeheartedly supported us with these pendants giving the artist in me an opportunity to invest in my own vision. It's so very exciting to be working on assembling this necklace now. I hope it'll be ready to reveal during the holidays.
Scarabs, a visual so old that it can symbolize whatever you want it to mean to you. For some a crossroads, challenges, both immortality and death. For others renewal, creativity, growth, strength, and protection. The scarab symbolizes the cycle of life. I think that's why it's been an iconic popular symbol in jewelry for centuries. Our job as jewelers is as old as time, and it makes sense when you think about everything we do. When I wear these pieces they say:
"Today I will be a jeweler again, and tomorrow I will too."
I hope my charms make you feel centered and good as you walk down your path each day.
The sardonyx stone for me brings other levels of symbolism. A stone of strength & protection, courage & happiness, communication and stability. Alongside the symbolism of the Fleur De Lis, tied with my French last name and unwavering love for New Orleans. The symbol is often present in my work and brings a bit of elevation to the design as a whole.