Figural Pietersite, Gold and Silver Pendant

Jennifer Curtis


Spectacular pendant in two articulated parts: top is sterling silver, stamped and scalloped.  “Face” of natural pietersite in iridescent brown/grey/black, is set in 14-karat gold. Stamped silver feather with gold spine links top to bottom. Gold arch holds tapered rectangular pendant of stamped, convex silver with repousse gold suns in various sizes.

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The artist is celebrated for her impeccable stamp and chisel work, added to a wonderful sense of design. A major award-winning (male) jeweler once called her ” the best woman jeweler working.” This magnificent pendant is an example of the precision of her work and the beauty of her designs. It is opulent, luxurious, ornamental, yet strikingly simple and wearable.


The artist has deftly combined materials, shapes and sizes to create a fabulous piece. Sterling silver, 14-karat gold, and natural pietersite combine in a spectacularly gorgeous design.


Pietersite is a very rare form of tigers-eye, identified only in 1962, in Namibia. The characteristic “chatoyance”, or iridescence, of the stone results from fragments of mineral embedded in the matrix. This brown/gold/grey/black iridescence is a perfect choice to combine with the gold and silver in this pendant.


Jennifer’s trademark impeccable stamp work is much in evidence: The head of the piece is cut into rounded and pointed scallops, each of which is stamped to emphasize the shapes.  The body of the piece is heavily stamped in a variety of designs, so that it resembles an embroidered fabric. This intricate pattern sets off the gleaming simplicity of the rounded gold forms that are randomly placed within this rectangle.


At the top,the shield-shaped, polished stone is set high in a glowing gold bezel, that beautifully and subtly sets off the warm tones in the pietersite. In the bottom rectangle, the round, 14-karat gold domes, large and small, are actually pushed out individually from behind the silver.  In this array of gleaming suns and moons – or flowers – each one is surrounded by an individual design of hand stamped rays or petals, in addition to the rest of the stamp work.


The two parts of the pendant are joined by a slender, stamped, silver feather, with a gold spine. the loop that holds it, and the curlicued handle that it is attached to, at the bottom, are also gold. These accents carry the gold from the stone on top, through to the glinting domes below. Every detail has been thought through, or perhaps, arranged through the artistic intuition of the maker.

Altogether, a pendant of rare splendor that is also eminently wearable in everyday situations: Casual on a leather cord, or simple chain; more formal on a silver or gold collar or chain.

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