Design on an Heirloom China Plate becomes a Custom Memorial Pendant

14 kt white gold Custom Memorial Pendant Designed from a China Plate pattern

Custom White Gold Memorial Pendant with a half carat diamond

   A customer came to Walker Goldsmiths with a great idea for a Custom Pendant. This was a new idea that I thought would be very fun to create and make a reality. Her mother had recently passed away leaving her grandmother’s china to her. She’d always loved it as a child and young woman, but as time and use does to all things, pieces break and chip and loose their luster; but the romance is still there with some of the remaining pieces. It’s a lovely Noritake pattern of flowers and swirls. She’s also inherited her grandmothers and mothers gold rings and a gorgeous diamond. The rings are definitely not her style, but she really likes that diamond!

Jill came up with a great idea to make a Custom Memorial Pendant inspired by the pattern on her Grandmothers china recycling the gold and diamonds from her Grandmother and Mother’s jewelry. I particularly loved this challenge and it stirred my soul because I have a few pieces of a similar pattern of Noritake china that my grandmother gave me when I was leaving home as a young woman and, of course, it’s very special to me. So I can understand Jill’s affection for the pieces of china that she has left.

I photographed the plate that Jill brought out to Walker Goldsmiths’ Studio and proceeded to take the swirl design that runs along the edge of the plate and reduce it and shape it to create a pendant. Jill accepted the design and gave me the go-ahead. I started to carve the wax, as this would be a lost wax cast project. It was a trick to take that swirl design down to a reasonable size for a petite woman like Jill to wear and enjoy and not loose the integrity of the flowing swirl.      

Photo of Custom Wax Carving of China Design

Custom Wax Carving of China Design for Memorial Pendant

We figured that 2 inches wide would be ideal with the .50 carat diamond setting in the apex of the swirl design. Jill approved the wax and the project went on to Owen who invested the wax then burned the wax out of the crucible. It’s always scarey for me at this point because if anything goes wrong in the casting I’m back to square one. Owen IS a Master Goldsmith, so all went well! He melted Jill’s grandmother’s ring and her mother’s ring, added more gold, adjusting the karat and color to white 14kt, and cast the pendant. Whew! All came out well. I proceeded to finish the casting and then Owen set the diamond in a 4 prong gold crown and after adding a chain…Wha-Laa! Thank you, Jill, for letting Walker Goldsmiths be involved in your lovely Custom Memorial Pendant.

14 kt Gold Custom Pendant designed from China Pattern

14kt White Gold Custom Memorial Pendant created from a design on heirloom China plate.



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