My mom loves the Netherlands. She loves the wide-open green flatness, the canals, the skinny city houses, the Noordzee, and the spring flowers. But most of all, she loves the Dutch. There was never a Friday when she left the office without her Dutch coworkers making sure she had plans, never a moment when she didn’t feel welcomed and included. While she’s enjoyed the people most everywhere she’s worked around the world, the Dutch became family.
After years spent living and working in The Hague, my mom has come home for a job in San Diego. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. While there were many compelling reasons to move back to the States, it was so very hard for her to leave her friends; her Dutch family.
As my mom readied herself for the move to San Diego, her beautiful friend Susanne emailed–on behalf of all the Dutch friends– to ask me for ideas for a parting gift. I suggested they take her for a tattoo, but the Dutch are way classier than me: they opted for jewelry, and ordered my Aquamarine Waterfall Pendant.
And that would have worked out just fine, if my mother wasn’t so damn full of damn opinions. Luckily, her Dutch friends know that she’s a veritable opinion piñata.
Mom asked that I use a stone she already had instead of the aquamarine cabochon (above) my design called for. Her stone was a big, gorgeous, faceted aquamarine she had purchased from a British friend in The Hague shortly before he died (we’re going to call that the new aquamarine from here on).
The challenges? The new aquamarine wasn’t interchangeable with the stone in my design, and a new design was needed to account for the stone’s unique attributes. I did, however, need to keep with the two-stone look of the pendant I had been asked to make.
Where the original aquamarine cab in the design was all about watery relaxation, the faceted aquamarine was all sparkle and glamour, and just didn’t work well with the laid-back moonstone cabochon of the original pairing. I opted to pair the new aquamarine with a gorgeous cornflower blue, flower-cut sapphire.
Another challenge was the cut of the new aquamarine: the stone was incredibly deep--half as deep as it was wide– and I needed my design to creatively account for that depth; to allow the face of the sapphire to be on the same plane as the face of the aqua, without looking awkward.
My solution: A medieval-looking b0x setting, stones set with prongs to keep them open and airy.
I hope all of my mother’s Dutch friends love what I came up with, I’m really pleased with my design, and my mom loved it. After gasping, she declared, “I’m going to get mugged wearing this!”
And that is high praise from the Bling Jedi Master.
*Thanks Mom, for the image!