Yesterday, I completed a project that was a long time in the making. 332 years in the making, to be exact.
Like many people, I love history in general, but there is a specific time period that I’ve been particularly enamored with since I was a teenager. That was about the time that my mom told me about a book called Forever Amber. After reading it, I was forever hooked on Charles II, Restoration England (1660-1685) and all things London.
Over the years, I have read and collected many reference materials on this time period. On a trip to London I visited the grave of Charles II, which is rather hard to find in Westminster Abbey and quite over-shadowed by the effigy and tomb of his great-grandmother, Mary, Queen of Scots. I have delighted over streets and locations that appear in the book. And about six years ago, I purchased a silver crown coin from the period–1676.
I had started making metal jewelry around the same time I bought the coin, and one of the first projects I planned was to make a pendant out of it. I brought it to the studio and my instructor told me what I needed to do. Somehow, I couldn’t get excited about making it and I soon gave up and started something different. The coin sat in my desk for the next six years.
Recently, I mentioned that I was writing a novel (which I’m happy to report I’m making slow, but steady progress on). I haven’t said much about it but I will say now that it is a historical mystery, set in–you guessed it–Restoration London. In light of this, I decided it was finally time to give that coin a home in a nice handmade pendant and yesterday, that’s just what I did:
This pendant was actually much easier to make than I remembered when I first tried to make one so many years ago. I guess that means I’ve improved! The basic design is a thin bezel which fits tightly around the coin. Then you cut four prongs that are soldered to the sides. I then added a bail and inserted the coin. For me, the fiddliest (hey, I think I just made up a word) was soldering the jump ring to the top.
It should be said that when I originally purchased the coin, it looked a lot like this (note that this is not the same coin I bought–mine had less detail to begin with than this one does):
Much to the chagrin of many a coin collector, I put the coin in my tumbler and almost every trace of history was wiped from it in about five minutes. I’m not sure I’m happy about that decision, but I do think the finished pendant is lovely, and since it’s meant to be jewelry I suppose I can deal with it. I absolutely love this pendant and it will be a reminder to me of my love of this time period and my commitment to write this novel.
2 Replies to “Taking a Page from History”
I think cleaning the coin was a must as it will be worn against your skin. I cringe and reach for my hand sanitizer to think of the goo that was once crusted on it. Good call.
That said, it is a BEAUTIFUL piece. Very different from anything you’ve done before.
So, is that why your husband is English? I never knew about this little obsession of yours. Interesting…