"LEF" Pendant

October 2009
14 karat green gold

One might wonder, upon first seeing this pendant, how it qualifies as Judaica and why I've forgotten how to spell "leaf." Let's start from the bottom up.

A client came to me looking for a gift for his wife on the occasion of their first child. They weren't telling anyone what their unborn son's name would be (a Jewish tradition), but they knew that his initials would be L.E.F. and had thus nicknamed him "Leaf"--which gave us the starting concept. Because the expectant mother is originally from Vermont, we modeled the leaf after the Vermont state tree, the white birch. We chose green gold for the leaf because... well, leaves are green.

During the consultation, my client mentioned that his wife loves details that aren't immediately obvious but that hold great significance. I suggested that we work both of their Hebrew names into the piece somehow, to represent the fact that the "Leaf" came from the combination of their genetic makeups. The wife's Hebrew name is חיה שיינא, and the husband's is יוסף יצחק; stylized cursive representations of these names are hidden in the capillaries of the leaf itself.

Unfortunately, it's commercially impossible to find green gold chain, so we hung the pendant on a silver chain. Silver is actually an appropriate choice--it matches the bark of the white birch, and silver is the alloy that gives green gold its color (don't ask me--it's science).

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