The post on MJSA’s Linked in forum last August about purple gold piqued my curiosity. I have seen photos of a couple pieces of purple gold pieces over the years so it has been done; and yet for the most part this is the stuff of legends…
Was there really such a thing being developed? Daniel Ballard at Precious Metals West was seeking partners to create their first piece of jewelry for this amazing purple color of gold, and who was game? It’s not every day you get a chance to be a part of a quest, so I was definitely up for it, as was Dan Christie at Kesslers Diamonds.
There are 3 parts to this story- Daniel’s unrelenting search to perfect this purple gold- the color of royalty, Dan’s design for the gold itself- shaping it to be set in the manner of a precious gem, and my creation of the jewelry to cradle this gem-like gold, protecting it and keeping it safe.
Daniel and Dan developed the central shape of the gold itself. A domed top surface was added to the first idea of a basic disc. Then Dan asked about putting a pattern the disc. When the answer was yes, he added the Seed of Life pattern, recessed into the top face of the dome. Dan said, “I thought this pattern appropriate as I have been studying Sacred Geometry recently and found it perfect considering Daniel was bringing “new life” to purple gold.”
Daniel emailed me the CAD Seed of Life design that Dan had developed for the gold itself to be cast in. The next step was creating something akin to a coin holder to hold it. As I looked at the photo of the basic coin holder Daniel sent me, I thought to myself that will never do- this color demands something really special.
It started, as any design project does, with looking at the design parameters. There were two main ones to focus on in this project:
1- The Purple color itself- giving it a place of honor in the piece, both cherished and protected.
Daniel and I talked about enhancing the purple color using different colors, textures and finishes of gold. Using a finish other than high polish, to show the contrasting colors best. For the design, we pictured a piece of picture jasper, we wanted gold surrounding the purple, and maybe over the gold, both enhancing the color, and using the color as an integral element of the design. This was the starting point for the design.
So I brought Dan’s Seed of Life Dome CAD file for the purple gold into Rhino on my laptop, and began sorting through my thoughts with lines, and shapes and thicknesses. Finding some of the elements I wanted to use, I was on the right track, and something was missing. I walked away to let the design develop in the back of my mind. I worked on the design a few times in this manner, and things started falling into place. The final parts added at the end were the back plate design, being lasered into place, holding the purple gold safely with both equal and minimal pressure; and the white gold border around the whole piece- an outer frame so to speak, completing the guard around the gem of purple gold.
As I sent the CAD files to Daniel, I was excited to see the final piece!
So purple gold… Yes it’s not for everyone, and yes it’s not for everyday… but reflecting on it I realize it is the special things in life that truly make my heart sing… and this is no exception.
Thanks to Daniel and Dan for the great experience collaborating on this project. See Daniel’s HD documentary on Purple Gold on The Kraftwerks Invitational youtube channel.