It’s the Korean hip-hop craze that’s taken off globally, and it’s a tune that’s hard to get out of your head: the quirky video of South Korean recording artist PSY (officially Park Jae Sung) singing “Gangnam Style,” a song about going out and having a good time—and dancing a funky, horse riding–inspired giddyup dance while you’re at it.
Since the video debuted on YouTube this summer, it’s racked up half a billion views, and PSY has become a household name. He appeared on Saturday Night Live, the Today show, and the 2012 MTV Music Video Awards; he inspired a team dance on Dancing with the Stars; and he was even acknowledged by South Park character, Jimmy (in the latest episode, he dressed as PSY for Halloween). But it was PSY’s gig on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that got the attention of a celebrity fan who commissioned Brilliance.com’s Jonathon Ohayon to make some Gangnam-style jewelry.
The Boynton Beach, Fla.–based Brilliance.com is an 8-year-old retail offshoot of a longtime diamond wholesale business headquartered in Akron, Ohio. “We have five in-house designers and an amazing casting department,” Ohayon, director of custom designs, tells JCK. “Everything is made in the U.S., in the back of our showroom.”
When the star contacted him, says Ohayon, “he didn’t tell me what it was for. It required that we use a special wax printer, and we went back and forth over email and chat with a lot of revisions.”
To capture PSY’s pose, Ohayon and his team watched countless videos and interpreted what they saw in a 100 mm (4.2 inch)–long pendant in 18k yellow and white gold with 6.25 cts. t.w. ideal-cut melee, including black diamonds to illustrate sunglasses. (“PSY is always wearing sunglasses in his videos,” notes Ohayon.) A 3 ct. D-color oval diamond belt buckle completes the look. Though the piece looks like it could have movable parts, it doesn’t—though it was no small feat to “get it to look like there’s motion in it,” explains Ohayon. “There’s just so much to talk about; it’s not static at all.” The pendant was cast in several pieces and assembled by Ohayon’s production team, then strung from a weighty 22-inch cable-link chain with a lobster-claw clasp. The sale price was $59,975.
And while this request wasn’t Brilliance.com’s first from a high-profile client—a British knight once hired the firm to make an engagement ring and then sailed across the Atlantic to pick it up—the necklace is surely one of the most memorable pieces of jewelry made.
“Gangnam is just a really cool piece,” says Ohayon.