Britt’s Pick: In the Light Pendant by Michael Jensen Designs

I love a good juxtaposition, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen a better example than this pendant by the bold Michael Jensen Designs. This piece is like a burst of light from a dark medieval cave—and its name, In the Light, couldn’t be more apt.

A luminous opal, cleverly swathed in a circle of 22k yellow gold, rests against a darkened silver setting, a trick that works to brighten the center stone’s light all the more. The brand is a whiz at creating jewelry that appears, well, ancient, so my desire to think about historical eras gone by—and a sudden craving to catch up on Game of Thrones—in this necklace’s presence means the brand’s doing an ace job.

But it’s also a testament to the power of the incomparable opal that it can draw your attention from any setting—we’ve seen it in so many good ones—and blaze just as brightly from one to the next. Its chameleonic powers put it right at home with any range of styles. I like this one in particular, because it puts the opal at the center of some incredibly cool metalsmithing that, though in startling contrast, coexists, rather than competes.

This pendant is the work of husband-and-wife team Michael and Catherine Jensen. Michael Jensen Designs specializes in forging an “ancient look for a contemporary customer.” Michael’s 34 years of experience in design and metalsmithing paired with Catherine’s GIA degree and interest in the art and historical aspects of jewelry combine for results like this one—a work of art in its own right.

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Top: In the Light one-of-a-kind pendant in sterling silver and 22k yellow gold with 11.89 ct. natural opal, 4.2 ct. natural spessartite garnet, 0.12 ct. natural fancy orange sapphire, and 0.35 ct. natural moonstone bullet, price on request

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JCK Contributing Editor

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