Britt’s Pick: Carpe Diem Medallion Pendant by Wendy Brandes



It’s definitely time. No excuses can be made, never mind the warm temperatures and the calendar date (we are a mere six days away from the official start of autumn)—the time to celebrate Halloween is here.

Decorate your stores, stock your candy bowls, plan your costumes (for a fun customer idea, how about a costume contest in-store?). Draping your store’s corners in cobwebs won’t be for every retailer, but something most should be able to do is create a themed showcase to mark the spooky holiday upon us.

Mind you, it doesn’t all need to be composed of skeletons and bats—but if you do have those figures in store, it would certainly be a plus.

This medallion pendant from the fantastical design of Wendy Brandes is one of my favorite pieces of skull jewelry.

Brandes was inspired by the idea that the wearer of this one-of-a-kind pendant would behold it as their mantra, a representation and reminder to live life to the fullest. The phrase carpe diem is inscribed in mirror-style writing à la Leonardo da Vinci, ensuring that, when the wearer views herself in the mirror, it will read most clearly.

The fancy-cut black diamond skull is insane, drool-worthy, entrancing. Perfect for the occasion of Halloween but most certainly not limited to it. In fact, what better representation of life than that of a skull, anyway—the protection of utmost importance to our thoughts, memories, and experiences.

Custom-cut white diamond baguettes fan out from there—one in each direction—evoking a compass of sorts that leads no matter where one happens to be going. That the figure sits on a medallion is my favorite part, a style readily welcomed by many as they embrace the act of layering gold necklaces, though this piece requires no companions. Still, how badass would this be with a couple of shorter chains, a gold choker, and a teeny tiny (skull?) pendant? What a dream.

According to Brandes’ website, the one-of-a-kind beauty is currently on display at Alexanders Jewelers in Columbus, Ohio (Alexanders, spotlight that baby!), though there are other pieces to match from Brandes’ Memento Mori collection, available on the designer’s website.

Consider this the first of many to stir your enthusiasm for the upcoming season, to endure forever and ever after that.

Top: Carpe Diem medallion pendant in 18k yellow gold with 3 ct. fancy-cut black diamond, 1.2 cts. t.w. custom-cut baguette diamonds, round diamonds, and ruby, $28,000; Wendy Brandes

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