Venetian and Vintage Crystal Necklace
Gail Be, American, United States, 2002
Venetian 24kt Gold Deep Red and Cobalt Beads, Vintage Siam AB, Sapphire AB and Crystal AB, White Givré Swarovski Crystal, Mother-of-Pearl Stars, 14kt Gold Wire, Metal Findings, Accuflex
Gail traveled to Italy and handpicked each of the 24kt beads from a fourth generation Venetian owned jewelry factory. Each bead is still being individually handmade by craftswomen using the same recipe for over 800 years. The mother-of-pearl stars were cut in China.
The vintage Swarovski crystal beads are in pristine condition and were manufactured in Austria between 1920 - 1938 and 1945 - 1954. To prove their authenticity, Be has the honor of taking them directly from their original packages.
After the attack of 9-11, I organized a group of 34 volunteers and personally funded a gift project of making charm bracelets and matching commemorative cards for all the families of the FDNY and NYPD that lost a loved one. One of the charms we made was a ceramic heart that read U.S.A. Hero on one side and 9-11-01 on the other, which I incorporated into this necklace. The red, white and blue bursts of color I designed to look like exploding fire works, taken from our National Anthem "bombs bursting in air" symbolizing the Freedom and Courage of the American Spirit. The White Givré Swarovski beads are very rare (they were only made in four colors). I put two of these same beads in each bracelet to include the energy of surviving WWII, around the time they were manufactured reminding us that "America rebuilt itself once and we can do it again." My purpose for creating this necklace to commemorate the tragic and horrific historic event of September 11 was not merely with the hope that we "never forget" but I pray that we "never begin" killing anyone through hatred and ignorance simply because they think and believe differently than us.