Friday, December 4, 2015

Greek Coin Pendant

Wow, I never know what to expect when I get a custom order call. This project took me over a month to make, it was a challenge indeed. It all started with a phone call. Someone had found me online and he wanted to know if I could make a pendant featuring an old Greek coin. At first, I fired all sort of questions... what's the size of the coin? how old is the coin?  What is the coin made of? etc. After he answered my questions he added that he if possible, he would like to see if the pendant could be made way bigger than the coin.  I asked to have a pic of the coin sent to me and that I would do some sketches.

Greek Coin Pendant by Wink Artisans

So my parameters were:
  • Do not solder the coin... this meant it had to be set. 
  • Show both sides of the coin.
  • Make the pendant bigger, if possible double the size of the coin.
  • Sterling silver was the metal to be used.
As soon as I got the pic of the coin, I did some research.  I found out all sorts of interesting facts about this Arkadian coin circa 175-168 BC. The observe (front of the coin) is a laureate head of Zeus, the reverse is a seated Pan.  After my research, I printed the coin to the size I was told -about 5mm- and did three basic sketches, a teardrop, a horizontal plate, and a circle.

How I was to set the coin was not clear yet.  I had not actually seen the coin live. I had no idea how thick it was, or how delicate it was.  Initially, I was thinking of a prong setting, then lateral tabs, but then again, both sides of the coin had to be visible so those would not work in such a small coin.

Then I started thinking about a prong/teeth setting that could work for both sides. So that was the plan. My client opted for the horizontal plate shape.  Now, it was time to get the actual coin. Meanwhile, my eyes started acting out and making it difficult for me to work. 

Once I got the coin, the actual setting was to change, the coin was uneven. Not only was not a perfect circle, but the thickness was worn on one side more than the other.  Also, it was a little bigger that was I had projected. I had to sketch the shape once again to make sure the coin fit. Right round this time, my eyes were really out of commission. I went to the optometrist and after some tests, I was told that I might need a procedure call refraction.  Okay, I'm getting older I thought. I decided to let my eyes rest and put the order aside.

The melted setting.

After a few more eye procedures and few days of rest, I went back to the pendant.  A bit nervous, anxious, and scared.  After all, I did have a piece of Greek Antiquities on hand. I constantly kept working out the setting fit. Then, when I was ready to solder the setting, I melted it.  Chingao'!  Back to fitting the setting and then quickly to solder it to form the circle -this time with more caution- and then solder it to the silver plate.

Setting soldered to the silver plate.

Coin about to be set. 
And there you have it, I hand-polished it, gave its final touches, and added the chain. I was happy that it was over, that my eyes made it through, and most importantly, that my customers were happy with the end result. To see a pic on my client wearing the necklace click here!

Now, I'm ready for the next challenge, who says me?

The front, a laureate head of Zeus

The back, a seated Pan. 

1 comment:

  1. I had a very old coin. After I heard her story through this site I decided to do the same with her necklace and gave it to his mother . My coin was very old. She has appeared somewhere in the 16th century.