Smithsonian National Gem Collection
Conchita – Inspiration & Process
A year ago a Smithsonian spokesperson approached me asking if I would be willing to take an amazing collection of Montana sapphires that were so generously being bestowed to the Museum by Robert Kane of Fine Gems International and create a finished jewel for our nation’s Gem and Mineral collection so the many small stones could be preserved and beautifully displayed.
Without a moments hesitation I answered, “I would be honored.” The process unfolded like a flower with all its many stages.
First, there was the question of what these delicious, highly refractive sapphires would wish to become. I felt our National gem and mineral collection should have a marvelous image to symbolize our nation’s immeasurable natural beauty that the sapphires from Montana represent. As I pondered the range of colors of Montana sapphires with their many primary and secondary hues, I decided I would like to honor my mother’s amazing spirit and her love of the butterfly. As a child living in the Deep South I would catch Monarch butterflies every season just to see their magnificence a little more closely (and then of course let them go). My mother had raised me to believe that the butterfly symbolized the Holy Spirit, Resurrection and Creation itself.
I have named the butterfly “Conchita” as my mother has left the physical plane and her deep connection with nature, spirit and freedom touches all that I am or do.
The artistic vision and creativity that flows abundantly through me always seeks an anchor to balance that flow and channel it into the finished product. That is where the academic and scientific brilliance of Robert Kane enters. This blessed spirit focused the selection and fine tuning of the gemstones so that each one set was perfectly cut to classical proportions and were perfectly clean under high magnification. His uncompromising integrity and commitment blending with my creativity and free spirited truth produced a jewel that will become part of our great nation’s heritage and a source of delight and learning for generations to come.
The presentation of the George Pendant to the Smithsonian.
The presentation ceremony of the “George Pendant” to the Smithsonian was attended by Cristian Samper, the Director of the Smithsonian, Paula Crevoshay, the Artist, Martin Bell and Jeffery Post, the Curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection.
Dr. Post said “The beautiful cabochon, natural-green zircon is a stunning centerpiece in the classic Crevoshay designed “George Pendant”. This wonderful gift is the first piece of zircon jewelry in the National Gem Collection and we are delighted that it is a Crevoshay jewel.”
This extremely rare Green Zircon of amazingly fine quality and size has been cut en cabochon by George Crevoshay. It is from the Ratnapura mines of Sarendip (Sri Lanka). The elegant and understated design by Paula Crevoshay surrounds the bezel set stones in a halo of granulation on a satin finished field of gold framed by bright work set off with hand engraving. The 18K handmade pendant is accented by all green tourmalines from Maine (north), California (east and west) and Africa (South). The stone weights are: Zircon= 43.79 carat., Tourmaline= 2.72 carat., 1.61 carat., and Chrome Tourmaline= 0.72 carat.