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Redesigned necklace

About this design:

My client asked me to redesign a couple of jewelry pieces for her. This first one was just strung with these gorgeous big carved ivory characters of people and animals. It had been strung with 18k gold and she doesn't like gold. Also, she wanted to be able to see all the beads at once and the way it had been strung, she couldn't. The before picture is the third one. I redid the necklace by wire wrapping the beads with heavy gauge wire and joining them with large sterling jump rings. I did a double strand trying to juxtapose the beads so no two repeated too close to each other. I handmade the chain part and the toggle with fine silver. We both loved how it turned out. It's fun and challenging to restyle jewelry for people. When I first started making jewelry, I restyled most of what I owned. I loved what I had but there was always that one thing I wished I could change and now I could.


Large carved ivory beads, 20 gauge sterling wire, 6mm sterling jump rings and handmade fine silver chain and toggle.

Additional Images:

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    Those are really unusual beads. I don’t blame her for wanting the necklace redone. I don’t think the gold beads did anything for them at all. I like the way you reworked it.

  2. JenniferLynn
    JenniferLynn says:

    I love those beads. Very unique! I agree with Deb the original design just did not do them justice. You kept it simple and all the focus is on those gorgeous beads. Do you know where they came from? Probably one of a kind?

  3. Rocknitjewelry
    Rocknitjewelry says:

    Hi JenniferLynn. She told me that her husband (now her ex) had it made for her many many years ago. He knew she didn’t like gold but he did. Guess that’s why he’s her ex now. Anyway, I don’t think she knew where the beads came from originally. I just thought they were so cool. I love carved beads and use them a lot. Glad you and Deb like what I did with them.

  4. franny
    franny says:

    Fantastic….love those beads & how you’ve upstyled them…highlighting each one but uniting them as a whole…not surprised your client was delighted!

  5. Asia
    Asia says:

    I love the redo, now those gorgeous beads are on the centre stage, well done :D

  6. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Very cool! The gold beads were too fussy with the carved beads and didn’t accentuate them well at all. I love your handmade chain, plus it gives a “handcrafted piece of art” vibe to the necklace.

  7. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    P. S. How DID you make the chain? I love the shape of the links especially as an offset to round beads!

  8. Nafri aka Nanci
    Nafri aka Nanci says:

    These carved beads ROCK!!! Your re-design looks great. It shows off the beads much better than the original design. If I were your client I would not have waited till her husband was an ex to have this necklace redone the way she wanted. Then I would have sold the original beads for their gold value and bought more jewelry that I loved (all silver of course). But that’s just me. Hee hee!

  9. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Your design is MUCH better than the first and I love your organic chain, too. Those beads are FABULOUS!

  10. Gemme Designs
    Gemme Designs says:

    Very interesting beads and design!!

  11. KatsAllThat
    KatsAllThat says:

    Lucky her to have beads like that!! You did a great job in redoing it.

  12. NY Bella
    NY Bella says:

    Beautiful beads! Fantastic job in re- designing!

  13. T Kandarian
    T Kandarian says:

    First, your re-work is beautiful! The beads appear to be netsuke, possibly katabori-netsuke, which is a type of miniature carving invented in 17th century Japan. Your client may want to have them evaluated/appraised and (possibly) insured.

  14. Beads Me
    Beads Me says:

    Those beads totally resemble netsuke! Love it!

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