• On a white background lies a beaded necklace featuring a square toggle clasp, beads in shades of black, purple, and silver, and a large, tower-shaped pendant of gray stone with black needles formed inside it.
  • A pointed gray stone pendant with black needles formed inside lies on a white background. Beads are visible on a strand to either side of the pendant.
  • Part of a beaded strand of jewelry is visible. In the center foreground is a black bead with an opening inside which druzy can be seen. The other beads are silver, black, gray, and purple in color.

Black and Purple Gemstone Beaded Pendant Necklace with Sterling Silver


"Precipice" Necklace

One of the most momentous scenes in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun takes place at the end of the chapter "On the Edge of a Precipice." Two characters, Miriam and Donatello, are part of an incident that leaves them bound together by both love and guilt and that changes not only their relationship but their other friendships as well. The passage begins to unfold the gruesomeness of what took place, and this might seem like an odd choice as inspiration for a jewelry design. But the horror of that night sets Donatello on a path of moral development that Hawthorne writes very movingly about. And who among us hasn't found certain events to be watershed moments in our own lives? 

Wear this necklace as an acknowledgment that we all find ourselves on a figurative precipice from time to time, faced with difficult and crucial choices.

The gemstone beads chosen for this necklace are mostly dark, but with some sheen or sparkle or pattern of dark on light: druzy agate, hypersthene, spider-web jasper, black tourmalinated quartz. They all suggest the moonlit walk the main characters of the novel undertake long after dark one night in Rome. The purple fluorite beads are meant to mimic the color of the sky as Hawthorne describes it a couple of chapters before, and the rainbow moonstone evokes moonlight as well. The metallic-coated lava rock refers to the city's lava-stone pathways, and the black crosses recall the cross they see in the Coliseum. The pendant was chosen for its dramatic shape, reminiscent of the precipice at which Miriam's and Donatello's lives changed so dramatically. In short, the components of this design have been selected to correspond closely with Hawthorne's description of the fateful night and of the city.

The Details

  • length: approximately 19.5 inches
  • pendant dimensions: approximately 50x21mm
  • clasp dimensions: approximately 20mm
  • sterling-silver clasp, findings, and metal spacer beads