South Sea Glow Spectra Gold

The Story of South Sea Glow Pendant

Adam Neeley’s pendant entitled South Sea Glow, a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection, is the product of timeless design, innovative technique, and inspiration derived from nature’s beauty.
While living in Florence, Italy, designer Adam Neeley sketched a curvaceous form which would later become South Sea Glow Pendant. As an artist he doesn’t limit his creativity by what he knew to be possible, he simply translated his vision onto paper. Here’s what he imagined: A lustrous suite of pearls fading from a rich golden hue into white, dancing along a hand-hewn form of matching gradient gold.

The Perfect Pearls

Instead of seeking a series of matching pearls, as is common for jewelers, Adam set out to hand-select the highest quality South Sea pearl across this gemstone’s color and size range. South Sea pearls can grow to be some of the largest in the world. The largest in the group featured in South Sea Glow is a 11.5 mm of a rich golden tone. Each subsequent pearl is subtly smaller and paler finishing with a 4.5 mm bright white pearl.

Innovation as a Goldsmith

To realize the pendant in his imagination, Adam needed more than just the perfect pearls; he needed a gold that transformed gradually from a deep yellow into a bright white. He took to the bench in an effort to create a process to harden a color gradient gold. Many months later, he succeeded in creating a smooth color gradient gold to match the ombré of his imagination. This unique and time intensive alloy, which Adam named SpectraGold™, can never be poured into a mold. South Sea Glow and other signature pieces incorporating SpectraGold™ must be crafted entirely by hand.

Though time-intensive to create, Adam loves to use Spectra gold in his designs to create subtle color-gradients.

The Legacy

In the 2010 International Pearl Contest, the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) awarded the South Sea Glow Pendant it’s highest honor, the “President’s Trophy”. Adam sold a limited edition of ten South Sea Glow pendants to loyal collectors, but held the final pendant aside out of fondness. After some time, Adam decided to make a public gift of this memorable piece. In 2013, the Smithsonian Institution inducted South Sea Glow into its permanent collection.
 Spectra Gold™, a seamless white to yellow gradient gold technique, is an innovative and a signature of Adam’s jewelry. Interested in seeing more? Click below!
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