I’m wearing a breathtakingly beautiful necklace one of my dearest friends (and most favorite people) gave me yesterday. When I opened the box, I gasped, not only because the jewel is so stunning, but because without knowing it, Jodi had selected a piece by one of my favorite designers: Angie Olami.
Angie Atkins is a Chicago-born Israeli designer who creates the Angie Olami jewelry line, featuring ancient Roman Glass set in sterling silver, gemstones and pearls. The glass is sourced from shards of ancient perfume pots and other vessels, dating back from 100 BCE to 300 CE. No two pieces of glass are exactly alike due to natural variances. (Not to worry, fellow history enthusiasts; her suppliers are all licensed by the Israeli Government Antiquities Authority.)
Her jewelry is carried in stores across the globe, but sparsely so. I’m aware of just one boutique on the Front Range where her work is regularly stocked. Should you go out trekking, be advised: it’s pricey, but justifiably so. Each earring, necklace, ring, brooch or bracelet is delicately detailed and carries with it thousands of years of human history.
It’s amusing to imagine the former life of this pendant’s glass. Did it belong to a woman of wealth who could afford a luxury like perfume? Did it hold a family’s drinking water? Maybe it was part of a beautiful lamp that burned in a home waiting for a centurion to return from battle. It could have served as a vase in a temple where people offered prayer.
It makes you wonder what will remain for archaeologists of the future to uncover about us and of how we lived, what we treasured. I hope this necklace will be one of the finds.