Amethyst—The Joyful Key

“What three words describe your project?”

Karen Van Cleve, author, coach and dedicated public speaker barely hesitated. She had given much thought to her intentions.  Her book, “End Overwhelm Now” addresses the chaos of too much everything with simple, practical exercises.

As a part of my custom design, I asked the question ready for any answer at all. Still, I did not expect these words.




I had been a part of Karen’s journey as she developed the book and its subsequent online program. During monthly calls as a mastermind participant, we had examined the chapters and sussed out various ideas. At the time of this conversation, Karen was preparing a keynote presentation on her topic of overwhelm.

My plan was to frame Karen’s words to her audience with a necklace that could augment her presence from the front of the room. Her target group, an audience of licensed professionals such as financial advisors and CPAs, would appreciate the detail involved. 

Choice — Amethyst Key

When our phone conversation confirmed lavender as her favorite color, a plan crystalized that included amethyst and sterling silver. Purple has long been associated with royalty. The royal governing body makes choices for its subjects or guides them to choose. Within each person is the opportunity for choice in their life. Thus, “choice,” one of Karen’s words, is brought to life with this stone.

Amethyst is also a crystal for the release of addictions. As such it’s an aid to curbing dependency on bad habits. Certainly a tendency to dwell in overwhelm is a bad habit, or one that negatively affects a person’s physical environment. 

Vision — Amethyst Key

The gem amethyst is a powerful tool for cognitive understanding. According to Naisha Ahsian in The Book of Stones, (a resource I used for my work) “Its ability to lend clarity helps one in identifying the damaging beliefs, behaviors and habits that brought energetic imbalance to the physical realm.” Hence, the visionary theme, the second of Karen’s words, was fulfilled.

Inspiration – Amethyst Key

This necklace is purposely designed to inspire its owner and the viewer. A choker, it is perfect for its wearer, because it frames her face without overwhelming it. It’s simple, playing with subtleness of shape, size and texture of amethyst beads. In addition, this piece is deep. The longer one looks, the more one can see and relate to in the necklace. Sterling silver adds to the preciousness of the presentation. Inspiration.

The fastener is a simple hook and eye, a commercial fastener that I made my own with oxidation, a chemical process in which the appearance of an element is changed. The darkened patina adds another beautiful dimension to the piece. A few links of my handmade chain serve as an extender for the necklace. It’s part of my customized touch (read more about my handmade chain in this post) and echos the detail which I believe Karen puts into her speaking engagements. 

Although the audience will likely not see the back of the necklace, a small sterling silver star  adds the final element of completion to my customized adornment.

Amethyst Key: Choice-Vision-Inspiration

With three simple words Karen framed her intention for a speaking presentation. Thanks to her forethought, I could take those words and bring them to life through her wearable art.

My joy in making jewelry is not only the creation, but the personalization of maker magic for its wearer. How does your creative practice bring ideas to life?

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