As founders, Fasil and I wanted to create a jewelry design that represented our philosophy and aesthetic. After several discussions, we settled on designing something based on Marsh Chamberlain's design of the "broken image link" icon for Netscape made in the early days of the internet.
The original design is a 14X16 array of pixels so we decided to translate the design on a 1:1 scale where each 1X1 pixel became a 1mmX1mm portion of the pendant. Using this logical framework, we figured out the proportion of all of the elements of the pendant from its depth to the thickness of its bezels.
Once we figured out the proportions and made the 3D model, it was time to get stones cut that would fit the bezels of the pendant. We needed stones that matched the colors on the icon so we selected uncut pieces of emerald (green), sapphire (blue), and tourmaline (pink). Each stone was cut to fit the bezel. The emerald and the sapphire were made from standard cuts (round and princess cut respectively). The pink part of the icon was harder to replicate because there is no established right triangle shaped cut of stone. We worked closely with a gem cutter to create a custom stone cut.
After the gems were cut and the gold was cast, we worked with a gem setter and finisher to polish the pendant, set the stones, and solder a chain directly onto the pendant. We are very proud of the finished product.
The final design is an instant Westies & Co classic, bringing together cutting edge digital processes with age old craftsmanship traditions. It took the collective efforts of an engineer, a jeweler, and a gem cutter, to capture this part of our collective digital legacy in gold. You can now purchase your own piece of iconic internet history here.