Written Language and Jewelry

Do you Dress Like the Queen of the Nile?


The desire to ornament ourselves is deep, deep in our human DNA.  Archeological digs from every part of the world reveal that people have always loved to wear jewelry, even before they had written language. Aztec and Mayan glyphs depict royalty wearing earrings and belts made from the plumes of parrots and the iridescent wings of butterflies. Viking graves reveal aristocrats accessorized for the afterlife wearing strands of amber beads and intricately carved bronze torques, a solid, collar-like necklace with an opening at the front. And most famously, the Egyptians dressed for life—and death—in shimmering headdresses, bib necklaces, rings and cuffs of yellow gold set with lapis lazuli, carnelian and onyx.

Today’s trend is minimalist, compared with the wow-factor of these ancestral tastes. One of the reasons: written language.

Maybe you’re not up for dressing like the Queen of the Nile most days. A great pair of jeans and the perfect white tee-shirt may be more your style—but what takes this modern uniform from “whatever” to a fashion look is the right piece of gold jewelry. The simpler the better: a subtle but substantial piece of gold that rests close to your heart. Based on more than 15 years of designing jewelry, we find that the piece of gold jewelry most women want today is an sleek, refined necklace which incorporates the names of kids and grandchildren. Perhaps it’s just the first initial of your child. Just one character may say it all. Say it in English or Hebrew—we create name-necklaces in both languages using both alphabets. In fact, that’s how our design business got started, creating cube- “letter” beads in Hebrew when the tradition had just started (Alef Bet, for any of you who don’t know, means “A,B” in Hebrew!).

Hebrew Name necklace
Engraving a Hebrew name necklace

We create many variations on name-necklaces which are so easy to wear, each piece will become the favorite you want to wear everyday!

The power of the names of those we love has never been more precious as the world becomes more and more global. Your kids and grandchildren may live in your hometown, or may live, work and play on another continent. Keep them close with Skype, and with a name-necklace from Alef Bet.

Our favorite customer testimonial goes like this: a chic grandmother we know wears a 14-karat and diamond Alef Bet necklace of seemingly random letters: “D,D,M,R”. But the letters aren’t random at all: the characters stand for her sons David and Daniel, and her granddaughters Miriam and Ruth. But that explanation may not be necessary. When someone asks grandma what the letters mean, she says simply “My family.”



The Way We Were Now With Memory Jewelry Created from Your Photos

THE WAY WE WERE Grandmother and Grandchild



So even if you’re not a fan of Barbra’s (really?!?!?), you must agree that memories are a huge part of loving someone. Sometimes all we have is a snapshot—but now, that cherished photo can become an enduring piece of fine jewelry that lasts as long as the memory itself: the Alef Bet Memory Pendant by Paula’s Jewels. 

Perhaps you have grandma’s engraved locket, or her exquisitely thin wedding band. If you do have precious family heirlooms from past generations, all of us at Alef Bet encourage you to unlock the vault and enjoy them today! And suppose that that delicate little ring with the tiny opals and seed pearls doesn’t fit your finger, or quite honestly just isn’t your taste. Fine—pass it down now to someone in the family who will love it and wear it. There’s bound to be a birthday, a Bat Mitzvah or other joyous occasion in your calendar for now. “Now” being the key word!

But here at Alef Bet, we’re creating new jewelry to capture eternal memories. Using the newest technology to preserve a visual image, supplied by you in the form of a photograph, as a Memory Pendant. You’ll enjoy it forever as a piece of original, unique fine jewelry you’ll wear always. We create these keepsakes in 14 karat gold and sterling silver. We use precious metals (versus inexpensive base metals) not only because your memories are precious, but because these metals physically are more capable of capturing fine details when the metal is cast. Gold in particular is highly flexible as a substance, which is why it can be hammered into superfine sheets (aka, “gold leaf”) and drawn into very fine threads, forms of gold which have been treasured since ancient times for jewelry-making.

Capturing the subtle details of a face. The crooked grin that you’ll always remember. The way that unruly strand of hair always fell over his eye. The unmistakable family resemblance, perhaps, in a photograph snapped at a candid, spontaneous moment long ago.

Photo Used
Photo Used

Grandmother and Son Memory Pendant

Pendant Created


Now it’s yours forever, to wear next to your heart.


What we need to get started: the photo of your loved one, uploaded  in digital format or from a scanned photo emailed to us. Please remember that it is helpful for us to have a very sharp, clear, large image, so that we may create a detailed portrait in fine metals.  Also—tell us the story that goes with the face. When you send the photo, also feel free to share what you loved about the person. It will help us to hand-craft the image, knowing that your sister Shoshanna was a selfless dog-rescuer in spite of her allergies, or that your mother Miriam played the accordion, and was a blushing wallflower at family parties until the polkas started flowing!

See the entire collection at Amazon Handmade

We love making these pieces for our clients, and you might be surprised at the broad range of requests we receive. Of course our clients ask us to create these pieces for a loved one who has passed away, and this may be the most heartfelt way to wear our jewelry. But we also make photo-engraved pieces to celebrate a new life, with joyful the arrival of a new baby, or to capture the faces of newlyweds the moment they say “I do”—whether it was in 2016, 1960, or even 1916! We create every piece by hand with care, tenderness and respect. Please allow approximately 3 – 4 weeks for us to create your piece. Your Memory Pendant will be sent to your via United States Postal Service.

Shop the Memory Pendants Here