One fall evening, I was walking hand-in-hand with a beautiful southern belle under a canopy of heavenly Oak trees. The Oaks in this alley were so grand we felt as if a forest parted just for us. While walking, I discovered some small twigs on the ground in front of us. I picked one up and held it in front of my face, taking in the inherent beauty the twig possessed. As I was gazing upon the twig, the lovely lady on my side asked me what I was thinking. As I looked deep into her mesmerizing eyes, I thought to myself, only Louisiana could create something this breathtaking. Before I knew it, my lips were upon hers. When we opened our eyes, I saw a slight twinkle in her eyes from the sun behind me. The look in her eyes was a gift that words are not sufficient to describe. I knew I had to share this gift with the world. I gathered up the twigs beneath her feet that would later become a magnificent necklace.
Oak Alley Necklace
For centuries, Louisiana has been home to countless natural beauties. From the Spanish moss that hangs from our old cypress trees, to our ancient waterways that cut through our land- Louisiana is a place of beauty. Many southern houses have hundred-year-old Oaks that naturally stretch over roads, walkways and meadows, reverently referred to by locals as an Oak Alley. Many people believe that the exquisite Oak Alley is no comparison to the beauty of the lovely southern woman- but it’s a close second. The thought of these two naturally gorgeous things together created my vision of the Oak Alley Necklace.
The next day, I made a mold from the twigs I had gathered, and cast them into 14 karat yellow gold. The moment I looked at the golden twigs, the memory of the previous night’s beautiful setting came to mind. I began to weave them together to create the Oak Alley Necklace. Once it was complete, it only needed the twinkle I saw in my beautiful lady’s eyes. This was done with a few round diamonds in the twigs and four marquise diamonds that dangle off short cable chains. Nothing can compare to these true southern beauties- but my Oak Alley Necklace comes close. My wish is to spread the love and beauty I experienced that fall evening.
- Keith Lockhart
A few of the steps in creating this masterpiece. Click to enlarge.