Golden Mountain Lion Necklace Photo by Shunyata

Golden Mountain Lion Necklace


t first you may wonder is why this piece is named the Golden Mountain Lion Necklace. It doesn’t look like a Mountain Lion, does it?

Perspectives can at times be most deceiving. The Mountain Lion Necklace got it’s name, not from what it looks like but because of what it’s made from. You see the pendant is composed of a set of Mountain Lion Claws, Mexican Opal and a central Fire Agate gem set in hand crafted 22 karat Gold.

In the next couple of minutes, you’ll get the inside story behind this extraordinary piece of symbolic art jewelry.

It all started back in 1993, when Town and Country Magazine showed up for a surprise visit to my Bali studio. It felt like I was under siege: they had a massive, large format camera, crew of ten and Peter Coyote with them.

The studio was a mess, and I was sitting on the floor in the midst of small mounds of beads making a necklace. It felt a little awkward to have so many eyes zeroing in on what I was doing.

Peter Coyote Visited the Zoein Jewelry Studio Picture From Gimme Some Truth

Peter Coyote in Gimme Some Truth

What most people don’t know is that before Peter Coyote became a film star, he was a member of the Diggers, a bohemian beatnik group that proceeded the hippies.

He used to live out of his van making jewelry from the odd finds he came across on the road. Peter was astounded because the tribal piece that I was making took him right back to the heady days of his early years.

After an afternoon of mayhem and photos, the interview was complete. Peter returned the next day with stories to share and a very special gift: a set of Mountain Lion Claws that he had found in the forest of Mount Shasta.

It took a couple years for the design for the Mountain Lion Necklace crystalized in my mind. I was inspired by how the claws could naturally in-frame a central jewel.

The symbolic dimension of the Mountain Lion Claws are retained as much in form as in substance.

Besides sympathetically conveying a Mountain Lions character—its sleek and agile movement and particularly its power to hunt, the Mountain Lion Necklace further derives influence from the metallurgic Holy Grail’. You see, by setting them in gold, their subtle attributes have been enriched if not immortalized.

Mountain Lion Necklace Celtic-Mystery-BronzeLong after the Mountain Lion Necklace was created I came across a picture of what’s referred to as a mysterious object. As you can see in the image, this Celtic bronze Design looks remarkable similar to the Mountain Lion Pendant.

This twenty five hundred year old Celtic bronze may have been inspired in a similar manner. by a set of animal claws. Wouldn’t you agree that it certainly appears to be a distant ancestor of the Mountain Lion Necklace?