Shinji Nakaba is a Tokyo-based jewelry designer who’s been creating since 1974. Everything he makes is wearable, and Nakaba often uses unconventional materials to create his pieces. These intricately carved pearl skulls are an example of his exceptional work.
“I just want to bring brand new life to something that has no value,” Nakaba tells Magnifico. “I use not only precious metals and stones, but also everyday things, such as aluminum beer cans, plastic bottle, or even garbage,” he explains on Etsy.
“Vanitas” is carved into many of Nakaba’s skulls. This is Latin for “vanity,” and is likely a reference to 16th-17th century funerary art. Work of this type emphasized the meaninglessness of earthly life “and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.”
Gregory Halili, a Philippines-born artist, has created this most beautiful series of carved pearl skulls. I think it works so well, not only because of the expert craftsmanship but also because pearls have a similar resemblance to bone so the skull actually looks like a skull. Funny that.
Above is a hand carved South Sea pearl in 18ct with white and natural coloured Diamonds custom made by Jewellers Workshop Gallery. I’ve also attached a pic of a heart pendent you may appreciate even though it isn’t skull related.
These are all custom made pieces so if you fancy something as cool as this, and unique then follow the links and get in touch with them.
First of all, apologies for not getting this post up sooner! I was away on holiday in Italy and didn’t have internet connection. But I’m back so no more late posts!
This Fossilised Coral Skull Pendant was sent to us by a friend of ours, Anna, who is a gem stone specialist. She recently found this beautiful skull pendant and shared it with us on Facebook.
The skull is fossilised coral and the eyes of the skull are very fine emeralds. On top sits a spider made of gold, with diamond legs and a Tahitian pearl for its body. It’s absolutely beautiful! Thanks Anna! We’ll also be doing a post soon of all the skulls you, our fans, have been sending us so watch this space!