Medusa 7 Emerald Medallion Necklace
Free shipping and returns
100% recycled solid gold or vermeil
2 year warranty
Fairly made, fairly priced
Our bestselling Medusa necklace has sold out 15 times and counting, with good reason. There are varying origin stories for Medusa, but the ancient poet, Ovid, tells us that she was once a beautiful mortal woman and a priestess of Athena. In the sacred temple of Athena, Medusa was raped, and the enraged goddess transformed Medusa into a Gorgon - a monster with snakes for hair.
Medusa would never be touched by a man again, for she could turn them to stone with only her gaze. But men are terrified by women who wield power, so it was not long before Perseus sought out Medusa to chop off her head, which was then used as a weapon.
Feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson said that “Medusa has since haunted Western imagination, materializing whenever male authority feels threatened by female agency.” And so she does. Women who speak out against injustice are very often mockingly compared to Medusa. On the surface, it is disrespectful and belittling. Her femininity is used to undermine her and diminish the value of her words. But there is a deeper meaning in the comparison, and that is Medusa's decapitation, which says that women speaking must be silenced - by whatever means necessary.
But women have always heard Medusa’s voice. She has served as a symbol of protection (known as a Gorgoneion) in Greek culture for millennia, and more recently, as a universal symbol of power and feminine rage.
This piece features a delicate line drawing of Medusa with seven emeralds strewn through her hair, engraved in 18k gold vermeil. solid 14k gold or sterling silver.
Note: Medusa is priced a little higher due to the extra emeralds and the time taken to hand-set each gem.
- 7 ethically-sourced 1mm emeralds
- 1 inch diameter
- 18 inch solid rolo chain
About Solid Gold ✨
Solid gold is the best option if you:
1. Want to wear your piece forever or pass it down as an heirloom. Solid gold will last for centuries without degrading.
2. Want to invest in jewelry as an asset rather than an accessory. Gold traditionally appreciates in value and can always be melted down and made into a new piece
Unlike many brands, our gold is never hollow - it is always 100% solid, cast using the lost wax method, meaning there is a lot more gold in each piece.
Our gold is 100% certified recycled and each piece is handcrafted here in New York.
When will my piece ship? 🚚
Gold Vermeil pieces ship same day or next business day.
We keep a small inventory of solid gold pieces - please check about the 'Add to Cart' button to see if your piece is in stock.
If not, it will display the estimated ship time so that we can custom make it for you in our NYC studio.
What does Traditional Retail Price mean? 💸
Most brands sell through boutiques and department stores, where the pricing model is usually a 2 - 4x markup from their wholesale price. For example, the jewelry brand sells the piece to the store for $1000, and then the store sells it to you for $2,500.
Because Common Era sells directly from our studio, we can give our customers the same pricing we would be giving to wholesale stores.
About Gold Vermeil
Gold Vermeil, pronounced ver-may, is a french term for a style of gold plating that is regulated by the federal government. Unlike "gold plated" jewelry, vermeil must always be on a solid 925 sterling silver base - rather than brass - with at least 2.5 microns thickness of gold. This is 3 times thicker than normal gold plating.
This makes vermeil a longer lasting product than gold plated jewelry, as well as more valuable because it's composed entirely of precious metals.
When will my order ship?
All pieces except for made-to-order solid gold will ship within 24 hours on business days.
Solid gold orders ship from our NYC studio and the time to ship is indicated above the "Add to cart" button on those pieces.
What if my piece is lost in the mail?
This is in incredibly rare, but if it happens we will make it right with a free replacement.
Solid gold pieces are always shipped with signature required to ensure this doesn't happen.
Does your jewelry come in a box or a pouch?
Both! Our packaging is made in Chicago and consists of a peach-colored vegan suede pouch in a branded box, so they’re easy to wrap up as gifts.
People are always curious about how jewelry companies price their pieces - how can that tiny little piece be worth $3000? I was one of those skeptical people until I founded...