There are many iconic images in hip-hop, but perhaps none more well-known than the Jesus pendant. It’s known to be the most popular and iconic piece of hip-hop jewelry of all time.
For the uninitiated, the epochal pendant shows the face of Jesus, usually made of gold, with diamonds or other gems as his eyes, hair, and crown of thorns. They’re beautiful pieces of artwork that have a rich history.
Franky Diamond understands this history perhaps better than anyone. Based out of Toronto, Franky has revolutionized diamond setting and diamond hand selection. He cuts no corners and has a long list of hip-hoppers as his clients.
“The Jesus pendant all started with The Notorious B.I.G.,” Diamond said. “He started the whole trend.” The hip-hopper had a penchant for jewelry and had multiple Jesus pieces. They were decorated with precious gems, especially in his hair. Sometimes he would wear two of the pendants at once. Every time he recorded an album, he would wear his Jesus piece.
When he died, he passed them onto his son, Jay-Z. He made several iconic appearances with the pendants and held them, dear. The trend has continued with neo-age hip-hoppers, including Kanye West, who commissioned a Jesus piece of the size of his fist. He had aquamarines for the eyes, yellow and light brown diamonds for his hair, bright diamonds for his crown of thorns, and small rubies for the tears of blood falling down his cheeks.
Franky Diamond makes his own Jesus pieces, carefully handcrafting them to perfection. He often showcases pieces of such fine jewelry on his Instagram page that has an enviable following. “The Jesus piece will always be an important part of the hip-hop aesthetic. Generations going forward will look up to jewelers to make them these iconic works of art,” concludes Franky Diamond.