Levi Higgs has one of those jobs that you can only daydream of having. He’s an archivist for quintessential jeweler David Webb in NYC. His knowledge of decorative arts and jewelry history is extensive, for which he often speaks & writes. He is a must-follow (his Instagram Stories are mini knowledge adventures) so hit that follow button.
Describe the piece: This is an ancient coin ring I had custom made at David Webb, where I work as the archivist.
Where did it come from?: The coin I sourced from a friend of mine who is the best coin dealer – he supplies to Bulgari, JAR, and many others! I brought the coin to David Webb, and we came up with the design of the ring based on an old wedding band from the 1970s I sourced from the archives.
What does the piece say?: The ancient silver coin depicts an owl on the top side, and a hidden face of Athena below the shank. Athena and an owl represent wisdom. The gold band is textured with hand-hammered gold from the David Webb workshop, and it’s sort of a laurel leaf pattern, to tie to the mythological narrative of the owl.
What was happening in your life when you got the piece: I had commissioned a coin ring from David Webb for my partner Mark’s 30th birthday, and I had wanted one for a while after that. So once I found the owl coin from my friend, I jumped at the chance. I was also working on an exhibition for David Webb, A Walk in the Woods, that featured some brand new owl jewels, so I wanted to commemorate that project with a jewel.
What does it remind you of? It reminds me of an animal that has always been special to me, and my connection to a brand I will always love.
What days are the days you choose to wear the piece: I wear it when I want to feel wise and powerful. Everyday.
How does it make you feel?: Like I have a connection to something collectively greater than myself.