GOLDEN TATE: Touchdown Jesus

When local pro football wide receiver Golden Tate first called on Green Lake Jewelry Works, we thought for sure he was looking to make a custom ring. After all, that is the core of what we do. However, Green Lake has also recently produced some big, custom pieces – from Pawn Star Chum Lee’s face pendant to numerous Hollywood glam items that showed up on the red carpet  – and that’s more of what Tate was in the market for.  

What did Golden Tate want custom made? A gold rosary-inspired necklace with black and champagne diamonds, of course:

How it Was Made

Green Lake Jewelry Works designer and CAD modeler Kelsey Kudrievsteff approached this custom project with almost as much enthusiasm as she has for football. Though Seattle would claim him as their own, Golden actually comes to us by way of his home in Tennessee and his alma mater in Indiana.  As Golden sought to tastefully incorporate each aspect of his story into a single piece, the project fast became a complex design challenge for Kelsey. Luckily, the basic elements of a traditional rosary that inspire Golden’s pendent made it easier to segment out each meaning.

The Crucifix

Likely the only one of its kind, Jesus’ depiction on this particular crucifix draws direct inspiration from The Word of Life mural that visible from Notre Dame’s stadium where Golden played through college, or what is what is more commonly referred to as ‘Touchdown Jesus.’ On its reverse, the personal motto ‘Don’t Be Satisfied’ and his longtime nickname ‘Showtime Tate’ have been carved into overlapping typography.

 The Center Piece

While a man of great faith who also went to catholic schools, Golden himself is not catholic, and as such the center piece on this pendant has been switched with something more personally fitting: A football. This solid gold section also accounts for a majority of the diamonds in this piece overall.

The Beads

Talk about a guy who will remember your birthday. At the end of each stretch of faceted black onyx sits a solid rose gold bead and each is custom carved with birthdates of family members.

All in all, from the big fans here at Green Lake Jewelry Works, we had a blast collaborating on this piece. As are a majority of our custom jewelry clients, Golden Tate was creative, sentimental, and a great guy all around.

Oh, and here’s the video for how we made this piece, start to finish:

Golden Tate – Custom Made from Green Lake Jewelry Works on Vimeo.



About the author:

Eric Robertson is a writer, illustrator and creative lead for Green Lake Jewelry Works.

Photo credit: Daniel Zetterstrom