Rosemary's pendant will be a £500 boost for charity

THIS is the special pendant that could really make someone's Valentine's Day extra-special - while raising cash for charity.

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The pendant has been designed by Rosemary MacDonald, a student on the HND jewellery course at the school of art and design at City of Glasgow College.

It is on sale at Laing The Jewellers, one of the city's best-known gem stores, in time for Thursday.

Now on display at Laing's city premises at 38-39 Argyll Arcade, it can be bought either in store or via the website.

Its price has been set at £500, with proceeds going to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.

The centrepiece of the pendant – created in sterling silver – is a pink sapphire, which Laings donated to the college last year in aid of the charity.

The students on the course were set a challenge to design a pendant around the sapphire, using the concept of Entwined.

Rosemary's winning design was chosen by Kirsty Ferguson, Laing's in-house designer, and Stuart Thomson, its in-house goldsmith.

Laing's describes the pendant as a "one-off, exceptional piece of custom-made jewellery" and interest in it is certain to be high.

Rosemary, 58, visited Laing's shop to deliver the finished pendant to Wendy Laing, a director of the firm.

Rosemary worked for almost 40 years as a lab technician until she took early retirement. Two years ago she began the college's NQ jewellery course and is now on its HND course.

She said: "When we were given a brief with the word 'entwined' I looked at such things as clasped hands and embracing arms.

"What I've done is to incorporate the pink sapphire with the charity's ribbon motif, which I have inverted.

"It's a great honour for me that a jewellers like Laing is going to put it on sale, and it's nice that it will forego the profit in order to raise as much money as possible for Breakthrough.

"They also gave me a lot of help during the whole process, and I'm really grateful."

Rosemary still has a year of her course left, after which she hopes to be self-employed in jewellery design.

Lisa McGovern, HND 1 jewellery design course leader at the college, said the course has proved to be "extremely popular and successful" in attracting students who wish to start their jewellery-making education and careers.

She added: "We hope that giving students projects such as this helps prepare them for either going on to art school or setting up in self-employment."

Wendy Laing said: "Jewellery design is crucial to the future of this industry and we are delighted to have been involved with the college on this project and to benefit a charity that is close to our heart at Laing's."

l See the pendant online at www.laingsuk.com

l If you would like to apply for a place on the jewellery course call 0141 566 6222.

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