Custom Best of Show Trophy Created by Brilliant Stars Jewelers
January 25, 2024
For the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance, Brilliant Stars Jewelers had the unique idea to make a custom trophy for the Best of Show Winner — one that would emulate the winning car into a bejeweled statuette.
When presenting such a work of art on a world stage, our design team felt that even the wood base must be exotic and impressive. We decided on a very rare and protected rosewood that comes from Eastern India. But as a company, Brilliant Stars is a strong advocate for the environment and sustainability. To ethically use this rosewood, we purchased an antique piece of Indian furniture and repurposed the wood for this one-of-a-kind presentation. Not only is Indian Rosewood difficult to source, but it is also special in being one of the heaviest and most dense varieties of wood in the world. The color is luscious and dark and would perfectly contrast the sparkle of gold and diamonds. To upgrade the trophy even further, it was decided to use a solid 18k rose gold plaque for the engravings on the front of the trophy. The design further incorporates two solid gold rails on the top to frame the car’s presentation. To distinguish the 18k rose gold from other non-precious metals, four diamonds were set on the plaque and four on each rail; There would be left no doubt, that such a trophy has never been crafted before!
However, we faced another challenge. The Best on Show winning car wouldn’t be selected until the final moments of Concours Sunday. We estimated that the creation of this trophy would take at least 4 months. The debates within the Brilliant Stars design team were heated. On the ramp, perhaps a simple announcement of the trophy would suffice? Most of the team felt this would take away from the auspicious moment. Perhaps our team could present the winner with a printed computer rendering? But this idea was shot down when we discovered that there would only be a few moments between the winner being announced and the trophy presentation on the ramp. There simply wouldn’t be enough time.
After much thought and debate, our President, Rodney Rahmani, presented an interesting solution: We would present the winner an actual trophy, in rosewood, gold and diamonds. But the gold and diamond car presented atop would be a “generic” antique car and the winner would be told to expect the actual winning car in 4 months. Everyone agreed that presenting an actual, precious trophy would be most respectful and impactful for the moment everyone has been waiting for.
We were elated when Jim Patterson won Best of Show with his mesmerizing 1937 Mercedes Benz 450K Special Roadster. Wow! The team’s goal was to take extensive photos and videos of the winning car while we were on site. The fact is, there are some cars with simple, “clean” designs. In the case of this Mercedes-Benz, it is one of the most elaborately designed cars one can imagine. Of course, this made our job much more difficult in that this highly detailed car contains parts, curves, and exposed elements that are breathtaking in person, but extremely difficult to duplicate into a piece of miniature jewelry.
It would be an arduous task, but we remained highly confident that our master jewelers would be able to convert 2-dimensional photos and videos into a 3-dimensional work of art. It would be much easier to take short cuts. To use a single block of gold and to make a statuette. However, with Rodney Rahmani’s green light that costs and our time spent on this project are not limited in any way, the team was empowered to create magic! What truly makes this trophy special is that it contains over 30 parts of gold, or separate pieces of jewelry. They then must be expertly assembled so that the car has moving parts. In fact, the wheels and steering wheel rotate. Even the doors open just like the actual car. Perhaps the most minute details are the super miniature Mercedes emblem on the hood and a small license plate that has an engraving of the actual plate number: 154075.
For the jewelry enthusiasts, the hood and boot of the car are encrusted with 261 small diamonds using a unique setting technique called micro-pave’. Our master diamond setter uses an actual microscope to set extremely small diamonds in what may be best described as a carpet of diamonds — truly breathtaking!
After 4 months of hard work, trial and error, and at least 4 different versions that were initially rejected, we ended up with a finished statuette that is a showstopper. In admiring the finished trophy, it quickly became obvious that it would be wise for Rodney to personally hand-deliver it. Just imagine the risk of shipping such a trophy! Just imagine after 4 months of effort, finding out that there was an unforeseen loss or even the slightest damage. This would have caused us to start the entire process all over again. No one was willing to take such a risk.
We couldn’t be prouder of our efforts or more honored to have been a trophy presenter for the Best of Show Winner at the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. We couldn’t have imagined an automobile that is more deserving of this prestigious award. Now that the dust has settled and we can take a deep breath and celebrate our 4-month project, the entire Brilliant Stars team hopes that our efforts and this trophy become part of the rich heritage of this world-class automobile. We have been humbled to be warmly welcomed into the Pebble Beach Concours family. Jewelry is what we do best and what we have been involved with for 3 generations. We hope that our small contribution is enjoyed for many years to come and accompanies the winning car as a small addition to its heritage and actual value.