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Review of Anatomical Heart Necklace by Niku

This review originally appeared on the Feminist Review blog

I was messing around on Etsy.com when I stumbled upon this lovely and unusual anatomical heart necklace. I’m not much of a consumer, so I thought my desire would prove to be nothing but a passing fancy. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about this piece and didn’t stop wanting it. I finally decided that $10 (plus a $2.50 shipping fee) was a small price to pay for such a striking piece of hand crafted jewelry.

The heart itself is 1.25 x .75 inches, made of acrylic, and sealed for protection. Once I was able to take a good look at the heart, I realized that it seems to be made from shrunken plastic, what we called Shrinky Dinks when I was a kid. Cool! The design on the heart is very detailed and (from what I remember of freshmen biology class), anatomically correct. It is colored red and is both beautiful and realistic enough to perhaps make the weak of stomach a little queasy.

At my request, the artist added three beads between the heart and the chain to pretty the whole thing up a bit. I certainly appreciate her willingness to go an extra step to satisfy me. I think the beads (a small, faceted purple one; a larger round red one; and a medium round black one) help soften the look.

The heart dangles from a standard silver ball chain. The 15-inch length keeps the necklace from hanging too low; it’s not quite as tight as a choker, but has a similar look. Of course, the chain could easily be shortened with jewelry tools for a closer fit. I appreciate the tough look of the ball chain, which keeps this piece from looking too delicate or frilly.

Overall, I enjoy the balance of the design. It’s both raw and whimsical, delicate but strong. I like that it suggests the work of Frida Kahlo and the tradition of Mexican milagros.

I wear the piece almost every day, and so far it’s held up wonderfully. None of the parts have broken or fallen off, even though I tend to be rough on my jewelry. I need sturdy things that stay intact while I’m running around leading my life. This necklace is both well made and attractive, and I feel happy whenever I have it on.

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