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3 grad gifts that are rich with meaning — and sustainable, too

Pyrrha talisman jewelry is made from 100% reclaimed precious metals

Pyrrha Talisman

Graduation season approaches. The end of a learning journey is a special time for students and their loved ones, too, who have helped every step of the arduous way to that diploma. So it’s a natural time to celebrate a job well done.

At Resonance, we guide graduation gift givers to heirloom pieces that will last a lifetime, and Pyrrha talisman jewellery qualifies. The Vancouver-based jewellery brand makes pendants laden with meaning and guaranteed for life.

Pyrrha designer Danielle Wilmore spoke with us recently to discuss the art of grad gift giving.

“Graduation is a turning point,” said Wilmore on the phone from her studio in Vancouver, where every Pyrrha pendant is handcrafted using old-world techniques and antique wax seals. “The person is leaving one thing and moving on to something else. So you want to say the person is capable and strong.”

But among the many options of talisman pendants, there is no obvious choice for a grad gift, says Wilmore, who has been in the jewellery business, along with her life partner, Wade Papin, since 1995.

“You want to recipient to feel you saw into their soul, you were paying attention and you found the perfect one. That’s the real power in the pendant. It’s not just, I know you like blue, it goes so much deeper than that.”

But we chose the selection in store now with graduates in mind. Check out a few our staff favourites:

Embrace Change

“This talisman features features a diamond-shaped shield with four crescent moons, which symbolize new beginnings and the making of dreams into reality,” reads the card that comes with this sterling silver Embrace Change pendant.


“This talisman features a sparrow holding a sprig of leaves in its beak. A master of flight and camoflage, it teaches us to use our creativity to solve problems. The sparrow speaks of higher thoughts and ideals,” reads the card that comes with this sterling silver Creativity pendant.

Compass Rose 

“The compass rose on this talisman helps you find direction and keeps you on the path to your heart’s true desires,” reads the card that comes with this sterling silver and 14K gold Compass Rose pendant.

Perfect for environmentally minded grads

We especially love recommending Pyrrha jewellery for grad gifts because the brand respects the environmental values of today’s young graduates. As a certified B Corp since 2014, Pyrrha is committed environmental responsibility and accountability.

Each piece of Pyrrha jewelry is made from 100 percent reclaimed metals. Packaging and paper materials are made from recycled paper, and the brand gives preference to local suppliers whenever possible.

But that’s not all. Pyrrha is finding innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint by improving long-accepted production processes for jewelry, which is typically manufactured overseas and often creates waste.

But Pyrrha jewelry is cast right here at home, where Wilmore can oversee the process and ensure waste is reduced. In the casting process, a wax pattern is made into a mold, then the mold is filled with molten metal to create a custom piece of jewelry.

“Everyone sends out to cast,” says Wilmore. “But there’s a lot of waste in casting,” explains Wilmore. “When you send it out, you don’t have control over how they get rid of the water used in the process. So bringing it in-house allows us to have control.”

Wilmore believes Pyrrha customers want transparency into how and where their jewelry is made.

“We try to use our moral compass,” says Wilmore. “We try to use that in the studio every day. Not only is it good for the business, but it’s good for the people around us, the people who work with us, the customers.”

The ‘true essence of sustainability’

The moral compass demands that Pyrrha offers a lifetime guarantee with each piece of jewelry. If it breaks, they will repair it.

“That’s the true essence of sustainability,” says Wilmore. “It’s not only buy less, but buy things that you will have forever, or you’ll hand down.”

View our current assortment of Pyrrha Talismans here.

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