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Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters with Howard Fevrier of Jack Friedman Jewellers.

KNYSNA NEWS - Miss South Africa, Garden Route local Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, will be taking a part of Knysna's heart with her to the Miss Universe pageant at the end of November.

Johan Nel of Knysna Woodworkers was commissioned to create a masterpiece for Jack Friedman Jewellers, to design and craft an extraordinary and special presentation box to showcase the national gift to the Miss Universe 2017 pageant.

The box is to hold a superb piece of jewellery inspired by the Namaqualand daisies.

Nel explains the vision behind the box: "My mandate was that the box had to be in the shape of Africa and also represent the devastating fires of Knysna on 7 June.

"Howard Fevrier (of Friedman Jewellers) gave me certain specifications as to what he wanted, but I was also given creative licence to develop it into something totally unique.

"In choosing the wood, there was this one particular piece of oak that caught my attention, as in how the grain and the cracks in the wood fell into place.

The cracks to me represented the fire and the silver I used in the cracks represents Knysna's community spirit as it rises from the ashes to rebuild to something even better.
It was this piece of a once-great tree that was burnt to near coal that I rehabilitated and handcrafted into the presentation box used to house the national gift," explains Nel.

The beautiful pendant.

"This is a very sentimental piece of art to me," says Miss South Africa.

"She is from Knysna's neighbouring town of Sedgefield, and we are all very proud of her.

"What also makes this box so special is that it was from one of the oak trees planted by Knysna schoolchildren during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee on 24 May 1887," explain the jewellers.

"The jewellery piece was designed by the Jack Friedman team in collaboration with Demi-Leigh, contains South African gold and diamonds, and was inspired by the Namaqualand daisies, one of our country's natural wonders.
This year's gift is to represent the best of South African natural resources, including its incredibly talented and creative people."

Such a precious piece of jewellery deserved a special presentation box, says Fevrier.

"Tata is engraved on the solid 18-carat gold surface, which reads 'The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.'

A quote by the late Nelson Mandela. This says it all."
This year the judging of Miss Universe will take place on 26 November in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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