Handmade Leona porcelain earrings hand painted with 22 kt gold in floral pattern, featuring 14 kt gold filled or sterling silver hooks.
The Leona style is named for Dr. Leona Woods Marshall Libby, perhaps the most well-known woman scientist working on the Manhattan Project. She received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1938, at the age of just 19. After completing her graduate thesis, she was hired at Enrico Fermi's lab, and was the only woman present when Chicago Pile-1 went critical.
In 1944, Libby moved to Hanford to work on the plutonium production B Reactor. During an incident on September 27, 1944, the reactor lost all power only hours after going critical. Libby recalled that “people stood around and stared at each other.” Libby was among the group that would discover that the reactor was suffering from xenon-135 “poisoning,” which absorbed neutrons faster than they were produced, thus shutting down the reactor.
After the war, she returned to Chicago and served as a fellow at the Institute for Nuclear Studies. She later did further work in a number of laboratories studying particle physics, and published more than 200 scientific papers and several books.
All pieces are created from start to finish in my home studio, nestled in one of Richland's historic "Alphabet Houses". The JH atomic logo is a nod to the history and science of the area.
Each piece of jewelry comes carefully packaged and gift wrapped with a signature blue satin ribbon.
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