Scarab: The Glow from Inside the Tomb

The ancient Egyptians revered the scarab, which symbolized regeneration and rebirth in their culture.  The Elton John musical Aida, currently on at DC’s Constellation Theatre, features this scarab amulet that was designed and made by The Intrepid Wendell.

In the musical, Egyptian warrior and hero Radames wears a scarab to ensure his safety. In battle, he captures and enslaves the daughter of the enemy king, Aida. The two share an impossible love affair that ends in epic tragedy.

Radames gives Aida the scarab amulet to ensure her safe passage as a slave in Egypt. The amulet’s charm fails. After their impossible love affair is revealed, they are sentenced to be buried alive in a tomb – together.

Finally, Radames holds his lover Aida in their shared tomb. Radames tells Aida that he will find her again, even if he has to search a hundred lifetimes. Entombed, with Radames’ scarab around Aida’s neck, the two lovers achingly enter the great tumble of eternity and regeneration.



The Intrepid Wendell was asked by Constellation Theatre to build their production’s scarab amulet as a piece of fine jewelry. We assembled a special piece made of gold, turquoise, diamond, moonstone, garnet, and labradorite.

We used gemstones that play with light in a special way. The glow – called adularescence – of the central moonstone and the flash of the necklace beads – called labradoresence – invite the viewer to imagine that the scarab is storing light and energy. The light and energy glows for Radames and help him find Aida across the space of time and place.





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