As Texans know, our legislature has a lot of traditions when they convene in Austin. Our historic capitol building, House and Senate chambers and the Texas Legislature’s tradition of wearing the official pin, pendant or ring while they work at creating laws for the Lone Star State are just a few of the unique traditions. But the official jewelry is not ordinary by anyone’s standards. They were custom designed by C. Kirk Root Designs in 1998 and are sold to current and former members of the Texas Legislature that served starting in 1989. Now available are pieces with "2017" engraved in the design for the 85th session of the Legislature.
During the 75th Texas Legislative Session held 20 years ago, a bill was passed to hold a design competition for all Texas citizens to design the new legislative jewelry . These were to be made available for purchase by current and past members of both houses. State Senator John J. Carona from Dallas called to inform us that we had won the statewide contest in April 2008 and we began designing the custom jewelry. Former President George W. Bush, then Governor was shown the designs while at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The governor wanted revisions and the chance to see prototypes, and we started delivering the final pieces to legislators in 2000. The designs are now considered classics and do not change year-to-year.
The Texas Legislature Pin has a Victorian Style dating from the 1880s and is made of 18 karat or 14k yellow gold and platinum. There are two designs for each piece, one for those who serve in the Texas House and one for the Senators. A brightly polished platinum star forms the center of the pin and represents the star that is seen all over the Capitol complex. The pure platinum star that never tarnishes symbolizes Texas' purity and nobility.
The lettering in each design is crafted in a typical 1880s calligraphy style that matches the nineteenth legislature poster located in the basement of the Capitol. The wreath design is taken from the original state seal and is shown around the star. At the top of the wreath is the number of the member’s first legislative session (i.e. 85th) and the corresponding year of that session is below the star (2017). The scroll design is unique to the 1880s era too. Shells on the top and bottom of the design acknowledge the coastal region of the state.
Current and former legislators also have options to select a gold and platinum ring or pendant. Based on the same Texas-inspired theme as the Legislative pins, the ring depicts a wreath of Texas live oak branches on one side and olive branches on the other, also inspired by the original seal design. Each piece is highlighted by a polished platinum star in the center.
The rings are available in men’s and women’s sizes. (Please note that the rings feature a design all the way around the ring and are not sizable. If you do not know your exact size please come by our Arboretum showroom or schedule a time for us to come to your office at the Capitol.)
The beautiful Texas Legislature Pendant hangs from a simple bail that will fit up to a 2.5mm chain. We regularly sell them with an optional 22” adjustable wheat chain in 14k gold. The front resembles the pin’s design and the back of the piece includes your name in a hand engraved in script in the upper ribbon. The legislator’s Texas district number is engraved in the lower ribbon. A star and the outline of Texas form the center of the back of the pendant.
Any current or former Austin state legislator can purchase a piece of our officially licensed jewelry. However, if you don't want to run for office, but still want to show off your Texas pride, we're also licensed to reproduce the official state seal and offer a variety of Texas designs (and, as always, we can custom design a uniquely Texan creation of your choice).
Based in Austin, C. Kirk Root Designs offers free delivery of any Texas Legislature Jewelry to your State Capitol office. We have been Austin’s premier custom jewelry store since 1989.