Foundrae is selling $25 raffle tickets for a chance to win this new medallion commemorating Juneteenth, along with the pictured chain, valued at a total $8,710. Proceeds from the raffle, as well as medallion sales, benefit organizations that support BIPOC.
New York—Fine jewelry brand Foundrae is predicated on the power of symbols and talismans, and its latest medallion represents the value of giving back to underserved communities.
The “Juneteenth Medallion” uses Roman numerals to depict the date marking the end of slavery in the United States—June 19, 1865.
Every Foundrae medallion is inscribed on the reverse side with the concept its symbol depicts, such as “Wholeness,” “Strength,” or “Karma.” The Juneteenth Medallion reads: “Social & Racial Justice.”
It is the 12th legal public holiday in the United States and the first to be established in decades, since President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law in 1983.
Growing up in South Texas, Juneteenth was on Foundrae designer Beth Bugdaycay’s radar as a longtime state holiday, but she noticed a lack of awareness around it in her current home, New York City.
“I thought maybe the lack of familiarity with Juneteenth in other parts of the U.S. could be that people saw the history of slavery as a Southern issue, but actually it’s part of our New York City history too,” she said, “It’s part of the history of every single territory of the United States.”
Bugdaycay has significant knowledge of the implications of slavery in New York City, serving on
a research committee of the Brooklyn Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for the last few years as the group worked on a book, “Brooklyn, Quakers and Slavery.”
“I learned so much from being part of that research team,” she explained, “including the fact that Brooklyn, New York actually had the second-greatest population of enslaved Black people in the United States, second only to Charleston, South Carolina, due to the reliance on enslaved labor to harvest the primary crop grown in Kings County: tobacco.
“I think most people just don’t know that.”
The Juneteenth Medallion isn’t just about raising historical awareness, however. Bugdaycay intends it to have a real impact.
Foundrae also has a giveaway underway to raise more money for these organizations.
This week, the New York City-based brand is selling raffle tickets for a Juneteenth Medallion and an accompanying 16-inch “Sister Hook Chain” which can be worn as a necklace or doubled over as a bracelet.
Both handmade in 18-karat yellow gold, the medallion retails for $2,195, and the chain for $6,515.
“We have still not achieved social and racial justice in America,” Bugdaycay said.
“I believe that every single one of us has the ability to move the needle—even if it’s a little—we all have our areas of influence. For [Foundrae], we make jewelry, so this is something we were able to contribute.”