By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com

The dentist who made news when he paid more than $30,000 for music legend John Lennon’s rotten tooth last fall is now in the jewelry business, sort of.

032312_Graff,-Michelle-blog-shotDr. Michael Zuk, a New York-born dentist who has been practicing in Canada for the past 25 years, is teaming up with Ari Soffer to create a line of sterling silver “John Lennon DNA Limited Edition” pendants.

Zuk, who already has launched a number of charitable initiatives surrounding the tooth, said he is going to do a little bit of drilling and put the resulting dust aside for the pendants. The dust from the tooth, which he has identified as a wisdom tooth though he’s unsure if it was upper or lower, then will be placed in a very small container that will be inserted inside the pendant via an opening at the bottom.

Think of it like a locket but instead of a picture of your sweetheart, the pendant will contain tooth dust John Lennon pendantfrom a music legend.

“I am not going to pulverize the tooth,” Zuk said. “My goal is to keep most of the tooth intact.”

The pendants (pictured here) will retail for $1,200 and are available on a made-to-order basis on Ari Soffer’s site. (While the Los Angeles-based Soffer designs for many celebrities--he’s created jewelry for Axl Rose and Slash of Guns ‘n Roses fame, among others--this may be his first foray into jewelry that’s actually contains the genetic material of a rock star.)

Zuk said a portion of the proceeds from the Lennon DNA pendant will go to Smile Train, which helps provide surgery for and treat children with cleft lip and palate. “These children are outcasts in the cities and towns they live in. [These operations] just completely change their lives,” he said.

While they’ll start with a limited number, likely just 25, of the sterling silver design, he said the line could be expanded to include more elaborate DNA pendants with diamonds.


In the meantime, Zuk will be waiting for orders for Lennon tooth dust to filter in from California and safeguarding his piece of The Beatles front man, noting that it may be something he donates to a museum one day.

“I’ll try to share it the best I can and hopefully not lose it,” he said. “But if I do lose it people will always have a little memento.”





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