NYU Torch Abu Dhabi Commencement

NYU Torch

A silver torch, designed by Tiffany & Co., lit and carried at every New York University graduation since 1911. It was an honour for Crystocraft in 2014 to work with Danniyeh Royal Gifts of UAE on the production of the NYU Torch. The torch passes from the graduating class to the next class as part of the commencement ceremony at New York University Abu Dhabi

NYU Torch Abu Dhabi Commencement
NYU Torch Abu Dhabi Commencement

Design Concept

Designed by NYU Abu Dhabi design students Erin Meekhof / Arfa Rehman / Mariko Kuroda. Their inspiration draws from objects of visual and cultural heritage Arab lantern shapes inspire this torch. The lattice cutouts along the design will allow the flame inside to cast light and shadow as the torch is carried during the ceremony. The design references traditional Islamic ornamental patterns.


This one meter long torch made of brass material and electroplated with silver. While ornamental patterns details and surface finishing is important, the torch needs to be less than 5 kg to be easily lifted.

In addition, safety is a major concern for NYU. The fuel compartment needs to securely mount to the torch cup, and the fuel liquid should not spill even when it is tilted or upside down. The flame shape and height will need to be obvious and beautiful while the burning time should be more than one hour.

Our engineering team took special care of these design requirements under tight project schedule.


The torch needs to break up into several parts in order to machine with manual and CNC lathe from solid brass material. This ensure the highest torch design details and low porosity of the finishing. Our craftsmen need to manually polish and fine tune the ornamental details  for few days, in order to obtain mirror-like and scratch-free surface finishing.

We build a new plating bath tank for the silver electroplating of the torch, since the current bath in our plant is too small to fit in the parts. The plating process took more than two hour to let the plating layers deposit evenly on the parts with perfect mirror finishing. A final lacquer layer coated on the torch to protect the silver plating.

Final Assembly

A heat shielding holder made of bakelite tightly inserted to the torch cup to reduce the heat from the flame passing on to the brass torch. To prepare for the light-up, alcohol will be poured into the stainless steel can with cotton thread lead secured on the can cover. The can is then placed inside the bakelite holder to get ready for light-up.

A wooden stand made of mahogany designed for the torch to sit during the ceremony and for display purpose after the ceremony.

NYU Torch