New York University Abu Dhabi Commencement Torch

NYU Abu Dhabi Commencement Tocrch manufacturer


A silver torch, designed by Tiffany & Co., has been 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 torch, that passed from the graduating class to the next class as part of the commencement ceremony at New York University Abu Dhabi.


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, and references traditional Islamic ornamental patterns.


This one meter long torch is 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 has to be securely mounted to the torch cup, and the fuel liquid should not be spilled 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 be machined with manual and CNC lathe from solid brass material to achieve the highest details and low porosity. The ornamental details needs to be manually polished and fine tuned by our craftsmen for few days to obtain mirror-like and scratch-free surface finishing.

The final silver electroplating required us to build a new plating bath tank 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 is applied on the torch to protect the silver plating.


A heat shielding holder made of bakelite was 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 is also made for the torch to sit during the ceremony and for display purpose after the ceremony.

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