My humble opinion about fine jewelry is that it should be worn. It should reflect your style and make you smile and flow in the many worlds you frequent. And not to sound too woo-woo, but semi-precious and precious stones aren’t just baubles, they’re earth candy, gifts from Gaia…they have energy! It takes more than a billion years for a diamond to take form. Then it has to be discovered, unearthed, transformed into a sparkly gem and then finally landing on your finger. It’s special, you’re special, so don’t tuck it away in a dark box. Wear it, feel it, love it.
Now I don’t know any of these designers, but I sense that they, too, believe in wearable luxury. More importantly, they understand that fine jewelry design can easily include bold color or cultural references beyond the mainstream. It can be whimsical, eccentric, modern or sexy and still qualify as heirloom-worthy. This talented bunch reminded me that earthly treasures are even more divine when meshed with vision, talent and superior craftsmanship. These are gifts that truly keep on giving.
Bea Bongiasca is a millenial Italian jewelry designer who focuses on jewelry as an art form. She graduated with honors in Jewelry Design from the prestigious Central St. Martins in London, in 2013 and launched her namesake company the following year. Her design inspiration comes from a passion for color, pop culture and contemporary art and design. Precious and semi-precious stones and metals are combined with bold and bright enamel color, a delightful fusion of art and treasure. Bea Bongiasca Baby Vine Tendril Ring in Warm Taupe
GIRL WITH A HALF PEARL NECKLACE
Now this is a pearl necklace that I can get into. Jamaican born Matthew Harris lauched Mateo in 2009, originally as a men’s jewelry line. By 2014simplicity and minimalism, pieces are like modern art, for the modern woman. Mateo 14Kt Gold Not Your Mother’s Pearl Necklace
OVER THE (TURQUOISE AND DIAMOND) MOON
Lauren Harwell Godfrey is an uber talented jewelry designer, a Black Californian and a former art director in advertising. Her namesake line is handcrafted in 18K gold with precious gemstones, powerful inlay and vivid enamel. She often references ancient textiles and patterns from the African Diaspora. The Jewelers of America have nominated her for a 2022 Gem Award in Jewelry Design (winners will be announced in January 2022). Let’s not only support her brand but also wish her the best of luck! Harwell Godfrey “Mini” Moon Pendant, 18K Yellow Gold Medallion with Inlay Turquoise and Diamonds
RING IN THE NEW
Parisian pals Kelly, a gemologist and Kelia, a passionate antique jewelry collector have come together and created Rainbow K. These millenials aim to create new, stylistic alternatives to classical art-deco design. Rainbow K 18K Yellow Gold Shield Ring with Tourmaline.
GIVE IT A SWIRL
Known for her popular ceramic vases, that depict the female form and double as sculpture, this Paris-born designer of jewelry and decor says her creations “reflect the successful, powerful and funny women” that surround her. This sparkly stud looks great solo, or alongside a dainty diamond hoop. Anissa Kermiche Swirl Stud Gold Diamond Single Earring
Paris-born to Beninese parents, Catherine Starr, the founder of Almasika, now based in Chicago, launched her brand in Paris in 2014. After completing a masters in business from the University of Paris XII, her passion for jewelry took her to London where she worked with DeBeers and the World Gold Council, most-importantly within their global markets. That work took her to India, China and Japan, where she became fascinated with jewelers and how they link their stories and culture into their designs. That sentiment would eventually carry over into her line. The word “almasi” means “diamond” in Swahili and “Sika” means “gold” in many West African languages. This photo (along with the gold and rube necklace in the opening photo for this gallery) includes pieces from her “Sagesse” collection, handcrafted in 18K gold with responsibly-sourced diamonds and precious gemstones. The ancient symbols within the designs represent traditional wisdom, “sagesse” is French for “wisdom.” Sagesse Minimialist Talismans
The Last Line is such a refreshing breath of fresh air in the fine jewelry space––colorful, of-the-moment designs and shockingly well-priced. Their goods are so much better-than-basic, including this substantial 14K yellow gold, diamond, emerald, ruby and blue sapphire bangle The Last Line Diamond Tatoo Cuff
Designer Angie Marei was born and raised in New York City. The Egyptian-Dominican designer describes her work as “fearless and seductive. Before diving into jewelry-making, she was a creative-director in advertising, working with global fashion and beauty luxury brands, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. Her striking, luxe-noir pieces are celebrity favorites, worn by Beyonce, Rihanna, Zendaya, Billy Porter and so many more. MAREI Aza Celestial Micro Diamond Stud Earrings in 14K Yellow Gold
I love lapis lazuli. The Egyptians saw it as a symbol of the night sky and for centuries its been associated with intelligence, royalty and truth. The diamond in this pendant reminds me of a bright star in a dark but dreamy sky. Jewelry designer and founder of Retrouvai Kristy Stone says “The Retrouvaí woman has a collector’s mentality and believes that ‘everyday’ jewelry doesn’t need to be basic…” Her designs mix the old with the new, heirloom quality with a dose of fun. Every piece is handmade to order in Los Angeles (typical production time is 3-4 weeks). The hand cut lapis inlay is set in 14k gold with a center diamond. The necklace is 16″ in length. Retrouvai Mini Compass Pendant in Lapis
The diamond link got my attention, so simple, so chic. Designer and founder of Concept26 Shari Smith is another woman of color in the fine jewelry space. Her modern classic designs are created from ethically sourced recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds and quality gemstones. This 18K gold and diamond bracelet is availble in multiple sizes and the diamond pave link is removeable, which allows for versatility in styling. Concept26 Amanda Link Bracelet with Pave Diamond Link