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Entries in designer jewelry (247)

Q & A with Onirikka Fine Jewelry


Onirikka | Gem Gossip Visually caught up in the moment, I stumbled upon Onirikka Fine Jewelry one day while browsing Instagram and immediately got swept up in their feed. I was drawn in by the pops of color given off by the bright bubble gum topazes and quartz gems featured in the Klasica rings, all set in 18k yellow gold. I dug deeper to find a few more collections, each unique and stunning. Like the Prisma Collection, which mixes all the right colors of sapphires and sprinkles in some white diamonds for good measure. The Trinity Collection is all diamonds, mostly bezel set in clusters of three, all done in 18k gold. It's classic with a twist. And finally, the Unika Collection is just as you would suspect--one-of-a-kind designs that let designer Gloria Rank create freely.

Each piece is handmade in New York City, keeping in mind the mantra of the line--jewelry is a legacy. The creativity is never-ending for the El Salvador born Rank, who finds inspiration everywhere she goes. 

Such fun and unique designs led me to a few questions, wanting to know more about the designer behind these jewels and what's in store for the future. Hope you enjoy my Q & A with the Gloria, creator of Onirikka Fine Jewelry:


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I'm always working on new pieces for the next collection, so I'm looking forward to showing some new designs in exciting materials. But what I'm really most excited about is showing Onirikka at an upcoming jewelry show. Stay tuned for details!

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I can truly say that my love for jewelry started in childhood, always feeling a special connection to it. Then I studied design at Le Arti Orafe in Florence where I was able to nurture and express my passion for jewelry design. About midway through my career, I married my husband and 13 years later, we have two children in my hometown of San Salvador, El Salvador. For a few years, I put my jewelry career on pause for a little while but am excited to now be back doing what I love. I jumped back in with an intensive jewelry design course at GIA in New York. My first collection came out in 2011 and flourished by privately selling in El Salvador. A few years after that, I launched a proper label to tap into other markets and now the brand stands where it is today.

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I feel a great sense of pride every time I am recognized from a jewelry industry expert. I am still learning and finding my voice through jewelry, which I suspect will continue to evolve throughout my career. And with every step forward, every single accomplishment, as small as it may seem, is a step closer to reaching my goals.

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I am very guided by my goals and dreams. In fact, the name Onirikka comes from Oneiric, which means "From Dreams." My ultimate dream, and where I see the company going, is to be sold in five major retail stores, creating enough brand awareness to open an Onirikka Fine Jewelry flagship store in major cities. I also hope to launch a kids line and ultimately, to create a foundation that supports performing arts in my native country, El Salvador, and in other countries where dance, theatre and art are not taken seriously.

Onirikka | Gem Gossip

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As we know, jewelry is a very emotional business. So my absolute favorite piece of jewelry is not the coolest or trendiest. Instead, it's a vintage gold and diamond brooch that hangs from a pearl necklace, which I received as a gift from my grandmother, when I turned 18. I love everything about it; it's intricate, delicate and meaningful. I still vividly remember the day she gave it to me, and her happiness when she handed it over. Two other favorite pieces are my vintage engagement ring, which belonged to my husband's grandmother, and a black and white frog ring, designed by myself, inspired on balance.

Onirikka | Gem Gossip Onirikka | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Onirikka Fine Jewelry & YaYa Publicity.

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Jewels at my Doorstep: BCE Jewelry

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Not every girl goes from making beaded bracelets when she was little to creating her own jewelry line years later. This is the story of BCE Jewelry and it is her pure talent and style that has gotten her far, along with her cult following (including myself) who anticipate every Instagram post she makes revealing new designs! I feel like I've been following Becca since "the beginning" but I guess truly the start was before Instagram...before the Internet...back in the 80s/90s when she begged her dad to walk down a few blocks from his office to check out a local bead shop. She reminisces, "I'd spending hours there, torturing the sales ladies with questions and finally leave with a few things. When I got back I would string the pieces together and sell them to all the ladies at the office (who I'm sure bought them out of charity)."

Interestingly enough, that's all she needed to spur a love for jewelry. That, and her grandmother gifting some rings her father once made back in the 70s. These memories stick with her and have shaped her budding jewelry career. BCE Jewelry stands for "before common era," an ode to all that inspires her--this includes ancient civilizations, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine jewelry. History fascinates Becca, which also has a heavy influence on the way she decorates her house--an obsession we both share. I love following along on Instagram and seeing snapshots of her antique paintings hung in a story-telling vignette, with brass accents mixed with California ranch-style living. She calls Carmel Valley home, just south of San Francisco where she moved for a year to study and learn the craft of jewelry making.

The BCE Jewelry design aesthetic has evolved, now making pieces mostly in 14k yellow gold and incredibly unique gemstones--like boulder opals, turquoise, variscite, diamonds, and tourmalines. One-of-a-kind pieces are her forte, as these gemstones are one-offs; each opal has a certain play-of-color, each turquoise has a unique pattern, each variscite has a special mottling. In the future, Becca has big plans for using more antique diamonds, both Old Mine cuts and Old European cuts. I personally love her designs all stacked together, worn across the board. Getting to play with her designs in real life was so much fun. I've become addicted and I can't wait to own my very own someday! My sister-in-law was so taken by the light blue turquoise ring in my photos above, that she made that one hers! 

For the photoshoot, I wanted to play off of the multi-hued blues and greens which BCE Jewelry constantly showcases. From deep lapis blue to Robin's egg blue--minty green and even forest green, all these colors needed to be there! I felt the theme needed to have an almost "out of this world" feel, where the theme song would definitely be Beastie Boy's Intergalatic, on repeat. Hope you enjoy and get inspired!

Jewelry Details: (as referenced from last photo)

Three-stone cabochon tourmaline ring set in 14k yellow gold, Price: $980

X-Large Variscite ring set with three diamonds in 14k yellow gold, Price: $1,200

Blue Kingman turquoise ring set with diamonds down the center in 14k yellow gold, $900

Small Chinese turquoise ring set in 14k yellow gold, $480

Light blue Arizona turquoise ring set with diamonds (North & South) in 14k yellow gold (Sold--can always make another similar piece)

Large green Damele turquoise ring set with white diamonds in 14k gold, Price: $1,350

All earrings pictured are BCE Jewelry as well, inquire for details!

------> as always, custom pieces can be created upon requst <--------

 

 

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Gem Gossip Visits Thalia Jewelry in San Francisco, CA

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In the world of Instagram, I've been following Thalia Jewelry since the beginning!  Don't ask me how I found her or who found who, but as they say, the rest is history! The designer behind the brand is Rachel Clinnick, and just as beautiful as the jewelry she creates, she shines just as bright as her jewels. Her story is really interesting, especially when it starts out with a young, bright-eyed girl who collected vintage and estate jewelry! Most girls her age were playing with Barbie dolls and taking piano lessons--Rachel was going to estate sales and auctions. Both Rachel and I instantly connected over our love for antiques, both jewelry and decor. We met at her San Francisco-based office, where she had pieces pulled from stores she is featured in, as well as some new pieces just completed. 

Her jewelry is sold in several stores around the US--word of mouth, referrals and the internet have all been powerful tools for Thalia Jewelry. Many of them local in San Francisco, like Gallery of Jewels, Lirielle, and Blanc Boutique slightly north up in San Anselmo, with some others in Colorado (The Golden Bear) and NYC. Private appointments and commissions are a good portion of the business, where she conducts meetings with clients in Santa Barbara, Dallas and Manhattan. Her designs exhibit Byzantine and Etruscan influences, as you can see from the photos I took modeling her jewelry. Heavy, 22k yellow gold embody most of her designs, with a few in platinum. Snakes, shipwreck and ancient coins, bold gemstones, handweaved chains, and talismans are Rachel's obsessions and a good portion of what her designs consist of.  The weight and feel of her jewelry is what gets me--I love the look of heavy, buttery yellow gold. Her jewelry will make you want to throw out all your dainty things in exchange for one big, chunky chain.  I love it!  I've never been more over dainty jewelry than I am now, and I'm so glad I got to experience Thalia Jewelry at this point in my style evolution. Perfect timing.

Amongst the Thalia Jewelry line, the collections include: Serpents & Shipwrecks, Celestial Collection, Gatsby Collection, Mint Collection, Treasures Collection...and a wedding/bridal collection. Rachel is currently working on a collection called Roman Holiday and it continues the Old World influences. Think Ancient Rome mixed with English Royalty. Can't wait to see more!

Another part of Thalia Jewelry is her estate and antique jewelry she collects and sells often. I got to see a few pieces she has, including that antique openwork pendant with seed pearls, which is currently for sale. Such an enchanting piece! And since Rachel has been treasure hunting since she was a little girl, she is pretty darn good at it. She has also developed some great relationships with dealers who know what she likes and scout things out for her.

I had so much fun getting to know Rachel and connecting with her and her designs. Our San Francisco trip was one of the best so far on my #JewelryRoadTrip and the weather could not have been better all week for us.  Although visiting Thalia Jewelry was our last stop and if you couldn't tell, in the photos I was actually battling some gusty winds and light rain sprinkles! I took it like a champ!

Thalia Jewelry

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Gem Gossip Visits Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco, CA

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My next stop on my #JewelryRoadTrip in San Francisco was Gallery of Jewels. This store has three locations, each which reflect the neighborhood it is situated in--all very distinctive and great to experience. I visited Gallery of Jewels' Union Square gallery, where the area is known as the central arts, theater, and hotel district, with lots of shopping! I love the street the gallery is on--as it sits ideally amongst the hustle and bustle of the area. Across the street I had lunch at Cafe Taza, a tiny counter-service restaurant with few seating, but really great food!

The concept of Gallery of Jewels focuses everything on the designers that make up their stores, showcasing fine talent within the jewelry community and putting the spotlight on each of them. Seeking out new and upcoming designers is a passion of Bill Hoover & Dona Taylor, a duo who first opened up their doors back in the 90s with the same concept in mind. Since then, Gallery of Jewels carries over 100 designers and have helped launched the careers of many up-and-coming design talents. A true testimony to how well respected and loved Gallery of Jewels is, the store won first place as JCK's best designer retailer 2015/16 as voted for by the artists. This is a huge win as there are SO many stores across the United States up for nomination. And well deserved, I may add.

As soon as I walked through the doors I was enchanted by the color scheme and pillars, naturally. Each glass curio holds LOTS of designers, displayed impeccably on glass shelves, where staring is appropriate. Mirrors are important in jewelry stores--if you have customers trying on earrings and necklaces, a mirror is vital. Gallery of Jewels houses lots of mirrors in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The center of the store houses the bridal section with lots of engagement ring options and wedding bands. Bridal appointments can be made for one-on-one time with a sales associate and for some odd reason, I've never come across that feature before! I love the concept and think it's perfect for future brides, especially if one has lots of questions. 

Another concept that may go unnoticed by most but really struck me was how the front door of the jewelry store was propped open, inviting passers-by to come into the store. With jewelry stores, you often come in contact with closed doors, locked doors, even doors with no windows and a buzzer for safety. This open, welcoming environment is quite refreshing and I immediately could see why Bill and Dona have created such a warm and respected brand.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Gallery of Jewels was seeing how many times I said, "Wow, I've never heard of this designer before!" I came across so many great pieces from familiar and unfamiliar designers--I love learning and experiencing new talent.  Designers like Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry, Anne Sportun, Megan Thorne, Sethi Couture, Todd Pownell, and Zoe Chicco were those designers whom I love and enjoyed seeing on display. New-to-me designers that I discovered while visiting were Monica Marcella, Marian Maurer, and Jason Dow. Click on the names to view their collections.

A few favorite pieces I tried on during my visit:

jasondow8 earringslisakim annesportun toddpownell2mm

mml lisakim2 lisakim jasondowtoddpownell

Gallery of Jewels

Union Square location

427 Post Street at Powell

San Francisco, CA 94102

(Gallery of Jewels other locations: 24th Street Gallery & Fillmore Street Gallery)

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Gladiator Ring from Doryn Wallach Jewelry

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Gladiator ring

I've had this blog post planned for awhile now--couldn't wait to share the amazing black diamond Gladiator ring that my sister-in-law received over the holiday from designer Doryn Wallach. Every time I was about to publish, something came up or another deadline was moved ahead, putting this sometimes to the backburner. I had finally decided that Monday would be the day to post, and as I sat Sunday afternoon typing up this very blog post, I heard the news of the untimely passing of Cindy Edelstein. I was incredibly saddened and completely in shock. In this day and age, with technology at our fingertips, and Cindy always being on the up-and-up of technology (heck, she was the only person I was following on Periscope who ever actually broadcast anything) I raced over to her Twitter page, her Facebook and Instagram because I just couldn't believe it...I thought for sure she had just favored a tweet of mine or liked a post. This couldn't be happening. 

It was Cindy who introduced me to Doryn Wallach, whose incredible designs have now become a favorite and even became a part of my sister-in-law's jewelry collection. It was Cindy who called me last year to tell me about my nomination for the WJA Award for Excellence.  It was always her smile and embracing kindness we will forever remember and never forget. So many people in the jewelry industry are tremendously grateful for the work she has done throughout her career, including myself. I looked back to see what the last Tweet in which Cindy "favorited" of mine, and it was one from my wedding day--the one about getting married on the same date as my grandparents got married back in 1956. That's so special, as she was.  I will miss her.

*Seen above, the black diamond gladiator ring was made just for my sister-in-law within a matter of days for a special event, all thanks to Doryn Wallach.

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