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Entries in jewelry designer (32)

How Designers Work with Gold: Six Unique Stories

A point of view that needs to be explored more often and more inquisitively is the role of THE MAKER. Every jewelry designer has a story, a technique, preferences and ways of doing things...but a favorite metal? That's easy, it is usually GOLD. I teamed up with May Is Gold Month to delve further into this perspective, asking six different jewelry designers the same two questions. What will their answers reveal about using gold in their jewelry designs?  Let's find out!

You can also take a look at the MAKERS which May Is Gold Month is featuring on their page here.

{Above video features Philadelphia-based jewelry designer Anthony Lent creating a one-of-a-kind engagement ring for a special client. Each piece is handmade by the maker himself in his studio.}

Anthony Lent Jewelry Anthony Lent Jewelry

Anthony Lent Jewelry

How is gold important in your work?

For years I only worked in gold and some platinum. For me doing non conventional designs and creating them in a precious metal like 18k yellow gold was sort of an identity- the imagery in my designs was unusual to see in such a fine material.

Why do you like working with gold?

It is the most pleasurable metal to work with! The color of a rich 18 or 22k gold piece of jewelry is unlike anything else in nature. The way light plays off the material, the density of it, and its malleability is in my opinion why people have lusted after it for thousands of years.

>> Learn more about Anthony Lent here.

Jessie V E Jessie V E

Jessie V E Jewelry

How is gold important in your work?

Gold is absolutely essential in my work. The finish and feel of gold is like no other metal, and because I mostly use diamonds in my pieces, it's really important that the jewellery they're held in is as precious as the stones. I remember the first time I got to use gold at the bench while I was studying for my jewellery degree at university. I honestly didn't realise it would be that different to working in silver but i was so wrong! From that moment the love affair with gold started and I physically couldn't design anything without it. Although I don't make the pieces at the bench myself for Jessie V E, I work very closely with the workshop, ensuring we use the highest quality gold in each expertly hand made piece.

Why do you like working with gold?

Often my jewellery has a symbolic or emotional feel, with the majority of the pieces being personalised or 'semi-bespoke', because I want them to become heirlooms passed down and cherished by future generations. Gold not only has the nostalgic and warm feel of the jewellery you remember seeing your grandparents and parents wearing when you were younger, but also from a more practical sense, gold is a metal that very few people have an allergy to, therefore making it perfect for everyday jewellery that lasts longer than a lifetime. There is just something about the feel, weight and warm glow of a gold piece of jewellery that is perfect for attaching memories and sentiment to, while looking beautiful and timeless.

>> Learn more about Jessie V E here.

Metalicious Jewelry Metalicious Jewelry

Metalicious Jewelry

How is gold important in your work?

Gold is important in my work because it has a rich history that dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Gold never corrodes and it was thought to symbolize immortality. This makes it the perfect ring for wedding and commitment bands.

Why do you like working with gold?

Gold is a beautiful metal to work with, it's malleable yet extremely durable. I love the range of colors you can achieve by alloying gold with other metals. It gives me the flexibility to create unique alternative engagement rings, to match my customers personalities perfectly.

>> Learn more about Metalicious Jewelry here.

Johnny Ninos Johnny Ninos Johnny Ninos

Johnny Ninos Jewelry

How is gold important in your work?

Gold has played a big role in progressing my work. While transitioning from silver, the cost of gold required me to slow down and focus more intently on the details. I remember honing in on each file stroke and tightening my burr control; skills I now apply to all materials regardless of cost.

Why do you like working with gold?

Gold is an easy metal to love. It’s luscious and has a rich, deep character. When I’m working with gold it’s soft qualities preserve the handmade nature of the piece while still allowing for structure, durability, and precision.

>> Learn more about Johnny Ninos here.

Grace Lee Designs Grace Lee Designs

Grace Lee Designs

How is gold important in your work?

Everything in my collection is solid gold and made locally with ethically sourced materials. When I started my collection, almost 10 years ago now, there was a lack of minimal fine jewelry. Personally, I was at a point in my life when I didn’t want to invest in jewelry that will tarnish or turn my finger green. If the outside of my finger is green then who knows what’s happening on the inside of my body.

Why do you like working with gold?

Gold is intrinsically a soft and malleable metal yet strong and unchanging. Its value comes from these physical properties and its rarity. Gold was discovered thousands of years ago yet still today it remains one of Earth’s most valuable natural resources. I like working with gold because of the creative possibilities with a malleable yet unchanging raw material are endless and lasting. If you look at my collection we have pieces like the iconic Whisper Ring – that is airy and whisper thin yet can be worn everyday. The fact that it is solid 14k gold means you don’t need to take it off to shower or wash your hands. The fact that is solid 14k gold also means your piece will not change and can be passed on for generations.

I think it is rare and valuable to be flexible yet constant simultaneously. It is almost an oxymoron. Think about some of your favorite people – perhaps they are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances yet you are confident they will also remain the same at a core level. Personally, I like these intrinsic characteristics in gold and in people.

As a designer that’s what I hope to do – to evolve yet stay constant. As I continue to create new collections it is my hope that people will continue to be able to appreciate and recognize my work as distinctively GL.

>> Learn more about Grace Lee here.

SophieHughes SophieHughes SophieHughes

Sophie Hughes Jewelry

How is gold important in your work?

Why do you like working with gold?

There is a very potent mystique intrinsic to gold - it is radiant, lush and seductive. It looks and feels luxurious on the body. The specific alloy of 18 karat gold I use in my work is bright and rich, with an old-world feel supplied by its cool undertones. As a designer, I appreciate its versatility as a material - it stands on its own but also plays nice visually when set with precious stones or fused over the surface of oxidized sterling silver.

I draw a lot of excitement and inspiration from the unlimited design possibilities of gold. Plus, working with it is an absolute dream! It remains clean when heated, is smooth as butter, and responds beautifully to the textures of the antique hammers I utilize in my work. It's super forgiving because it has a great capacity to be worked and re-worked.

Gold is also easily recycled so its use aligns with my values as a designer. The metal mining industry is disruptive to the environment and is notorious for unscrupulous labor and business practices, so partnering with refineries who melt and mill precious, reclaimed scrap allows me access to material I feel good about working with and my clients feel good about wearing.

>> Learn more about Sophie Hughes here.


This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with May Is Gold Month.




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Book Review: Lydia Courteille Extraordinary Jewellery of Imagination and Dreams

Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip Lydia Courteille | Gem Gossip

I opened up this book knowing very little about the French designer Lydia Courteille. I've seen her incredible designs on Rihanna, at trade shows, in magazines, and every time I see one of her pieces, I have a slight heart attack. Her over-the-top and bold creativity is something that I vibe with, so I was really curious and excited that this monograph depicting her life, inspirations and collections was published. Actually, I take that back, it comes out November 16th, but I luckily got my hands on an advance copy thanks to the publisher. I made the bad decision of finally snuggling up to this book around 10:30 pm on a Friday night, thinking I would just look at the pictures and fall asleep. Nope. I was awake until early morning, reading, gazing and overly relating to this incredible woman and feeling so many connections that I never knew!  

What caught my attention were many of the depictions of her life growing up, her penchant for antique jewelry and how it opened up the jewelry world for her, and to learn Lydia is a gemologist as well!  Like I said, so many relatable moments while reading, I had to rub my eyes a few times. I love the tales from her childhood and the nuances that have connected her to the world of jewelry. Small items or events in her life have all shaped and steered her in the direction of jewelry and it is wonderful to read about these subtle hints she experienced growing up. Acknowledging them and connecting them is so fun. 

Her jewelry is art--it is colorful beyond all rainbows and in a league of its own.  As you can see from the photos above which I took of some of my favorite pages, she has so many different inspirations. Things like architecture of her beloved Paris, literature, film, her love of unusual gemstones, memento mori, and of course antique jewelry. Lydia has a knack for juxtaposing two completely unique things, creating gorgeous harmony which has her collectors wanting more. I hope to someday meet Lydia and her head-turning jewels. If only the setting could be in Paris at her atelier at Place Vendóme. That would be just as dreamy as this book. Happy reading!

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Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry Launches Video -- THE METAL MYTHOLOGIST

THE METAL MYTHOLOGIST from Lisa Kim on Vimeo.

Prepare to be captivated and inspired; Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry artistically takes it up a notch again (first time was with a look book unlike any other, shot in the desert and made into a hardcover book). The Metal Mythologist video demonstrates a grand juxtaposition between the maker and the muse, the finished and the work in progress. It shows off the beautiful jewelry she creates, while giving a backstory and inspirational vignettes into the world of Lisa Kim. I love this video for so many reasons!

Be sure to watch and let me know what you think in the comments below--I'd love to hear! For more from Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry:

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Q & A with Jewelry Designer Doryn Wallach



It wasn't long ago when these incredible home decor-inspired jewelry designs began popping up in my Instagram feed. The lattice work, strong shapes, texture and a use of negative space are all incorporated into each design and you can easily see what a strong influence it holds in this jewelry line. Being a lover of both worlds, I had to know more! Lucky for me I got to meet the designer herself, Doryn Wallach, because she sat next to me at the WJA Awards!  Her jewels were radiating hollywood regency glamour and I got to see them first-hand!  As a former interior decorator it is no surprise that her former profession is seen within her collection--she explains, "I love Art Deco style, interior decor, architecture, antique jewelry and it is mixed with my own eclectic style." What became of the melding of these loves has turned into a lust-worthy collection consisting of 21 pieces, all done in 18k gold with a satin finish. 

Although all my questions, wonder and amazement couldn't be contained to one brief night, I got the chance to learn more about this talented and gracious women over email.  Thanks for answering our questions Doryn and I'm so excited to share this line with my readers!



At the moment, I am working to expand my collection by about 20 new pieces. This includes some existing pieces in different stones, such as black diamond, coral and pearl. I’m developing many more rings and earrings, a few large cuffs and necklaces, as well as a really unique statement piece and hope to have most of them done by late fall.

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My mom worked part time in a jewelry store when I was a kid, and I would sit with her while she worked. As I got older, she would take me with her to New York City when she redesigned jewelry of her own. I can remember her teaching me the Four C's when I was 10 years old!

Her mother loved jewelry and died before I was born. She had a ton of large, chunky and very unique pieces. Sometimes my mom would give me inexpensive stones or pieces from her jewelry collection, and would let me redesign them for her.

All of this came together more recently when I redesigned a ring with stones from a piece I never wore, and the jewelry maker asked if I ever considered designing jewelry. That's when a light bulb went off. I haven't looked back.


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It may have to be the first time I saw a finished product. I was developing a diamond gladiator ring, and I’d needed to rework it a few times to make sure it was comfortable, functional and attractive. When it was finally completed, it was such an amazing feeling to see something that had started in my head come to life. I still get that feeling every time I see a piece transform from idea to reality.

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I am hoping to start working with some colored gemstones like ruby, sapphire, emerald, larger diamond pieces and I expect to grow our retail presence by a few cities by the end of the year. I want to create a jewelry enterprise, but mostly I want to teach my children that if you work hard, you can be happy doing something you love. That will be the most rewarding.

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I absolutely love estate jewelry. My husband bought me a deco diamond, onyx and emerald ring when my son was born, and it's by far my favorite. My mother designed a couple of rings to celebrate my children being born. One is a turquoise halo ring with diamonds, and the other is a black onyx and diamond ring. These have a lot of meaning for me too.

When my husband and I first started dating, he made me a necklace with little block letters spelling my name. Even though the necklace was supposed to be a silly joke, I still have it, and I smile whenever I see it.

(Pictured are her treasured estate pieces, including her dear grandmother's collection of jewelry.)

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How to Boost Your Jewelry Sales and Visibility on Social Media twitter InstagramGemGossip

 Are you a jewelry designer or store looking to try something totally new in terms of sales?  We live in a world that is so tightly connected to technology and social media—if you’re still using sales tactics from 20-30 years ago you will be dust in the wind!  So how does one incorporate an online campaign into their sales strategy?  It is easy!  By partnering with bloggers who have already created an online community of followers and fans who are awaiting their latest “obsession” or “tastemaker picks.”  You see, by collaborating with someone who has built up a large audience, this will eliminate the question of, “will this reach enough people?” You can measure that by asking for statistics on the blogger’s audience and visibly see their follower count throughout social media platforms.  Another tip—not every blogger has strong numbers on each platform, so use that as a strategy when choosing who to partner up with.  For example, someone might have a large following on Pinterest, but not any other social media site—put together a fun promotion or campaign with that blogger on Pinterest only, and find other tastemakers that excel in other areas, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

With an Instagram following of 46k+ people, I’ve been able to work with jewelry designers and stores across the globe to put together valuable content for both the seller and consumer.  I’ve done lots of creative photoshoots for designers who send me their jewelry, which has garnered sales and followers, two things which are highly sought after in our technology-driven world. My record?  Selling a ring on Instagram only 15 minutes after posting it!  It can be done, and I’m here to help you!

Reach out to me!  Let me know what you're looking for and what you'd like to accomplish.  I'd be happy to put together a strategy for you so you can start gaining more visibility and your jewelry gets the exposure it needs! 

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