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Entries in unique jewelry (10)

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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Q & A with Jewelry Designer Michelle Fantaci




Michelle Fantaci's jewelry caught my attention on Instagram. I fell in love with its ability to be worn in layers, which is something I tend to do naturally. Then I learned more about the designer behind the brand and admired even more! Michelle isn't one of those who sketch and send things off to be created by a CAD specialist--she is a true creator: sculpting, inventing, hand-crafting. She is deeply rooted in her love and passion of jewelry and jewelry design. I knew I wanted to share her story and designs with my readers, so I am thankful she took the time to answer a few questions for Gem Gossip:





I am really excited about my new collection launching early February!  I don't typically use a lot of color but this collection will include Red Garnets, soft Gray Moonstone, Black Diamonds, and dark Rubies. The designs have a radiating motif and a regal feeling.  The inspiration is the queen in Chess. I was exploring works by Richard Serra, Constantin Brancusi and Alexander McQueen and their defined, clean but sensual lines.  As I sketched, certain elements developed further into something new.

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I started young.  From when I was little and coveted my mother's beaded choker, to my teenage obsession with Native American jewelry. By the time I was 15, I began metal-smithing. My senior year in high school, I took jewelry making classes at Parsons School of Design. I went on to study jewelry and metal-smithing in Florence.  

Despite my love for jewelry design, I couldn’t imagine making a living from having my own line, I pursued other areas of the jewelry business. I was a sales associate at H. Stern in Rio de Janiero shortly after college, worked in production at Me and Ro and was the jewelry manager at Steven Alan. It wasn’t until later while studying interior design at Pratt Institute graduate program that I realized I missed working with my hands. Jewelry was it. I left Pratt and studied wax modeling with Fred de Vos in New York. By 2007 I felt ready to launch my collection.

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Three of my collections were inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s films, L’Avventura, La Notte and Eclipse. They are very atmospheric and have a feeling of journey and discovery that I wanted to evoke in the collections. Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature was very inspiring to me when I launched my first collection and is still inspiring. I’m drawn to self-protective elements like thorns, spikes, horns.

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I would like to do more collaboration. I’d love to work with my friend, artist Reed Anderson on a capsule collection and create a jewelry line for a men’s label. I feel lucky to do what I love and that it has introduced me to so many people who are passionate about what they do.

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For our 5th anniversary my husband gave me a beautiful, rare black opal and I designed the 18k pendant for it with pink diamonds. It’s my most personal piece--- I wear it a lot with my shooting star lariat. And my Octagonal Hinge bracelet does not leave my body.

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Hinting Season: Gemfields x Jacquie Aiche Collaboration #LoveGold

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Stone & Strand just launched an exclusive collaboration with Gemfields, the world's leading producer of ethically-sourced rare colored gemstones.  The first in a series of ongoing collaborations with different designers is with Beverly Hills-based and Coveteur alum Jacquie Aiche, who counts celebrities like Rihanna, Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz among her clientele.  Jacquie has re-imagined a number of her signature creations including body necklaces and ring-bracelets with Gemfields emeralds for Stone & Strand and created a new one-of-a-kind amethyst necklace.  There are a total of six pieces in 14k rose and yellow gold in this capsule collection and it is the first time Gemfields is doing more accessible and wearable pieces (prices start $1,738-$6,600).  

The collection is exclusive to Stone & Strand and just launched for the holiday season! Keep an eye out for this collaboration because it will continue throughout next year with more contemporary fine jewelry designers offering up fresh, limited-edition styles!

Above pieces:

“Free Form Rough Shaker necklace” features diamonds and a large, incredible one of a kind rough cut ethically-mined Gemfields amethyst set in 14K yellow gold. Price: $6600

“Seven Emerald Finger bracelet” features seven ethically-mined Gemfields emeralds set in 14K yellow gold. Price: $1738

“Emerald Shaker Finger bracelet” features ethically-mined Gemfields emeralds that are bezel set in 14K yellow gold. Price: $2970

“Five Emerald Spaced Out necklace” features five ethically-mined Gemfields emeralds set in 14k yellow gold. Price: $1760

“25 Emerald Shaker necklace” features 25 ethically-mined Gemfields emeralds set in 14k yellow gold. Price: $5170

“Five Emerald Body Chain” features five ethically-mined Gemfields emeralds set in either 14k rose or yellow gold. Price: $3850


This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold


Pick of the Week: Green Tourmaline Collar


I am in love with this Green Tourmaline and diamond collar necklace that will be going up on the auction block in London on April 11th at Sotheby's.  The estimated price is $10-13k and the details are as follows:

The hinged textured collar decorated with a series of graduated oval mixed-cut tourmalines, accented with tear drops of brilliant-cut diamonds, internal circumference approximately 330mm, partially signed Grima, pouch stamped Grima.

Q & A with Jewelry Designer of Barrett Ford


Barrett Ford is the name of a gorgeous fine jewelry line designed by Kelly Ford Owen, who has quite the creative and artistic family legacy. She truly is an artist in every sense, working hours and hours (usually at night while her son is asleep) on each individual piece--all by hand. Choosing rare and unique gemstones is what sets her collections a part, as well as their sculptural nature.  I quickly became a fan when looking through her collections on her website--also become a fan on Facebook and/or follow on Twitter. It was fun getting to know her a little more by a quick Q & A:  Enjoy!



I'm currently working on my next collection which I plan to launch this fall.  My new collections always have their foundations in the previous one, because I learn so much as I'm working on each piece.  I try to incorporate what's happening in a larger fashion sense with color in the gemstones I choose but try to find stones that are a little out of the ordinary such as diamonds that are uncut, or unusual colors, green amethysts, and purple/grey spinel.  The upcoming collection will include a checker-cut, russet diamond ring and 18kt gold drape earrings with green amethyst and green and grey diamonds.

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My most popular earrings from the current collection are the Ferrara Earrings.  Taken as simple hoops, they're wearable and easy to dress up or down.  With the addition of the handwrapped gemstones, there's an elegance to them that I love.  But I purposely kept them a bit "untidy" so they wouldn't become too precious.



I would say I'm very proud that after questioning it many times, I still make each piece by hand. My father is an artist and I grew up watching him work.  I've found that I love doing the exact same thing- sitting at my desk trying to work through a design, and discovering what doesn't work and what does; it's my favorite part.

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My hopes and dreams for the company are sometimes very small- trying to stay awake very late at night to work while hoping my 6 year old boy stays asleep so I can finish a piece of jewelry! But I do hope that I will be able to keep searching for beautiful gemstones, looking for inspiration, and putting my heart into things that women love to wear.   

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I think my favorite piece of jewelry is a cuff bracelet that was my grandmother's, who I adored and who had such great style.  The intricacy of the inlay is stunning, and while it's an early 20th century piece of jewelry, it somehow feels modern to me.  When I'm not wearing it I keep it at my workspace as a reminder of what I'm trying to accomplish- pieces that recall an artistic heritage but that have a modern sensibility and edge to them.