SPONSORED POST I ended my trip to Tucson with one of my favorite shows — JCK Tucson. Last year I attended for the first time and loved it so much, I made sure to fit it into my schedule even if it meant being away from Gino for an extra day. The show was from February 5th-8th and at the luxurious JW Marriott Starr Pass. Like I said last year, this show is very laid back and has a vacation vibe. I was excited to attend and see some beautiful jewelry!
JCK had some really cool events planned throughout the show dates, as well as some educational talks throughout. One event that caught my attention was a piercing party — there was a booth that had a local piercer available with fun stud earrings for your new piercing. My photographer and I were totally tempted, but I chickened out. There also was a crystal reading set up, which I wanted to do but got so busy looking at jewelry.
While attending JCK Tucson, I found five designers I really loved and wanted to share them with you — along with the gorgeous pieces they had to show. I enjoyed styling these pieces and even did some wardrobe changes just because each designer resonated differently with me. Here they are, along with my favorite pieces from their collections.
1 — Mark Patterson Jewelry
Well known for their impeccable engagement ring settings and trailblazing efforts in this niche, Mark Patterson Jewelry defines bridal in their own sense. Seeing their work in person really brought their craftsmanship to life. One aspect that they excel at is showing off the gemstones and diamonds within the settings. The metal and prong work never hides or suffocates the diamond — their pieces are very airy, yet substantial with the highest quality. Their bridal line is sold in over 50 stores across the US and they have their own studio/store in southern California. I love how the couple behind the brand met while attending GIA back in the 1980s. What a cool story!
2 — Enji Studio Jewelry
I was SO excited to meet Niki of Enji Studio Jewelry. Her jewelry line caught my eye as there are many pieces I personally covet for my own collection, and I love her dedication to sustainability. Every piece you see Niki create has been ethically sourced, from the stone to the metal, all designed in her southern California studio. The idea of buying a piece of jewelry that you’ll treasure forever and something that betters our future are two huge components of Enji Studio. I was also intrigued by the stones she uses — like the rutile quartz pieces were incredibly unique (I could tell each piece of jewelry she made was carefully picked, dear to her heart and something she is very proud of). If you absolutely hate mass produced jewelry, Niki’s jewelry will steal your heart!
3 — Aaron Henry Designs
If you’re wanting the utmost quality, fine gold, classic silhouettes and vibrant gemstone jewelry — Aaron Henry Designs is your jam. Each piece that I handled had a story, featured beautiful stones and I loved the gold textured finishes. Aaron Furlong is the designer behind the brand and his jeweler-genes run deep. The list of accolades also runs deep, with awards and magazine features spanning throughout his career. I loved the daisy earclips which feature yellow sapphire in the center and diamonds for petals. The bracelet was another favorite — it felt like a weighted blanket (smooth and comfy, and heavy). The rings were fun as well. Mint green tourmaline might have been my favorite!
4 — JS Noor
This line is striking to me because it mixes high carat gold with big, bold gemstones. I love the mega-hued colors chosen for the designs…you won’t see soft pastels here! JS Noor has Indian roots and you can easily see this throughout the entire collection. It was hard to choose just one pair of earrings and a necklace to shoot — I love circular pendants, so the one I chose instantly stood out to me. Since it has a rainbow of tourmalines, I was smitten. And the earrings remind me of a mobile; I love the colors as well.
5 — Alex Sepkus
From Alex’s candy rings to his carved charms and gemstone bead necklaces — I crave all things Alex Sepkus! This brand has become a household name and I can spot its distinct designs from a mile away. One of my favorite lines is the Sticks & Stones pieces — the lapis earrings I’m wearing here are from that collection. Some impeccable gemstones are used (and always ahead of the trends). I also love the face pendants…there’s a couple different renditions. I ended up purchasing one for myself since I loved it so much. And after this trip to Tucson, I’m obsessed with beaded necklaces. Alex Sepkus does the most incredible beads, adding gold details and always picking the most vibrant colors.
All photos shot by Lauren Newman for Gem Gossip.