The most beautiful aspect of jewelry isn’t the brilliant light refraction off gemstones or warm luster of polished gold, but the unique story told in each piece. Jewelry symbolizes what is most near and dear, and every time it is worn it can invoke special memories. As a jeweler, it is the greatest honor to be involved with such intimate expressions. I feel especially privileged to be chosen for my latest project.
My college friend, Brittni, wanted to repurpose her mother’s wedding ring into a special piece she would wear to honor and celebrate her wonderful legacy. Heirloom redesigns present the unique challenge of adapting to the wearer’s style and vision, while also honoring the aesthetic and legacy of the original piece. After contemplating several designs – including incorporating their mother’s ruby birthstone – Brittni and her sister Dayna ultimate decided on a variegated diamond halo in 18k yellow gold for its sparkly and feminine aesthetic.
From the family photos I have seen, it is evident the gorgeous sisters inherited their mother’s radiance and make stunning models for this irreplaceable marquise diamond. Hearing she would love this necklace, with her affinity for jewelry and diamonds, and that Brittni envisions wearing it on her wedding day is incredibly fulfilling as a jeweler. Brittni and Dayna, thank you for the honor of including me in Julie’s special heirloom piece – may you and yours treasure it along with your most beautiful memories.
I had the pleasure of sharing my collection with jewelry goddess Danielle Miele of Gem Gossip during her ‘Jewelry Road Trip’ stop in Seattle. Danielle is a celebrity within the industry, with her blog going on eight years and as the mastermind behind the instagram #showmeyourrings. I loved showing my rings (and necklaces, earrings and bracelets) to Danielle and seeing her styling in action. Our businesses have been on similar trajectories, with taking the plunge to focus on our passion full time (rather, over time!) during similar life stages; it was great bonding over being a young female entrepreneur and over all things sparkly. Read her fun feature on my collection here. Thanks again, Danielle, I can’t wait to reconnect!
My mid May due date is approaching and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to meet our little emerald. Delivery and lifetime responsibility are simultaneously exhilarating and daunting but I now feel as ready as possible and this can be credited to my family and friends that have made me feel loved. A big thanks to the sweetest friends Kelsey and Natalie for throwing a perfect shower and everyone that made me feel so special. I’m grateful to enter motherhood with so much support!
I hit the jackpot with an emerald birthstone. The fascinating third chapter of Aja Raden’s Stoned illustrates emerald’s rich history, geology and reinforced my adoration for the sacred stone. I can’t stop wearing my newest, most sentimental piece and the thrilling thoughts it conjures. With the 15th as my due date, I was fairly safe preemptively making myself an emerald necklace “push present”. I specially selected my 2.7ct Zambian emerald at the AGTA Tucson Gem Show in February with my mom, ‘Grammy’, for it’s lustrous color, emerald cut and allure. Much of its allure can be attributed to its interesting inclusions that detail its miraculous formation and establish the specimen as one of a kind. In the case of emerald, inclusions are referred to as ‘jardin’ as they’re reminiscent of a garden.
I carried over the green emerald theme to the nursery, curating and painting a gallery wall of verdant artwork. The reading nook with my late grandmother’s chartreuse rocking chair is my favorite part because I can envision snuggling and reading to my little love. Eeeeek!
My third annual pilgrimage to the Tucson Gem Shows last week was my best one yet. The shows can be daunting, sprawling across Tucson with forty different sites, each ranging in specialty and scope. But they also make for a thrilling buying trip as the world’s “Greatest Treasure Hunt” with vendors from numerous countries conglomerating once a year with their colorful eye candy. With every trip, I’ve become a savvier shopper – knowing what to expect, where to look and building relationships with vendors. I’ve come to know and look forward to seeing specific people to reconnect over our mutual love of all things gems.
I was privileged this year to meet new faces – including the brilliant Perpetuum Jewels who specialize in post-consumer antique diamonds. They commissioned Angie Crabtree to live paint an old mine cut diamond enlarged 10,000x in their booth. I’ve been drooling over Angie’s work via instagram and was lucky to receive a painting for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) so I was giddy to meet her and witness her talent in action.
Meeting a new Australian Boulder Opal vendor who owns a mine and does much of the opal cutting was also a highlight. It was fascinating to see pictures of the exact hole forty feet below the Earth’s surface in Koroit, Queensland where the opals I purchased were extracted. Bonding over the intrinsic beauty of one of a kind stones brings me the most joy – that love at first sight feeling can’t be beat!
Of course I can’t recap my trip without a huge thank you to my best Tucson companion, my mom. Her stamina, enthusiasm and support is unwavering and I couldn’t do the trip without her. I’m invigorated to create with my new inventory and am already looking forward to the next trip!
A rainbow sampling of this year’s one of a kind loot
The lovely Angie Crabtree painting an old mine cut diamondRock and mineral specimens on display at a booth
Selecting a special emerald
Mom and I ready to treasure hunt at AGTA Gem ShowEthiopian Opals