New York City. March 23, 2020. As a child, Alison Nagasue’s prospecting ways around her northern New Jersey neighborhood were a harbinger of her future career. The budding artist scavenged for pretty little rocks on the streets of a growing community that doubled as an ongoing construction site. Her finds—little quartzes, among other stones—fueled a passion that has continued to the present day. Now, as a jewelry designer, uncommon gems always find a home in the eponymous maker’s collections.
“Once I get a stone, that’s the beginning of a design for me,” she explains of her process. “I love natural characteristics and using unusual stones.”
Today, Nagasue sources gems the world over, ultimately earmarking the most unique ones for one-off creations. Think indicolite tourmalines from dealer Robert Bentley (who sources many rocks from Brazil); custom, ginkgo-leaf-shape opals sculpted by a female lapidary out of Canada; and cool quartzes with pockets of air and visible water droplets. All are set in oxidized silver or 18k gold with her signature 18k green gold accents and ginkgo-leaf-silhouette motifs.
Recent finds include quartz crystals with funky inclusions, raw-looking uncut gems like emerald, and dumortierite with fireworks-inspired fingerprints. “I love movement and surprises,” she notes about her selections. “No two gems are ever alike.”
Find her most recent pieces on Instagram at @alisonnagasue.
Pendant necklace in oxidized sterling silver with a 50 ct. colorless but included quartz, $1,050; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
Rings in 18k yellow gold with a 5 ct. enhydro (water filled) quartz and an oversize Brazilian-origin dumortierite cabochon, $2,275–$3,520; email email@example.com for purchase
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