Inspirations

5 Jewelry Designers with Drool-Worthy Modern Gemstone Inlay

New York City. Jan. 8, 2021. Gemstone inlay is a beautiful type of jewelry setting popularized by mother-of-pearl, coral, and shell pieces in Native American jewelry and traditional designs, but time and talent have paved the way for newer interpretations. The five following jewelry designers cast a fresh spotlight on a traditional category; their pieces stand out in the realm of inlay jewelry in the marketplace today. Which look is your fave?

Ambre Dahan of Ambre Victoria

Dahan debuted her jewelry collection in 2016, which features graphic inlay pieces like turquoise in chevron shapes.

Jewelry Designer: Cuff bracelets in 18k with diamonds and turquoise inlay (the fifth cuff belongs to another brand); DM @ambrevictoria on Instagram for purchase info.

Cuff bracelets in 18k with diamonds and turquoise inlay (the fifth cuff belongs to another brand); DM @ambrevictoria on Instagram for purchase info.

Source: @ambrevictoria on Instagram

Delphine Leymarie of Delphine Leymarie Jewelry

Leymarie debuted her inlay pieces in 2017; click here to read the whole story.

Jewelry Designer: Boheme Confetti chain in 14k yellow gold is 16 inches and has white mother-of-pearl, $1,625; available online at Delphine Leymarie.

Boheme Confetti chain in 14k yellow gold is 16 inches and has white mother-of-pearl, $1,625; available online at Delphine Leymarie

Joel Baynard of Freestone Peach

Baynard debuted his clever inlay technique in 2013; click here to read the story.

Jewelry Designer: Bangle in spalted holly wood with Ethiopian opal; DM @freestonepeach on Instagram for purchase info.

Bangle in spalted holly wood with Ethiopian opal; DM @freestonepeach on Instagram for purchase info

Lauren Harwell Godfrey of Harwell Godfrey Jewelry

Inlay was part of the brand’s DNA at the time of its debut in February 2018 and continues to be a defining aesthetic for it. The designer likes inlay for its clean, crisp, and graphic way to showcase gems and patterns.

Jewelry Designer: Evil Eye Inlay ring in 18k yellow gold with lapis and tanzanite, $3,300; available online at Harwell Godfrey

Evil Eye Inlay ring in 18k yellow gold with lapis and tanzanite, $3,300; available online at Harwell Godfrey

Marla Aaron of Marla Aaron Jewelry

The Inlay series from Marla Aaron features a variety of gems, including opal and malachite (and even Fordite, which is layers of paint from automotive factory floors), in the designer’s cufflinks, locks, rings, bracelets, and charm jewels. Inlay pieces from Aaron debuted in 2017.

Jewelry Designer: Inlay jewels from Marla Aaron are available for purchase online.

Inlay jewels from Marla Aaron are available for purchase online.


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Inspirations

Butterfly Jewelry Celebrates Spiritual Rebirth, Transformation, Change, Hope, and Life

New York City. Jan. 5, 2021. Butterfly jewelry seems like a fitting way to kick off a new year. Butterflies are a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and myriad jewelry designers are incorporating them into finished designs. From gemstone versions to all-metal ones, butterflies are an inspiring and pretty symbol to perch in any jewelry box. Here are five newer pieces to ponder collecting.

Butterfly stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 3.69 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstone, $575; available online at Tresor Jewels

Butterfly stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 3.69 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstone, $575; available online at Tresor Jewels

Cuff in sterling silver with 14k gold accents with a 12.3 ct. pink and orange tourmaline butterfly and 0.13 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, $2,699; available online at Jen Volkodav Jewelry Design

Cuff in sterling silver with 14k gold accents with a 12.3 ct. pink and orange tourmaline butterfly and 0.13 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, $2,699; available online at Jen Volkodav Jewelry Design

Long necklace in black rhodium-plated sterling silver with brown spinel beads, 13.58 cts. t.w. red sapphires, yellow sapphires, and amethysts; black and metallic olive enamel; and a butterfly motif, $3,400; available online at Matthew Campbell Laurenza (MCL) Design

Long necklace in black rhodium-plated sterling silver with brown spinel beads, 13.58 cts. t.w. red sapphires, yellow sapphires, and amethysts; black and metallic olive enamel; and a butterfly motif, $3,400; available online at Matthew Campbell Laurenza (MCL) Design

Award-winning Dancing Butterflies ring in 18k white gold with a white South Sea pearl, 2.30 cts. t.w. pink sapphires, and 1.20 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,000; available for order at Kyllonen Luxury

Award-winning Dancing Butterflies ring in 18k white gold with a white South Sea pearl, 2.30 cts. t.w. pink sapphires, and 1.20 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,000; available for order at Kyllonen Luxury

Tiger Swallowtail, a large, hinged articulating butterfly necklace with 14k rose and 18k white and yellow gold in Shakudo (a Japanese method of colorizing metal) and black diamond accents on an 18k yellow gold chain, $9,000; available online at James Banks Design

Tiger Swallowtail, a large, hinged articulating butterfly necklace with 14k rose and 18k white and yellow gold in Shakudo (a Japanese method of colorizing metal) and black diamond accents on an 18k yellow gold chain, $9,000; available online at James Banks Design


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Inspirations

Designer Emily Wheeler’s La Selva Jewelry Collection Has a Tropical Vibe You’ll Love

New York City. Dec. 31, 2020. For jewelry designer Emily Wheeler, pandemic lockdown days left her feeling sad and nature deprived, but interestingly enough, that’s when her newest offerings were born.

“L.A. was completely shut down, and I was feeling very deprived of nature, which is why I wanted to make a collection around it,” she explains. 

Wheeler had had an idea for a luscious-looking flora and fauna line, but it wasn’t until quarantine set in that she acted on it, reaching out to local florist Pretend Plants and Flowers for assistance. She asked them to deliver weekly jungle-inspired arrangements in specific color palettes. They countered with an even better suggestion: show us your Pinterest board and we’ll get Amazonian plants that match those colors. Wheeler responded with a request for greens, reds, blues, and yellows because she had specific gems in mind—tourmalines, sapphires, turquoise, peridot, and the “fun and random” offering of Shattuckite (think Caribbean blue crystals and slab material with woody and/or green veins) and Leopard opal.

“Shattuckite is a mineral that is mostly found in mines in Arizona and Mexico, and which I discovered in Tucson last year,” she says. “Shattuckite is a mix of copper silicate crystallized with malachite.”

Like many of Wheeler’s selections, they are uncommon and carefully curated. “I wanted to make a smaller collection that is mostly one-of-a-kinds,” she adds. “It’s a weird time and people aren’t buying a lot, but I think when they do buy, they want it to be something timeless, special, and personal.”

All the diamonds used, including pavé, are colorless and VVS1 clarity. “A lot of designers don’t bother with all that anymore, but quality has always been a priority for me,” she says.

Meanwhile, the finished pieces definitely transport viewers to a greener place. Hourglass earrings feature trillion-cut padparadscha sapphires, Leopard opal, and tourmaline, a mix that Wheeler calls “jungle cat” in appearance. Plus, all the different pink and orange sapphire hues bring to mind an ombre-tone flower. “Those subtle variations in color are so beautiful in nature, and I try to bring that through with my work,” she says.

Her absolute fave piece? Moss earrings with faceted turquoise melee. “My jeweler in L.A. did a good job—that [turquoise] can break easily.

And the name La Selva? It’s Spanish for jungle—a fairly straightforward choice given her southern California residence. “I didn’t want to name it Amazon because of the obvious association with the retailer,” she jokes.

La Selva debuted with 30 SKUs in 18k but expect more to come. Retail prices start at $3,800.

Ring in 18k yellow gold with a bicolor tourmaline, by Emily P. Wheeler, $8,400; available online at Emily P. Wheeler

Ring in 18k yellow gold with a bicolor tourmaline, by Emily P. Wheeler, $8,400; available online at Emily P. Wheeler

Moss earrings in 18k yellow gold with 12.46 cts. of yellow and green rose-cut sapphires, hand-carved turquoise, faceted turquoise melee, and green tourmaline, by Emily P. Wheeler, $14,000; available online at Emily P. Wheeler

Ring in 18k yellow gold with a bicolor tourmaline, by Emily P. Wheeler, $8,400; available online at Emily P. Wheeler

Necklace in 18k yellow gold with 127.91 cts. t.w. rough tourmaline crystals and 7.69 cts. t.w. sapphires, by Emily P. Wheeler, price on request; available online at Emily P. Wheeler

Necklace in 18k yellow gold with 127.91 cts. t.w. rough tourmaline crystals and 7.69 cts. t.w. sapphires, by Emily P. Wheeler, price on request; available online at Emily P. Wheeler


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Inspirations

Marlo Laz’s Tie Dye Enamel Jewelry Is the Wearable Peace We Need Now

New York City. Oct. 9, 2020. When Jesse Marlo Lazowski, founder and creative director of Marlo Laz Jewelry, unveiled her Tie Dye jewelry collection, it was (not surprisingly) an instant hit. In retrospect, however, Tie Dye now seems like a wearable dose of happiness delivered to us by serendipity. Who couldn’t use a little punch of kaleidoscopic color and boho-chic vibes in these Covid-19 times?

The DNA of the collection speaks the worldly and vividly colorful spirit of the brand (who isn’t familiar with Lazowski’s whimsical Porte Bonheur pieces?) while honoring the origins of tie dye.

History of Tie Dye

“Tie dye first appeared in Peru is 500 AD, then in Asia in the 8th century in the form of Shibori,” says the designer. (Shibori is a Japanese method of dying fabric. “In the modern Western sense, tie dye is emblematic of the 1960s and of peace, free love, revolution, and freedom. From a fashion standpoint, I’ve collected tie dye pieces throughout the years from Prada, Valentino, The Elder Statesman, and Proenza Shouler.”

Specifically, though, Lazowski’s travels through Puglia, Italy, a few summers ago is the more immediate inspiration for Tie Dye. She spied some incredible tie-dye plates that gave birth to a vision of pendant necklaces. Awareness of Italian paper marbling techniques, too, may have had a little influence.

“As far as I am aware, no one has ever made a piece of Tie Dye fine jewelry before,” she continues. “It’s really unlike anything that’s ever been on the market, and I think that’s why people were so blown away by the collection.”

Marlo Laz Tie Dye Jewelry

The collection includes large and mini-size Tie Dye pendants and necklaces as well as signet rings and earrings. A trio of color palettes feature Lavender, Celeste, and Dove, with three distinct patterns dubbed Aurora, Spiral, and Mandala. All pieces are made in 14k gold while the enamel designs are hand painted, making each one unique. And a bonus in these hyperpolitical and “I’m speaking” times? A woman is the force behind each and every creation.

“Tie Dye pieces are hand painted by our incredibly talented female enamel artist in New York,” says Lazowski. “The entire production of the collection, from start to finish, takes place in New York.”

The gemstone palette, meanwhile, is drawn from the enamel colors found in the collection. “In the Celeste color palette, we use tanzanite, aquamarine, and peridot,” Lazowski explains. “For Dove, we use black diamonds and garnet. And with Lavender, we pair pink and orange sapphire.”

Tie Dye is in stores now and available for special order on the Marlo Laz website. Retail prices start at $1,400.

Tie Dye Lavender signet ring in 14k yellow gold with pink and orange sapphires by Marlo Laz, $2,930; available online at Marissa Collections

Tie Dye Lavender signet ring in 14k yellow gold with pink and orange sapphires by Marlo Laz, $2,930; available online at Marissa Collections

Tie Die necklace in 14k yellow gold with gemstones by Marlo Laz, $3,920; a similar one with tanzanite and peridot is available online at Net-a-porter.

Tie Die necklace in 14k yellow gold with gemstones by Marlo Laz, $3,920; a similar one with tanzanite and peridot is available online at Net-a-porter

Mini Tie Dye earrings in 14k yellow gold with tanzanite, aquamarine, peridot, and diamonds by Marlo Laz, $4,200; available online at Ylang23

Mini Tie Dye earrings in 14k yellow gold with tanzanite, aquamarine, peridot, and diamonds by Marlo Laz, $4,200; available online at Ylang23


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