This week marks the fourth edition of NYC Jewelry Week and two of my pieces are being featured in this year’s editorial!
Both pieces are representatives of my brand's evolution towards responsible sourcing and the importance of community as path to success.
The NYC Jewelry Week round tables on sustainability in 2018 and 2019 mark the beginning of my journey towards a more responsible supply chain.
Though my jewelry castings are made from recycled metals since 2008. I did not know till 2018 the name of my casters' supplier because I never knew to ask.
As manufacturing shut down in March 2020 and I was confined at home, I listened to webinars on colored gemstones hosted by the people I had met at the last NYC Jewelry Week and in the process discovered initiatives worthy of my support. I bought a rhodolite garnet gemstone from Moyo Gems . Moyo Gems is an ethical gemstone collaboration between Nineteen 48 and Anza Gems born in Tanzania, Africa! I received the stone with information about its provenance, and the the name of the miner (Mariam) and the name of the cutter (Beth). Moyo Gems represents a collaboration of hearts and minds that helps change the status quo for women artisanal miners in Tanga, Tanzania. They empower women miners to work safely, mine better, improve financial security, and create stable, equitable markets for fair trade.
I designed a ring inspired by the beauty of the rhodolite stone enhanced by the story behind it. I named this design “the wisteria ring”. Historically, wisteria symbolizes long-life and immortality. The prongs are harmoniously encircling the gemstone, reminiscent of a wisteria vine. This ring is featured in NYC Jewelry Week Shop The Week.
As I got more involved in responsible sourcing, I looked at the gold supply chain and found information about faimined gold. Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of. I became a fairmined licensed brand this past summer.
During covid, I joined the Stay Gold Collective, a community of independent jewelry artists led by Liz Kantner. While not an artist herself, Liz has the utmost appreciation for jewelry and helps emerging designers such as myself find their authentic voice and achieve success.
Liz invited me to participate in an exhibition at the NYC Jewelry Week entitled Bonded: Jewelry from the Stay Gold Collective. This exhibition seeks to showcase jewelry created during covid. "The isolation that resulted from social distancing challenged how we formed bonds, and catalyzed moments of precious solidarity as new communities formed." excerpts from Liz Kantner speaking about the exhibition. I invite you to see the designs and read the stories from members of the Stay Gold Collective.
To celebrate the connections and community that comes from jewelry, I designed a necklace as a tribute to the fairmined gold community and the artisanal small scale miners it supports.
The seashell necklace is made from fairmined gold with a seashell found on a beach in Florida. This is the third piece that I made out of fairmined gold. This past summer I picked up this seashell from the beach sand in Florida because it looked like a heart shape to me. This piece represents a moment in time of happiness and a snapshot of my brand's values. You can read more about the pendant by clicking on this text.
The wisteria ring and the seashell necklace are one of a kind.
The ring is available for sale on the NYC Jewelry Week website till January 1st and the necklace is on Liz Kantner product page till November 21st.
If you choose to add one of these pieces to your personal collection, 20% of the profits will be donated to NoLo Studios’ Residency Program. The program covers one year’s rent for a NYC-based BIPOC jeweler and will provide a full basic bench set-up (that will be the recipient’s to keep at the end) plus collaborative photography services from within the NoLo collective.
My hope is that you will find pleasure in wearing my jewelry with the assurance that each piece is uniquely yours and is responsibly sourced.
The seashell necklace 14K fairmined pink gold bezel and 18 inch long yellow gold filled chain $520
Liz Kantner wearing the seashell necklace