Comission: Rhotolite Garnet and Sterling Silver Gingko Leaves Pendant and Earring Set

Rhodolite garnets galore in my popular “GIngko leaves” setting
Garnets are in focus here as they are the birth stone of the month of January. Garnets are quite special because they come in so many colors. My favorite is the Rhodolite Garnet. Sometimes, depending on how much purple is in it, we call it a grape Garnet. I recently made a pendant, with earrings to match, of Sterling gingko leaves that had a  very rich looking 9×6 Pear shaped Rhodolite
Garnet hanging from the bottom. The earrings have 5mm round faceted garnets that match well. They look so pretty together and I know they are worn with love!
Would you like to order a pendant and earring set, or discuss setting alternative stones in this popular “gingko leaves” setting? Send me an email and we can start the creative process together.

Commission – Watermelon Tourmaline Slices and Pink Tourmaline 14 kt Yellow Gold Earrings

pink troumaline earrings with watermelon tourmaline slices in 14 yellow gold side view
New Favorite earrings

A thoughtful hubby ordered these tourmaline drop post earrings for his wife for her birthday. She loves them! So do I – although, every new piece I make seems to be my new favorite. That’s the benefit of working with what you love.

In these earrings, I have linked together clench set natural tourmaline watermelon slices of different colors, and hung them under deep pink tourmaline post earrings. This special setting shows off the uneven edges of the watermelon tourmaline slices, while doubling as protection.

Do you have a project in mind for a loved one for the holidays? Let me know, and we’ll see what we can do – send me an email.

pink troumaline earrings with watermelon tourmaline slices in 14 yellow gold front view

Commission – Opal and Diamond Wedding Ring

Solitaire opal and gold ring, FrontSolitaire opal and gold ring, Side
Wedding rings can come in all shapes and sizes
A young couple came to me with this beautiful black opal to set as a wedding ring. I bezel set two small diamonds on the band of the ring to compliment the colors moving in the stone. The result is a thing of beauty!
Delicate beauty
Opals, in all their firey beauty, are surprisingly delicate. They measure from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale so they can be easily scratched by metal and glass. I advised them how fragile opals are, but the beauty outweighed the risk. As a preventative measure, she will be wearing a chain to hang it around her neck when doing heavy work.
Do you have any ideas for creating a special ring? Perhaps you’d like to reuse a family heirloom and combine it with new accents, or we could start from scratch and order pieces to put together in a unique way? Let’s get in touch!

Commission – 14kt Yellow Gold and Diamond Wedding Set

His and hers yellow gold and diamond wedding rings

His and Hers

What better way to tie the marital knot than with a 14kt yellow gold and diamond wedding set?

Hers– This customer chose a stunning oval brilliant 1 ct. diamond engagement ring and a fancy wedding band with diamonds set in a stylish alternating curved pattern.

His– For the man, a polished band with a comfort fit. What is comfort fit? The inside of the ring is curved so the ring feels smaller and is less noticeable to the wearer. Shoot me an email and I’ll explain more.

 

Commission – Black Pearl and Diamond White Gold Pendant

Black pearl and diamond gold necklace
Watching Pirates of the Carribean for Halloween?

Hearing about the Black Pearl reminded me of this pendant that I made as a gift for my daughter. I set a small diamond in a white gold v-bail above a beautiful black pearl. It hangs nicely in the above photo on a box chain (kink resistant and good for traveling). It paired very nicely with a pair of black pearl stud earrings.

Interested in a similar project for someone with a birthday coming up? Send me an email (click here).

Commission – 14kt Yellow Gold Coin Wedding Ring Set

These commissioned pieces from April 2017, were for a new customer who came to me with a very touching story.
Samantha was about to buy a train pass with coins she was putting into a ticket machine. The change fumbled and one rolled out into the street. A gentlemen in the line behind her ran out and retrieved her coin. Later, while on the train, they developed a friendship because of the coin. In time their relationship blossomed, and they decided to have the coin made into a promise ring.
Later, the couple decided to get married and wanted to commission 14kt gold wedding rings. Their original promise ring was not made of precious metal, and it needed to be modified to balance the design.  I was able to make a cast of the impression of the gold coin from the promise ring and incorporate the impression into the new gold rings.
The first photo is the modified version of the gents ring with a brass rim added to its edge, just after it came out of the rubber mold. The second photo is the ladies ring, modified with the brass rim but polished. At that stage, the mold was made, and the wax models were cast in gold.
A beautiful unique set a memorable love story.

 

This is the man’s ring after being pulled straight from the mold after casting in gold, unpolished.

 

This is the base shape for woman’s ring before being cast.

14kt White Gold Bypass Wedding Ring

This tricky commissioned piece was a compliment to an existing engagement ring. The challenge was to make a wedding ring that would match a bypass ring band, as opposed to a normal round band.

The first step was to make a wax model that wrapped around on opposite sides of the existing ring. My solution was to make a bar at the base to hold the two pieces together.  The ring was then cast, using the lost wax process, then pave set with small round diamonds. Challenge met!

Grattitude

I wanted to share this letter of gratitude with all of you that I wrote to a very special woman in 2008. This woman, Lucille, had been in the jewelry business for many years. Later in life, when she became too old to do jewelry, she very generously donated a tub of tools to me and gave me the jewelry commissioning account at the Pacific Asia Museum to do their award jewelry every year. She was very sweet woman, and I thought you as a reader might enjoy hearing more about my career in the jewelry business.

September 11, 2008

Dear Lucille Lee Roberts,

I thought I’d write you a note to let you know how jewelry and the art of metalworking have been such a significant part of my life.

My interest started in 1974 when my friend and I started making hair ornaments with feathers and sterling silver. I continued my creative outlet at PCC and received honors for Superior Achievement in Jewelry and an AA degree with an emphasis in Jewelry Making. I sold my pieces at art shows from Santa Barbara to San Diego and had a consistent following of clients who continually encouraged my artistic capabilities. In 1981, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. From 1982 to 1984, I attended the Gemological Institute of America at Santa Monica (Graduate Gemologist Resident Program, Jewelry Arts and Gem Identification and Diamond Grading) where I absorbed the knowledge to attain the degree of Graduate Gemologist.

In 1985, I began working for a very special woman named Joyce Mitchell. She and her husband Sam, had a jewelry store named “MePohaly Jewelers” (meaning “We Push” in Polish) located in Covina. Joyce and I still work together on many projects even though her retail store closed in 1990.

In 2005, I decided to find a job that gave me a steady paycheck. Boxx Jewelers in Monrovia was just the place. We have a very established customer base since the business has been there for 86 years! Throughout the whole time I have kept my own business, which includes working for several other artists, doing casting, fabrication, piecework, setting, custom jewelry, and repairs.

At the end of this month, I will be teaching a beginning jewelry class at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre, where I can share my knowledge of jewelry making and hopefully inspire others to find the joy and the excitement of the creative process.

Thank you for your generous donation of your precious tools to the Creative Arts Group.

With sincerity,
Kimberly Munson Nicholson
P.S. I use your bone handled burnisher every day…
Using Lucille’s tools to teach jewelry at the Creative Arts Group

Stunning 14kt Yellow Gold Enamel and Amethyst Pendant

In this commissioned piece, a talented friend of mine that I have worked with for many years came to me with an enameled purple iris of hers to set in a pendant. I designed a setting for her beautiful enameled piece that incorporated the organic forms from the cuttle bone casting technique, which I felt really highlighted the natural beauty of the subject. I accented her enameled piece with a bezel set oval faceted Amethyst that you can see at the top of the pendant.

What a success; the colors of the gemstone and the texture of the cuttle bone casting combine together with Ligia’s enameled iris to create a stunning pendant.

 

Previously during her career in miniature work, Ligia and I have worked as a team. Her talent for enameling paired with my metal work has created some very stunning art pieces. I have worked together with other artists as well, setting their creations to complete the design.

If you are also an artist and have ideas for working together, don’t hesitate to contact me with a proposal.