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Meet Guy Borenstein: Stuller’s New Senior Gemologist

Guy Borenstein

Guy Borenstein has an easy manner and a quick, warm smile. Yet asked a question about diamonds and gemstones, he’s laser-focused. He speaks with careful, precise phrasing and his intense expression communicates his passion for this subject. I find this more remarkable because he had lived his life in Israel, and English isn’t his first language.

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Initially, I thought he had come to direct Stuller Gemological Lab™, our in-house diamond screening lab, and a significant undertaking. It’s definitely one of his priorities. But he arrived with years of knowledge and experience in various gemological disciplines and now serves as Stuller’s Senior Gemologist and leading gemological authority. His job gives him the latitude to take a holistic approach to many aspects of our diamond and gemstone and other gem-related departments. And as his career will show, he has plenty of experience as a multi-tasker.

I asked Stanley Zale, Stuller’s Vice President of Diamonds and Gemstones, for his thoughts. “Guy is a world-class talent, highly respected among leading gemologists, and we are fortunate to have him join the Stuller team,” he says. “His knowledge and skills will help us continue to lead the industry with robust programs that best ensure the integrity of our products.” If you know Stanley, you realize this is high praise, indeed.

I sat down with Guy to learn more about his journey in the diamond and gemstone world.

ER: How did you develop an interest in diamonds and gemstones? Was there a family connection?

Guy: Actually, no family connection. I was born and raised in Haifa and started collecting beautiful and unusual rocks when I was 10. We were living on Mount Carmel, so I looked there and brought my finds home to explore, and maybe even identify. With each discovery, my fascination grew. I wanted to learn more and more, and it grew into a passion.

ER: You have a curious mind. Where did it take you?

Guy: Yes, you are right about my curiosity. I want to learn everything I can about diamonds and gemstones and any subject that interests me. Each piece of knowledge makes me ask new questions. Where did it take me? When I finished high school, I went to the European Gemological Center school in the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. While attending school, they offered me a two-year internship in their lab. After completing my EGG (European Graduate Gemologist) and working at the lab for 6 months, I wanted to take the next step. People whose judgment I trust recommended I get the Gemmology Diploma (also known as FGA) from the Gemological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).

ER: Were you able to complete it while still interning in the EGC lab?

Guy: Yes, and during my work there, I started to work also for Gemewizard, where I served as Vice President of Gemological Services. Several years later, I led the establishment of Gemewizard’s laboratory — GWLab —, and was their chief gemologist there and at the EGC lab. During that time, I also started to work for Gem-A as an online tutor for their Gemmology Diploma students.

ER: So you had four jobs at the same time?

Guy: Yes. But they worked together — synchronized — and contributed to each other in many ways. Still, I was very busy. I am passionate about my work, and that makes a big difference. I was enjoying the work and learning all the time.

ER: Weren’t you involved in the development of some Gemewizard applications?

Guy: Yes. I spent 12 years at Gemewizard, and during this time, we developed several solutions for the gemological academy and the gem trade. This was an important tool because the industry struggled to find an accurate way to communicate gemstone color through digital media. It’s critical for grading and online selling of gems so introducing this tool made a difference for everyone.

ER: Was it a way to standardize color description? It seems if everyone used it, this would work effectively.

Guy: That was the main idea. It would be like everyone speaking a common language about color and understanding each other the first time. Later, it was evolved into color-based price list and fully operated gem lab.

ER: You’re reminding me of Pantone® color formula fans that show every possible shade of each color.

Guy: Yes, but the difference is you start with a gemstone and identify its color components, including secondary colors and overtones. And as the gem slightly moves in your hand, this color changes. You cannot just point on one Red-Green-Blue code in a matrix and say that this is your gem color. It’s simply impossible.

ER: That sounds challenging because each gemstone can have multiple shades within it.

Guy: That’s true. Where a gem moves, its physical properties, and the way it interplays with light, we don’t have one fixed color for a gemstone. Gradations may be subtle, but they make a difference.

ER: Tell me more about your time as the chief gemologist at GWLAB and the EGC lab.

Guy: My role was to manage and supervise the advanced testing departments, including diamond screening (for lab-grown origin), colored diamonds grading and testing, and colored stones identification. Besides supervising the lab team and performing various tests, I wrote several research papers and traveled the world presenting at conferences. These interactions with colleagues are very important. I shared my findings, got useful feedback, and learned about many new developments from others. I hope to continue some of that here, but this is not my main role. Now, when I am here, I want to work to offer Stuller customers new services we couldn’t offer before.

ER: Can you talk about that?

Guy: Not yet, but we have several exciting ideas, and they offer great promise.

ER: I’m looking forward to learning more. Be sure to let me know when we’re ready, and we’ll do another interview.

Guy: I will. I’m excited to join Stuller. It’s a worldwide leader in the jewelry industry. And I look forward to building deep relationships with Stuller’s vendors and customers.

As our conversation ends, I think back to the 10-year-old boy looking for stones on the slopes of Mt Carmel. His passion and sense of mission have taken him around the world, and we’re very fortunate to have him here.




Jewelry for Active Women: From Sensible Studs to Silicone Bands

I can still remember the moment I realized I couldn’t wear dangly earrings as I always had. I was lucky I’d gotten away with it as long as I did. My three-month-old daughter reached up and grabbed the bottom bead on one of my favorite pairs. As she started to pull it, I realized my dire circumstances and grabbed onto her hand to hold it in place. As luck would have it, she hadn’t done much damage. I quickly removed them and reserved my dangling earrings for my evenings out.

That’s how I learned that lifestyle matters when you choose jewelry. Active women need to stay focused. So whether you have young children, spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, play sports, garden extensively, or travel the world, you don’t want your jewelry to catch on something (or get grabbed!) and interfere with your activity.

Some active women reduce the risks by not wearing jewelry except possibly their bridal set or wedding band. But I love a challenge as much as I love jewelry, and I made it my mission to find fuss-free styles I could wear all the time.

Stud Earrings

After my experience, this was a no-brainer. Of course, there’s still a chance a baby may grab at one, but I had no problems wearing studs. Small diamond or gemstone studs work well. Here are some 14K gold suggestions.

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Bracelets and Rings

As long as a bracelet fits close to the wrist, you can wear it. I put away my oversized bangles and chain bracelets because they caught toys or, worse yet, my daughter’s hair. Then, on a trip to Mexico City, I had the good fortune to find two bracelets — a cuff and hinged bracelet — that fit my wrist and stayed put.

This was a game-changer. These bracelets went on and off easily without catching on anything. Since I’m somewhat obsessive, I looked for coordinating right-hand rings — but without diamonds, unless they had a low profile bezel or were gypsy set. And with stackables so popular, you can create an easy-to-wear personalized look. Here are some inspirations — some trending, some timeless.

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If you want to add a touch of bling, choose a lower bezel or gypsy set. You can also find numerous bezel-set stackable rings that work too.

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If you’re headed off to the beach, here are two colorful and very affordable silicone stacks that can make building a sandcastle and anything else that comes their way.

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Necklaces

Save your long strands for the evening or office, and I avoided pendants unless they were petite. Instead, when around young children, playing a sport, or hiking, choose necklaces and chains that fit close to the neck. All of these would work well as layering pieces for the office.

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Bottom Line — or Neckline

I love jewelry, and I’m always wearing some style. Sure, I keep my dressy styles for those occasions, but whatever you’re doing, we offer trending and classic jewelry that will work for you. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!




4 Facts About Father’s Day— And What He Wants

What to get Dad for Father’s Day? Each year we puzzle over this question, and the truth is, if he has young children, he’ll love their handmade creations — crooked printing and all. But Mom and older children will want him to have something that lasts, and jewelry hits the nail on the head or the ball off the tee. The gifts shown below represent just a few of your choices. Visit Stuller.com/FathersDay to see them all. We’ve included a wide range of prices, so you’ll find gifts to fit each budget.

But before we get into gift ideas, let’s brush up on this holiday’s history, which includes fascinating facts you can share with customers. I confess I used to think a greeting card company came up with the idea as a marketing ploy. These companies were undoubtedly thrilled with Father’s Day’s creation, but the concept came from poignant circumstances long lost in the pages of time.

Did You Know?

  • A West Virginia church observed the first Father’s Day on July 5, 1908, to honor 362 men killed the previous December in a coal mining disaster.
  • In 1909, 2,600 miles away, Sonora Smart Dodd sought a day to honor fathers. She was one of six children raised by a widower in Spokane, Washington, and felt strongly that he and other fathers deserved special recognition. She gathered support from local shops, churches, and government officials, and on June 19, 1910, Washington State celebrated its first Father’s Day.
  • In 1916, two years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday, he honored Father’s Day in Washington State, pressing a button in Washington DC to unfurl the flag there.
  • Then in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged all states to observe Father’s Day. Today we celebrate it on the third Sunday of June.

Outdoors and Active Dad

Does he work with his hands, play sports, hike, bike, or all four?  Perhaps he loves the great outdoors and wants his children to share his enthusiasm. These selections and others make great gifts for him.

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You’ll find other chain styles and widths, as well as engravable dog tags and shield pendants, at Stuller.com/FathersDay.

Sharp Dressed Dad

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You’ll find many other rings, cufflinks, and collar stays at Stuller.com/FathersDay.

Spiritually-Minded Dad

Reflect his commitment to his faith with these options.

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Visit Stuller.com/FathersDay to see our curated selection. Or visit Stuller.com/Mens for more options.




Gemstones To Inspire Your Vacation Dreams — Let’s Go!

Pack your bags, load your car, and hit the road to head to the airport, and let’s take that much-needed time to de-stress and refresh. Let’s pretend, however briefly, that these past 16 months reside in the distant past — barely a flicker in our memories. We’ll make this summer trip particularly joyous and meaningful.

So let’s talk about gemstones that will brighten your customer’s vacay wardrobe, and afterward, summon memories of their wonderful time away. Select findings for a pendant, earrings, or bracelet dangles, choose family jewelry mountings to celebrate your holiday destination, or go the custom design route, and the sky’s the limit.

Shop Stuller Gemstones™ by color

Beach Bliss

Famous Aquamarine Gemstones

Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf Coast, Caribbean: Summertime and beaches are meant for each other. The lapping water or white-cap waves, the vast sky, breezes, tropical foliage, and the sand beneath my feet that always ends up in the condo — they put you back in touch with nature, serenity, and joy. You sigh and relax.

Customers can keep their beach bliss long after the vacation. Create eye-catching jewelry with water-inspired beauties such as turquoise, coral, aquamarine, green moissanite, and zircon, or paint a sunset with rose quartz, ametrine, tanzanite, and orange garnet. Keep the sand between your toes with rutilated quartz or citrine cabochons, our new brown moissanite, a top light brown, or champagne diamonds.

Shop Stuller’s Notable Gems ® Collection

Mountain Romance

Rutilated Quartz Gemstones

Summer in the mountains offers stunning vistas and refreshingly cool days. Distant snow-caps, green fields with wildflowers, rushing streams, deep lakes, and tempting trails beckon you outside. You fill your days with biking, horseback riding, rock climbing hiking the surrounding heights, and photographing all that you see. Later in the day, relax with a soak in hot springs. All the activities and vivid beauty restore your spirits.

Customers can capture the thrill and freedom of their mountain vacation with durable gemstones: sapphire, ruby, colored moissanite, emerald, aquamarine, morganite, topaz, and tourmaline. To explore the colors of mountain rock, go neutral with smoky or tourmalinated quartz. Or select our Misty, Ash, Marbled Gray, and black Specialty Diamonds.

Shop Stuller’s specialty diamonds

City Lights

Bring on the bright lights for your summer in the city vacation, be it New York, Washington DC, Nashville, St Louis, San Francisco, or L.A. You’ll celebrate the arts with museums and performances and catch as much music as you can. That’s not to mentions all the fabulous restaurants and sights to see. Choose black and white wardrobe pieces, then highlight with pops of color and sparkle to add fun and fashion.

Choose Stuller Moissanite in DEF — go big in a larger size — or choose one of the gorgeous colored moissanite we offer: blue, green, yellow, brown, and back. Make a statement with fire opal, lab-grown sapphires in dazzling pink, yellow, and orange, bi-color tanzanite, and imperial topaz. All these and many more will capture your city lights theme.

Shop Stuller’s colored lab-grown Moissanite

Help all your customers hold on to that vacation feeling each time they wear their personalized styles.


Add some color to your life with these gemstone blog posts:

Sell With a Story: Earth to Market™ Gemstones

Bicolor and Color Change Gemstones for the Colorful Enthusiast

The Big 3: Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire Reign Supreme in the World of Gemstones

Gemstones for All: Five Gemstones for Men and Women




GIFT GUIDE: On-Trend Family Jewelry for Mom

Can we really call Family Jewelry on-trend? Not that many years ago, family jewelry was a Mother’s Day bestseller, but it was not exactly the latest style. Most designs had been around for years, if not decades. But over a period of years, Family Jewelry has emerged like a butterfly from a pupa and taken flight into new, on-trend territory.

Younger Mothers and Jewelers

We have younger generations of mothers who want exciting new looks that work seamlessly with their trendy, sophisticated jewelry so they can wear their family jewelry frequently — if not all the time. And younger jewelers want fresh designs their customers find irresistible.

Our in-house design team has welcomed the challenge and worked with the jewelry product managers to update our offerings. We love the results, and sales have soared. Not surprisingly, Moms of all ages find these new styles attractive. Our Mother’s Day Gift Guide showcases some of the most popular looks as well as new designs.

It’s worth mentioning that many of these styles transform beautifully into elegant diamond jewelry even if none of your children were born in April!

Natural Attraction

Nature inspires our sense of family, and there’s no better expression of this than our family tree. You’ll find branch and family tree designs, and we have elegant new Wildflower family jewelry styles.

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Birthstones and Engraving

Some styles incorporate birthstones and engraving alone and together.

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Family Circles

There are rings aplenty, just as many necklaces and earrings. On pages nine and ten, you’ll find elegant styles that embody the phrase ‘family circle.”

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Baguettes

Straight and tapered baguettes are one of this year’s hottest stone shapes, and some styles feature both. Their clean, modern lines take star turns throughout the brochure, where you’ll see them in necklaces, earrings, and rings. Customers will love the popular stackable family ring styles.

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Our Mother’ Day Gift Guide features these and so much more to inspire you and your customers. And if you want more choices, shop Stuller.com/family 24/7.




Submit-a-Sketch: A Stuller Customization Solution

Some of you have visited our facility here in Lafayette, Louisiana. The manufacturing plant alone measures one-third of a mile. Inside this massive structure, we have many large rooms/working areas, and one of these belongs to our CAD Team.

With low lights and quiet voices, the designers spread throughout the room work on their three computer screens. I like to think of our CAD room as an incubator for your business. Throughout the day, the team receives your designs in a variety of forms: a sketch, design file, resin or wax, or instructions to modify modified 3C design, and transform it into whatever you request, whether it’s complete manufacturing or a resin you can cast.

As custom design continues to drive the jewelry industry, it can power your growth. Our CAD/CAM Services help you achieve your goals. Customers have told us using these services is equal to adding several members to their team.

Submit-a-Sketch

Submit-a-Sketch is one of our most popular options, continuing to grow at a remarkable pace. It lets you upload a sketch or image and, in two to five days, we get back to you with a render and quote for customer approval.

The beauty of it is, you work very closely with a CAD team member to achieve exactly what your customer wants. And once you receive your customer’s approval, we can handle the manufacturing with expert finishing, stone setting, and polishing, then send it to you ready for your customer.

Track Your Projects

When you submit your sketch or image, you can easily track its progress through our CAD/CAM process by going to the My Projects tab. Depending on what stage the project is at, you can resubmit it with an edit. Be sure to follow the resubmission by updating your designer at CAD/CAM’s direct line 800-527-5057.

Text Notifications

You can also organize your custom jobs and view quotes on your smartphone by signing up to get status updates by text. Go to your My Profile tab on the CAD/CAM page and update your preferences.

Your Customization Partners

For Submit-a-Sketch or any of our other services, the CAD/CAM team is here to help no matter the level you require — whether it’s designing, prototyping, casting, setting, or finishing. We work with you every step of the way, going back and forth until your vision becomes a reality.

From start to finish, you can trust in our expertise and quality.


Want to learn more about Stuller’s CAD/CAM Services and what customization services we offer? Check out these recent blog posts.

How Stuller’s CAD/CAM Services Makes Custom More Efficient

How to Customize Bridal Jewelry With Modify a Style




Celebrate International Women’s Day with Stuller

Each year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, recognizing all that women bring to us individually and in society. After all, none of us would be here without them! On this day and throughout the month of March, we encourage women to celebrate themselves with jewelry. They may also choose to buy something special for a family member or friend — share the love.

Men can support the special women in their lives —wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, partners — by selecting memorable jewelry they’ll appreciate. These pieces provide a sampling of the more extensive elegant, and trendy selection we’ve assembled. All these styles come in 14K white, yellow, and rose, and some come in a broader range of metal qualities so you can meet a variety of budget needs.

March Is Me

These tempting gifts will tickle her fancy for luxury at a great value and fulfill her wish to recognize her own successes. We set many with lab-grown diamonds, making them an excellent investment.

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Customers add pizzazz to Zoom meetings, knowing they look fabulous in these graduated bezel-set earrings. They go effortlessly from morning to evening with sparkle to spare. And remember to adorn any finger you choose with this gorgeous negative space ring.

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These necklaces look outstanding alone and fit right in with additional layers for a #neckmess.

Everyday Elegance

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From a 5 CTW lab-grown diamond line bracelet to lab-grown diamond-accented hoops, how can anyone call these beauties basic? And yet, your customer will wear them daily because these pieces are jewelry wardrobe staples.

Elevate Fashion Flair

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Which One — or Two — Will She Choose?

Does she want a pop of color, or will she go for trending chain and ear cuff styles? She can wear them solo or as part of an ear stack. Either way, these styles will add panache to her wardrobe choices.

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Get Involved

Learn more about the Women Jewelers Association’s (WJA) March is Me promotion now at Stuller.com/MarchIsMe.




Seek Your Center With Stuller’s Religious Lookbook

If there was ever a need for calm and contemplation, it is now. We’ve all had our fill of icy gray days — even here in the South, where we’ve experienced more than our usual share of wintry weather. And we’ve all had the ongoing stresses and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We long to see azaleas blooming, followed by fresh sprouts of green as trees slowly don their springtime attire. That’s where FAITH comes in.

We greet spring’s rebirth and renewal with our new lookbook, Centered in Faith, focused on religious and spiritual jewelry. Each piece offers your customers beautiful and meaningful ways to celebrate this joyful season long associated with the power of spirituality and faith to revive our love of life.

Be ready for celebrations and inspirations by having several of the lookbook’s new and best-selling styles in your cases. If customers want more choices, show them the printed version of Centered in Faith or use the interactive digital version on Stuller.com. They’ll be sure to find the perfect piece for a gift or themselves.

Crosses

For those of a Christian faith, the lookbook offers abundant jewelry featuring crosses, both vertical and sideways. Choose from gold or diamond-accented necklaces, charms, pendants, bracelets, earrings and stacking rings that appeal to many tastes.

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Angels & Medals

Angels and Saints Medals appeal to many customers and they’ll discover numerous styles both simple and detailed.

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Turn to the East

Does your customer embrace Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy? We offer jewelry featuring multiple symbols that will sooth the mind and refresh the heart.

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Judaism

In addition to these, we carry mezuzah and mizpah pendants, and many variations of the Star of David and Chai jewelry on Stuller.com/Religious.

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Hamsa, Evil Eye, Lotus, Om, and Celtic Knot Jewelry

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We mark this season with religious milestones and celebrations such as Easter, First Communions, and Confirmations. Many customers seek symbols reminding us to uplift our thoughts and actions. When a customer puts on any piece featured in this brochure, they have an ongoing reminder to emphasize positive influences in their daily routines.


You can view our full religious and symbolic jewelry collection on our website here.




Into the Mystic: Harwell Godfrey Jewelry

Lauren Harwell Godfrey follows her passions and imagination where they lead. Her life has been shaped by changes in direction, constant learning, and a series of successful pursuits. Today, as a well-known jewelry designer in the San Francisco Bay area, she creates mesmerizing designs of mystic beauty and vision. They express her love of color with distinctive gemstones, inlay, and enamel. This unique flair has brought her to the attention of numerous fashion magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, The Zoe Report, Cultured, PureWow, Town & Country, and more. 

Born in Southern California, Lauren has spent much of her life in and around San Francisco, where she graduated from college and art school. It turns out, creativity runs in the family. “My grandmother was very artistic,” she says. “She was both a singer and a painter.” 

From There to Here

Lauren began her career in the advertising world as an award-winning Art and Creative Director. She thrived for more than 15 years then realized she had hit a creative wall. It was time for a change — quite a radical change. 

With a love for food and cooking, she attended a culinary school in San Francisco. Ever the artist, she wanted to become a food stylist. She worked at this for seven years, and during this time she began making jewelry. 

“I started making jewelry for myself with funky leather and crystal jewels,” she says. “I realized pretty quickly that this was my passion and the right creative outlet for me.” Lauren’s design knowledge meshed seamlessly with creating jewelry, and she began to see the vast possibilities of gemstones and precious metals. They would allow her to work at a much higher level. 

In addition to honing her design aesthetics and use of color, her years in advertising gave her a firm grounding in branding and developing a brand voice. She pursued this with the help of a friend and her business partner, professionals in this area. They helped her with brand development and more in-depth knowledge of the fine jewelry world.  

Pendant and ring (above) from Harwell Godfrey’s collaboration with sustainably mined stones from Muzo Emeralds. The 18K yellow gold pendant features a 23.12 CT Emerald cabochon center stone, cultured Pearls, Mother of Pearl inlay, and Diamonds. The 18K yellow gold ring has 5.20 CT step-cut Emerald center stone, Turquoise inlay, Pink Sapphires, Amethyst, Yellow and White Diamonds. 

Inspirations

Lauren collects textiles — many from Africa. “I’m fascinated by their geometric shapes and patterns, the power of their vivid colors,” she says. “As a woman of color, I wanted to highlight my jewelry in my own way. I felt these patterns would translate well into unique jewelry.”   

Throughout her different endeavors, Lauren has often asked herself what she can contribute that’s different and unique. What’s fun, unexpected, and engaging? Looking at her creations answers this question colorfully, artfully, and luxuriously. 

In July 2020, the New York Times interviewed Lauren and two other Black jewelry designers from different countries about the boost they received from these tumultuous times following George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. “Personally, it’s been a powerful experience,” she said. “What happened in summer 2020 was supported by people throughout the country and around the world. People from across the spectrum reached out to support black-owned businesses and Harwell Godfrey attracted a wider clientele and more media attention.”  

She continues: ”I came into this business naively and felt surprised there were so few Black jewelry designers. This period has made me aware of more Black designers, and that has given me a greater sense of belonging. I think we all know there’s so much work ahead, but many of us feel a renewed sense of hope.”  

Giving Back

Lauren wants to give hope to others by contributing to causes she values. She has created three (so far!) sophisticated heart talismans, each dedicated to a particularnonprofit. All profits from the sale of these pendants go to the organizations World Central Kitchen, the NAACP and Futures Without Violence. While sketching these designs, she realized that the line of triangle inlay looked like a broken heart put back together. Each clip-on bail features a diamond-accented equal sign for unity. 


Where is Lauren headed? She’s an artist so she’ll follow her spirit and imagination to ever more exciting explorations of pattern and color. 

Learn more about Harwell Godfrey Jewelry online at harwellgodfrey.com.


View our blog posts to learn more about our Stuller customers and their unique journeys.

Jason Chandler Brings Estate Piece Back to Life

Beyond the Glass Feature: Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry

Beyond the Glass Feature: Dana’s Goldsmithing




Jason Chandler Brings Estate Piece Back To Life

When is a repair more than a repair? 

Many jewelers measure it by the challenges involved. This can be particularly true when repairing antique jewelry. Lance Campbell, Lang’s Antiques jeweler, finds himself replacing 100- to 150-year-old design elements assuring that they blend seamlessly. Or the challenge can be sizing a diamond-accented heirloom ring from a size seven to a three and a half. 

Sometimes, the money earned from a repair can put it in a class by itself.  

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Jason Chandler, Portland Jewelry Academy

And then you come across a repair with a strong emotional pull requiring skill and sensitivity. This was the case for Jason Chandler when a rare retail customer entered his trade shop. “The Portland Artisan’s Shop is in a retail location,” Jason says, “but it doesn’t look like a store because most of our work comes from jewelry stores. So we don’t see a lot of retail customers.” And when they do come in, they’re looking for a custom design more often than not. 

But on this particular day, a father came in with an unusual request. He brought a sterling silver hamsa pendant  — clearly not an expensive piece. Jason explains, “He and his wife had gone to India and bought the hamsa for their young daughter. It’s a symbol meant to protect the wearer from harm — something we would all wish for our children. It wasn’t exactly tourist jewelry,” Jason says. “I’d say it was a grade above that. But it was for a child and not expected to last forever.”  

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Google Image

Here, the story takes a tragic turn. Perhaps a year after the little girl received her gift, she died. The grieving father wanted it repaired so he could wear it on a chain in his daughter’s memory. “It wasn’t easy for him to talk about her, so I spent some time with him, and gradually he opened up and shared the story. I have children, so this tugged at my heart, and I wanted to make the piece as worthy of her memory.” 

The challenge was to strengthen it for longevity while maintaining the elegance and beauty of the symbol. And so his work began. 

Most of the marcasite had fallen out, so Jason suggested replacing them with black diamonds. Additionally, Jason suggested replacing the three blue CZs (set in the center three fingers) with aquamarines. He would bezel-set all the tones for security and longevity.  

The silver wasn’t thick enough to support the bezels, so Jason reinforced the back of the hamsa beneath each bezel with a small jump ring, carefully arranging them in a precise pattern.  

Jump rings (JR16:65030) and bezels (20929) 

“When he arrived to get it,” Jason says, “tears came to his eyes. The repair cost much more than the original piece, but I would’ve done the work just to see the look on his face. That was the real reward.”   

Have any of you had a memorable repair? We’d love to hear about it and look for the chance to feature it. 


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Beyond the Glass Feature: Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry

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