Handmade Jewelry + Friends

One of my goals for 2017 was to participate in more collaborations- I’m biased, but I think our handmade custom jewelry shines and I am committed to getting it out there more this year!  That’s the practical side of collaborating; the other side of the collaboration coin is emotional.  Working with fun, creative, ambitious, dedicated, and talented entrepreneurs is inspiring and energizing.  It fills up your battery in a way that nothing else does.

So imagine how pleased I was to be asked to bring a few of our engagement rings down to the lovely Marigold and Grey Studios for a photo collaboration with some amazing professionals!  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but needless to say these Girl Bosses are movers and shakers- and it was a privilege to spend an afternoon with them!

Talented Vendors:

The Garter Girl

Red October Photography

Marigold and Grey

J’Adorn Designs

Fig. 2 Design

Third Clover Papers

Ceci New York

Something Blue! Our Illusion Diamond engagement ring in a Mrs. Box, with Fig.2 Designs invitations! Styled by Marigold and Grey and photographed by Red October Photography

Close up of our ring and that beautiful paper!

Our diamond engagement ring on a festive invitation from Minted! Styled by Marigold and Grey and photographed by Red October Photography

Five Stone Diamond Ring in a Mrs. Box with invites from Minted and a special heirloom garter from The Garter Girl!

Diamond Halo Engagement ring in a Mrs. Box with garters by the Garter Girl and accessories by J’Adorn Designs! Styled by Marigold and Grey and photographed by Red October Photography

Such a pretty color palette! Third Clover Papers, The Garter Girl, J’Adorn Designs, Hunt Country Jewelers, Marigold and Grey and Red October Photography- you can’t pack any more Girl Bosses into one photo than that!

Our diamond halo engagement ring in a pretty blue Mrs. Box! Styled by Marigold and Grey and photographed by Red October Photography.

Our Illusion Diamond Engagement ring in a Mrs. Box! Styled by Marigold and Grey and photographed by Red October Photography

 

 

Custom Peridot Jewelry: A Greenery Green

Color Trends: Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery

Peridot in 18K yellow gold by Hunt Country Jewelers

Always an exciting announcement for design geeks, the Pantone Color of the Year is a predictor of trends and a fun way to think outside your default color pallet. And you can add this year’s Color of the Year to your collection with a piece of custom peridot jewelry from Hunt Country Jewelers!

Image: Pantone.com

This year’s Color of the Year is Greenery, a bright leaf green.  In gemstone terms, we would call this color medium to medium light in tone, green with a yellow undertone, and medium saturation.  The gemstone that comes to mind immediately for me when I see the color Greenery is Peridot.  The oft maligned August birthstone is lamented as a pale yellow green, low on saturation and impact.  But that is because most people have never seen fine peridot!  Forget that commercially available pale peridot, fine peridot is rich, saturated, and sparkly.

Peridot, cut by Claire Cutshall, ring and pendant suite in 18K yellow gold

Part of the Olivine mineral family, peridot is always green (yellow to green), but it can span the green spectrum from almost clear to a deep olive green.  Fine peridot hits the sweet spot in the middle- a breath of fresh air, the color of the first leaves of spring, and the mossy quiet of the forest.  It’s found in many places around the globe, but the finest colors are mostly found in China and Pakistan.  That’s where we get our peridot rough before we hand it over to Claire to be turned into a fine precision cut gemstone.

Peridot rough from Pakistan

I love peridot in yellow gold- it talks to the yellow undertone in the stone and makes for a rich expensive looking combination.  Peridot is also one of the more affordable gemstones, so you can pump up the size of your gemstones without breaking the bank.  Fine Peridot is an all around winner and it’s the perfect gemstone to add to your collection this year- the year of Greenery!

Contact us today if you’d like to see the fine peridot we have in stock or the loose gemstones that Claire has cut that are looking for homes so you, too, can own a little slice of Greenery: A piece of custom peridot jewelry!

More Handmade Jewelry in 2017!

More Handmade Custom Jewelry: Our 2017 Goals

 

So I feel like we spend a lot of time around this time every year discussing what went well, what did not go well, and what we would like to happen as we move forward in our business.  And since this blog is my focus right now, it seems like a I should put our 2017 goals out there to the world, because we have big plans and big dreams for Hunt Country’s handmade jewelry and we want you to be excited with us about what’s in store.

So here they are:

  • MORE INVENTORY: Christmas just about cleaned us out this year; our poor beryl case is looking particularly naked. We’ve taken this as a sign that we need to produce more, more, more pieces for our inventory that will be ready to size, ready to ship, and ready to wear!  We’re calling 2017 The Year of the Bench because that’s where Ed and Logan plan on spending all their time!  You can see what we currently have in stock on our Original 18K and Platinum page– and find our new pieces here as the roll in this year!
  • ENGRAVING: We’re in the midst of researching in hopes of purchasing our very own engraving machine. Our engraving options have become more and more limited as the old world hand engravers retire but requests for custom one of a kind engraving have increased.  If you are going to all the trouble to produce handmade custom jewelry you ought to be able to add custom engraving!  We don’t have a hard timeline for this addition yet, and I’m sure there will be a learning curve, but we feel this is going to be an important addition to our business and the services we can offer on site!
  • THE BLOG: This is my personal goal for the business. We have this great space available to communicate with all of you lovely people, to answer questions, or get more in detail than an Instagram caption allows for.  I want to use it- I’m going to use it!  So keep me accountable and keep in touch!

    Wearing some sparklies to keep me motivated! | Sapphire in 18K rose gold; 18K rose gold midi ring; Tanzanite and diamonds in platinum by Hunt Country Jewelers

  • EVENTS: We had a blast last year with our first ever Jewelry Detective event, we’re going to be doing a few of those throughout this year. And we always love our Western Loudoun Studio Artists Tour weekend, and the festival days in Purcellville.  We’d like to add one more kind of event- it’s still in the fledgling stages, but we’ll keep you posted; think party and a chance to wear all your fancy jewelry that you never get to wear out anymore 😉

    Gem Identification and Jewelry History at The Jewelry Detective | Hunt Country Jewelers

  • COLLABORATION: A high tide raises all ships! Who’s out there and wants to collaborate? Let’s do a photo shoot together, or create an Instagram pod, or create some fun displays.  If there is anything I learned in 2016 is it the power of creative entrepreneurs to get things done!  Let’s get together and make more magic happen!

    Pink Tourmaline pendant in 18k yellow gold; Pink Tourmaline in 18k yellow gold ring; Black Opal in 18k yellow gold ring by Hunt Country Jewelers | Wedding Dress by The Valley Bride | Image by Leila Marie Photography

 

What are your jewelry goals in 2017? Do you have a stone you are hunting for? Are you looking to add a right hand ring?  More handmade custom jewelry is always a good goal!

Custom Handmade Jewelry- How We Make It 2.3

Here at Hunt Country Jewelers we make custom handmade jewelry- from start to finish.  And when we say start, we mean it.  We often start with a rough gemstone, cut it, and hand build the setting for it using the lost wax casting method.

In this series of videos we have captured that process for you!  Here is our latest video, Chapter 2.3: Casting and Grinding.  As you will remember from our earlier videos, which you can see on our How We Make It page, we have chosen to make the mounting for our aquamarine as a half-ring first.  We will show here how we cast the wax half ring into a metal half ring.  The process is the same for a fully carved wax ring, but the half-ring allows us to have a truly identical and symmetrical ring when we are finished.  Carving a full ring is a much better technique for designs that call for asymmetry or curving organic lines that do not necessarily repeat.

If you’d like to be the first to know when our newest videos are posted, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

Enjoy!

Handmade Custom Jewelry: How to Buy It!

Handmade and Original Custom Jewelry: How to Shop Our Site

 

Custom?  Commissioned? In stock?  So…you want a piece of handmade Hunt Country jewelry, there are many avenues!

Avenue One: Original Handmade 18K and Platinum Jewelry

This is our in stock inventory; these pieces are all Hunt Country designs– handmade by us right here in Virginia.  Many will feature gemstones cut by our very own Claire; we try to note which stones are cut by us or have our patterns in the product descriptions.  These pieces are one of a kind-ish; design elements and combinations we use in our work, but unique in their gemstones, sizes, metals colors.  We can sometimes recreate a similar look, but no two pieces are exactly the same.  These babies are in stock, ready to be sized and shipped/picked up.  They can be purchased via the site, in our store, or over the phone.  We create about 100 new pieces of handmade original jewelry in 18k gold and platinum every year.

 

Avenue Two: Custom Commissioned Jewelry

Custom commissioned jewelry doesn’t exist yet; except maybe in your mind’s eye!  These pieces are created in collaboration with you from start to finish.  So we start with a design consultation, choose stones (yours or ours or both!), develop design details, work up an estimate, carve your wax, get your approval, cast, set, and finish your piece of handmade custom jewelry!  This process takes between 8-12 weeks to complete, so plan early!  We can collaborate throughout the process via email and phone conversations, FaceTime or in store and in person.  In store and in person is by far the smoothest and quickest way, but we’re well experienced in long distance design too.  Plan for about an hour for the design consultation and be prepared to answer about 17 thousand questions!

 

Avenue Three: Hunt Country Silver

Available only in our store (or via phone, if something catches your eye over on the ‘gram!), Hunt Country Silver is, as the name implies, a collection of some of our most popular designs in sterling silver.  These are all our original designs and they feature genuine gemstones in a variety of colors.  Someday these will be available through the site, but that day is not today.  Sometimes we can customize the gemstone colors or the earring tops or the chains, sometimes we can’t.  You can see the start of our efforts to organize and upload our sterling pieces under the Jewelry Collections tab in the menu- these are collections and suites that are made to order in your choice of metal and stones.  These pieces are produced in 10-14 days.

 

But what are all those other pictures and sections on the site?  Our Galleries are examples of our work from over the years, both inventory and commissioned work.  With over 3,000 molds of original pieces not everything we’ve made is up, but it’s a great place to start to look around at design elements and see what catches your fancy!  2017 Goal: Actually use the negative scanner we own to digitize the thousands of deep dark pre digital photos we have a get them up here for your enjoyment!

And, how, exactly do you find the details for all these lovely photos- it’s not a dumb question, it took me a minute and some serious clicking around to figure it out!  Hover over the photo and click on the little link icon- it will take you to the page for that piece and allow you to add it to your Wish List, add it to your cart, etc.  We’ve tried to update this- we can’t, but it’s not difficult once you know where it is!

 

So now you know and there is nothing to impede adding a piece of handmade custom Hunt Country Jewelry to your collection!

Handmade Yellow Gold Jewelry

Color Trends: Yellow Gold

I have a theory: I think that metal colors come and go in fashion because no one wants to wear what their own mother wears, which then means we go back to wearing what our grandmothers wore.  Our 1980’s brides were all about the yellow gold; the mid 90’s to 2010 brides were all about the white.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Yellow is back, baby! And we love handmade yellow gold jewelry!

18K yellow gold and diamond wedding jewelry by Hunt Country Jewelers | Wedding dress by Soliloquy Bridal | Image by LynzzLou Photography

We’ve always worked in all colors of gold: yellow, white, and rose (even green- did you know there was green gold?  It’s not super popular for good reason).  But we are color specialists and some gemstones just scream for yellow, so it’s never gone out of our design vocabulary.  Now we are seeing so much more demand for yellow gold, both for gemstones and diamonds.  Brides, and jewelry wearers in general, are looking for that bold pop of warmth, the contrast of the soft gold against the white diamonds, and the history of the color that has been coveted since the dawn of time.

18K yellow gold Gold In Quartz pendant by Hunt Country Jewelers

 

Gold works in so many styles from delicate chains and charms to chunky and bold statement pieces.  We perennially favor a few extra grams of gold for comfort and longevity and I particularly like going big in yellow gold.  White gold is great for blending all the sparkle together, yellow gold makes all those stones and details stand out- might as well go big on the details and let the naturally attention-grabbing yellow gold work to it’s max advantage for you!

Detail of 18K yellow gold bas relief wedding band by Hunt Country Jewelers

We like to work with 18K gold for our custom handmade jewelry.  18K is 75% pure gold, so it’s got a higher pure gold content than the 14K gold that is available in most commercial jewelry.  That extra density serves you very well over the life of the ring and the higher the gold content the richer and brighter the gold color is too.  We also work in 22k if a particularly bright and high shine gold is called for.

18K yellow gold and blue spinel pendant by Hunt Country Jewelers

How do you feel about the return of yellow gold?  One of the greatest things about working with us for custom handmade jewelry is that the options are unlimited!  We are thrilled yellow is making it’s comeback because it offers the opportunity to truly think about the stones you are using and how you’d like to frame them!

Let’s Talk About: Cleaning Your Collection

*Ahem*

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Since you cleaned your collection?  It’s ok, we all forget to do it, I’m here to remind and encourage you to do it more often.  In fact, read this post, then go clean your collection- today!
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