“If you would have told me in my junior year of college, as I was pursuing my business degree, that I would be a jewelry designer one day, I would have disagreed,” Jamie Joseph says. “But in my senior year, I needed to round out my courses and I decided to take a metalsmithing class. It was as if my eyes had been opened and a new passion was born. I’ve never looked back since.”
She and her husband, Jeremy, an innovative gem cutter, work together in their Seattle studio to turn every gemstone they touch into a collectible work of art by bringing out its natural beauty.
How did you use salvaged broken stones in your latest collection?
Setting as many stones as we have over the last 20 years, I have amassed a sizable collection of cracked, bruised and broken stones with spectacular color and quality. I’ve kept all of them with the hopes that Jeremy would find extra time to recut them someday. When I learned about the Japanese art of Kintsugi, my Golden Joinery Collection was born. Pieces feature cleaved gems whose fissures are filled with 22K gold seams. Each is one of a kind.
How do you select gemstones?
Jeremy and I gravitate to stones that speak to us. When we look at gems, we see the time, heat, pressure and elements that formed the gems over the eons. Each gem is unique in its reaction to the earth, leaving traces and clues to that gem’s particular history. It’s in those traces, whether they be inclusions or color striations, that we see the beauty of each gem.
How do you and Jeremy bring out the best in a gemstone?
We spend time with each gem that speaks to us, studying its unique characteristics, the placement of inclusions or the concentration of color. In doing so, we get to know each gem, and with care we are able to cut, shape or polish a stone to what we envision as the best possible unique version of itself.
Why should retailers add color to their inventory?
Color makes everyone happy. It can uplift your mood, especially when you are wearing a beautiful gemstone ring.
Sterling silver and 14K gold drusy agate ring with diamond (0.03 TCW), $1,145
Green tourmaline Golden Joinery necklace with diamonds (0.05 TCW) in oxidized sterling silver and 22K gold, $3,675
Oxidized sterling silver and 22K gold turquoise Golden Joinery ring, $1,950
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Do you have a favorite gemstone? I find something intriguing about each stone I see. Some speak to me more than others and those tend to be my favorites, but my tastes have also evolved over time. I could share with you my current favorite, but if you asked me again, I might give a completely different answer.
Do you have a secret talent? I am a good baker. Jeremy tells me I’m a master, especially my cookies, pies, and pizza doughs.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? Jeremy and I followed The Grateful Dead on and off for several years in the early '90s. We sold silver, dancing bear earrings and magic wand hair sticks.
How do you relax after a long day of work? I like to come home and take an hour walk followed by a glass of red wine and dinner.
Favorite place to visit? Tropical places that have great scuba diving. Jeremy and I recently went to Mexico and dove with sharks, which was amazing.
Best advice you’ve ever received? One of my professors once said to never look back with regret but rather move on to the next thing. A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons. I have found this to be very relevant in all aspects of my life.
Name a goal that has nothing to do with jewelry. I want to get my pilot's license.
Guilty pleasure? I have a weakness for glazed donuts.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of INSTORE.