One of a kind designer jewelry by exclusive artists like Baruch Hadaya, who works from a studio in the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City walls of Jerusalem; and Wendy Brandes (through Broken English in Santa Monica California), and Hans and Anne Meevis who work from their studio on a Caribbean island (Sint Maarten, in the Netherlands Antilles). That’s what custom and handmade jewelry is about – finely crafted pieces by artists who distinguish themselves with design and technique; who are loved by their private clients and a select few who know how to find their one of a kind jewelry for sale online.
Handmade Jewelry By Baruch Hadaya
Baruch Hadaya is an artistic jeweler, renowned since 1983 for his unique collections in silver and gold. Although working from a studio in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem offers a singular opportunity for those who visit the city to experience a touch of the genuine flavor of a native jeweler / artist / designer / storyteller, it is in fact the talent and imaginative designs based on antique coins, beads and hand craftsmanship that distinguishes Hadaya’s creations to clients from around the world.
The sculpting of each piece individually by hand from quality sterling silver, 18k gold and gemstones such as pearls, emeralds, diamonds and rubies, into original one of a kind jewelry creations, has set him apart from other jewelers. But it is the contrasting elements, the blending of the precious with the ordinary, like gold with leather and, silver mountings for diamonds, and other unusual jewelry collections, that distinguishes his art from the average fine jeweler who follows the rules of an ancient trade.
It is through knowing the rules and stretching the boundaries of these, then going beyond into the world of imagination where rules no longer apply, that has earned Hadaya a reputation of excellence and uniqueness.
Some of the outstanding one of a kind handcrafted jewelry pieces are hammered 18k gold, like the bracelet that is set with a total weight of 3 carats of diamonds. The bracelet is a cuff style with a hinge mechanism, all handcrafted. Pieces such as these must be custom ordered and the diamonds set to the client’s specifications.
Simpler bracelet styles are also available, but the unique element of even the least ornate design, such as the one featured here, is that the hand hammered gold bracelet is 22 carat, which means it is almost 100% pure gold, something almost unheard-of in the jewelry world these days. Clients may choose different finishes, such as highly polished or a more rustic matte style, but no matter which is chosen the ancient style hand-hammered surface, created using an anvil and a hammer, will be evident. These simple, yet delightful pieces are available in various widths – each piece crafted with a client’s needs in mind.
Another piece of craftsmanship, in fact artistry, is the diamond bracelet in solid 18k gold with diamonds. This is not a gold bracelet with a little bit of sparkle, but a unique one of a kind jewelry piece with about 50 diamonds set into the gold, which equals a total carat weight of around 6 carats of diamonds. The shape of the bracelet is patterned after the artist’s version of an organic shape – a blend of wild forms inspired by nature.
Baruch Hadaya is not just about making bangle bracelets, in fact he has a complete range of jewelry items, such as silver and gold rings, elaborate and simple necklaces, one of a kind beaded jewelry, earrings and even pins and cufflinks.
Amongst the masterpieces of this one of a kind designer jewelry collection are items like the gold and diamond cocktail ring.
Singular Silver Jewelry By Baruch Hadaya
His one of a kind silver jewelry is unique amongst designers with hand hammered rustic styles and a blend of gemstone settings that are not like most mountings, but placed sporadically on bracelets and rings. For example take a look at the silver cuff bangle bracelet with tourmaline gems. The silver is pure and therefore a softer material than sterling, which allows for the hammered rustic look to really give the piece a singular texture; more pronounced.
The key to the setting of the tourmaline stones is that after they have been placed into the pure silver cuff, the silver is carved out from around the perimeter of the gemstone to give it a slightly raised effect. The number of the stones and their positioning can be decided by the artists or can be customized by a client. That’s all part of the beauty of dealing with a craftsman who creates each piece individually. Custom jewelry, entirely handmade step by step, can take time. Therefore Baruch Hadaya asks his clients to be patient when placing customized orders.
Hand engraving is also done in silver on bracelets and rings which can have Hebrew characters, inscriptions and even etched scenes. Gemstones can be strategically inlaid in unusual places, not necessarily the center of the ring, but often on the edge where the silver may be wrapped or folded over to give a double thickness. Individual gemstones can be selected, such as rubies and sapphires. Since the rings are heavy and a little thicker than manufactured ones, it’s best to order a larger size.
Regarding the engravings that are possible there is a Psukim chart on Hadaya’s website where you can choose some of the famous engravings, like the Gam Ze Yaavor.
Aside from the one of a kind handcrafted jewelry pieces that can be engraved in Hebrew and can have gemstones, there are also some pieces like the sterling silver rolling ring called Dimples. Naturally it is also handmade, but the interesting aspect of this silver ring is that it is made up of two rings that are on top of each other. This design affords the outer ring to roll freely over the other. Also, Hadaya’s exclusive Rolling Ring design has an outer crust that’s textured, or rough, and therefore called a dimpled ring. This is one of the silver handmade jewellery pieces that some couples choose as a wedding band.
Other plain styles include rings like the Banks design, which is a wave style with doubled edges, also hand-hammered. What gives the piece a bit of contrast is the dual finish, with the edges being highly polished and the center part being matte.
This is one example where silver oxidization or slight tarnishing of the piece will in fact accentuate the design instead of taking away from it. As the ring ages and darkens where there are creases or waves or hammed areas, or even along the doubles edge, the ring will acquire more and more personality. It is possible to engrave and customize this, as all the other one of a kind fine jewelry items in the collections both silver and gold.
To get ideas for some of your own one of a kind designs that you can order from this talented artist, view the collection of “Masterpieces”. Some are very simple and others are complex with gemstones and inscriptions. Choose pure silver, sterling silver or a variety of gold, including 18k or 22k. If you’d like to see where such unusual and innovative handmade jewelry is crafted, and how the pieces are created in the studio, without actually taking a trip to Jerusalem, we invite you to view this short video, courtesy of Baruch Hadaya and his One Of A Kind Studio.
By the way, Hadaya’s recent collections, featured on his newly designed website, are very affordable. The two top collections that can be ordered online are the goldfilled Yeshiva designs and the silver Yeshiva line of bracelets, rings, pendants and other items that start as low as $20 for a simple pendant, $40 and $50 for beautifully engraved silver rings and many other items for between $100 and $165. These are much simpler creations, but still very original.
One Of A Kind Designer Jewelry by Wendy Brandes
On the other side of the planet, and in a totally different genre of handmade jewellery collections, is the talented designer renowned in the United States and abroad – Wendy Brandes. Her vivacious creations are a blend of 16th century luxurious gemstone and gold mixed with 1960’s wild free energy. Her one of a kind pieces reflect a boldness while maintaining a feminine natural allure.
In her various collections the differences and similarities are brought together, from the regal Vivat Regina with lockets and outrageous rings, to It Girls and the Eden line where nature is the obvious inspiration. Let’s take a closer look at some pieces that are regal and a teeny bit evil:
If you’ve been wondering where to get one of a kind fine jewelry like a poison ring, then Wendy Brandes Nefertiti 18k gold and lapis lazuli masterpiece will be just the thing!
Brandes Nefertiti Poison Ring opens to display the space for the poison below the large oval lapis gem. These mechanical pieces of jewelry, items that are hinged, locked, have secret compartments and operate manually, are in fact one of Brandes’ specialties. This is true of the variety of rings and lockets that open to a secret cavity, such as the other deliciously eccentric Borgia Poison Ring which can be purchased through the online shop called Broken English. The Borgia ring is a tribute to a pope’s daughter, Lucrezia Borgia, and if you want to know why she was known to carry a ring filled with poison, you’ll have to read up on the history of famous women.
If perchance one of a kind handcrafted jewelry is what you buy as a consolation, then you’ll undoubtedly find solace in the series of uniquely crafted double gemstone Clemence Ring designs, that are crafted in gold, but have two large, contrasting gems, such as the opulent citrine and amethyst design we feature.
Amongst other glorious tributes to famous women of centuries past, is the luxurious turquoise and diamond ring set in 18k gold called the Xenobia Ring. This masterpiece is fashioned with inspiration from queen of Palmyra, a woman who is said to have defied the Roman empire.
If one of a kind handcrafted jewelry inspires even a few of us ladies to read up on the history of courageous and audacious women of the past, it has served a marvelous purpose, not to mention adorning our fingers in inspired ways through translations of historic events and people that Wendy Brandes encourages us not to forget.
In the It Girls collection, the theme is different but the style remains intriguing, with secret compartments, mechanical openings, and gorgeous gemstone and gold designs that are about as unique as jewelry can get. For example the Virginia Woolf Whistle, which is really a blowable whistle, also opens up to bestow a glimpse of a woolf, and the entire piece is 18k gold with 112 diamonds. Gorgeous, strange, wonderful, eccentric and one of a kind.
For this designer, one of a kind fine jewelry goes far beyond jewelry that’s a fashion statement and delves deep into the realms of art – wearable art that’s not part of a defined genre, but one that dabbles in all the eras of luxury and color and glamour, from what might be Baroque to Retro and even touching on Art Deco. Blasts of color, sunbursts, geometrics, rhythmic patterns and nature at its strangest best.
But what touches the heart of many of her clients and fans, including this writer, is that she not only crafts ingeniously designed jewelry concepts, inspired from ancient women throughout history, but through art and jewelry also reminds of the women who have touched our lives, and altered the world we live in today.
For example, the Diana Ring is not just a tribute to a famous woman who was fashionable and stylishly adorned with gems, but to Diana, who in 1987, publicly touched an AIDS patient, in fact shaking hands with such a patient, forcing the world to wake up to the fact that the deadly illness was not spread through casual touch. For this act, and to remind us of the courage of modern women who we do well to imitate, the Diana Heart ring in 18k gold (or rose gold or sterling silver) is one of Wendy Brandes most touching pieces. The one with 56 teeny diamonds is not exactly affordable for everyone, but the silver version is reasonably priced at just $450.
One Of A Kind Jewelry Designs By Hans and Anne Meevis
From ancient Jerusalem to modern USA designers, we now take another jump and land on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles, where Hans and Anne Meevis have a studio with a collection of one of a kind jewelry items that are inspired from nature, from their travels and histories, and from their eyes and hands who see a unique interpretation of the world and offer it back to us in artistic jewelry forms.
Although many of the pieces we show you have already been sold, the images offer an idea of what’s possible, of how they design and what materials they work with. For example, this pendant, a fluid watery structure with aquamarine gem pooled as solid liquid, accented by a deep sapphire and finished with a series of diamonds, all set in 18k gold, both white and yellow. Is it a pool of rainwater or a small oasis for animals to drink from? Is it the tears that fill the soul and spill out into a single diamond teardrop below or inspired from the pleasure of warm aqua colored Caribbean waters? We don’t know, but the translucent liquid ripples on the stone water, and the whimsy this piece conjures in the mind, is limitless.
We flow over to another piece that also makes us wonder how liquid stone is solid water, or is it the other way around, with the ring featuring a giant carved Aquamarine stone, edged by diamonds. One more enigma example of beauty crafted so ingeniously by Hans Meevis, who is the expert gem cutter.
But who are these designers? From where is all this inspiration born? We believe that to appreciate the artistic creations of this unusual one of a kind fine jewelry it is necessary to know a bit about who the creators are, what they see and how they live to understand their creations even partially.
Hans and Anne Meevis are husband and wife, and they have been crafting jewelry together for over 20 years. Hans’s is Dutch South Africana and Anne, Namibian/ German, and together they began their jewelry journey in South Africa. Their first shops were in Safari Lodges like in Kasane, Botswana, and later in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, where they were proprietors of the aptly named Elephant Hills Jewellers, located in the famous Elephant Hills Hotel. We mention these steps in their jewelry evolution because the African influences, though in no way reflecting the slightest ethnic clichés of the region, have undoubtedly formed part of their design evolution when it comes to color, power, passion, intensity, and contrasts derived from the diverse elements – gemstones, metals – all forming part of the magic of what they create, even now that they live and work on an island in blue Caribbean waters.
One obvious inspiration proffered to them by virtue of living on an island where Larimer stone is available, is evidenced by their extensive larimar stone collections – The Larimar Art Jewelry Series.
Larimar stone, by the way, is particular to the Caribbean, and although it tends to be somewhat turquoise and resembles the gemstone of that name, it is in fact unrelated, being a unique volcanic blue color of pectolites only found in the Dominican Republic and a few Caribbean islands where cobalt causes the rich blue/aqua/turquoise to be the dominate feature.
The designs that Meevis creates from larimar are sophisticated and unusual works of art, not merely large cabochons set into silver ring settings as is common of the jewelry from that region. From unusual pendants, with hand selected pieces of larimar as the watery background for such motifs as dolphins or even regional maps, the singularity of their one of a kind jewelry is plainly exemplified.
With blue, purple, aqua, lavender, green and tropical intensity being a dominate feature of the numerous Meevis handmade jewelry pieces, it’s not at all surprising to find that they also work with titanium.
Why is this not surprising? Because anodized titanium can be royal blue, vivid purple, vibrant green, and since it is a metal that is colored at a molecular level, and not just a surface coating or treatment like enamel or a gold or silver plating, it is a high quality means to achieve colored accents while crafting high-end jewelry.
The long list of the qualities pertinent to titanium, and why it is of such high quality, is available in another post about Titanium Rings, however the use of colored titanium in the Meevis creations is unique due to the creativity involved and the skill of working with one of the hardest metals on the planet.
Many small designers are simply not capable of working with titanium due to the amount of equipment required, however, the custom jewelry that Hans and Anne Meevis offer are titanium Paintings In Metal. What does that mean? By using the anodized areas of titanium, they are able to reflect the rich blue colors of the sky and the watery pools that their jewelry epitomizes; also more affordably than by using large gemstones. They can also cover an entire ring with a vibrant blue or purple color, then accent with smaller gemstones or diamonds, allowing for creative options that are natural, colorful and yet of the highest quality.
It goes without saying that highly specialized, one of a kind jewelry items crafted by talented international artists, is not cheap. However, it’s possible to get a singular item in sterling silver, with blue titanium, for as little as $640.
Most gemstone pieces, and all the custom jewelry that’s possible to make upon demand, will be priced according to the weight of the gemstones and the metals used as well as the time needed to craft the item all by hand. Special creations that are ordered by small artisans, artists, designers and non-manufacturers, usually need several weeks or more to have a piece ready. If you’re hoping to create a singular item and give on a specific date, please allow sufficient time for the piece to be made and for shipping. Also, please double check that the country where the jewelry is being made can ship to the country where you reside. In the case of those ordering from the US, this is not usually a big problem, but some countries do have restricted shipping services to certain parts of the world.
For more information on where to buy other silver jewelry or unusual beaded jewelry and different styles of handmade jewellery, please see related posts.
We offer recommendations on where to find Claddagh Rings, designer Amethyst Ring creations, where to get Vintage Jewellery, and how to get genuine one of a kind Amber Jewellery direct from Poland and the Baltic region.
There are so many kinds of designer and handmade creations from around the globe that it is impossible to mention all the varieties. But, we do our best to scour the world and bring hidden treasures within your reach.