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It’s every jewelry lover’s dream: A day spent oohing and ahhing over beautiful, sparkly baubles at the spring JA show. As you can see in the photo above, even after four hours of walking the aisles at the Javits Center, Peyton and I are on what we call a jewelry high. Attending the shows, getting first looks at new designs and spotting trends is one of the major perks of being a style blogger. The other is discovering new-to-us designers and being able to talk to them about the inspiration, process and passion behind their artistry. Eve Streiker, founder of Original Eve and creator of the luminous mother-of-pearl carved earrings shown above, told us she finds inspiration for her unique settings from the gemstones she chooses. Not just the color and shape, but the way the stone was formed in the earth and the way light hits it or passes through it. Many of the designs of Linda Hoj come from life experiences: a pair of stunning  gold earrings was inspired by the window she wakes up to each day; the sword necklaces in her collection are patterned after her daughter’s tattoo which she wears as a symbol of strength. “Every woman needs a sword,” Linda told us as we chatted at her booth. And the head-turning aquamarine ring above combines her love of ancient jewelry making with the desire to create a one-of-a-kind piece as unique as the woman who wears it. Every designer we spoke to had fascinating stories to tell us about their work. No wonder we were there for hours! Here is just a small sampling of what awed us.—Sue Perry and Peyton Tiblier

 

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This ring by Aimee Petkus stopped us in our tracks. Yes it’s a wowza of statement maker—as was her opal-like mani. But where we saw a beautiful piece of jewelry that we coveted, Aimee told us that behind the design is her desire to unite contradictory elements—in this case minerals that appear to have grown in a haphazard, non-ordered way and celebrate through these forms the duality she feels in her own life. Besides incredible beauty, I’d say this piece packs an awful lot of meaning

 

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Deep colors, sharp lines and smooth metals is what inspires an S. Tree piece of jewelry. We were taken with the clean geometry and intense colors of her collection—not to mention the clever engineering as you can see as she demonstrates the closure on this hexagonal bangle. From what we saw she works mostly in lapis (shown above) and emerald set in gold with some pieces accented with diamonds. Simply stunning!

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Playful, imaginative, unique—that’s the definition of a Julie Lamb piece. We’d love to show you everything in her collection, but chose these two rings for their strength and individuality. If I had one gripe about the Javits Center it’s that the lighting is not exactly ideal for shooting jewelry selfies because our photo does not do these breathtaking gemstone rings justice. You’ll just have to take us at our word that they are amazing. Oh, and if you’re a knitter—or just into lambs and sheep—you definitely should check out her website for her fantastic lamb motif jewelry. The motif is a play on her name and she’s been doodling the design since she was a child.

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Michelle Hisae Meronek, the founder of M. Hisae Jewelry transforms recycled metals and hand-selected stones (or those taken from estate jewelry) into beautiful modern day symbols of commitment. We applaud her respect for eco-responsible jewelry making. Above you can see her modern take on a diamond solitaire and a band of graduated gray diamonds. Below is an Oregon Sunstone ring with diamond accents. We loved the lovely sparkle and pretty pink hue.

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