In the Beginning There Were Crystals

Over the years I’ve been asked how I got into the world of jewelry. There have been a few things along the way that have led me to this path, but this post takes us back to the very beginning. One of the first moments was the discovery of my grandmother’s crystal collection. I wish I could have asked her in detail about how she came to obtain this collection, but here is what I do know.

My grandmother was born in Brooklyn in 1913 to immigrant parents. Naturally drawn to the arts and culture her entire life, she loved visiting the variety of museums that Manhattan had to offer. Her interests eventually led her to work for Scandia Craft, a Scandinavian furniture store in Manhattan. After some time she ended up becoming the manager and buyer for this store which required her to travel around the world in search of unique items for the shop.

One of these buying excursions took her on a solo trip to Brazil. My grandmother was a very independent woman, so I guess traveling alone to South America in the 60’s wasn’t too much of a reach for her, but perhaps she didn’t know exactly what she was getting into either. The story goes that she had to have an armed driver take her to all the remote areas she visited in order to find the best, most authentic artisan made crafts like hand woven textiles and pottery.

I don’t know if it was on her shopping list or she just stumbled across the crystals she obtained for the store on that trip, but they were…glorious, as she might say.  Brazil is one of the most abundant places on earth to find naturally occurring crystals and minerals, so this seemed like a given. She came back with some gorgeous purple amethyst, clear and smoky quartz, Brazilian amazonite, as well as a few others mixed in. Understandably, she fell in love with these crystals and had to keep some for herself.

As a little girl, I didn’t know the story behind these rocks which sat on the bottom shelf of an étagère in her living room, but I knew they were beautiful and I loved to play with them. And so the seed was planted. Who knew it would stay with me all these years. ~

A favorite Amethyst from my grandmother's collection.