These five of-the-moment jewelry designers’ legacies are set in stone.
Clockwise from top left : AGMES double-chain Audrey pendant; AGMES domed ridge ring set; AGMES small Vera earrings. Bracelets, from top: Baia Sommersa bracelet in 18K yellow gold with white and black diamonds; Baia Sommersa bracelet in 18K yellow gold with white diamonds; Baia Sommersa bracelet in 18K white gold with white and black diamonds; Baia Sommersa large bracelet in 18K white gold with white and black diamonds, all by Miseno.
Sisters Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon founded AGMES in 2016 in tribute to their late friend Andrew, who encouraged them to start the brand. They honor his compassionate legacy in their commitment to sustainability by creating jewelry that can be handed down for generations. Using almost all recycled materials, such as freshwater pearls, 925 sterling silver and 18K gold, AGMES takes a zero-waste approach, melting down all metal scraps for reuse. Along with supporting the community producing locally, AGMES advocates for a number of causes, from protecting human rights to ending hunger. They also select a new philanthropic partner every few months—their most recent is the National Network to End Domestic Violence, whom they spotlight and pledge a percentage of their online sales to.
Kimberly McDonald one-of-a-kind 117-carat Sonora Sunset chrysocolla cabochon drop earrings with 3.2 carats of diamonds set in 18K yellow gold
Paying homage to brand owner Antonio Cardamuro’s upbringing in the Italian town of the same name, Miseno creates feminine collections inspired by the Mediterranean. “Miseno draws inspiration from the beauty of its namesake, a magnificent island in the blue seas of Italy,” Cardamuro says. With a mythological and coastal influence, Miseno’s works are a modern interpretation of the area’s lush and romantic atmosphere. Cardamuro, who’s spent time honing his craft at Bvlgari, Bedat and Buccellati, draws his creativity from the nostalgia, rich history and landscape of his childhood home. Much of the handcraft ed 18K gold jewelry includes embellishments, such as diamonds, mother-of-pearl and semiprecious gemstones, capturing the beauty of the natural elements. Recent collections Baia and Foglia di Mare are reminiscent of the sea with pieces inspired by the underwater polychrome mosaics in Capo Miseno’s bay and sea leaves.
Kimberly McDonald one-of-a-kind 87.5-carat crystal quartz point ring with 1.83-carat pave emerald base set in 18K green gold with black rhodium finish
Worn by the likes of former first lady Michelle Obama, Cindy Crawford, Steph Curry and other A-listers, Kimberly McDonald Collection seeks out the finest materials for each piece of jewelry. McDonald launched her collection in 2007 in New York City and has since expanded to accessories, home products and clothing, which has a special residency at Bergdorf Goodman this fall. With sustainability, nature and connection at the core of the brand, she uses materials like reclaimed gold and recycled diamonds to handcraft the collections. Furthermore, giving back is part of the brand’s philosophy, and it does so by supporting a number of causes including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Care for Wild and Children of Conservation.
Kristin Hanson Stella engagement ring
Decades of perfecting her craft under master goldsmiths, diamond setters and jewelers led Kristin Hanson to become a specialist in contemporary jewelry that accentuates the beauty of rare natural color diamonds, and today, her exclusive access to argyle pink diamonds, sourced from a conflict-free mine in Australia, makes her work highly sought aft er. Throughout her career, Hanson has worked with other luxury jewelers, such as Oscar de la Renta and Swarovski, and has gained recognition around the world for her meticulous approach and expertly craft ed designs. “Working closely with private clients gives me the opportunity to design unique, custom designer and bridal jewelry that is truly one of a kind,” Hanson says. “It feels so special to know that I am creating family heirlooms that will be cherished for generations.” She takes time to teach her craft as well—from 2006 to 2017, she nurtured the work of young talents in the industry through the Kristin Hanson School of Jewelry Design, which was the largest jewelry school in the U.S. at the time. In 2022, Hanson will be giving back through her YouTube channel, IJEWL, where she is working on producing online video classes.
Kristin Hanson Colombian leaf ring
An enthusiast of bold colors and vibrant gemstones, jeweler Emily Amey has met with hundreds of small-operation miners and gem cutters to learn about where each piece comes from. She’s visited the souks of Marrakech, the bazaars of Istanbul and the gem shows of Tucson and Hong Kong, drawing inspiration from her travels, where she searches for unusual gems, idiosyncratic objects and natural rarities. She sculpts with soft wax to create handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry using recycled fine metals and ethically sourced gemstones whenever possible. The entire process, from design to full-scale production, is completed domestically and mainly in-house at Amey’s studio in New York.
Kristin Hanson argyle bluebell earrings
Photography by: KRISTIN HANSON PHOTOS BY HELENA PALAZZI; PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRANDS