Sara Golden Jewelry

Inspiration

The Romantic Rose Cut

Gems and Minerals, InspirationSara GoldenComment
Left:   Untitled Andy Warhol illustration;   Right:   Rose quartz and black spinel rose cut stones.

Left: Untitled Andy Warhol illustration; Right: Rose quartz and black spinel rose cut stones.


Gemstones have been enchanting people for thousands of years, and starting in the 16th century people figured out that by cutting and faceting them, you could bring out even more of their beauty. (Have you seen rough diamonds before they’ve been cut? God bless whoever first thought, “Hey, we might have something here.”)

One of the earliest cuts developed was the rose cut, named for the tight, spiraling petals of a rose bud before it blooms. (Once I heard that I was done for.) Triangular facets all over the top of the stone mimic petals, and each one catches the light and sparkles, even on dark or opaque stones.

Rose cut illustration, via Erstwhile Jewelry’s  “History of Diamond Cutting”

Rose cut illustration, via Erstwhile Jewelry’s “History of Diamond Cutting”

The rose cut is also more of an old school, antique cut; when cutting technology advanced, you could get more facets and therefore more sparkle out of stones. While newer stone cuts are beautiful, I have a soft spot for the earlier cut, especially when it’s set in a more modern design. I love using them in my own jewelry, and have big plans to use them even more in the not-too-distant future. 

Now that you know its romantic inspiration, have you fallen under the spell of the rose cut, too? 

My Dalmatian jasper obsession

Inspiration, Gems and MineralsSara GoldenComment
Dalmatian Jasper Pattern.jpg

There’s magic in semi-precious stones, and something extra special about Dalmatian jasper in particular. It’s the stone I get asked about the most, and stops people in their tracks, eliciting an, “Oooooh, what’s that one called?” I mean, just look at it! Can you blame anyone?

Every time I get a freshly cut batch of Dalmatian jasper it feels like Christmas, with each stone a unique play of black and cream speckles on ivory white. Picking which ones to use in specific designs gets hard — how do I choose when they’re all so wonderful? I especially love seeing lots of them set all together, like in the Willoughby Necklace, so that the natural pattern really starts to show itself.

I’m also a big proponent of natural Dalmatian jasper stones (and most semi-precious stones, really), using them exclusively in my jewelry. They are reflections of a specific moment and place — the chemicals, elements, and debris that got caught up in the stone when it originally formed determine its unique design fingerprint.

Today’s jewelry scene uses reconstituted stones a lot — ground-up stone mixed with resin and put back together. Because it’s man-made you can control the final product so precisely, but I think that takes all the fun out of it. Mother Nature is the best designer, and with semi-precious stones I’m happy to let her work her magic so I can be surprised and delighted with what she comes up with.

I plan on using even more jasper in the future — that whole family of stones (of which Dalmatian jasper is just one member) comes in an incredible variety of colors and patterns. See how I’m using it now, and let me know if you have a favorite stone you’d love to see me use in the future!

Birthstone Star Necklace Inspiration

InspirationSara GoldenComment
Image credits, clockwise from top left:   sketch from     from Galileo's  Sidereus Nuncius;  found image of an antique plate via Pinterest; detail of Gucci gown from Spring 2017; "Stars of the Ocean," photo by Marit Hettinga via Flickr; personal photo taken in upstate New York; detail of ceiling fresco by Giotto.

Image credits, clockwise from top left: sketch from from Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius; found image of an antique plate via Pinterest; detail of Gucci gown from Spring 2017; "Stars of the Ocean," photo by Marit Hettinga via Flickr; personal photo taken in upstate New York; detail of ceiling fresco by Giotto.


I’m so happy to share that I just added upgrades to the Birthstone Star Necklaces — in addition to solid sterling silver, you can now also choose from brass with gold-fill chain, or solid 14k gold.

In honor of these new materials, I wanted to revisit the inspiration behind the Star Signet Rings and Birthstone Star Necklace: a single, slightly off-kilter star that might have been found in Galileo’s notebooks, or hidden in the sparkle of warm sunlight hitting the water.

Want to see how this inspiration became the final pieces? Check out the newly upgraded Birthstone Star Necklaces, and the Star Signet Rings in aquamarine or pearl.

Starscape Inspiration

InspirationSara GoldenComment

Image credits, clockwise starting top left: Hubble Space Telescope photo of part of Sagittarius, ESA/Hubble & NASA; Fashion editorial from 2017, source unknown; Comet illustration by Lyn Ward; “Winter Full Moon” engraving, Johannes Hevelius; Cast cairn in brass, Cast Cairn in brass, Joseph Magliaro; “Moon Dust (Apollo 17)” installation, Spencer Finch.


Two years ago I saw a photo (the top left one, actually) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and became immediately obsessed. It shows stars in a rainbow of colors, sparkling against the deep black of space. That image immediately made me want to recreate it, using colorful semi-precious stones against a dark metal background. 

And then I fell down a rabbit hole of space photography, space-inspired fashion spreads, and Galileo's original drawings of constellations (I'm not sure I'm fully out of it yet). Sketches came together fast, and before I knew it I was carving (and re-carving, and re-carving again) shapes out of wax, testing out different stone colors, and setting mini constellations into all new pieces. 

If you haven’t seen the new Starscape Collection yet, check it out here — I’d love to know if you can see how the inspiration became the finished jewelry!