Tuesday, August 27, 2013

JIMENEZ FAMILY

Sterling Silver and Jade Maya Bracelet
The streets of Flores, an island in Guatemala, are paved with colorful cobblestones; and a crescent-shaped lake, Lago Peten Itza, is known as a gateway to the World Heritage Site Tikal National Park.  

The park is the location of “amazing ruins from an ancient metropolis.”  Guatemala is also home to featured jewelry design team the Jimenez Family.

It is a stone best known for its beautiful deep green color that can be opaque, flecked or cloudy.   

However, it also comes in shades of lavender and pale blue.  In China it was known as the “royal gem” and called “The Stone of Heaven.” 

Pre-Columbians in Central America revered it more highly than gold.  This stone symbolizes immortality and is a prominent focal point in the delicate, recycled sterling silver jewelry collections of the Jimenez family.  I am talking about the lush, glossy gemstone jade. 

Pedro and Esperanza Jimenez along with their adult children Luis Estuardo (Creative Director), Saira (Finance), and Maribel (Retail) source all of the jade implemented in their creations (including lavender and blue jade) entirely from Guatemala.  

Everything from sugar cane to geometry to shells and flowers inspire exquisite jade pendants, jade rings, and jade bracelets.

The subtle ornamental style of sterling silver tendrils and long, sculptural lines is lovely as it offsets jade cut in half cylinders, cabochon and cushion cuts, and square baguettes.  There is a gentle regality in their aesthetic.  The visual is intense and understated, bold and unassuming all at once.

Sterling Silver and Jade
Maya Treasure Pendant Necklace
Surprisingly, Pedro and Esperanza’s venture into jewelry making came unexpectedly.  Both come from agricultural backgrounds, and although Pedro had worked for a weaver at age 12 neither had any other connection to creating handicrafts. 

At the time Esperanza worked as a housekeeper for the mother of a silversmith one day the silversmith’s wife was visiting and called her over.  “To my surprise she told me she would like to offer Pedro a job in her husband’s workshop.  Pedro joined the silversmith for six years and I learned a lot as well.”

When the couple decided to set up their own workshop they were met with many challenges including financial setbacks and finding a home for their growing family.  After acquiring a sizeable home from a kindly stranger, the family poised themselves to further their goals to produce jewelry.

“Following your dreams can sometimes be difficult but it has not been all bad,” says Esperanza.  “Through it all we’ve had a guardian angel.  We were eventually able to add a workshop to our house. 

We have provided our children with an education to be professionals and that allowed us to take our family venture into new heights.  

Everyone specializes in a different aspect of the business and we complement each other’s work.  We have managed to create a good team in which each of us is extremely important to the proper functioning of our project,” says Esperanza. 

Sterling Silver and Jade Nature
Immortal Cocktail Ring
2013 Jewelry Trend AlertA symbol of feminine energy sterling silver’s understated glow is a key style trend for the year.  

In addition, green is this season’s go-to color and the dusky tone of green jade is the perfect complement to the lithe sterling tendrils of the Jimenez’ beautiful jewelry.
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