Tuesday, November 6, 2012


14K Gold Filled Hoop Earrings with Rose Quartz, Pink Topaz,
Pink Tourmaline and Crystal
Though constructed during a time of war, Vietnam’s Cu Chi Tunnels attract tourists who want to see the lengths they span and the history they hold.

The expansive connection of burrows encapsulates underground hospitals, factories and villages.  Vietnam is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Theresa Nguyen.

I am always amazed that different jewelry designers work with the same materials yet end up with signature styles specific to them.

For instance American jeweler Melissa Joy Manning’s sleek 18-karat gold outlines paired with exotic gemstones provide an amalgamation of classic, tribal and bohemian vibes.

A swing dancer and actress who travels with the National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King, Nguyen explores another creative talent by moonlighting as a jewelry designer. 

Her ethereal gemstone jewelry is a blend of classic outlines in 14-karat gold filled wire and eye-catching drama by way of gorgeous precious and semi-precious gemstones including sapphire, ruby, citrine, turquoise and rose quartz.

The 34-year-old California-based jeweler is self-taught drawing inspiration from her travels abroad, nature and stage gigs that include West Side Story, Cats, and Saturday Night Fever.

Swiss Blue Topaz Pendant Necklace
“My mother worked in computers and my dad worked as a hospital nurse.  They came to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1975 after the fall of Saigon and they worked hard to give my sister and me a normal life. 

While I was still in high school I won first place in the National Dance Competition and the prize was a year of traveling to different locations where I either taught or performed in local competition programs.

That year of travel influenced my jewelry designs.  My travels influence the colors in particular--round onyx beads, rutilated quartz, pink tourmaline,” she enthuses. 

Nguyen’s designs are presentations of unadulterated femininity and zest.  For times when a woman wants something pretty but not overpowering her Blue Topaz Pendant Necklace is perfect.

The necklace highlights a single, clear Swiss blue topaz gently swaying from a waxed brown cotton cord accented with six square vermeil beads.  Of course to switch things up there is her dramatic Sterling Silver Three-Strand Multi-Gem Necklace statement necklace.

“I love creating custom jewelry pieces.  I love to take top quality gemstones pair them with sterling silver and 14-karat gold filled wire to produce jewelry pieces personal to a client.
Coin Pearl and Rhodolite Garnet Earrings

Wedding and bridal jewelry are a specialty. I work within any budget to create personal gifts to bridesmaid as well as bridesmaid jewelry.”
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