Monday, December 24, 2012


18K Gold Crownwork Signet Rings with Sapphires,
Emeralds and Colorless Diamonds
Australia’s boisterous city Brisbane is a haven of commercial complexes, night spots and shopping centers.

Located in the Queensland state the city is also known for its natural splendors including the Lone Pine Koalo Sanctuary, the Portside Wharf, and the Brisbane Forest Park.

Australia is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Ray Griffiths.

Some jewelry designers are known for a signature item.  The basis of British jewelry designer Georgina Ettridge’s lyrical 9- and 18-karat gold jewelry collections, for instance, is the inspiring form of various leaves. 

Other jewelry designers are known for a signature design approach.  Take American jewelry designer Alexis Bittar who burst onto the scene pretty much singlehandedly transforming the face of mainstream jewelry with the implementation of sculpted Lucite.

The signature detail of Griffiths’ 18-karat gold and gemstone jewelry line is his beautiful grid-like patterns known as “crownwork”; a technique that “reflects my early training fabricating the intricate substructure of tiaras and crowns.”  Griffiths offsets his superlative metalwork with a literal who’s who of semi-precious and precious gemstones.

There is cabochon cut chrysoprase, green amethyst, blue topaz, moonstone and preternaturally blue turquoise!  Like many of his colleagues, Griffiths’ advent into jewelry making began with a close association to a “maker.”

“My father made shoes and I would spend my weekends assisting him.  Working with him helped to shape my fascination with craftsmanship and attention to detail,” recalls the New York-based jeweler.

18K Gold Crownwork Link Bracelet

“I had always told my dad I wanted to be a jeweler and when I was old enough he called one of his Army buddies who ran Dunklings—which is the best jewelry restoration house in Australia—and I started a five-year apprenticeship with a master jeweler.

I took a course in jewelry at Melbourne’s Collingwood Technical College.  Later down the road I took the head jeweler and designer position for one of Sydney’s premiere jewelry boutiques, ROX, where I stayed for 18 years.  In 1997, I decided to start my own design house and moved to New York.”

Inspired by the likes of style icons Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Griffiths’ aesthetic is alternately powerful and elegant.  For me, I love when I can see the investment of preparation and time translating in a designer’s work. 

When I can see the love of artisanship and his or her fascination with the building blocks of their rings, necklaces, drop earrings or cuff bracelets I feel like I see the designer’s heart.  That kind of passion truly sets their creations apart.

“Jewelry is something that takes a long time to get right.  Integrating technical skills into one’s own sense of style and design occurs over time.  Real jewelry isn’t seasonal, it’s evolutionary.”

18K Gold and Turquoise Strand Necklace
Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry on Facebook
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