To be drawn to shiny objects, you do not have to be a “jewellery person.” It is human nature, according to scientists.
We’ve always sought refuge in this precious metal in times of need, so it’s no surprise that jewellery designers and museum curators are in high demand.
Throughout history, when times were tough, people turned to this yellow precious metal. So, with inflation, multiple democracies in crisis, and the lingering effects of a pandemic, it is not surprising that there appears to be a modern-day gold rush.
According to one theory, our prehistoric ancestors developed this attraction while searching for water sources in the wilderness.
When we see the flash of metal or the flicker of diamonds today, it reminds us of the sparkle of a drinking pool in sunlight. In response, we move toward it.
“Gold provides reassurance in these troubled times.” It’s forever been a place of refuge, and storing is an approach to managing tension. “Another manifestation of this anxiety is the purchase of bijoux.
Last year, management consultants Bain & Company estimated global jewellery sales at 22 billion euros (about $23.2 billion), a shopping trend that has benefited several gold designers.
“You can work more accurately and precisely with gold,” said Mr. Flynn, a well-known jeweller and metalsmith from High Falls, New York. “Gold in America: Artistry, Memory, Power,” an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Conn., features a one-of-a-kind 18-karat gold beaker, a sort of minimalist chalice he made in 1990.
“Learning the material is similar to a baker learning how to work with bread dough; it becomes second nature after a while.” That’s one of the reasons gold is so easy to work with.
Mr. Flynn’s 44-year jewellery career has included hand-fabricating rustic bracelets, rings, and pendants in metals such as steel, iron, and silver, and frequently pairing them with diamonds for contrast.
However, his techniques reflect a particular fondness for gold, which stems from the ease with which it responds to manipulation and its resistance to tarnishing over time.
Loren Teetelli, who founded Loren Nicole in 2016 (prices range from $1,500 to $500,000), sees gold as a portal to ancient civilizations — a constant source of inspiration for her work, which she creates by hand in her Los Angeles studio. She has gained considerable attention in the jewellery world in recent years after a brief career in archaeology and plans to launch her latest collection at Bergdorf Goodman this fall.
She attributes some of her success to her use of 22-karat gold, which contains more precious metal than the more common 18-karat or 14-karat gold.
Ms. Teetelli’s work has been portrayed as “bound to old folklores and old procedures,” including granulation, pursuing, and repoussé, as well as a pounded surface from the Roman period, which has become one of her most conspicuous marks.
According to Ms. Teetelli, the colour of 22-karat gold is also distinctive — rich, warm, and gorgeous. “And it looks fantastic on so many different people,” she added. “We just had a trunk show this weekend, and one of the sales associates said that high-karat gold makes everyone look tanned.”
“My designs would not exist without these histories,” she explained. “I see it as a way to honour and celebrate the history of gold work and goldsmithing.”
I’m personalising it by reinventing some techniques and making them more modern and wearable. And I like the idea of preserving history for future generations.”
Melanie Eddy, a British designer, echoed these sentiments. “Working with gold is almost primordial,” she explained over the phone from her studio at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London’s Clerkenwell neighbourhood. “You’re tracing your ancestors’ work in gold back thousands and thousands of years.”
Ms. Eddy, who is originally from Bermuda, has a graduate degree in jewellery design from Central St. Martins, where she has also worked as an instructor, and has been designing fine jewellery for 15 years. (Prices range between $500 and $40,000.) “You must respect the material,” she explained. “It has a legacy to it.” I also believe that because it is costly, you should not be frivolous with it.”
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