All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

Edgar Allan Poe

In a realm where dreams flirt with reality, Dior keeps weaving tales of otherworldly glamour.

Christian Dior’s obsession with gardens was far more than just a game of aesthetics. These gardens were his muse, and this sylvan lullaby hasn’t escaped Victoire de Castellane, Dior Joaillerie’s Creative Director.

I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.

Vincent van Gogh

And here's where the dream deepens: among the 170 mesmeric pieces from the new collection Les Jardins De La Couture, Victoire takes the transcendent glow of mother of pearl, using it as a canvas for the artist’s ethereal and shimmering ambitions and ideas. Upon this, she sculpts stories in precious metals and gems with the finesse of a jeweler and the wild abandon of a dreamer.

These are floral memories, infused with the innocence of a child’s naïve doodles, happy and colorful, barely tethered to reality.

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde

Gems set at juxtaposed levels challenge the viewer’s perceptions, mirroring the unpredictable beauty of nature. The architectural motifs have edges, shadows, and abstract inklings, teasing the senses and smirking at tradition.

Many pieces in the collection include stones, some audaciously large, that can be detached, promising a different dare with every wear.

The wonderful portrait by Jacqueline Ostermann reflects the collection, like a dream at dawn.



My jewelry is screaming a message: "Please stop making flowers!"

Fabio Salini in an interview to The Jewelry Icon

In the hallowed halls of high jewelry, where ancient crafting techniques meet contemporary sensibilities, Fabio Salini stands as a defiant figure of modernist evolution. The Roman jeweler transcends his role, assuming the mantles of artist, philosopher and philanthropist, expertly blending traditional motifs with futuristic designs.

Born in Rome in 1973, Salini started his career in architecture, only to be irresistibly drawn to jewelry design. A change of career paths led him to construct not buildings, but wearable artefacts, bringing to the body his unique architectural insights.

Fabio Salini's approach to jewelry is as diverse as the city of Rome itself. He isn't limited to the usual gems and precious metals. His palette incorporates the unconventional, industrial elements and natural objects, such as carbon fiber, bamboo, leather, even straw, each adding a unique dimension to his creations.

If you don’t change the rules, if you don’t dare, you don’t bring anything new into the world.

Fabio Salini in an interview to Vogue

Salini's work has been showcased globally, signalling his transformative contributions to high jewelry.

The following pages offer an intimate glimpse into Fabio Salini's world. In the interview, we discussed with the maestro his inspirations, his creative process, and his philosophical stance on the role of jewelry in our lives.

Prepare to delve into the universe of Fabio Salini a journey that promises to challenge conventional perspectives and deepen your appreciation of contemporary jewelry.

The odyssey of style: a unique artistic journey

Before taking the path of self-discovery and innovation, Salini spent two years with Cartier, an epitome of minimalistic elegance, and seven years at Bulgari, a brand celebrated for its audacious, industrial-inspired design.

Navigating between these seemingly contrasting aesthetics, Salini started searching for his own distinctive style. But with the excitement of this journey came an equally challenging feat  to create a style that bore his own signature, transcending the influence of these jewelry titans.

I assure you that there's no academy where you could go to learn to be an artist or to make a work of art.

Lucio Fontana, from Lucio Fontana: Between Utopia and Kitsch by Anthony White

Fabio likened this process of sculpting his singular artistic identity to an unfolding series of subtle revolutions, redefining conventions, meticulously integrating classical elements with unapologetic innovation, one daring iteration at a time.

Every element Salini has introduced to his creations breathes symbolism and meaning into his work. A case in point is the innovative use of carbon fibre, a material borrowed from the masculine world of engineering, as a tribute to the resilience of the modern woman.

Femininity, he asserts, doesn't demand a garland of flowers. Jewelry reflect individuality, a silent whisper of self-expression rather than a noisy proclamation of stereotypes.

Tradition and innovation

Fabio Salini's creations challenge the conventions of jewelry-making.

Once valued for its inherent worth and status, gold in Salini's design becomes a purely aesthetic element. Its long-held structural importance is replaced by modern, industrially-sourced materials such as carbon fiber  a departure evident even in the small details of his jewelry such as hinges, traditionally crafted from gold or other precious metals.

This is no trivial experiment in materials, but a profound question posed by Salini to his audience: What truly constitutes the value of jewelry? Is it measured by the luster of gold or the sparkle of precious stones? Or does its worth go beyond the material, lying instead in the stories it tells, the emotions it provokes?

I have made a hole in the canvas in order to leave behind me the old pictorial formulae, the painting and the traditional view of art, and I have undertaken cosmic art.

Lucio Fontana, from Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untying 'the Knot' by Sharon Hecker and Marin R. Sullivan

In his Spatialism movement, Lucio Fontana  the Argentinian-Italian artist known for his radical approach to art  altered the sanctity of a canvas by creating incisions that imparted depth beyond the reach of mere paint, Salini redefines the normative constructs of his craft. Both artists, each in their unique way, ask us to question the customary and to see value where it's not traditionally sought.

Reflections of reality and digging deeper

During our interview, Fabio showed us his Mirror Earrings, a reflection of his artistic philosophy. "I want people to reflect on the real value of jewelry," he told us, holding the earrings up to the light. "The mirror is the door of imagination. It's a tool for viewing things differently."

His design encourages active engagement from the observer, a cerebral invitation to ponder over the unexpected form and unanticipated volume of these earrings.

I want people to reflect on the real value of jewelry. The mirror is the door of imagination, mirror of your soul – an instrument to see things in a different way.

Fabio Salini in an interview to The Jewelry Icon

Next, he revealed another expressive piece: the Spiral Earrings.

At first glance, they might be mistaken for drills, a deliberate nod to a traditionally masculine tool. The spiral, an age-old symbol connecting the earthly to the divine, hints at a deeper purpose. Salini explains his concept: the world should be less superficial, and by drilling deep within us, we discover our essential selves, just as we drill into the earth to find life-sustaining water.

At the pinnacle of these symbolic earrings, a solitary diamond sparkles  a drop of precious water, found only after diligent searching.

With each creation, Fabio implores us to delve beyond the surface, to seek out the significance that lies within the apparent. "You need to read the meaning of things," he insists, "not just take them superficially."

Jewelry as a form of art

His approach mirrors the spirit of modern art where value is derived not from tangible resources, but from an idea  an ephemeral yet powerful concept that lays the cornerstone of the piece.

In his quiet  and beautiful – rebellion, Fabio seeks to shift the paradigm of how we gauge a jewel's worth: to redefine the standards, where a piece's value is linked not to its glittering gold or dazzling diamonds, but to the emotions it arouses and the stories it tells.

I want to give my work a more noble destination, which is not only for the wealthy, the happy few. I want to be useful for less well-off people.

Fabio Salini in an interview to The Jewelry Icon

Art, in its purest form, is an inter-dimensional gateway, a rule-breaker. And Fabio challenges: why should jewelry not follow suit?

Each piece is a journey, a discourse that evolves from conception to completion over a span of three to six months. It's a testament to patience, relentless thinking, and the spirit of exploration.

Occasionally, ideas fail to materialize, and he must abandon a particular direction  a humbling reminder of the iterative nature of creation. But each perceived failure only amplifies the vociferous message his creations carry: "Please stop making flowers!"

Fabio's work is a plea for the world of jewelry to shed the floral clichés, and embrace innovation, concept, and depth of meaning.

From ancient amulets to modern adornments

Since time immemorial, jewelry has emerged as potent amulets imbued with healing and wisdom. These ancient artifacts, often crafted from the formidable teeth of hunted animals, were not everyday adornments for the masses. Instead, they served as exclusive symbols of authority and spirituality, worn by tribal leaders and shamans.

Salini, however, strives to redefine this traditional perspective, imparting a modern resonance to his pieces. He envisions jewelry not just as a symbol of affluence or a spiritual talisman, but as an empowering adornment for the modern, strong and resilient woman.

Path forward

As Salini enters a new decade of life, he has begun reflecting on the noble purpose his work can serve beyond gracing the privileged few.

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, Salini's humanitarian instincts have stirred him to donate 53 pieces for charity, further strengthening his resolve to make his art more accessible.

I turned myself into an entrepreneur, which is the last thing I want.

Fabio Salini in an interview to The Jewelry Icon

As we speak, Fabio tells us about his desire to nourish his soul and give back to society, to educate and inspire others through his craft.

While he continues to build on his entrepreneurial journey a role he admits was never his dream Salini is working on a book, hopefully to be published next year.

The end of the chapter and the start of a new one

Fabio Salini is a creative force that constantly questions, probes, and challenges the status quo. With his pieces, he provokes introspection and reflection among the viewers and collectors, and perhaps more radically, ushers them toward transformation.

The artist may shout from the rooftops that he is a genius: he will have to wait for the verdict of posterity.

Gustav Metzger, from Gustav Metzger: In Memoriam by Mathieu Copeland

Depart from the familiar comfort of a dainty adornment, the customary amulet, or the sentimental trinket gifted by a loved one. Prepare instead to encounter a potent manifestation of yourself, boldly expressed through a masterwork that stands as an unflinching declaration of art.

We stand on the brink of a new epoch in contemporary art, a fresh paradigm where jewelry is no longer just an accessory but a concept, an art form, a statement.



The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.

Auguste Rodin

In an interview with The Jewelry Icon, Roman jeweler Fabio Salini exclaimed: "Stop making flowers!" But really, how many flowers can the world of artistry produce?

Salini is at this point in another galaxy, on a quest for unprecedented jewelry innovations, but the allure of flowers, their timeless beauty, remains irrefutable.

Richard Wu’s latest masterpiece, Magnolia Earrings, a luminous blend of art and craftsmanship, capture the essence of spring itself. Centered with diamonds that sparkle like morning dew, their gradient hues shift from softest pink to deep purple.  Light enough for everyday wear, these floral earrings embody elegance and simplicity, merging comfort with luxury.

Black is not as good as purple.

Ralph Lauren

Founded in 2019, Wu Jewelry is a brand and a philosophy. "Nothing is art if it does not come from Nature," Wu muses. This ethos is evident in each creation that leaves his studio.

With a rich history steeped in the meticulous world of Chinese jade carving and the refined techniques of Italian goldsmithing, Wu has crafted a niche for himself. In his creations, the dualities of East and West, ancient wisdom and contemporary design harmonize and balance each other.

Yet, perfection isn't always the goal. Sometimes, it's about capturing the raw, untamed beauty of nature. And while Wu's magnolia earrings edge close to perfection, there's an intentional retreat from it, a nod to the imperfections inherent in all things natural.

Purple does something strange to me.

Charles Bukowski

Adding depth to this narrative is the surrealist touch of Haeji Min, a Seoul-born artist, who now divides her time between London and her home city. Her idiosyncratic, uniquely reimagined anatomical characters oscillate between futuristic technological forms and natural beings, receiving accolades in exhibitions all over the world.

Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye... it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.

Edvard Munch

In a world that’s in constant flux, artists like Richard Wu, Haeji Min and Jacqueline Ostermann (another amazing portrait within this article) remind us of the enduring power of nature, the ageless appeal of flowers, and the magic that can happen when traditional artistry meets contemporary vision.



Art must take reality by surprise.

Françoise Sagan.

The world of high-end fashion and jewelry can sometimes feel like it's a bit stuck up. But someone is finally shaking things up, adding a delicious dash of humor and style, while still keeping it classy.

Our hero? None other than James Taffin de Givenchy, with his zesty pair of earclips that scream fun and sophisticated, in the same breath.

James, the dashing nephew of the legendary Hubert de Givenchy, chose to escape the big shadow of his family name in the 1980s. In the bustling cityscape of New York, he twirled in the world of modern dance, dabbled in fine arts, sketched in graphic design, and unexpectedly landed a gig at the posh auction house, Christie's. This string of happy accidents finally led him to create his own brand in 1996.

Imagine the perfect cocktail of wild creativity and cool intellect, dynamic style with a rainbow of colors, a bold attitude with a playful wink. James' passion for his craft shines through every piece he creates, each stone carefully cradled in a perfect frame, making it look quirky, special, or ultra-futuristic.

Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

Taffin's creations are a feast for the eyes and fun to wear; it’s as if a fine art museum and a whimsical boutique had a baby!

Enter the latest showstoppers from Taffin's studio: these sprightly earclips in earthy, warm wood, entwined with smooth, colorful lacquer, have a geometric vibe, which makes them playful, yet effortlessly cool.

Depending on how you squint at them, the earclips might look like bandages, or a fresh twist on a classic design. But let's be honest, no matter what you see, they demand attention.

So whether you're gushing over them or scratching your head in wonder, there's no denying that James Taffin de Givenchy has once again managed to bring his signature touch of joy, intrigue, and whimsy to everyday objects.

Now that's what we call true artistry!

Wonderful paintings by Jacqueline Ostermann.



Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

Gorgeous jewelry puts a spring into your step and sparkle into your eyes.

The Munich-based jewelry powerhouse, Hemmerle, understands this perfectly, creating pieces that stand out as paragons of elegance, such as these earrings, blending an intense hue of deep pink with a much softer undertone.

Great minds think alike, and Hemmerle – which traces its lineage back to 1893 – time and time again demonstrates the profound wisdom of the concept of simplicity, iterated by eminent philosophers, scientists and artists:

“Keep it simple, stupid,” or “KISS”.

Acronym attributed to Kelly Johnson, American aeronautical and systems engineer

"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things,” said Isaac Newton.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures,” said Lao Tzu.

“The greatest ideas are the simplest,” believed William Golding.

Perfect beauty is in perfect simplicity, chimes in Hemmerle, through the facets of their stunning earrings.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.


Rather than the flamboyance of excessive ornamentation or a cacophony of colors, they have a dignified poise, with classic shapes and hues.

Тhe earrings themselves are a study in the elegance of simplicity. Their solid shape, infused with cheery color and the fruity transparency of a fragrant candy, prompts memories of youth and joyous summer days.

Adorned with such sophisticated beauty, your day can't help but be just as sweet.

Portrait by Chris Gambrell.



Design is not for philosophy – it's for life.

Issey Miyake, Japanese fashion designer

Giampiero Bodino does not believe in half measures. His designs are bold, daring, luxurious and inspired by the vibrant culture of his beloved Italy.

This passion, which sparked under the guidance of the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro – a famous Italian automotive designer who had previously worked both on supercars and on everyday vehicles such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW and Volkswagen – has propelled Giampiero to the forefront of the luxury world and pushed him to develop a deep understanding of the importance of form and function.

The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.

Alberto Giacometti, Swiss sculptor and painter

Each Giampiero Bodino piece is a statement of love for the beauty of three-dimensional volumes and shapes that he discovered during his early years designing cars.  The allure of jewelry led him next to Rome where he lent his talent to none other than Gianni Bulgari – a member of the Bulgari's family of jewelers, who led the eponymous brand from the 1960s to 1980s.

Ten years later, Bodino found a mentor in Franco Cologni, a collector, philanthropist and luminary in the luxury world, and followed him to Milan to open his first studio for the creation of jewelry, watches, and accessories. Bodino's appointment as Art Director for Richemont Group in 2002 marked a turning point in his career.

With almost three decades of experience in jewelry design, Bodino now presides over his own High Jewellery Maison, a venture that took off in 2011 with the backing of Richemont – a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company.

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.

Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer

An intimate fusion of modern sensibilities and Italian culture, the Maison is the tangible embodiment of Bodino's creative vision.

Nestled in a serene corner of Milan is a magnificent 1930s building, the Villa Mozart. With marble floors, grand columns, an idyllic garden and artistic atmosphere, it mirrors the artist's opulent creations. Here, clients are privy to the personal touch that Bodino insists on, producing for each the perfect jewelry piece.

Bodino's jewelry is vibrant with life and color, seamlessly blending past and present. With every piece that leaves the Maison, Bodino aims to create contemporary and artistic high jewelry with an Italian heart. His vision to deliver a more personal, experiential form of luxury to his clients aligns with the emerging trends in the high jewelry world.

Geometry is the right foundation of all painting.

Albrecht Durer, German painter and printmaker

The role of geometry in art has been fundamental and transformative, becoming the cornerstone of various artistic movements and schools, from the rigid lines of Bauhaus to the nebulous forms of Abstract Expressionism. Currently, the art world is witnessing a significant resurgence of geometry, creating a rich tapestry of works that explore shapes, lines, and forms.

Jewellery plays a substantial role in this geometric renaissance. Giampiero Bodino has leveraged the timeless allure of these principles to create ornaments that push the boundaries of traditional aesthetics.

Exemplifying modern glamour with a touch of the ancient, the Green Mosaico Cuff by Giampiero Bodino stands out with their audacious, geometric and rhythmic patterns, echoing Byzantine mosaics imbued with a 21st-century flair.

The chromatic juxtaposition of effervescent, electric green chrysoprase with the luscious, violet undertones of sapphires creates a visual spectacle as arresting as it is enchanting.

I think you should wear jewels in a more modern way. You can wear them with an haute couture dress but at the same time I have nothing against the idea of wearing an absolutely amazing jewel with a white t-shirt. I think it's very simpatico.

Giampiero Bodino in an interview to The Jewelry Editor

Every masterpiece tells a story, and Bodino is a master storyteller. He weaves narratives around Italian heritage, combining elements from both the past and the future, the traditional and the contemporary. In his collections, you can find everything from bold necklaces that echo the grandeur of Italian Baroque, to subtle yet striking pieces inspired by the mosaics of Ancient Rome.

Bodino believes in modernity and adaptability, even in the context of high jewellery. He envisions his pieces worn not only with haute couture dresses but also with something as casual as a white t-shirt. In his world, an exquisite jewel is not restricted to formal occasions but can become a part of one's everyday life.



I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

When one imagines a pearl necklace, binary code is not the first thing that springs to mind. Yet that is exactly what Nomis has done.

The combination of perfect black pearls sourced from the sun-kissed waters of Tahiti and a cross pendant is no coincidence – it represents the timeless juxtaposition of light and darkness, the triumph of good over evil. The pearls, aligned in a binary sequence that spells out the word ‘freedom’, are a reminder that, even in the darkest times, freedom will return.

Attached to the necklace are transformable Nomis earrings, echoing the shape of human ears or replicating the contour of lungs, depending on how they are worn: as earrings, close to your rational brain, or as a pendant, close to your emotional heart. The necklace is also adorned with Nomis's newest pearl ear pins, enriching the design with an added layer of versatility.

You can style it all yourself. And, for our part, we try to do everything to make sure that people can play around with our jewelry in all the ways they want.

Alyona Kiperman in an interview to The Jewelry Icon

Through her art, Alyona Kiperman, the visionary behind Nomis, aims to create a dialogue between jewelry and its wearer, empowering us to externalize our inner narratives.

The essence of Nomis jewelry is modularity and transformability. Everything can be combined, screwed together, or unscrewed. A single ring can transform into a brooch, a pendant, or a cuff. It is high jewelry for the free, creative, and inquisitive, where you become your own designer and stylist. 

This avant-garde approach has culminated in the brand becoming a finalist in the Pearls Category of the esteemed COUTURE Design Awards, a distinction that speaks volumes in an industry where the new is often met with scepticism.

A different language is a different vision of life.

Federico Fellini

Nomis echoes the spirit of the 21st century. The world is evolving, and with it, the realms of what is possible. In this ever-shifting landscape, Nomis’s jewelry stands as an affirmation to those who never stop asking questions.

The ink is still wet and the story is unfolding. And, as readers and admirers, we are invited to partake in this journey, challenging our preconceptions and enriching our senses.

The necklace in the image says ‘freedom’, but you can also order customised necklaces, with a message of your own choosing, spelled out in a binary code.

So what message to the world - and to yourself - would you want crafted in the language of pearls, beauty and Nomis?

Wonderful portrait by Jacqueline Ostermann.



Making new pieces is probably the hardest thing. I’m not looking to make new things specifically, I’m trying not to repeat myself. If I see myself getting lazy and falling in a direction that would be the easy one, I abandon it and I try something new.

James Taffin de Givenchy in an interview to Natural Diamonds

Spikes of Enchantment

Taffin's Magnetic Luck Earrings showcase modern elegance with their magnet-inspired, spikey silhouette.

With a design that epitomizes minimalist charm, the earrings capture Taffin's commitment to sleek lines and luscious colors. The clean and streamlined silhouette, with its soft lilac color, makes the little diamond spikes seem even more feminine and mellow, effortlessly complementing a range of styles, from casual chic to refined glamour.

While the Magnetic Luck Earrings do not incorporate actual magnets, their aura intrigues and attracts, testament to Taffin's ability to derive inspiration from unexpected sources and translate them into wearable art.

Making jewelry is very close to architecture. Every piece is a puzzle to be solved.

James Taffin de Givenchy in an interview to The Wall Street Journal

Power of Magnets

Long ago, people stumbled upon curious rocks they called lodestones. These unique minerals, made of magnetite, had a remarkable ability to attract iron objects, unveiling nature's hidden forces.

Magnets express their dual personalities through their poles, revealing the enchanting choreography of attraction and repulsion. The Earth itself conceals a magnetic heart within its vast depths:  invisible threads of magnetic fields weave their intricate tapestry, creating ethereal patterns that dance to the rhythm of the planet’s magnetic pulse, guiding the compass's needle that has, for many centuries, aided mariners and adventurers on their travels.

Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.

Max Frisch

Temporary and timeless

Temporary magnets possess magnetism for only a limited duration. Soft magnetic materials like iron, nickel, and cobalt can be magnetized readily, but swiftly lose their magnetism once the magnetic field is removed.

Yet, the true marvel lies in permanent magnets, yielding neither to the passage of time, nor the ebb of magnetic fields. Made from ferromagnetic materials like iron and cobalt, they maintain their magnetic properties and exhibit a consistent magnetic field over extended periods without the need for external power.

Be the forever gorgeous magnet, attracting admiring glances and marvelling whispers, with Taffin's Magnetic Luck Earrings!

Wonderful portrait by Jacqueline Ostermann.



The idea hovered and shimmered delicately, like a soap bubble, and she dared not even look at it directly in case it burst. But she was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.

Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

His artistry goes beyond jewelry. It is a harmony of dreams, the symphony of passions, and an alchemy of elements, woven into wearable tales that capture the essence of the human spirit and echo the myriad hues of life and nature.

Nicholas Varney's creative journey is as dazzling as the pieces he creates.

In his early 20s, as a professional baseball player, Nicholas tasted every boy’s fantasy, but within him, the creative embers of design were kindling.

Design runs through Nicholas’ veins. His mother, Suzanne, was an eminent textile designer, while his father, Carleton Varney, a celebrated interior designer, lent his magic touch to White House interiors during the Carter, Clinton, and Bush administrations, Nicholas’ artistic genes were evident.

I try different things. If they work, they work. If not, I'll toss it aside and try something else.

Nicholas Varney in an interview to Palm Beach Daily News

At the age of 23, Nicholas made a life-altering choice, enrolling at the Gemological Institute of America's school in Italy. After graduation, wanderlust took him around the globe, soaking in inspiration for his future masterpieces.

Today, Nicholas, together with his wife Victoria and son Bowie, is planting both business and familial roots in Palm Beach. This idyllic and colorful location aligns with his zest for sunshine, surfing, and serenity.

Nicholas Varney has carved out a distinguished space in the jewelry industry. Among his achievements, he was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America, named by Forbes as one of the “Five Jewelers Working Today That You Will Be Collecting Tomorrow”, and was the spotlighted designer at the Carnegie Museum's Gem and Mineral exhibit. Besides, he holds the distinction of being the only American featured in Juliet Weir de la Rochefoucauld’s book 21st Century Jewelry Designers: An Inspired Style.

The two stones that I use most are natural pearls and agate (I would consider those to be non-traditional). They appear in the vast majority of my recent work. We also work with chicken eggshells that I source from my own chickens on my farm in Dutchess County, New York.

Nicholas Varney in an interview with Naples Illustrated

The uniqueness of Nicholas Varney's creations is spellbinding, blending traditional materials with unconventional ones like eggshells from brown eggs laid by the Rhode Island Red hens at his farm in New York.

Having honed his artistic inclinations through drawing, Nicholas has evolved into a masterful creator, blending sophistication with a touch of whimsy. Nature, in its raw beauty, and the art of juxtaposition serve as the cornerstones of his inspiration.

Where art and soul meld, a transcendent bond is created, which goes far beyond the material.

The whimsical, bubbly, borderline awkward shapes and warm colors of Nicholas Varney's diamond and pearl earrings feel close to nature, resonating with his idea that jewelry is the most expressive ornament a woman can wear.

Beautiful portrait by Jacqueline Ostermann.



A jeweller with an unquenchable thirst for color and innovation has made a name for himself with his vivid and exuberant designs.

Jose Marín, a Titanium Goldsmith from Valencia, Spain, infuses radiant vitality into each of his pieces, drawing inspiration from nature, the Mediterranean, and the rich tapestry of life experiences that have led him to embrace a unique confluence of metals in his creative work.

The Earrings That Echo Paradise

The Fire Bells Flower Earrings from Jose Marín's Beautiful Nature Collection, crafted with a blend of titanium, gold, silver, and tsavorites, exhibit a wild and whimsical charm, reminiscent of cheerful, astonishing and charming Tahitian women, surrounded by curious toucans.

I am inspired by nature. I collect twigs, dry leaves, seeds, and everything that attracts my attention because of its outer appearance and texture. Then, I leave them on tables until an idea strikes.

Jose Marín

Like tiny talismans, resembling the sensuous, expressive and evocative paintings of Paul Gauguin, they are nestled into the earlobe, defying convention and embracing the free spirit of nature.

Exploring the Metals: Titanium and Timascus

Jose Marín's fascination with titanium and Timascus (Titanium Damascus) sets him apart from other goldsmiths. The former, a silver-grey metal as robust as steel yet as lightweight as aluminium, features in most of Marín's pieces.

For me, working with titanium was the biggest challenge I could ever face. My work with titanium combines several different techniques. There was no literature about them, so I had to learn how to give it volume, to join, engrave, cut, combine with other metals, and finally, color it myself. I think I have developed something unique.

Jose Marín in an interview to Art Jewelry Forum

His innovative use of titanium, Marin’s signature metal, owes its vibrancy to the process of electrolytic anodizing. By submerging the pieces in liquid and applying high voltage electricity, Jose achieves a rich palette of colors, including yellows, lilacs, blues, and greens, without using dyes or pigments.

Timascus, on the other hand, is a novel material and testament to Marín's continuing exploration of techniques old and new.

This harmonious fusion only adds to the mesmerizing allure of his creations.

Legacy and Education

Born into a family of goldsmiths, Marín's fascination with jewelry-making was nurtured as a child, playing in his father's workshop amongst pieces created in traditional Valencian style by his father, his first mentor. Further guided by the expertise of Pascua Auñón, his first employer, and a formal education at the School of Art and Design in Valencia, Marín's skills and passion for jewelry design flourished.

Beyond his training, Marín's profound passion for his art and craft has been recognized over and over again. The string of awards that his work has received - from his first Youngest Designer Award in 1989 at the Valencia International Jewellery Awards, to his latest Exhibition and auction at Christie’s Paris in 2022 - stands as a testament to his enduring craftsmanship and creativity.

His work, represented by the Seconpetale Gallery, was also featured at the 2022 PAD Paris, Art and Design Fair.

Marvelous Craftsmanship

However, what truly sets Marín apart is not just his skill or creative use of metals and stones, but his vision of jewelry as an expression of the vibrant world around him.

I think it’s my Mediterranean character. I love color, and anodized titanium has a chromatic range that I can choose from for each piece. Gold and gems help me turn my jewelry into what I call “High Contemporary Jewelry.”

Jose Marín in an interview to Art Jewelry Forum

Marin’s pieces, whether anodized titanium set with diamonds and precious stones or intricate designs inspired by natural elements, are the embodiment of his love for the colors and sensuality of the Mediterranean.

In an age of mechanical detachment, Marín's romance with the hammer and anvil is the stuff of legend. Fellow goldsmiths marvel at his work, knowing well the fiery temperament of titanium. With a seasoned hammer and unbridled imagination, Jose Marin ventures where few dare.

Through intuitive wizardry, Marín sculpts titanium into voluminous forms, etches tales upon its skin, and waltzes with it through rainbows of color. All with his hands, his hammer, and his heart.

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