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Why We Use Gemstones in Our Fine Jewelry Design

If you follow us over on Instagram, then you may have seen that Cody and I recently went to the Tucson Gem Show. Since my introduction to gemology almost a decade ago, I’ve been obsessed with the beauty and stories of gems and over the past years have incorporated them more and more into my designs. Today I thought I’d dive into why it’s so special for me to use gemstones in our jewelry pieces.

Blue and teal Montana Sapphire, perfect as center stones in an engagement ring.

A magical 2.4ct post-consumer recycled yellow diamond. This one is just begging to be a dreamy solitaire!


When we think of fine jewelry, it’s easy to get stuck in a place where diamonds are the only stones considered, and while I love a nice diamond as much as the next person, the truth of the matter is that it can be hard sometimes to uncover mined diamonds that have a clean, transparent provenance. Unless we're working with post-consumer recycled diamonds (which is my preference when I do use diamonds), it's very hard to see the full supply chain. Being able to think outside of the diamond box gives us a world of opportunities (and color!) to use sustainably sourced stones that hold both financial and emotional value. When sourcing gems, I look for Montana Sapphires, Australian Opals, and anything from the Moyo Gems Project, all of which are sourced from miners who are held to the strictest ethical and environmental standards. 

Sourcing the perfect color and shaped gemstones from one of my ethical gem partners. 


A core design ethos here at Dear Survivor is to create with longevity and intention. With this in mind, genuine gemstones are a wonderful resource for creating pieces that will stand the test of time. Sapphires and rubies are second to diamonds in their hardness, meaning they are able to withstand everyday wear and tear, and their vibrant colors will never fade, making them a great investment. Gems like opals and pearls are on the softer side of gems, but with a thoughtful setting that protects the gem, these natural beauties will maintain their visual splendor for a lifetime and beyond. 

A colorful array of zircon and sapphires. 

Australian black boulder opals! One of the most expensive gemstones on the market. 



A lot of Dear Survivor pieces are hand-sculpted and one-of-a-kind. Like our designs, gemstones are organically formed in nature, making each one completely unique. When I create a new piece using gemstones, it almost feels like the ultimate collaboration with Mother Nature. I’m able to design fine heirloom rings using a riot of colors, create truly iconic engagement and special occasion pieces infused with symbolism, and play with fun details that make your Dear Survivor jewelry truly stand out.

Organically formed pastel ring featuring a bubble gum pink California tourmaline, an antique diamond, and three purple/blue Sri Lankan sapphires. 

Ethically sourced minty green Ethiopian emeralds! Would be so beautiful to see these in a monochrome cluster design. 


And last but not least - COLOR! We love gemstones because of their beautiful, natural colors. I believe that jewelry should be an expression of yourself, and something that brings you joy when you see it (especially rings which you see constantly). Color has a way of speaking to us. It can remind us of places and objects, and evokes feelings of nostalgia and joy. One of my favorite things to do as a designer is to sit down with a client and watch them pick out their favorite colored gemstones, because color is so personal. A recent client picked out a gemscape of burnt orange tourmaline, blue sapphire, champagne diamond, and peachy sunstone. It was so beautiful and so unique to her! 

An example of a custom client's gemscapes. Which will she pick?!

Dreamy tourmaline cabochons! 


If you’re interested in seeing what magic we can create for you, check out our Custom Design page and contact us for a free consultation.

Use coupon code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order.


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