It was a little more than a year ago—just in time for JCK Tucson 2017—that Dana Bronfmanintroduced her first collection anchored by colored gemstones.

For a designer displaying her works in Tucson, I would guess that it’s not hard to be bitten by the gemstone bug—the lineup of shows are first and foremost known for their stones, after all. So it made sense that a new collection concentrating on gemstones would make its debut at JCK Tucson last year and this latest lineup would follow in 2018.

The designer, a fast favorite of yours truly, was already doing amazing work with metal: Her work with cutouts, textures, and sculpted shapes is instantly recognizable—Bronfman had found, and claimed, her signature style.

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure quartz earrings

Coin earrings in 18k yellow gold with 46.7 cts. t.w. rutilated quartz and 0.21 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,350

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure malachite pendant

Oculus bail necklace in 18k yellow gold with 51.6 ct. malachite, 0.74 ct. emerald, and 0.08 ct. diamond, $5,530

You’ll find those signature style elements—particularly Oculus, a style developed by the designer when she was a student in 2013 (the Hollow ring, now a mainstay, was her first prototype), which went on to influence and be the name of the first collection she debuted as a JCK Rising Star back in 2016—throughout much of the Earth Treasure collection.

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure quartz bracelet

Bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 2.2 ct. golden rutilated quartz and 0.82 ct. rose-cut black diamond, $2,190

This range of one-of-a-kind jewels features rich, earthy gemstones like turquoise, lapis lazuli, malachite, and rutilated quartz, as well as emerald, chrysoberyl, and rose-cut diamonds. Bronfman’s wizardry with metal serves each stone in just the right way: providing eye-catching, signature design elements, without distracting from the treasure at each center. Each piece has Bronfman’s stamp on it to be sure, and I think it shows a well-developed sense of who you are as a designer to be able to fuse your instantly recognizable aesthetic with powerful gemstones in a way that doesn’t clash or overwhelm.

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure turquoise earirngs

Oculus-back earrings in 18k yellow gold with 8.2 cts. t.w. Sleeping Beauty turquoise and 1.43 cts. t.w. black diamonds, $3,895

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure quartz ring

Ball band ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.5 ct. tourmalated quartz and 0.08 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,395

“After my bench-jeweler training, I loved the process of working with metal, and as a new designer, I felt it was important for me to create designs I could reproduce in order to set myself up to be able to scale,” says Bronfman, speaking of her original, pre-gemstone collections. “The gemstones I was attracted to most often had unique cuts or inclusions in interesting places, and I wouldn’t know how to find an identical one. I also knew very few gemstone dealers or cutters when I was starting out. But I really connected with metal and found the process of working with it so limitless, l could design freely. And, diamonds added an extra sparkle that really allowed the dimension of the designs to pop.”
When I asked Bronfman what it meant for her to be working with gemstones now, she told me: “After showing my collection at JCK Tuscon, I became exposed to a world of color, and I realized I was missing out! I started to meet gemstone dealers and discover stones, and all the possibilities for how to create with them blew my mind. Colors each have their own allure that make people feel something, and there is no explaining how powerful that is.”

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure chrysocolla pendant

Holly tube pendant in 18k yellow gold with chrysocolla, 0.74 ct. emerald, and 0.08 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,385

The designer had this to say about working with her favorite gemstones: “I love blue and green gemstones of all types, but if I had to pick one, I would have to say turquoise. It’s been my favorite gemstone since I was a little girl and fell in love with my grandmother’s collection of Native American jewelry. It also happens to be my birthstone, and I think the special magic it carries for me transfers into my designs. Since it’s an organic material, there are so many ways you can shape it, so it’s very fun to design with.”

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure emerald earrings

Chubby Oculus drop earrings in 18k yellow and white gold with 2.11 cts. t.w. Zambian emeralds and 0.29 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,570

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure lapis pendant

Coin pendant in 18k yellow gold with 92.5 ct. lapis lazuli–rutilated quartz doublet, 0.81 ct. yellow rose-cut diamond, and 0.12 ct. diamond, $7,380

Can we count on more, beautifully saturated gem styles to come from Bronfman? Surely we must—so long as she keeps finding gemstones that inspire. “I source my stones from gemstone dealers referred to me by friends in the industry,” she says. “Since I am not a trained gemologist and ethical sourcing is important to me, I only work with individuals whose character and quality I trust, so I can pass on that confidence to my customers.”

Dana Bronfman Earth Treasure chrysoberyl ring

Tapered Oculus band ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.21 ct. chrysoberyl and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,725

Top photo: Earth Treasure collection Coin banded ring in 18k yellow gold with 43 ct. lapis-rutilated quartz doublet and 0.15 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,570