by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection
This past summer my husband and I were walking off our Hobnob lunch by causally window shopping in the Perimeter Place development. The skies unexpectedly opened and POURED rain, so we dashed into Jewelry Artisans for cover. Neither of us had ever been there. I am typically a more costume jewelry kind of gal, but I happened to be in the market for a new wedding ring. You see….my maternal grandmother passed down rheumatoid arthritis to me. Now, like her, my knuckles are getting bigger with age. I woke up in pain one morning in late March from a dream about my rings cutting off my circulation. I got out of bed and begged my son to cut off my engagement ring with wire cutters! He ever so carefully obliged and I put the pieces of my diamond solitaire ring in a safe place and continued to wait out Covid in quarantine.
A few months later as we are gazing around Jewelry Artisans waiting out the storm, my simple gold band was getting tighter by the minute, so we started asking questions. Can you cut off my wedding band? Can you remake my ring? Can you take gems from other family heirloom jewelry and combine it to make a new customized ring? Can it be white gold and yellow gold? Do you have examples I can see? The answers were all YES, BUT we needed to make an appointment with Beatriz. AND I needed to clean out my jewelry box and bring any unwanted gold and silver jewelry.
Two days later I’m back and in Beatriz’ office. What a doll. She is just such a lovely human. She started her career as an Architect in Colombia, is now a Gemologist and Fine Jewelry Artist, and is also the author of Beebush,Entre Dos Mundos (Between Two Worlds). And, she’s a GREAT listener.
She went through every single piece of jewelry I brought with me to determine which was real gold and silver and what was fake. She then weighed the good stuff and put the amount as a “credit” to me. I was shocked at the value of the gold and the credit made a HUGE difference with my budget. We then chatted for awhile about how I wanted to use diamonds and gold from my engagement ring, my mother and great great grandmother’s wedding bands, a ring my in-laws had given me plus all the gold from my original wedding ring. I loved the idea of creating a custom design made from family heirlooms and really really wanted to make sure the gold I was married with stayed part of my wedding ring forever. I like to cook, clean, type and garden so am constantly using my hands and wanted a flat design.
Beatriz listened intently and taught me a few jewelry terms like bezel set, halo, vintage and two-tone. Then sent me home to do homework. I google image searched all the terms she taught me and sent her pictures of about 10 rings. Then I went back to visit her, and she started flawlessly sketching designs for me. Her penmanship and artistry are astonishing. I have never witnessed anything like it.
A few days later she had magically turned those sketches into renderings and a video of my future ring. She made a few adjustments based on my input until it was exactly what I fancied. A week or so later I was asked to come in and try on a 3D printed plastic version of the ring to make sure it fit. Then about two weeks later I picked up my dream ring! I love it and I can take it on and off without wire cutters! I find myself staring at it all the time. It is my shiny little piece of family history. Beatriz is an amazing listener. She demonstrated extraordinary talent by taking my words and examples and putting them together to create a design that I find to be perfection.
Along the way during my visits to see Beatriz I met fellow Dunwoodian, Jamie Kresl. He is the owner of Jewelry Artisans and Beatriz has worked with him for 17 years. Jewelry Artisans is family owned and operated since 1973 and has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s premier custom jewelers. Jamie firmly believes in giving back and has always supported local schools. Whether it is a simple solder, a cleaning, an extensive restoration, a watch repair, pearl restringing, or appraisal, Jamie and his staff will treat all your jewelry with the utmost level of care. They even sang happy birthday to me when I walked in on my birthday for an appointment and I had no idea they even knew it was my birthday!
You really should go visit. You will be mesmerized by the vast selection of hand-crafted creations. Not only can they design from scratch a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, but they can also help you find what you’re looking for from one of the world-class jewelry companies they work with. JA’s expert staff treats everyone like family and treats every question with care and expertise. And guess what…? They are having a HUGE sale! Covid has been a hard year for everyone…. they have extra inventory and are offering discounts up to 60% on beautiful jewelry. Jamie says it is a BIG DEAL because they do not typically offer sales over 10%. Go. Really. But grab your unwanted gold and silver jewelry first.
Check out this gallery of photos of another person’s process for creating a custom ring with Beatriz.