Fine jewelry should mean something when it is given. A diamond ring or a sapphire necklace might signify an engagement, an anniversary, or a perfect Wednesday morning, but it marks an occasion. The jewelry should also mean something to the designer who creates it. Knowing what inspires a jewelry designer may speak to you. It can certainly make you take a second look at the jewelry. Explore the inspiration behind several diverse jewelry designers and their stunning lines.

Whimsy at Parker Edmond

sapphire and diamond ring by Parker Edmond

At Parker Edmond, both the curated pieces and the in-house collections have an eye toward whimsy. They’re also crafted with longevity in mind. The brand’s main philosophy revolves around the timelessness of jewelry. Believing that finely crafted jewelry symbolizes the love and affection between giver and receiver, Parker Edmond offers memories, mementos for milestones, and heirlooms. The piece of jewelry you buy from Parker Edmond is something that you can pass down through the generations. In essence, you get to secure a place in your family’s future history while memorializing an occasion that you never want to forget.

Vintage Inspired Edge with Thea Miller

If an edgy aesthetic is right up your alley, then the jewelry of Thea Miller will appeal to you. Her pieces are opulent, but her collection has a central theme. She reinterprets styles popularized throughout history, giving them a modern twist that’s indelibly stamped by her own experiences. Everything is just extra enough, such as her dog tags decorated with diamond studs and the spiritual meanings behind her cross and dagger charms (they offer hope and protection, respectively). Her Conservatory Ring collection is easily her most popular. The rings are inspired by the poison lockets and rings from medieval times, which have fallen back into favor at different points throughout history.

Jen Hansen Looks for Inner Beauty

a curvy diamond and gold cuff by Jen Hansen

For jewelry designer Jen Hansen, a woman’s natural beauty—the beauty that lies inside—is the core inspiration for almost all of her earrings, necklaces, and rings. Her knowledge that every single woman is beautiful finds its way into every piece, resulting in distinctly feminine items that, in total, are as diverse as women themselves.

She’s a lover of nature, as well, and draws inspiration for her color palettes by what she sees outdoors. Water plays a significant role in her design process. One collection came to fruition at a cabin by the lake in Minnesota. Another came to the designer as she spent her time at a beach on the West Coast.

The Russian Influence of Petr Axenoff

Lilac Fairy earrings by Petr Axenoff

Say what you will, but throughout history, Russian culture has been synonymous with decadence, drama, and excess. In terms of art, literature, music, and theater, the combination not only works but is practically essential. From a young age, Petr Axenoff was positively beguiled by Russian artists and productions. Tchaikovsky’s music made his heart soar. Russian literature sent his imagination into flights of fantasy. He was particularly inspired by the Russian ballet, namely the costumes.

Traces of his loves are in every piece handcrafted by Axenoff. Having learned the traditions of the trade, he now makes exquisite jewelry worthy of Russian royalty. He’s lately had luck with a collection devoted to Russian fairy tales. From the metalwork to the hand-painted designs and delicate filigree, his jewelry designs are worth every sizable penny.

Elie Top Tempts with the Baroque

If the name Elie Top seems familiar to you, it’s probably because the French designer has worked with Lanvin, Loulou de la Falaise, and Yves Saint Laurent, among others. While his heart lies in couture, he strives to bring a more modern edge to his jewelry. His pieces straddle the line between the present day and the Baroque period, resulting in one-of-a-kind puzzle pieces that make a statement about the bourgeoisie. No matter how fancy or valuable the gemstones and gold work, for example, you’re still likely to find that your pendant or chunky ring isn’t quite what it seems to be at first glance.

Alta Ora and Abstraction

Anything new in the jewelry world tends to stand out from everything else. That’s the case with Natalia. Her line, Alta Ora, features abstract, geometric shapes and bold curves. Her jewelry reflects her experiences as a graphic designer. It’s also different down to its center—literally. Ora carves each piece of jewelry in wax first, then casts the carving in either brass or silver. Her goal is to take the oddest shapes and translate them into something not just wearable, but beautiful.

The name of her brand means “elevated times” in very roughly translated Portuguese. It points to Natalia’s belief that fast fashion isn’t worthy and jewelry has no business being produced on a mass scale. She makes her jewelry with care, responsibility, and precise attention to detail because she wants each piece to last.

The gift of jewelry implies a connection. A bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings can mean the world to the recipient. In some ways, it helps to know what the designer was feeling or thinking while creating a meaningful piece. What inspires your favorite designers?

Guest Author Bio:

Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.