I'm so glad that my good friend, Ben Foskey, an amazing jeweler in his own right, has consigned a number of his vintage silver & gemstone "finds" with us here at Clementines. Culled from favorite haunts throughout California and New Mexico, Ben is as disciplined a collector as he is an artist.
First, he must LOVE a piece of jewelry before he buys it. Ben explains that each piece must have unique appeal. It may be the eccentric size and shape of the stone, or its unusual hue. He tries to imagine the person who previously owned and loved it. Was she a free spirit? A world traveler? A bon vivant?
The quality of the craftsmanship and the materials must also be readily apparent.(Remember he is a jeweler himself!) The rings currently available at Clementines all have that sensuous heft of old silver, and the stones are all remarkable in their individuality - mostly turquoise and coral. There is definitely a West/Southwest aesthetic at play in what Ben is currently displaying, and we think it works well with our own West Coast bias :)
My plans are to visit Ben again in the fall, after Ojai cools down a bit. Hopefully he'll send me off with another mysterious stash of previously loved jewelry...