As much as I *claim* having to subvert my crow-like impulse to snatch up anything that sparkles in the sunlight (not including Edward Cullen, sorry to say)—I am actually quite a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. It’s rare that I wear earrings AND a necklace, and rarer still that I even bother to change out my customary pair of ruby studs. But my minimalism isn’t symptomatic of being unimaginative—it’s exactly the opposite. I imagine that a pair of earrings, a necklace, or a ring—like any object of true beauty—should be the perfect juxtaposition of polish and rawness; darkness and light; perfection and imperfection. When I find a piece that speaks, I wear it indefinitely (doggedly?) to the point of it feeling like an extension of my body. But usually, my standards get in the way and halt the procurement process before it really starts.
I had been looking for versatile, work-friendly stud earrings for months. And was getting worried that my inner precisionist would never quit rearing her picky head until I discovered Herkimer ‘diamonds’—and subsequently, Anna Vasquez’s/Nested Yellow designs. Trained as an architect but reared as a naturalist, Vasquez’s designs are simultaneously organic and sublime, rustic and refined—and her elevation of the Herkimer from a garden-variety quartz to a gemstone befitting its etymological associations is pretty phenomenal (maybe it’s that only an architect could tame the inherent, wild structural angles of the stone?!) I first spotted her hand-forged, gold-filled studs on Etsy—and since they arrived on my doorstep, they have not left my ears. They don’t sparkle quite like carbon-based, fancy-cut, real diamonds—but then again, real diamonds are a little too perfect for me anyway…
Just the same, there is truly something to be said for these ‘diamonds’ in the rough from central New York state—and judging from the thousands of Etsy artisans incorporating them into boho-chic designs, this subtle stone is here to stay. Pick up a pair of studs, a graduated chunk necklace, or even a rock-candy ring to pair with everything from an edgy leather jacket to a feminine floral dress to even a distressed chambray oxford and pressed trousers—and if you’re anything like me, Herkimers will become your best friend too!
Happy cool-mining, leggy lovelies!