Now that the Money Pit is finished, (sort of) I happily have a little more free time on my hands. I have found myself using that time at my friend Kathy Norris’ office. A Realtor by day and a self taught jewelry maker in between appointments, Kathy is now my go-to-girl for custom jewelry pieces that are made from real gems.They are also priced so much better than what is offered by Neiman Marcus and even Bergdorf’s. The name of her company is appropriately called GemJunky.
As written on the website; “Raised with a Naval Officer and a New York Model as parents, Kathy’s gem collection started with pieces her father brought home from sea: an Arabian Desert Flower stone, a Pearl from Japan, and an Opal from Australia. Always travelling, always collecting, she continues to study the gems that are such mysterious secrets of the earth. While in Brazil, she met three ladies while in quest of gathering and setting gemstones. These four GemJunkys, for many years, have continued their ongoing pursuit for the exceptional stone beauties called GEMSTONES. This friendship formed through time and a shared passion now strives to offer others of the world the same opportunity to share their addiction to gemstones … GEMJUNKYS.”
Sitting in Kathy’s office are bags and bags of raw, unset stones that she literally collects from all over the world. I feel like a kid in a candy store except the candy is a wide variety of gems. Above is a handful of pear shapes stones I helped her separate one afternoon.
I have learned so much about gems from Kathy’s wealth of knowledge. Something so simple as – not all sapphires are blue! SONGIA sapphires have such an interesting variety of orange, yellow, and greens with deep set speckles inside.
Each and every individual stone has a story to tell.
Every time Kathy comes back from a gem show I am in awe of the all the new purchases and proceed to learn about a new variety of gem. My current favorite is Tanzanite. What I have seen in the stores is usually the basic light purple, but I didn’t realize how much the colors actually range.
Blues, grays, lavenders and crystal all blend to make the different varieties. When I saw these I asked Kathy to make me a necklace. She was able to get six strands of tanzanites and a few strands of complimentary colored stones.
By the end of the day I had a gorgeous twisted strand necklace complete with an unusual silver twist clasp. The photo doesn’t do justice as the shine and color is spectacular!
It is amazing to me that from piles like these
…..come such beautifully crafted pieces of Gem Art!
To write this article, I decided to share my personal collection of custom pieces from GemJunky to give an idea of what can be done.
To compliment my South West style jewelry, Kathy made me the coral, turquoise and pearl drop earrings. I love these!
Coincidentally, I took a photo of Kathy putting the finishing touches on one of her coral and turquoise necklaces which can be found on GemJunky.com
This is my collection of oversized gem rings which include white and pink and blue sapphires and white zircons.
Pendants consisting of aquamarine, pink sapphire, tourmaline and ruby..
This set was a gift from Kathy; A cocktail size ring with matching earrings.
And one of my favorites, this orange coral necklace with diamond clasp.
This very long strand can be twisted into two and is made from tourmaline pieces in all colors of the rainbow.
Another favorite of mine is Keshi Pearls. I can’t get enough of them! Yesterday, Kathy had made two pieces that will be added to her website soon. One is a purple keshi necklace that is a stunner.
And another color keshi with an added drop of citrine
These are my personal white keshi pearls with a gold clasp
This is another piece of mine called calcedonia with a pearl clasp. Again, photos don’t do justice as these gems just radiate in sunlight!
The other day Kathy was wearing an incredible necklace made from white keshi pearls attached with a 110 + carat dendrite. Knowing I have an upcoming BlackTie affair, I had to have the piece as it went perfectly with my gown. I asked Kathy to make an additional strand of blush colored pearls to compliment it, and in a half hour it was complete!
Is it not perfect?
I have a feeling my collection will always be growing!
To see lots more, please visit her website at GemJunky.com. All pieces are handmade , are all real gems and are incredibly well priced.
Kathy also donates a percentage of her new pieces (which all have the Breast Cancer Logo clasp) to help support Breast Cancer research.
Have fun shopping!