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Creating the New Martha's Vineyard Jewelry Collection: Our Precious Island

Creating the New Martha's Vineyard Jewelry Collection: Our Precious Island

Evolution of Martha's Vineyard Necklaces

Until now, all my Martha's Vineyard necklaces have showcased a vibrant rendition of the island centered along a conventional gold or silver chain. Our island necklace, was the original, now available in a spectrum of eight captivating colors on either 14k Gold fill or sterling silver. A newer addition has been the Martha's Vineyard Summer Pendant Necklace adorned with a striking Turquoise Glass Tile, accompanied by its coordinating Martha's Vineyard Summer Bangle Bracelet. Both of these pieces feature a gorgeous turquoise glass tile with the island stamped in it, wrapped in a substantial sterling silver bezel setting.

Stefanie Wolf Designs Marthas Vineyard Jewelry

Holding that golden island in my hand sparked a vision—I was imagining our beautiful island floating among a sea of shimmering aqua blue gemstone beads. I envisioned these beads embodying the boundless beauty of the Atlantic ocean. Here the island floated delicately on a strand of captivating color. As someone with an innate passion for vibrant hues, how could I resist this new endeavor?

Martha's Vineyard Pendant Prototypes in Sterling Silver with a watercolor painting of the island

Exploring Tucson's Gems: Crafting Ocean's Essence

So this year at the Tucson Gem Show I set out to find some gorgeous, super special blue gemstones that I could feature in this new design. I tried and tested a variety of gemstones, including blue Ethiopian opal, neon apatite, amazonite, and aquamarine.

Gemstone options for Martha's Vineyard necklaces

After thoughtful deliberation, I found myself drawn to the serene beauty of apatite.This crystal blue stone was my favorite gemstone strand we created in the studio last summer and one to which I had become very attached to. I find apatite's tranquil blue hues very appealing. Reflecting the calm waters of the Atlantic ocean, this captivating gemstone is a summer staple in my wardrobe. Its subtle aqua tones whispered of coastal landscapes and seaside retreats, infusing each piece with a sense of tranquility and natural beauty. After I finished the sample of the necklace with this blue stone, I moved onto create a complementary version with delicate white freshwater pearls. Evoking a sense of purity and timeless elegance, these pearls perfectly captured the essence of a sun-kissed beach day.

 Aqua gemstone options for the MV Pendant

Designing the Island Pendant: From Concept to Creation

But back to the pendant in my imagined version of the necklace… all I had at first was the miniature island charm intended for a bracelet. We now needed to create an enlarged version of the island that would be proportionate for a necklace adorned with these exquisite beads. 

I created a new set of sketches with how I envisioned this pendant design and went back to Eric the goldsmith. 

Original sketch of Martha's Vineyard 14k Gold Pendant


Based on my drawings he was able to create an enlarged version of the island, complete with inlets and waterways and topography. This was destined to be cast in both solid 14k gold and sterling silver. Then we needed to attach it to the necklace strand (or chain) with a bail. 


The Art of Attachment: Balancing Functionality with Aesthetics

My first thought was to literally have the island floating among a strand of beads. I wanted the attachment point from the island to the necklace to be invisible so we set out to create a hidden bail. I created these sketches which show the island being attached to the necklace, strand in the back, and not hanging below the necklace at all. 

Sketch of back view of Martha's Vineyard 14k Gold Pendant

However, when we attempted this concept, the island pendant ended up tilting awkwardly upwards, rather than facing outwards. The hidden bail on the backside of the pendant prevented it from lying flat against the breastbone, which was less than ideal. Realizing the need for a redesign, I created a sketch proposing a more traditional yet understated bail.

Sketch of bail options for Martha's Vineyard Pendant

Traditional bails can be quite large and chunky and in my opinion, they take away from the design of the pendant, and in this case, I wanted a small piece of metal that was able to hold the pendant in a sturdy way on the strand, but almost disappeared along the strand of gemstones without detracting at all from the shape of the island. After a few iterations I think we had achieved this in our final renditions.

 New Island Necklace Styles Sneak Peek Martha's Vineayard Jewelry Collection

Offering Options: Minimalist Pendants and Delicate Treasures

After completing the gemstone versions of these exquisite island necklaces, I realized that while it may not align with my personal style, some of my customers prefer a more minimalist approach—a simple island pendant on a chain. Hence, we will also be offering this option in both 14k gold and sterling silver.

And there's one more addition to our collection. The petite island charm initially created for the bracelet turned out to be the perfect size for a delicate pendant necklace. My 14-year-old daughter and her friends adore wearing small gold charms on necklaces, so when she expressed her desire for the island charm as a necklace, we created one additional iteration. Thus, we now proudly offer the teeny tiny island pendant necklace. Voila! Another delightful addition to our collection.

14k Gold Martha's Vineyard Pendant Necklaces

Proudly Presenting: My Precious Island Collection

I'm genuinely proud and honored to introduce this collection of island jewelry to my customers. Crafting these pieces, especially the Precious Island Collection, has been a labor of love—a sincere expression of my love of this cherished place. My aim is to offer others a chance to express their connection to the island through these precious adornments.

Crafting each piece with care, using the highest quality metals and gemstones, is my way of capturing the essence and beauty of Martha's Vineyard. Looking ahead, I'm open to creating new variations of these pieces and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Your feedback is invaluable as I continue to create pieces that reflect the spirit of the island.

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