Etsy Love: Creative Jewelry Designs by Laura Staley

Have you ever wanted a special keepsake, outside of the typical photographs and mementos?

Seven months ago today, my (now ex) boyfriend and I were anxiously boarding the Carnival Legend, about to embark on one of the best vacations we had ever been on. The cruise was a first for each of us, and we were eager to see the destinations before us: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. Today, although we aren’t together anymore, the memories of that trip remain among the best of my life. The beauty of the Caribbean will stay with me forever, and I can’t wait to go back again (especially to Roatan!) one day.

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Clockwise from left to right: Nachi Cocum Resort, Cozumel; Stingray City, Grand Cayman; monkeys in Belize; Santé Wellness Center and Spa, Roatan. All images taken by me.

The trip made such a big impact on me that I wanted to have something done that would commemorate it for me. Something that would remind me of those happy times, and those beautiful locales. So what did I do? I turned to Etsy!

The idea came to me rather quickly – I wanted to have a necklace custom-made, and I wanted it to be made of stones found exclusively in the Caribbean. Then, I wanted to take it a step further. Having long-been a fan of the Gemma Redux style of twisted-chain necklaces, I wanted to see if I could somehow incorporate it all together. With that in mind, I turned to the lovely and talented Laura Staley of Creative Jewelry Designs. Laura had done some prior work for me, so I knew she was talented, but this necklace was something special and unique. I wanted it to be perfect. I contacted her to see what her thoughts and ideas were, and almost immediately she suggested that the necklace be constructed out of Larimar.

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Uncut Larimar, image via Gem Select

Larimar, also called “Stefilia’s Stone”, is a rare blue variety of pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic. It’s a beautiful blue stone whose very color is reminiscent of both the Caribbean Sea and sky! Laura had used it before and shared one of her prior designs with me. As soon as I saw the stone, I knew it would be perfect. Once we decided on the stone she sketched some ideas on how to incorporate the silver tangled-chains I requested. Everything was coming along beautifully!

Then, I likely became every jewelry-designers worst nightmare. Although I loved the design so far, I felt that something was missing. I thought about it for some time and decided the necklace wouldn’t be complete without the use of Caymanite as an accent piece. The Larimar would represent the sky and surf, I thought, and the beautiful earthy striations of the Caymanite would represent the sand.

Uncut Caymanite, via wikipedia

Simple, right? Wrong!

Caymanite is a rare semi-precious stone found only in two places in the Cayman Islands: the Bluff in Cayman Brac and the East End in Grand Cayman. Unlike Larimar jewelry, which can be purchased everywhere, the Caymanite jewelry market is exclusively out of the Cayman Islands. As such, the stone is extremely difficult to get in the United States, and Laura had a challenging time finding a supplier for the stone. I am sure there were times she wished I would give up on the idea of the Caymanite, but, I am often too stubborn for my own good. And she did it! She managed to track down a supplier with some beautiful Caymanite beads for the necklace.

She adjusted the design to incorporate the Caymanite, and the final product is this stunning piece:

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Completed necklace and earrings

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Close-up of Larimar and Caymanite detail

She even included these matching earrings at no extra cost!

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Thank you, Laura - I love it all!

Now, every time I wear this, I am transported back to the Caribbean and to that wonderful week and those breathtaking locales.  I am beyond thrilled with the design, and couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful. I highly – HIGHLY – recommend Laura if you are ever in the market for a really personal piece like this. She will work with you until you are completely satisfied, and her attention to detail is absolutely impeccable!

To date, Laura’s designs have been featured in both Lucky (online) and Skirt! Magazine, and I am sure, will continue to be featured in many more outlets.

Check out her etsy shop here, visit her facebook page here, and don’t be afraid to ask for a custom order – you won’t be disappointed!

{ 9 comments… add one }

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  • Sheila Hartzell April 6, 2012, 9:01 AM

    I am looking for a Caymanite bracelet. One with a big cab of Caymanite in the center and a bangle type on either side. Can you do that??
    Sincerely,
    Sheila

    Reply
  • kristy May 24, 2011, 6:07 PM

    thank you so so so much for sending this to me. i love that she sent you matching earrings with this. it’s UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous. and i’m thrilled to know more about caymanite. semi-precious stones are incredible and i love it when they are rare. it’s amazing how some of these stones are more rare than diamonds but because of the debeers cartel, diamonds are crazy more expensive.

    Reply
  • Monique October 8, 2010, 2:08 PM

    oh wow! This is beautiful!! Officially going on the X-mas shopping list for Mommy and lots of Aunts! LOVE!
    happy Friday dear!
    xo M

    Reply
  • Beautifully Invisible October 13, 2010, 9:39 PM

    Really late responding, but thanks! Laura is great to work with, so if you are shopping for holidays, keep her on your radar!

    Reply
  • Grit and Glamour October 8, 2010, 12:26 PM

    Lovely! I love the colors.

    Where you been, girl?! Miss your commentary over at G&G. Are you OK?

    ♥ V
    http://www.gritandglamour.com
    twitter: @gritandglamour

    Reply
  • Anonymous October 8, 2010, 7:44 AM

    Wow, i’m not surprises these pieces take you back to your holiday… I love the mix of the blue and silver together, what an exquisite way to put something together!
    Wish i’d known about her work earlier, my best friends are getting hitched this weekend and we all met in Laos… I would have loved to have given her special keepsake!
    Thanks for sharing hun! Have a fab weekend!
    x.o.x.o

    Reply
  • Beautifully Invisible October 13, 2010, 9:40 PM

    I read all about the festivities for your friend – sounds like it was a spectacular time!

    Reply
  • Casee Marie October 8, 2010, 3:13 AM

    That’s stunning, and such a beautiful way to capture the memories of a favorite time in your life. I’m so glad you shared it here! This was quite an inspirational read. (:

    Reply
  • Beautifully Invisible October 13, 2010, 9:41 PM

    Thank you!

    Reply