life in the facet lane by Diana Jarrett GG RMV


Living on the Gulf Coast presents myriad points of inspiration for all our residents, and especially so for jewelry designers. The vivid colors of our sub-tropics and the lush natural flora awaken our senses every morning. Most of all, the Gulf Coast itself reinvigorates our sense of wonder and awe when we consider the teeming marine life all around us.

So, it’s no wonder that imaginative jewelry artists are drawn to sea-worthy motifs when they create original designs. But what inspires one designer may completely escape another. Such was the case with a sparkling piece of rainbow druzy quartz found lying on the jeweler’s bench at the celebrated Mark Loren Designs, in Ft. Myers. Designer Austin Nettles quickly imaged a widemouthed shark when he spied the dazzling gemstone. Others? Not so much.

Original gold, diamond and druzy pendant interpreted in 14K white
and yellow gold. Courtesy: Mark Loren Designs

When Nettles passed by designer Mark Loren’s bench where the druzy crystal caught his eye, he commented that it would make a cool shark pendant. The rest as they say is creative history. Soon, his imagination gave birth to a dramatic and whimsical one-of a-kind rainbow druzy pendant depicting a shark’s head, hand fabricated in 14K yellow and white gold with a bezel-set diamond shark’s eye.

For those who may not be familiar with druzy, it can best be described as a naturally occurring material formed by layers of minute quartz crystals that have been crystallized onto the surface of a quartz-based mineral. This glamorous variety of quartz exhibits a sugar-like appearance and is often discovered in hollow cavities of agate geodes. Its countless reflective surfaces produce an intense bounce-of-light with the slightest movement of the stone. This is one head-turning gemstone.

Nettles’s sudden burst of inspiration upon seeing the druzy rough laid out on a jeweler’s bench reminds us all to let our creative minds wander and find a story within nature all around us. Few people can lay claim to the abundance of natural beauty that surrounds us in South Florida—exquisite birds, exotic florals, exciting sea life—it’s all right before our eyes.

Let’s determine this year to keep our eyes of inspiration wide open to the joys all around us.

Contact Diana Jarrett at and read

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