Whether you crave carats or cool cuffs, there’s a local shop or designer to suit your fancy. These five are all gems.
Gallery 360For Gallery 360, owner Merry Beck hand-picks handmade art and jewelry. But this is no craft fair. Haim Becker’s fine gemstone rings sparkle even in the dark. Jill Knutson’s one-of-a-kind cuffs make any outfit runway-worthy. Danny Saathoff’s use of discarded objects turns subway tokens and bottle tops into prize possessions. The gallery’s prized collection of Karen Gilbert’s museum-quality, hand-blown glass is pure art. And Anne Waddell’s delicate, freshwater-pearl drop earrings are quite possibly the Cities’ best baubles.
3011 W. 50th St.,
TamaraFor Tamara Schafhauser, jewelry-making was a happy accident. She fashioned her first creation from metal washers and pipes, as a tribute to her father-in-law, a master plumber. The Tamara Junk Jewels collection emerged, followed by the more refined Louie and Harry line, which incorporates artisan pendants, Paris flea-market pieces (think vintage keys and medallions), and semi-precious stones. Schafhauser repurposes found objects into necklaces, bracelets, and pins in a way that brings them into the 21st century without relinquishing the beauty of their past.
513 Second St.,
Max’sChocolate, home décor, and jewelry may be an unlikely combination, but Max’s mix of decadent treasures works. Owner Ellen Hertz, who named the shop after her jeweler-grandfather, is committed to offering designs that can’t be found elsewhere in the Twin Cities. The jewelry at Max’s is also fashionable: blackened steel-and-diamond cuffs, rose gold, and architectural men’s bracelets and rings. Personalized “Love Letter” charm necklaces will warm the hearts of classic and modern romantics alike. A tin of Madame X’tasy hot chocolate helps, too.
3831 Grand Way,
St. Louis Park,
J. B. HudsonAt this 122-year-old store, it’s easy to get distracted by the red- carpet-worthy stunners by the likes of H. Stern and Mikimoto. But if bling isn’t your thing, ask Kimberley Thompson to show you an art-deco bracelet, Victorian brooch, modernist cuff links, or retro statement ring. The curator of J. B. Hudson’s estate-jewelry collection—the largest in the state—for more than 15 years, Thompson has a story for every piece. This month, the shop begins a new era when it moves into the Young-Quinlan Building and dedicates an entire room to estate jewelry.
901 Nicollet Mall,
Studio VincentStephen Vincent has been designing modern, minimal, fine jewelry for more than 30 years—and it shows. The emphasis at his studio is on craftsmanship. Although the shop features a handful of edgy European designers (think diamond-studded black rubber bracelets), the real gem is Vincent’s custom work, including one-of-a-kind wedding sets, and any other design you can dream up. His Muse collection, which combines stainless steel, precious metals, and conflict-free Lazare diamonds, epitomizes the studio’s progressive approach.
651 Nicollet Mall,