For most of her life, pearls just weren’t Robin Callahan’s thing. Her grandmother gave her a string of pearls that mostly sat in the jewelry box, and she had a set of black pearls that were likely costume jewelry, but other than that, she gravitated towards more colorful gemstones. Then she saw her first hand faceted pearl.
“I said oh my god, what is this? It looked like a dinosaur egg, it caught the light from every angle, and I had to know more.”
Callahan is a jeweler and lapidary artist, which means she knows how to set and cut gems, creating custom pieces for clients on Bainbridge Island and around the world. All of her hand-faceted pearls come from the same Japanese lapidary artist and now Callahan keeps a wide selection on hand for her clients.
“I remember the first order of faceted pearls I got. I just sat there in awe of their beauty,” she says. “Now I love designing for pearls. They bring out something different in my creativity that I didn’t experience before.”
@robincallahandesigns Definitely going to create more pearl pieces in 2023! Several of these available! Check out my website shop. Robincallahandesigns.com #robincallahandesigns #artist #artjewelry #customjewelry #rockarobinring #finejewelry #bainbridgejewelrydesign #ring #couture #addmorecolortoyourlife #ring #addmorecolortoyourlife #pearl #pearllover ♬ Play with Fire (feat. Yacht Money) – Sam Tinnesz
A pearl must have a very thick nacre (skin) in order to be faceted, which means only top quality pearls can be used. Some colors are more available than others — Callahan says it may take 40 to 50 pounds of purple pearls to get enough for a single faceted strand.
“I have two fully purple strands, and two that have a mix of colours. They’re hanging by my studio window and as I spin my chair I get a light display as it bounces off of them. They’re just mind-blowing.”
Callahan cherishes rare and top quality gems, while doing her best to keep her pieces affordable.
“They’re still not cheap. But they’re the perfect heirloom for today,” she says. “Pearls have remained pretty traditional over the years, but faceting gives them a contemporary look. Your children are going to be counting the moments until they can get your pearls!”
To see her latest creations, follow Robin Callahan Designs on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. To get in touch about a commission, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-240-1681.
@robincallahandesigns Oh how I love faceted pearls! You e made me love and appreciate all pearls! I see them modern, versatile, convertible, fresh and fun to wear! #robincallahandesigns #artist #nextlevel #artist #artjewelry #customjewelry #rockarobinring #rockarobinring #finejewelry #bainbridgejewelrydesign #bling #love #addmorecolortoyourlife #couture #pearl #pearls #facetedpearls ♬ Love Me Like You Do – Elena Gray