About Edelstein Edelsteine
My main goal as your jeweler is to design something that isn't merely beautiful but also expresses something about you as compellingly as possible. As you read through the descriptions of the work on this website, you'll see that nearly every single piece tells a story of its wearer. These stories—your stories—are what makes my work unique.
Some jewelers will take you through a process of configuring a piece of jewelry, swapping out a preset library of shanks, findings, settings and stones to your taste; this isn't how I approach custom design. My process centers on understanding your aesthetic and then lending mine to it so that together we discover a completely new objét that neither of us could have conceived of on our own. Together we make something personal and purposeful that eventually becomes part of the story it tells. This is the art that chance creates.
Chance is also what first launched my artistic career in ninth grade when sibling competition prompted me to follow my older brother into a jewelry class at ‘Iolani School in Honolulu. I fell in love with it so much that I even continued to make pieces in ‘Iolani's jewelry lab for a couple of years after graduation (until I was politely reminded that I was no longer a student there).
Despite winning some statewide and national awards for high school art and a letter of interest from the Savannah College of Art and Design, I enrolled at Georgetown University to continue Chinese language studies I'd started while living in China with my family as a child. I did minor in Studio Art at Georgetown, where I first studied large-form sculpture. I resumed making jewelry in 1997 after commissioning a friend to build me a workbench that is still used in my studio today. In 2012 I moved home to Hawai‘i where I continue to design and create jewelry and sculpture for clients locally, on the US mainland and internationally.
What's with the name?
"Edelstein" in German literally means "gemstone"—a rather appropriate surname for a jeweler! I guess I was born into it. The plural of "edelstein" in German is "edelsteine," and there are many jewelers and gem wholesalers in the German-speaking world (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, etc.) who use the word in the name of their companies. For example, "Mueller Edelsteine" would be "Mueller's Diamonds" or something to that effect. Not being one to resist a pun or deny my lineage, I named my studio "Edelstein Edelsteine" (if you're wondering how to say it, I pronounce it ED-el-steen EY-del-shtine-eh). As the friend who built my workbench pointed out one night, the result is that the name of my studio literally means "bling bling." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of insight that Edelstein Edelsteine is all about.
You will probably see up to three marks stamped into any piece that you receive from Edelstein Edelsteine. One of those will indicate the type of metal and its purity—for example, you might see "14K" or "18K" or higher karat designations stamped into gold, and you would see ".925" or "STERLING" stamped into sterling silver or ".999" stamped into fine silver. The other stamps that you will see are our maker's marks, which are explained below.
This stamp is the hallmark of Edelstein Edelsteine Metalsmiths. All pieces produced since September 2003 bear this mark, unless the piece is too fine to allow its use. The two capital "E" letters are the initials of the company, artfully separated by two perpendicular lines. In addition, when turned counter-clockwise by 90 degrees, the mark resembles the seven-armed menorah from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
One of my older marks and in fact the name of the studio that Edelstein Edelsteine grew out of, this is the Chinese character "zhèng." It means many things, including "exact," "precise" and "upright." It also happens to resemble my initials (JE). Although it was used on all pieces for an extended period of time, this mark is now limited to use as my personal mark on works that fall in the Asiatica category, in conjunction with the Edelstein Edelsteine hallmark and the metal mark.
Typically used as my personal mark on all Judaica and Miscellanea, the symbol at left is a composite of the tenth and sixteenth Hebrew letters, י (yud) and ע (ayin). Together in this context they represent the name יהושע (Yehoshua/Joshua) through a rare but established method of abbreviation that omits the middle of a word (Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 40).