How designer Megan Clark expanded her gemstone color palette to diversify her line
By Tina Snyder
What’s the best place for a jewelry designer who doesn’t use a lot of color to break out of her monochromatic shell? Well, the Tucson gem shows, of course! That’s where Durham, North Carolina–based designer Megan Clark, under the guiding eye of her mentor, began expanding her palette of colored gemstones in an effort to diversify her line.
“For the past decade or so I have been going to Tucson with my mentor,” she says. “I began slowly gaining knowledge and buying gems, building a collection from which to draw when the time was right.”
During COVID, when business as usual came to a screeching halt, Clark was inspired to push the boundaries of color with a collection of green gemstones she had built over the years. The result was this elegant set of drop earrings, which features four tourmalines, two emeralds, and six VS1 diamonds with 18k and sterling silver bimetal.
“Typically, I start with a big statement necklace and other pieces follow, but in this case, the earrings came first,” says Clark. “When making spec work, as many of us did over COVID, you have to consider budget and what you can afford to sit on. I knew I wanted to work with these green gemstones, and the design for the earrings came to me. I was so thrilled with how they turned out that I made a necklace to match—using every green stone in my collection!”
Durham, North Carolina