21 Nov 2019
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Brent Neale Fine Jewelry
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jul 1 2019 1:24PM
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Reference: 22338  

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New York based Brent Neale lives by ‘don’t take life too seriously’ mantra which reflects in her bright and cheerful jewellery that would give even the most morose person in the world a big hit of happiness says Vijetha Rangabashyam

Pink tourmaline, amethyst, citrine and blue topaz sparkle on a rainbow that emerges from a milky white opal cloud with a blush of blue. This ring from Brent Neale’s debut collection ‘After the Rain’ mimics a water colour sketch by a little kid (in a good way) imbued with innocence and a sense of childish playfulness. The fact that Neale has a lot of fun with her gemstones is quite evident and is perhaps why her pieces have found a home in some of America’s top line retailers – the likes of Barneys, Elizabeth Bruns and Fivestory.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins, Neale began working at a large company involved in private label design for big box retailers. She had no formal training in jewellery design and realised that she had to learn the technical craft of jewellery making. This is when she decided to enroll in FIT’s two-year Jewellery Design program. During her second year, she interned with celebrated jewellery designer Kara Ross and upon graduation, she joined her full time. During an eight year stint at Kara, Neale dabbled in a bit of everything, from product development to design and production and worked her way up to being the Director of Fine Jewellery.

A pregnancy complication led her to quit Kara Ross but she still continued sketching and in the Spring of 2017,Neale launched her eponymous label. Today Neale’s entity is pretty much a one woman army – she has managed to forge relationships with retailers across the country as well as patrons who adore her jewellery for its sheer happy-golucky vibe. “My label is fun and it is not for someone who takes themselves too seriously, it is whimsical, colourful and though a cliché, my jewellery is happy.” It is quite amazing what her brand has managed to do in such a short time.

Neale loves her colours (surprise, surprise!) and her inspiration comes from realms that use plenty of colours too – art, interiors, cartoons, books, textiles and so on. Her latest “Gem Stars” collection that she launched in Paris is a play on the 80s television series JEM. “They are large slabs of stones cut into stars surrounded by 18k gold and sprinkled with bezel set diamonds, rubies, emeralds and multi-coloured sapphires. My collections are nostalgic in general and this is another nod to that sensibility.”

Much of what Neale creates involves learning from her colleagues too, “Sometimes I sketch it out fully and see how I feel about it – other times I speak with the head jeweller I work alongside and the lapidary about a concept and see what they have to say –I need to make sure what I’m dreaming up can actually be executed. They are both veterans and I learn something new from them every day.”

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