Chaya's Blog

Gemstone of the Month: Diamonds

Posted by Jewelry Genius on April 13th, 2018


The official birthstone for April is the diamond. It also marks the 60th anniversary of marriage. As a matter of fact, it’s also my birthstone, so I can’t help but be a little partial! I love the look of colored stones, but I also appreciate the simple beauty of a diamond, and for some pieces of jewelry, it is the perfect addition. I read recently that in the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny stated: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” I’m not sure I agree with that, but I know that use of diamonds in jewelry has a long, and sometimes not so positive, history.

The world’s love of diamonds started in India, where diamonds were gathered from rivers and streams as far back as the fourth century BC. The popularity of diamonds waxed and waned throughout history, but in more recent history, brutal civil conflicts have been fueled by diamonds—either to control diamond-rich territory or to fund conflicts through the sale of diamonds. The tragic result is bloodshed, loss of life, and human rights abuses.

This is just another reason that I choose to work solely with suppliers of previously mined diamonds and other gemstones that are cut and polished from existing “rough” stones or those that were previously set in jewelry then removed and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale. That’s important to me and I hope it is important to you, too.

On a lighter note, every civilization’s lore seems to share one thread- that diamonds symbolize great strength and exceptional power. Diamonds have also been believed to improve one’s energy, environment, growth process, prosperity, love life, faith and endurance. The stone is said to attract courage, fortitude, creativity, imagination, purity, harmony, faithfulness and innocence.

This month, whether you have a diamond or not, I wish you strength, courage and faith…just a few of the things our world needs right now.


18K Diamond Vineyard Ring.jpg14K White Modesty Diamond Ring.jpg14K Yellow Ring with Flush Set Diamonds and Music Symbol.jpg


A Look at Julie’s Garden: A New Collection

Posted by Jewelry Genius on February 27th, 2018

In my most recent newsletter, I shared the story of a custom hairpiece I created for a client. When the project was complete, I realized the individual components were strong enough to stand on their own, and so they have evolved into a new collection I call Julie’s Garden.

The new line honors a friend of mine who recently lost her battle with cancer. She loved flowers and nature, and I think it is fitting that she be remembered in this way.

This week, I want to share some of the new pieces with you. I hope you like them as much as I do!


This is a start-to-finish collage of Fragrant Spring, necklaces inspired by the hairpiece. They are made from sterling silver, beach pebbles and beads.


This collage is of Pebble Landscape, another necklace in the collection. It is made with sterling silver, 14K yellow gold and sapphires.


This is one of my favorites from the collection; it is made from sterling silver, sea glass, beach pebble and garnet. I created it for a close friend who was also close to Julie. The sea glass comes from Maine, and garnet was her birthstone.


Custom Hairpiece Inspires New Work and Acknowledges a Friend

Posted by Jewelry Genius on February 12th, 2018


As a gift to his wife, a client asked me to create a hairpiece using a garden theme. Inspired by her love of gardening, I spent several weeks looking at pictures, sketching flowers and plants, and working to create the most beautiful composition. I finally settled on a detailed piece with five different plants that we agreed were perfect for his wife: sunflowers, cosmos, yarrow, phlox and sedum.

The proceeding weeks involved hours of precise wax carving to get the floral details just right. Then I was ready to cast the separate pieces that would then be trimmed and smoothed. I chose 18K white, rose and yellow gold with Maine amethysts, sapphires and diamonds that came together in colorful bouquet!

It was an inspiring project, and we were both wild about the finished product and confident his wife would love it…and she did!

I really enjoyed working on the piece and loved not only the finished product but also the detail of the separate elements. I realized they were substantial and interesting enough to easily stand alone, and so, a new series was born.

I am calling the collection Julie’s Garden in honor of a close friend who recently passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. She loved flowers and nature, and I can’t think of a better way to recognize her.

I’ll share some of the individual pieces soon, so check back in!






Go for Garnets!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on January 15th, 2018

It’s January, and I think garnets are perfect for this month’s birthstone.
They are so deep and rich…a wonderful complement to our heavy sweaters
and dark colors here in Maine!

Don’t have a birthday in January? According to some traditions, garnets are
also often given on the second and sixth wedding anniversaries, so drop a
hint if you need to!

Now a little history lesson… garnets come in a huge variety of colors, so they
are very versatile for jewelry. For example, rhodolite is purplish red, hessonite
is orange, cinnamon, or pinkish. Tsavorite, grossularite, uvarovite and demantoid
are also green varieties. Pyrope garnets are purplish red, orangy red, or crimson.

Folklore & Legends:
Garnets are said to have wonderful powers, including healing, strength
and protection, and they are often worn to relieve skin inflammations,
regulate the heart and blood flow, and aid in curing depression–I can’t
think of any better reasons to have one (or more!).

In earlier times, garnets were exchanged by friends to express their affection
for each other and to ensure that they meet again. I love that; don’t you?
Sold on garnets? Come see me and we’ll find one for you.


I enhanced this lotus pendant and earrings with garnets…I think they work so beautifully together.

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Happy New Year!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on January 3rd, 2018


I would like to extend an enormous thank you and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  2018 marks an important personal milestone: with your generous support, I will be celebrating ten years as a full-time artist!

During winter/spring of 2018, I will be working on custom orders and new work for the upcoming summer season and enjoying some travel. Do you have a project in mind?  Do you have some stones or precious metal to use in a new piece of jewelry?  I’d be honored to design something special for you!  Please contact me at 207-221-6552, or

Here’s a wonderful video, made last year by Channel 8 WMTW, about the Holiday Art Show. Enjoy!

Maine jeweler opens shop to artists, craftsmen

I hope you have a very Happy New Year. From me to all of you, here’s to 2018!

Many hugs, Chaya


Holiday Sale, Show and Benefit Starts November 25!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on November 16th, 2017


We are a little over one week away. I’d love to see you at the sale sometime during the holiday season! We have so many talented artists participating, including M.J. Benson, Ember Grove, Angel Rox, Chart Metalworks, Lola Arts, Andrew Cook, and Mike Libby, so you can select from handmade items–including jewelry, specialty food, cards, home accents, fine art and more– starting at just $2.50.

An extra incentive: a portion of proceeds from the month-long sale will benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

And do plan to join us at the customer appreciation party on Friday, December 8, 5-9 p.m. We’ll have complimentary refreshments, silent auction and door prize.



Topaz: The Color for November

Posted by Jewelry Genius on November 13th, 2017

November’s birthstone is topaz, which is best known for its golden brown to yellow color (although it does come in other colors). I think it is a beautiful color for fall.

The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit word for fire. The Egyptians believed that it was colored with the golden glow of the sun god Ra, and the ancient Greeks believed it had the power to make its wearer invisible in cases of emergency. An English superstition held that topaz cured lunacy.

Mounted in gold and hung around the neck, it was believed to be a cure for insomnia, asthma, burns and hemorrhage. Topaz was also said to change its color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. That alone makes it crazy valuable, right?

And, from the “who knew/” files, topaz is the state gem of Utah.

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5th Annual Holiday Benefit and Art Show

Posted by Jewelry Genius on November 8th, 2017

I am pleased to say that this year marks the 5th anniversary of my holiday art show. In addition to encouraging holiday shoppers to buy local, this event really spotlights local Maine artists and gives us the opportunity to give back to our community.

The show has become a boutique shopping tradition for the holidays, and, as always, my fellow artists will offer a wide range of handcrafted items—starting at $2.50—including jewelry, specialty food, cards, home accents, fine art and more. Participating artists include M.J. Benson, Ember Grove, Angel Rox, Chart Metalworks, Lola Arts, Andrew Cook, and Mike Libby.

A portion of proceeds from the month-long sale and artists’ reception will benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Here’s the Scoop:

Show and Sale

Saturday, November 25, through Sunday, December 24

The shop will be open Wednesday – Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.


Artist Reception and Customer Party

Friday, December 8, 5-9 p.m.

The event will feature complimentary refreshments, silent auction and door prize.



Chaya Studio Jewelry

22 Cottage Rd.

South Portland, ME

(207) 221-6552











Recently Completed Work: Wedding Rings

Posted by Jewelry Genius on October 23rd, 2017

Wanted to share these two wedding band projects. They are very different, but both were a lot of fun to work on. And, of course, it’s always fun to be involved in someone’s love story!

These hand carved wedding rings are made from 14k yellow gold and sterling silver.


This is a 14K white gold wedding set. The gent’s ring is the Tree Branch Ring II, and the woman’s band is a hand-carved Infinity Band with pave set diamonds.

To see more work or talk through a custom project, come visit me, call for a private consultation or visit Chaya Studio Jewelry. Together, we can find just the right thing for you


This weekend is the Morristown CraftMarket!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on October 19th, 2017


Now in its 41st continuous year, the Morristown CraftMarket is one of the top juried, longest-running and most successful fine art and fine craft shows in the nation. Each year, about 150 gifted artists come from over 25 states across the country to exhibit in this nationally acclaimed show. Showcased is an exhibition and sale of extraordinary, one-of-a-kind and limited-edition fine arts and crafts in all contemporary media.

This beautifully juried, indoor show is held at the National Guard Armory in Morristown, NJ.

The show is produced and run by the not-for-profit Kiwanis Club of Randolph Township, NJ. Literally thousands of volunteer hours are put into the planning and management of the CraftMarket. All net proceeds from the show benefit local charities.

Show Schedule:
October 20, 21 & 22, 2017

Friday, October 20th – 5 pm to 9 pm
Saturday, October 21st – 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday, October 22nd – 10 am to 5 pm

Daily admission is $10.
Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are FREE.
Senior citizens receive $2 off.

Opening Night Reception – Friday, October 20, from 5 pm to 8 pm