Curating the local not-so-buried treasure

Curating the local not-so-buried treasure

Vancouver’s beauty extends far beyond its natural setting. The city is brimming with jewellery designers who are creating stunning works of art right here in our own backyard. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we spotlight five local jewellers who have us coveting their handmade treasures.

Leah Alexandra
Credit: Robert Kenney

Leah Alexandra

With pretty antiques set against rustic utilitarian work areas, Leah Alexandra’s heritage studio in Gastown reflects the feminine yet practical aesthetic of her eponymous jewellery line. Alexandra, who has been designing her handmade collection for over a decade now, is a master of creating balance between glamour and wearability, trendiness and timelessness. Drawing inspiration from Vancouver’s coastal setting, her pieces feature gemstones in every shade of the Pacific – turquoise, aqua, blue topaz – set into sterling silver and gold vermeil. Although she is locally based, Alexandra’s understated and elegant jewellery has fans far beyond Vancouver, and has been spotted on Hollywood style stars like Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

(From top left, clockwise) Gem Ring in Aqua Chalcedony and Turquoise ($85), Gold Harper Bracelet ($136), Turquoise Social Bracelet ($78), Turquoise Mini Social Bracelet ($66), Armour Aqua Chalcedony Earrings ($188), Labradorite Mini Social Bracelet ($66), Amazonite Social Bracelet ($78), Gold Erin Bracelet ($84), Aqua Chalcedony Cushion-cut Studs ($88), Padlock Necklace in Moonstone and Blue Topaz ($172), Prism Aqua Chalcedony Earrings ($150), Aqua Chalcedony Triangle Gemstone “Scalene” Necklace ($180)

Shereen de Rousseau

Shereen de Rousseau

Shereen de Rousseau’s handmade jewellery collection manages to feel at once modern and antique. Incorporating an eclectic mix of materials like beads, vintage coins and metals, her designs are for those who appreciate classic style with a little edge.

Gold-filled Beads With Sterling Medallion (left), $325; Three-strand Quartz, Moonstone and Gold-filled Beads Necklace (right), $350

Anita Sikma

Anita Sikma

Art Deco, the American Southwest, urban skylines – you’ll see a wide range of influences in Anita Sikma’s jewellery. And what you’ll get are artful accessories versatile enough to personalize your outfit day or night.

Heart Pendant, $290

Catherine Hartley

Catherine Hartley

catherine-ring_1.jpgSleek and understated is what metalsmith Catherine Hartley does best – and her simple-with-a-twist jewellery (often literally) has an organic feel that seems right at home here in Vancouver. If you’re looking for something completely one-of-a-kind, Hartley specializes in custom pieces, including diamond engagement rings (right).

Silver Lilt Cuff (above), $215

Poppy Finch

Poppy Finch

Poppy Finch is not designer Amanda He’s first foray into the local jewellery scene. The creative force behind Rocaille, a line that features vintage trinkets mixed with modern materials, has recently expanded with her latest collection. Unlike Rocaille’s bold statement pieces, Poppy Finch focuses on delicate, dainty designs in fine materials like gold, pearls and diamonds.

Double Pearl Ring, $550; Open Pearl Ring, $470