The History of Heirlooms - Vol. 1

Introducing the History of Heirlooms, where we lift the lid off of the jewelry box. If you have ever wondered what the possibilities are for your family jewelry, we will give you an inside look. Our first heirloom is an exquisite ruby and diamond brooch belonging to Carol Costa. If you are interested in redesigning family heirlooms, please contact J. Cotter Gallery 970.476.3131.

Family heirlooms can hold so many emotions and memories within a single piece. The value is not measured by money but the memories and stories of the person who wore it. The memory of an aunt wearing a strand of pearls every Sunday or a mother’s ring with birthstones of each of her children.

The original ruby and diamond encrusted poinsettia brooch was handcrafted by the Gioielleria Fasano jewelry company from Turin, Italy. Often catering to the elite and sophisticated clientele, the Fasano company was known for their traditional Parisian craftsmanship and gemstones. The brooch originally belonged to a woman named Camilla, a relative of our client. Camilla was a maverick among her crowd -- she refused to fly when smoking became illegal on airplanes.

Jim Cotter is an artist first, and a goldsmith second. Which is the reason, our client decided to work with Cotter on the collaboration. A longtime fan of Cotter’s work, our client was able to be involved in the design process.

What makes the design of this cuff truly extraordinary is that both designers are influenced by nature. Fasano’s jewelry is constricted, whereas Cotter’s designs are full of movement and constantly shifting. The result of this collaboration is a piece of art with a rigid dichotomy between the past and present. While keeping the original design intact, our client was able to incorporate her own history into a piece that will continue to be handed down through generations.

The cuff was last worn during the SummerVail event in July. An event that not only celebrates all artforms, but also the history of craftsmanship.

If you have a piece of jewelry you would like to bring new life to and turn it into a custom piece of wearable art, please contact the J. Cotter Studio (or gallery) 970.827.3131