Luana Coonen Jewelry

Out of Office: hiking the JMT!

Luana Coonen1 Comment

(scroll to bottom for ETAs)
To celebrate 10 years of being in business I'm giving myself a treat: taking a month off (during my peak season) to hike the John Muir Trail! This has been a bucket list item of mine for 13 years or so and I've just never quite figured out how to take the time off or find the right hiking partner. Well, everything fell into place this year, and quite the adventure it will be! 


Where is the John Muir trail? 
We (our party of four) will be hiking the entire trail, 211 miles through the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. Starting at Yosemite National Park, and ending at the Summit of Mt. Whitney (elevation 14505 ft). We will hike through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, John Muir Wilderness, as well as Yosemite National Park. 

What services will you have? 
We will have no phone reception, no stores, no towns, just the clothes on our back and the food in our pack. Pitching tents every night, just the way I like to do it! We send ourselves shipments of food to pick up every week through well placed locations along the trail, and have a satellite phone for emergencies, but other than that, just hiking through one of Americas most beautiful trails. 


So... what about the jewelry? 
Well... I won't be receiving emails or phone calls so I won't be able to process new orders. You are welcome to email me so you are in the queue for responses asap, as well as place an order while I am gone, shipping dates are as follows: 

Order ETAs (date indicates estimated shipping date/range) 
-Encasements (jewelry with plastic and/or natural specimens): 08/27-08/31
-all metal necklaces: 08/27
-studs earrings & non-stone rings: 08/29-09/05
-earrings and necklaces with stones: 08/29-09/05
-engagement rings, wedding bands with stones: 08/31-09/14 (email around 08/20 for ETA)


Apologies if my closure throws a wrench in your plans! Those one in a life opportunities only come up.... once in a life time! I'll be back in late August to answer your emails, filfill orders, and I'll probably be brimming with new inspiration. But until then.... happy trails! 


"Wearable Discard" Article, Lapidary Journal

pressLuana CoonenComment

Cathleen McCarthy compiled a lovely 6 page article for Lapidary Journal titled "Wearable Discard". The article displays the work of three different jewelry artists working with recycled materials, including a full 2 page spread on my work. To get some insight on how I got to working with the materials I do, and my passion for sustainability, read the article here! 

Lapidary Journal Luana Coonen
Lapidary Journal Luana Coonen

The Story of Your Ring: Mary (aka: the most unique diamonds I've seen)

jewelry designLuana CoonenComment

I love working with heirloom quality family jewels, and it sweetens the deal when the customers ring choices aligns with my design aesthetic. I was honored and excited to work on Mary's engagement/wedding ring with some super special antique rose-cut diamonds and lovely blue sapphire center stone. 

Mary’s family had some pretty special jewelry, and she sent me this ring so we could work with the center sapphire. Once receiving it, I examined the diamonds, and had seen nothing like them before. They were rose cut, yet they were not uniform, all were uniquely shaped and faceted in a way I’d never seen before. I asked my local antique jewelry expert for some advice, and the findings were astonishing. The ring was perfectly hallmarked stamped, telling us the ring is from 1854, from the City of Birmingham, England. Which makes since why the diamonds are so unique, they were all hand-cut, over 150 years ago! 

Mary and I chose one of my designs which suited her aesthetic, moderns style, and love for white gold. I carefully removed the stones from her heirloom ring, and hand-made new custom settings. 

preparing to set stones in the nifty ring vice

preparing to set stones in the nifty ring vice

The final ring is made of 14k Palladium White Gold, with an antique sapphire and contains some of the most unique rose-cut diamonds I’ve ever seen! It's so fun to give heirloom jewelry new life, so it will make it's way out of a jewelry box and on a finger for many decades to come. 

We had 2 little diamonds left, and a rings-worth of gold, so I created a sweet pair of earrings for her mother-in-law as a thank you present for donating the antique ring to a new generation of the family! I melted down the gold and set the remaining diamonds in them- a great way to use up those last few special family diamonds!