Harvard, Yale, Princeton. Back to university crew season, fall, crisp clear air, cool river water. The team’s coxswain calling, school colors showing, and crew teams rowing.
Here we have colors, pure gem colors, certainly fall colors, absolutely. Center gem poised, brilliant, the star. Side diamonds a brilliant spark of white at oar tips touching blue water. The crew in perfect harmony surging forward, cutting water. Crew – a fast moving ring.
Keith, on one of his recent visits, said “I’ve got a ring you’re going to love. This is going to be a great ring.” I’ve learned, over the years, that after this Keith statement one of the world’s greatest designs is about to be presented. Then Keith brought out Crew. The ring is genius. Keith in an earlier life was a retailer. In recent years he has simplified. He’s now an international gem hunter, designer, and jewelry maker. We know of no one in the world with his particular set of skills. We know of no one who understands the deep secret wishes, dreams, and desires of women who love jewelry, to the depth Keith demonstrates in so many of his designs.
First, Keith allows no ego in anything he creates, his own designs or anyone else’s. That means his lines, his forms, are simple, clean, classic. Keith understands women and the world in the 21st century. It’s complicated; it moves fast, there is no time for fussy little high maintenance details. His simple purity of design shows, allowing for low profile comfort and ease of wear. Those high touch details become immediately obvious when any woman tries one of his rings on.
Then most importantly, the look – his rings are breathtakingly beautiful on the hand. His rings are second nature natural with ocean vibes, mountains, and deep valleys. In a piece of fine jewelry you get to wear it home, you get to wear it every day for the rest of your life. Crew East is one of the world’s great designs.
Blue sapphire – Blue sapphire usually comes from Southeast Asia. It’s a color nature feels generous with in this part of the world. We love blue, particularly blue that shows well after the sun goes down. We tend toward a lighter brighter true blue color in all of our sapphire rings.
Diamonds world sourced, cut in Belgium. Well-cut with a full complement of 58 facets, rating a 3 on our quality cut scale. Nice white color, beautifully matched. Hardness 10.
About the Trade Wind Collection:
Where does inspiration come from? Where do the creative sparks for design begin? For Cross’ new Trade Wind Jewelry Collection, we find ourselves drawn into the story of Captain John Henry Drew, from Gardiner, Maine. Born in 1834, he grew up the son of a Ship’s Carver, and went to sea at the age of 15, eventually becoming Captain of a series of clipper ships, and traveling from New York to China and back home, when that voyage took more than seventeen months.
Instead of carving or knotting or other hobbies that were characteristic of sailors, this mostly self-educated man read books, memorized details from newspapers, and wrote about his journey—his literal and his inner journey. His hand-written and personally illustrated journals tell us of his longing for Maine, for his family, and for “making something of himself”. He is very much like you and me, and it makes his story that much more compelling. He savors apples from home, as tasting better than apples from anywhere else. He imagines the scene he might see looking in the window at home, where his family sits, and he chastises himself for not getting more done at home when he was there.
The jewelry in our Trade Wind Collection is made by his great-great-great grandson, Keith. This young man went to sea as well, at age 18. As part of his service to the US Navy, his travels took him to many of the same places his great-great-great grandfather’s clipper ships visited. Keith also had a hobby unconventional for sailors— he had a fascination for gems and he studied gemology. He studied so that when his service was completed, he could become a jeweler. As Keith traveled the world, he collected exquisite gems, and after leaving the service and returning home, he mastered the art of fine jewelry making.
It is now decades later. We met Keith for the first time in March, 2014. We were impressed with his jewelry, and as we talked further, discovered he had a clipper ship sea captain ancestor and became intrigued with the parallels of his journey in life with that of his sea captain forebear.
The parallels in the two stories are expressed in the jewelry itself—the exotic colors, the flow of the designs, the attention to detail which is something passed down in this family—whether it is to protect the ship, its cargo and its crew, or to create a design that will last and protect its valuable gems, giving the wearer the same pleasure we experience when a ship at full sail goes by. You can’t help but stop and exclaim, “Isn’t that beautiful?”
We were hooked by this story, and by the jewelry. We think you will be too. In fact, we’re posting pages from Captain Drew’s journals from the Voyage of the Franklin in 1868. Take a few minutes to join in the journey, and think of those you love most, and rejoice if they are right there with you.
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