When we travel, the souvenirs that I usually bring home are pieces of jewelry. I wear a lot of silver so it doesn't have to cost a bunch but I decided when I was about 16 that if it was not real I was not going to wear it. I have softened my position a bit because large diamonds and rubies are not in the budget and because of a book that I read. It is called Utopia by Thomas Moore. In it the Utopians value things a bit differently. If something is beautiful, the materials that it is made of are of secondary value to the craftsmanship of the object. Tiffany art glass is a perfect example of this. The value of Favrile is in the wonderful surface and shape of the glass.
Anyway, all of this rambling is actually going somewhere. When we were in Arizona last month, we found the most fantastic jewelry in the shop in Mesa, AZ. The jeweler's name is Matt Muralt and he creates the most wonderful, magnificent art jewelry in glass, gold and precious stones. I had him make a pendant of green glass and gold in the shape of a scarab. It glows like it has a light behind the glass. Here are a couple of his other creations. The wings on the jeweled scarab move. The Luna moth is divine and could be compared to the best of the Art Nouveau work.