Graziela Kaufman (b. ????) Graziela Kaufman was born in Brazil where some of the world’s rarest and most valuable gemstones are found in its quarries. These include aquamarines, emeralds, topaz, amethysts, diamonds, Paraiba tourmalines, and others.
Even as a child, Graziela spent many hours in jewelry houses watching her grandfather work. The magic of transforming an unworked mineral into a glittering gemstone entranced her. Since her grandfather only worked by hand, he instilled in Graziela a deep respect and admiration for the craft and its artisanship. He taught her that it was impossible to achieve the same result working pieces with machines.
Fully accepting what she learned from her grandfather, Graziela hand-designs every piece. She understood early on about many of the natural resources Brazil offers. Her backyard was a ‘gemological treasure.’ She eventually traveled to numerous mining towns throughout Brazil to learn the history of every stone she found. What she learned ultimately became the inspiration for her future creations.
According to a discussion she had with the noted gemologist Katerina Perez, Graziela explained her aesthetic approach, “When it comes to formulating my collections, precious stones are my guiding light. It’s is a reliable and truthful route.”
It did not take long for Graziela to receive a diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) that confirmed her credentials. She then proceeded to establish her own personal jewelry brand, Graziela Gems.
In her prolific 20+ years’ experience, Graziela has designed over 4000 pieces that can be found at more than twenty-five US retail locations and at one in Bolivia.
Her featured collections include: Titanium, Midnight Aquamarine, Ascension, Something Blue, Baronela, and Csarite that feature rings, earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, and more. Her creations incorporate diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, opals, csarites, and tourmalines including the Paraiba variety.
Discovered only a few decades ago, the Paraiba gemstone is a beautiful treasure said to be a million times rarer than a diamond. Its brilliant blue color elements had never before been seen in a tourmaline.
At recent exhibitions including the Couture Show, the designer presented her titanium jewelry for the first time. The collections notable pieces include a set of earrings and a ring with detachable components, alongside other jewelry sets. “Working with titanium is extremely difficult and requires heavy machinery to achieve the desired result. It took my craftsmen in Florida fifteen months to create these earrings and rings with indicolites, Paraiba tourmalines and diamonds,” says Graziela.
Graziela’s every day collections are displayed alongside her one-off high jewelry pieces. Classic precious metals and stone (gold, platinum, diamonds and sapphires) are intermingled with gemstones that have incredibly rare characteristics and carat weights: At the Couture Show, she also displayed Paraiba tourmalines, opals, aquamarines some of which had entire collections dedicated to them.
Graziela has incorporated aquamarines of a unique darker blue and green color into one of her collections. Their hue conjures blue denim because it is so much deeper than the common green-blue tint of aquamarines.
Graziela has given this unusual stone the romantic name ‘midnight aquamarine’ and used it to form several collections, each with an entirely different stylistic orientation. In her most recent designer rings, she’s used the dark blue and green stones mixed with a stream of opal and chalcedony to stunning effect.
According to Katerina Perez, “Graziela finds the inspiration for her work in Brazil’s nature, architecture, joy, colors, and people. Maybe that’s why the part of her work she loves best is observing the transformation that occurs when a client puts on her jewelry.”
Says Graziela, “A person’s energy and beauty are what give jewelry life. It is pure happiness! Not to mention, knowing that these treasures will one day be passed down to someone’s daughter, granddaughter and niece – it’s such a wonderful feeling!”
Graziela Gems jewelry is sold in the USA, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, also in some of Mexico’s boutiques, and on the brand’s website where, it claims, “true beauty knows no bounds!”
Celebrities seen wearing Graziela’s creations include Sarah Jessica Parker, Holland Taylor, Jessica Lopez, Juliette Lewis, Melissa McCarthy, and Alyssa Milano.
In January 2016, Graziela Gems announced a collaboration with actress, activist and close friend Nikki Reed. Together they designed a collection to help raise funds and awareness for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Ian is Nikki’s husband and the couple feels strongly about protecting all animals on the planet.
This working relationship was a natural extension of Graziela’s lifelong passion for animals. Over the past 10 years, she has made it her mission to advocate for all animals especially those who are abused, neglected or threatened by euthanasia.
Years ago, a friend introduced Graziela to a documentary called, Earthlings about the mistreatment of animals and human dependence on them for economic interests. The film inspired her to get involved with rescue and animal rights. As a result, she donates a portion of her sales to many different organizations dedicated to bettering animals’ lives. Consequently, each of her clients become part of her mission.
Graziela moved to the United State nearly twenty years ago and lives with her husband and four boys in the Chicago area.