Blogs: On Your Market / Designers

With Apus, Martha Seely Paints Pretty, Cheerful Jewels


I’ve been a massive fan of Martha Seely’s since I met her, probably six or so years ago. A nicer person you’ll never meet, but she just so happens to have a knack for jewelry design too.

As a JCK Rising Star in 2016, Seely showcased in Las Vegas with some very memorable pearl pieces, in addition to other styles, each carrying some form of celestial theme. With little swirls of diamonds and metal, her spiral earrings and other styles with names like Nebula and Cirrus had me starstruck.

And it’s only gotten better. Staying true to her brand’s DNA, Seely has expanded upon her collections and design repertoire over the years, with each new release more astounding than the last.

Her latest in gorgeous but very wearable styles takes on a new feature: enamel.

“Over time my jewelry, which started with neutral whites and blacks, has transitioned into an explosion of color,” Seely tells me over email. “And the last couple of years, being in lockdown pushed me into that direction more, because I needed color to keep up my spirits. It has been a long two years.”

Martha Seely Sunset earrings and pendant
Sunset pendant ($1,000) and earrings ($575) in sterling silver with enamel, lapis, citrine, and orange sapphires

This latest explosion of color delivers the most cheer that’s been seen from the already jubilant line. And they do something else that hasn’t been done before: They go a little behind the realm of the celestial. Well, sort of.

“For me it was the desire for color that pushed me into trying out enamels, and it was my fascination with the birds of paradise—those gorgeous birds— that kept pushing me,” Seely says. “But the first question was, how can I make this fascination with these birds work with a line that is all about the universe and the sky? Well, Apus is a constellation in the sky that is named after birds of paradise.”

Martha Seely Apus Dusk earrings
Apus Dusk earrings in 18k yellow gold with enamel, pink garnet, and chrome diopside, $2,490

Ensuring continuity within one’s designs is extremely important for brands to showcase who they are, and Seely’s gut check ensures a seamless transition into something new. The styles are recognizable as her own, with a twist that makes them feel fresh for the season, like a new wardrobe for the summer from a brand you’re faithful to. Indeed, these styles feel very much like Martha Seely does summer, and the season couldn’t come soon enough.

Thus far, the collection has been well received: The earrings featuring London blue topaz (pictured at top) took first place in their category at Jewelers of America’s 2022 CASE Awards.

All of the pieces are available in sterling silver and 18k gold, and can also be requested in 14k gold.

Top: Apus Horizon earrings in 18k yellow gold with enamel, London blue topaz, and tsavorite, $2,490; Martha Seely

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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