“We’re based in Taxco, Mexico, where that classic Mexican silver look was created—but I want to show the world that Mexico has something new to give in silver,” said jewelry designer Monica Zamora Krause, co-owner of Balaam Jewelry, from the brand’s booth at the JIS Exchange trade show.
The designer’s edgy sterling silver jewelry—which she creates with three other designers for the brand—literally stopped me in my tracks as I was strolling the upper ballroom at the Tropicana Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon (and Krause’s bubbly personality made it fun to linger there).
Balaam’s bold use of geometric shapes, sheer size, innovative finishes, and feather-light construction fuel styles that feel both on trend and completely original.
Balaam Designs necklaces at the brand’s JIS booth
Freshwater pearl cuff, $195
Krause recalled with a smile that when she presented her first designs to the iconic Taxco jewelry workshop where each piece in the collection is hand-forged, the reaction from nearly everyone was, “It’s not gonna sell; it’s too different from what Mexican silver is.”
Four years later, Krause and her team are on a roll, producing great statement silver pieces that are comfortable to wear and accessibly priced (earrings range from around $55 to $115).
The designer added that she hopes the collection, which includes many pieces that stack perfectly with others to create new looks, “lets people show their own style, using the tools we’ve made. I love what I do and I’m so passionate about design. I hope that comes across.”
A snapshot from the brand’s JIS booth
Silver oxidized Dagger necklace, $585
(Top: Sterling silver A hoops, $110)