Blogs: All That Glitters / Colored Stones / Designers

The New Muzo Emerald Colombia Capsule Rocks On So Many Levels


The designs alone, though. They’re something extraordinary and definitely not like any other Muzo Emerald Colombia collaboration or capsule we’ve seen before. A lot of this has to with the talents represented: All are part of Here We Are (HWA), an important arm of New York City Jewelry Week (NYCJW).

First launched in 2019 under the guidance of Elliot Carlyle, NYCJW’s director of cultural diversity and inclusion, Here We Are supports underrepresented voices in the jewelry industry through community-driven events including panels, webinars, and exhibitions and awards opportunities. With Muzo’s exceptional materials at their fingertips, designers Aman Itomi, L’Enchanteur, Ataumbi Metals, Harlin Jones, Made by Malyia, Embirikos, and Johnny Nelson created unique jewels that reflect their heritages as well as their most beloved brand signatures.

The capsule collection debuted Nov. 17 during NYCJW, a joyous event fittingly held at the new Greenwich St. Jewelers location in Tribeca. Owners Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Zambale have been longtime supporters of the HWA initiative and are well-known champions of BIPOC designers. The store will be the exclusive retailer for the new Muzo Emerald Colombia capsule, and the collection will remain there through Valentine’s Day 2023.

“We built the Here We Are program on the tenets of awareness, education, empowerment, and opportunity, which we see as the pillars of this work,” said Carlyle, in a prepared statement. (You can watch his heartfelt speech given at the event here to fully appreciate the emotional significance of the Muzo Emerald Colombia capsule and how it fits into the ongoing success of the HWA program and the many parties involved in holding it aloft.)

“Change takes time, but everyone wins when there is a shared value in the greater purpose,” Carlyle added in the same statement. “We are thrilled to merge some of the finest Black and Brown designers in jewelry with the finest emeralds in the world through this collaboration with Muzo.”

Muzo Emerald HWA NYCJW party
Party people at the Nov. 17 event held at Greenwich St. Jewelers, including store co-owners Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale; several past and current Here We Are designers (oh hey, Malyia McNaughton); NYCJW cofounders Bella Neyman and JB Jones, and Elliot Carlyle.

“The Muzo emeralds and 22k gold of the collection elevate our stories in the eyes of others,” New Mexico–based jewelry artist Keri Ataumbi of Ataumbi Metals tells JCK (her jewels, pictured in situ at Greenwich St. Jewelers, are showcased below).

“These pieces talk about Cáuigú (Kiowa) origins stories,” she adds. “With Indigenous knowledge, our relationship with our planet and environment comes from a consumer and colonial perspective. With global warming and the environmental concerns we are facing as a species, perhaps it’s time to pay attention to Indigenous stories and knowledge.”

Brooklyn, N.Y.–based designer Sumer Sayan of Harlin Jones has worked with emeralds in the past, but says the Muzo Emerald Colombia x HWA capsule experience was altogether different—in the best possible way.

“First and foremost, the actual quality of the emeralds that come from the Muzo mine are spectacular,” says Sayan. “The depth and the richness of color in the emeralds are something else. The mine itself has such a deep history. To think these gorgeous stones were mined by the Chibcha Indians before the Spanish conquest of the mid 1500’s, for me, was extremely exciting, and it almost gives the stones somewhat mystical powers.

“The biggest thrill for me was to be able to go to the Muzo head office and sort through all these gorgeous emeralds in all different shapes and sizes—I was literally like a kid in a candy store.”

Ataumbi jewelry at Gst jewelers
Emerald necklace, earrings, ring, and bracelets in 18k gold, $1,800–$48,000 each, Ataumbi Metals
Harlin Jones Muzo jewelry
Harlin Jones transformed the emerald “candy” into an 18k gold pendant with diamonds, $7,600; and 18k white gold earrings with diamonds, $11,250.

Gabriella Harvey, Muzo Emerald Colombia’s head of business development, said in a statement, “We love to champion independent designers, and we have been incredibly impressed with the work NYCJW has done to support diversity through Here We Are. With emeralds at the forefront of the jewelry industry, it was only natural that we expand the conversation around our gemstones and share the journey and legacy of Muzo Colombian emeralds along the way.”

More from the expanded “conversation” articulated in the emerald jewels up top and below. And Santa, if you’re reading this, I’d love to see at least one of these green goddesses in the toe of my stocking.

Aman Itomi Cuff
Egyptian Renewal emerald scarab cuff set with emerald cabochons, $59,100; Aman Itomi
Made By Malyia Ring
Emerald ring in 14k yellow gold ring, $10,895; Made by Malyia
Lenchanteur pendant
Pendant 14k yellow gold with carved and hexagonal emeralds, $4,500; L’Enchanteur
Embirikos Necklace
Emerald necklace in 18k yellow gold, $2,290; Embirikos

Top: Silver cuff with three rough Muzo emeralds, $4,000; Johnny Nelson

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Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

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