Zuri Mesica was starting to think about retirement—after all, the founder of Tzuri fine jewelry has been in the jewelry business for more than four decades, so you might think he’s blasé about celebrities wearing his work or creating new pieces.
Instead, Mesica says he decided he had more to give, and that Tzuri as a jewelry super brand was his way to give back in a real and substantive way. And if you think he’s bored, the opposite is true. His enthusiasm for the jewelry industry and what it can accomplish is absolutely invigorating.
In some ways, everything that Mesica started with has come back around, and he wants to be here for all of it. Hoops? Make them bigger. Princess-cut diamonds? Their beautiful shape is meant for bracelets and earrings. Padlocks? Sure, the big industry names are doing them—but not the way Mesica can.
Everything feels new and fresh to Mesica, he says, and he’s excited to try everything. Maybe it was the pandemic slowdowns. Maybe it’s just his general joie de vivre. Whatever it is, Mesica wants the world to know he’s still a force within the jewelry industry and he has lots of new tricks to share. As he puts it, he’s changing how people think about and wear jewelry one treasure at a time.
One of his main projects is his longtime partnership with Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that focuses on educational opportunity. A portion of his sales goes toward Pencils of Promise to help build schools internationally in hopes of developing literacy worldwide.
“The pencil symbolizes the freedom of expression,” Mesica says. “It’s freedom of expression not just for us as adults, but it also does the same for kids. That’s why I wanted to work with it as a symbol in my jewelry but also to help Pencils of Promise.”
The resulting collection is “elevated” from the ordinary to the extraordinary with precious metals, diamonds, and different textures. There are pencils of every size in Mesica’s Expression collection—necklaces that look like ferocious daggers, midnight black bracelets with an opaqueness that seems to trick the eye, earrings that look like heavenly crosses but reveal themselves up close as delicate pencil shapes.
All these pencils are produced in limited editions of 500 units per design annually. They also are engraved with a serial number and Mesica’s signature.
The Princess collection will include a variety of pieces with what Mesica describes as invisible prongs holding the diamonds in place. Its first piece already carries a glamour that impresses—the diamond-studded bracelet in the classic princess shape with a subtle crown set into its interior to make the wearer truly feel royal.
Mesica is particularly excited about a new patented rolling ball shape that he’s using to create movement and flexibility in jewelry. For example, the bracelet allows the wearer to exchange a gold adornment with one covered in diamonds, mixing it up as the mood arises for special occasions or everyday wear.
The Padlock collection will have exchangeable looks as well with a lock and key that the wearer can switch out for gemstones or diamonds. Each will have a wheel that will turn, and every one will be engravable so the wearer can add sentimental words like kids’ names or personal mantras, Mesica says.
So what’s next? Mesica says he’s excited to find out.
“I almost retired, but I went back to my inspiration of helping others and now I’m working on full collections. I love it. It’s so fulfilling,” Mesica says.
Top: Zuri Mesica says he is launching several new collections and adding to his Pencils of Promise Expression collection to boost his footprint in the jewelry industry and his interest in boosting literacy around the world (photos courtesy of Tzuri).@jckmagazine
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