By  on February 6, 2012

Sara Beltrán scours the markets of Jaipur, India, for fossil shellsthat are more than a million years old to fashion her jewelry collectionDezso by Sara Beltrán, which began in 2010 as a contemporary line withcolorful cotton friendship bracelets adorned with silver or gold sharkteeth.

Since then, Beltrán — who splits her time betweenJaipur, New York and Tulum, Mexico — has honed her craft and spends themajority of her time working with fossils, rose gold, coral, pietersite,tanzanite, kyanite and polki diamonds (which are naturally mined, uncutand rough).

“Many of the materials I work with — such asshells, shark teeth and coral — come directly from the ocean, as well asthe motifs throughout my line that are carved in different precious andsemiprecious stones or cast in gold or silver,” Beltrán said.

The result is a fine jewelry collection that feels more fun than fine.The pieces possess a surfeit of sophistication — such as her fossilshell necklace with kyanite on a rose gold chain, retailing for $7,070 —yet are still extremely wearable. A polki diamond gold cuff with threerows of tanzanites might retail for $55,000, but not all of her jewelryis quite that expensive. The El Paso-born Beltrán’s pieces range from$100 for a single petite shark tooth on a Mexican tassel necklace tocoral and polki diamond earrings for $1,050 to a kyanite open water goldcuff for $16,960.

“In Mexico, I am able to go back to my rootsto find artisanal ethnic materials that are incorporated into my line,such as my Mexican handwoven bracelets and the use of Mexican tasselsfor necklaces and bracelets,” Beltrán said. “In India, I have foundinspirations in the colors I see there, as well as the tradition andworkmanship. This has all helped me develop my designs. I have workedwith craftsmen in India who’ve helped me produce the carved shell andshark fin shapes in semiprecious stones set with polki diamonds.”

The pieces are sold worldwide at Barneys New York, Forty Five Ten inDallas, Roseark in Los Angeles, Muse in Luxembourg, Liberty in London aswell as at Ron Herman, Restir and The Secret Closet, all in Tokyo.

The recipient of the 2012 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award foraccessories, the designer will host her first presentation as New YorkFashion Week kicks off on Thursday, and plans to expand into thelifestyle category with furniture. Besides the chairs and tablescontaining the same themes as her jewelry, she also works with herfriend Jennifer Binney on a line of bags and clothing called Samudra.


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