My name is Marilyn Brogan, I run a one-woman studio based in Apalachicola, Florida. I offer delicate, minimalist jewelry made from recycled gold and silver and an ever expanding line of engagement rings and wedding bands featuring recycled and traceable diamonds.
I deeply value and admire good craftsmanship and believe a design is only as good as its execution. Jewelry is an expression of both the maker and the wearer – the quality of the construction is essential to that collaboration. If a ring looks beautiful but it is poorly made, then it may not feel right, fit right, or last. I’m inspired by antique jewelry and love the function of heirlooms. Like the handmade Appalachian quilts passed down to me from my great-grandmother, fine jewelry tells a story across generations. When I finish a piece of jewelry, I see a story that’s just beginning.
People often ask about the recycled metals and diamonds I use in my jewelry. The metal comes from a gold and silver refinery that specializes in recycling old jewelry; they produce new gold and silver stock for me to use without damaging the earth by mining new raw materials. The recycled diamonds I use have been removed from jewelry, re-polished (when necessary), and graded for cut, color, clarity and carat weight – the same standards that apply to all diamonds. The traceable diamonds I’m using currently are mined, cut, and polished in Australia or Canada by people working under socially responsible conditions.
The price for this transparency and peace of mind is a bit higher, but I think it is absolutely worth it. I didn’t want to use diamonds for many years because the most responsible diamonds on the market were “conflict free,” and there is no way to know for certain where these diamonds are coming from and under what conditions the miners are working. I know that mining new precious metals is destructive — loving the earth and being a jeweler can often seem at odds. However, I’ve faced the facts of my chosen profession and am committed to using the most responsible materials I can. Recycled metals and recycled diamonds are the best of both worlds.