In reply to this potentially fascinating topic, I offer two words:
Tone Vigeland. (period...)
There once was a time, not all that long ago, when the aspiring
jeweler/designer/artisan could venture down to the still slightly
industrial topography of Soho, and study (night or day) the windows
and glass walls of a profound project, known as ARTWEAR..
In this visionary gallery, one of the many crowning achievements of
his Majesty RLM, "preciousness" was so far transcended by
Inventiveness, Sculpture, Creativity, and the profound relationship
of jewelry to the body, that the concept of intrinsic or perceived
value was utterly forgotten.
To this day I mourn the loss of this visionary window into the
innovative mind and the soul of eternal adornment, a link to the
true nature of jewelry in it's most pure translations.
It was a moment, coalesced by the vision of one man and many minds
and hands, when 'Ceramit" vs. ceramic was not even a topic Worth
worrying about, nor was gold vs. crumbling corroded copper and
peeling plant bark.
Seek and search anything/everything to do with this place, and all
your questions will be answered with mind-blowing profundity.
Remember: Tone Vigeland, (not to mention Ted Meuhling...)