Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

The Art and Jewelry of J.Grahl Design


I love early jewelry pieces. Time was valued so highly, a jeweler would spend weeks doing what is expected in days now.
As a test, I wanted to create an Edwardian style piece, this one heavily influenced by Shrive & Co. of San Francisco.
But there is always a twist… I wanted color that would cause a second look, backed up, of course with the detail that this era was so noted for.
The ring is set with a 2.97 ct Natural,unheated Padparadja, sourced from a 1930’s ring, and two African Demantoid Garnets weighing 1.12 ct each.
While there are a myriad of details in this platinum fabricated piece, of particular interest are the “Azures” in the last photo. (the small square and trapezoidal shapes inside the ring)
Azures are rarely used today, they are cut by hand prior to the setting of the stone. It actually takes more time to cut and polish an azure than set the stone.
There is more to come on this piece,
Mark Maxwell & I are great friends, there is some very unusual teamwork at play here.
We’ll have an article upcoming.


Again, Simple
With a twist.
The stone is an un cut, naturally terminated, (meaning the ends are just as nature grew the crystal, doubly terminated stones are rare,) precious Topaz crystal, Just enough 18K yellow gold to be sturdy and hold it together and a bit of diamond detail. This is a casting, I do them too…
Circa 1975.
Sylvia Bissonnette photo


It’s hard to deny the essence of eye catching jewelry.
I’d love to say it’s workmanship, or maybe design.
I certainly want it to be obsessive detail…
But no,
It’s light first, the play of reflection, small hints (or great gobs) of color.
Small diamonds , in particular, are great little mirrors, bouncing light all over the place, disco balls for the finger.
Our hands are perpetual motion machines, rarely allowing the viewer time to take in the details.
My job is to put them there anyway, knowing the wearer will slow down at times and take a closer look, my intention is to give them something worth looking at, a bit more than the disco ball…
Hand fabricated platinum and a bunch of diamonds.
Sylvia Bissonnette


Atocha (offshoots)…
While researching the Atocha project,
a lot of time was spent on investigating the history of Peru and Central America. The Inca and Mayan cultures in particular.
The central God in Mayan culture was (is) Quetzalcoatl.
Bear in mind that most of the original gold and silver ingots shipped by the Spanish from the New World to Spain were, previously, Mayan art.
The Spanish were on one mission, to Conquer…
That had several dictums, First, get treasure to fortify the Spanish war effort (against pretty much everyone), second , to convert everyone to Catholicism. So, the Maya, seeing things a bit differently, and thinking that Cortez was their Savior incarnate (a sort of mythical Christ figure) graciously gave the Spanish gold, silver and gems items as gifts, a welcoming to a new era…
While the welcoming didn’t last too long, the treasures registered on the Spanish intellect (sic)… There must be a source for these precious metals and gems…
So the enslavement began.
More to come.
The piece shown here is composed of a series of carvings/castings in 18K yellow rose and white gold.
This is a replica of a Mayan stone carving of Quetzalcoatl.
A reminder of the great art that was destroyed in the name of greed and mis-guided politics.
Enjoy & think a bit…
Photo, Sylvia Bissonnette
Art , Beth Eyler-Wong / J. Grahl


Pearls are my first love…
Natural Pearls at the top of the “Love” list
This is really special, it was given to a friend from the pearler who found it , he was in his nineties, and he forum the pear about 1895.
My friend, also up in her rears gave it to me around 1980.
Though we knew the story, it wasn’t until a GIA check that this came back with a “Natural” certification.
As of today, I’ve not seen another like it.
12mm, pink and as close to flawless as possible.
I fabricated the ring with classic styling in mind, wanting to focus on keeping the attention on the pearl.
The ring is fabricated platinum, The East / West stones are .25 ct natural pink diamonds, the balance all white.


Jim, the attention to detail makes your work super special. This would make
me a pearl fan! I know someone asked and like them, I do hope you have a
book of your work & stories. Something to inspire the future. because
average is just not what it is about! You do have your own file on my
computer! I truly cannot absorb enough in a momentary gawk or two! I art, I
don’t actually jewel, but I have utmost admiration for those who do!
Continue to make magnificent jewelry and other things-please!

Eileen Schneegas


Hello Jim,
I do enjoy the stories about your lovely work. The pearl ring is beautiful - I especially like the detail on the settings for the pink diamonds. Clever to use the little spheres in the corner of the teardrop! Thanks for sharing and I hope to see more.

Judy in Kansas, where Fall continues its unusually gentle temperature decline. No freeze yet and only a couple light frosts means peppers, tomatoes, okra, and snow peas are still producing, albeit modestly.


Hi Eileen,
Thank you for the kind words, book is in the works, .
I’ll keep trying…


Hi Judy,
yes… stories abound.
Thank you fro the note from chilly Kansas… still nice out here.
I Appreciate Your interest in my studio’s work, I keep at it because I truly love it.
I’ve had great people with me over the years, each making a contribution in some manner.
Thanks for your support,


Hi Jim,

It is a real pleasure to look at your beautiful work.

I am curious about one thing. Who owns or buys your pieces?
I mean do people special order as a custom order? Or do you make it and
sell them through a store?
I am curious as they are such high quality and so original that it must fly
off the shelves.

Thank you again for showing your work. They make my day when I get to see
each new photo.

But it must be said the photographer also deserves a medal for her amazing
set ups. Where did she learn how to do this?



Very pretty you decorated the pearl perfectly. Enjoyed watching

Thank you for sharing


Hi Sharron.
My work is mostly for private clients, periodically I’ll do a “spec” piece, mostly to explore an area I haven’t looked into before.
I’m glad you enjoy these, and , you’re seeing 50+ years of work in a very short period of time. There are a lot more to come.
I’m starting to break the posts up into categories, trying to share with out being pretentious or overwhelming.
All feedback is appreciated.
As to the photography,
If it’s credited, it’s Sylvia’s, no credits will be mine.
Sylvia has been a true gift, she is formally trained, did Tiffany’s work for a number of years before tackling me.
She’s semiretired now but we still get together on special projects.


Thank you very much.


Dear Jim grahl,

I saw the all jewellery , It is unique and very nice also Excellent work.

Please share any new techniques about jewellery new concepts.

Thanks & Regards,



Thank you Karmekanadan,
I will as I can.
Best wishes,


This piece was a real surprise for me when completed.
It’s a friends’ engagement ring,
Hand fabricated in 18K yellow gold and platinum , set with a Rose of France amethyst, and capped with platinum, pave set with vintage single cut diamonds.
As the ring moves on the hand , the diamonds shift color to a light lavender.
That was both an intention and the surprise. The stone picked were very early cuts, picked for their inconsistency , intended to give a bit of a knobby surface texture.
The flash of color was the real surprise, I expected a bit of color but in no way expected the entire top of the ring to flash the color below.
So much more to learn and discover.


Hi Jim,

I impressed with the design aesthetics and gem stone arrangement to get its
maximum elegance. Stunning product. I hope your friend must be loving it.

Thanks and Regards,



Thank you.
She is a woman with style and grace. It’s the perfect piece for her.
Thanks again,


Through the centuries they have been incorporated in the finest of jewelry pieces. Whilst, 100 years ago one could credit the demand to De Beers, who now has a several hundred year supply in stock.
The appeal is undeniable, natures mirrors. There are a few gems we’ve discovered that are brighter, yet not whiter, durable, but not as hard, Diamonds have a well deserved reputation as a beautiful gem.
Pave’ a term I(and style) I use often. The word simply means to "Pave+ (as in a sidewalk…) in French.
However the act of paving a ring certainly provides a lot more eye appeal. The pieces below are all designs to explore Pave’ in various styles.
Another of Sylvia Bissonnette’s wonderful photos.


So I’m curious Jim ,& pardon my naivete’, but how does the pave setting from the diamonds allow the reflective light from the amethyst to show through from below ?

For example the other rings with pave setting you show are obviously on a solid metal base- so does the amethyst ring have something different to let the light through ?
It’s an intriguing technique.

Thanks for sharing - keep it up
Live Oak Studios