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All That Sparkles

Jeweler Creates Personalized Pieces With Love

New Gild Jewelers is a custom jewelry store located in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, providing the most unique and full-service jewelry design available in the Twin Cities. The talented and highly trained jewelers, designers and artisans work passionately and diligently with customers from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they are handed their “sparkle.”

We spoke with co-owner Jenifer Bellefleur about New Gild’s design process, ready-to-wear pieces, repair services and in honor of Mother’s Day - the perfect jewelry gift.

New Gild is known for its custom jewelry. How does your design process work? 

We sit down with our clients and really listen, not just to what they say, but also what they don’t say–meaning, what they tell us with their body language and emotions.  We observe their personal style and often ask to see pictures of the intended recipient if it’s for gifting and honoring another.  

Often our clients bring us loose gems and diamonds, as well as old pieces of jewelry that they’d like to incorporate into the new design.  We have a special affinity for precious gemstones, and we have quite a bevy of beautiful “rocks” in our collection.  Everything from opals to rare garnet varieties to unique diamonds makes us smile and push up our designer’s sleeves.

We instinctively riff on concepts while we’re sitting with the client, helping to draw out their preferences and likes.  Later, we translate our best ideas into CAD imagery that helps the client (and us!) to fine tune the design to perfection.  When everyone is satisfied, we move on to the next step, which is a 3D print of the model we’ve designed.  We use that “wax” model to ensure that the stones for the project fit perfectly, and that the ring suits our client’s desires as well.

We use lost wax casting to move from wax to metal, which is an over 6500 year old method.  The wax is used to create a mold into which molten metal is poured and then cooled.  Voilá, we have a precious metal piece!  We carefully polish the ring and then set diamonds and gemstones perfectly under magnification.  All that’s left is the smile on our client’s face when they see their new sparkle.

Tell us about your antique jewelry repair and restoration services. 

In addition to making objects from scratch, we also give absolutely expert TLC to your existing jewelry, including everything from costume to heirloom.  Many of our clients have costume jewelry that is priceless to them due to sentimental value.  We have the equipment and the expertise to work on those pieces and give them new life, such as converting old clip-on earrings to posts so they can be enjoyed by a new generation.

We also love the challenge of restoring a truly antique ring to its heyday.  Our master jeweler can restore the smallest of details to turn-of-the-century pieces, and give them durability for a new generation.  Even under magnification, our restoration work is perfect.  Restoring antiques is the ultimate embrace of sustainability, and we’re proud to offer these services.

What makes your gallery of ready-to-wear items special?

Our gallery of ready-to-wear pieces is so special because each of them represents the love of a stone.  Unlike big box stores that need a large quantity of identical pieces and therefore shop for predictable stones in calibrated sizes and shapes, we can make something beautiful one-at-a-time from any individual gemstone.  We shop gem shows and also have visiting suppliers who shop this way too, and we peruse their goods for stones that speak to us.  The stone is like a chord progression from which we will write a hopefully beautiful song.

We interact with our stone collections physically and spiritually in order to determine the best use of their beauty.  We design around them, without any preconceived limitations on what we can make.  Sometimes, we work individually and other times as a team to help bring these melodies full circle into wearable pieces of art that capture the eternal nature of the stone alongside the immediacy of the design.  The items in our gallery are therefore all truly unique and designed to delight the senses.

As Mother’s Day approaches, what unique pieces would you recommend for gift giving?

Gifting is incredibly personal, and we try to bring our clients and their loved ones together with the perfect piece.  Different pieces of jewelry have different connotations in our culture.  The gift of a ring is one of the most intimate exchanges, and celebrates things from our love for our partner to the love we share with our best friend.  We have an amazing selection of ready to gift rings in our gallery.  

Bracelets suggest a preciousness too, a holding of another’s hand.  We carry everything from our Morse code bracelets featuring words of affirmation to diamond tennis bracelets; a bracelet makes a wonderful gift.

Necklaces and earrings are a beautiful way to adorn someone with the collision of gems and art.  Many people love having different necklaces and earrings to choose from, depending on anything from the season to their outfit to the occasion–from weddings to Wednesdays.  We carry an incredible selection of both.

In celebration of women, are there any influential ladies that have helped New Gild’s journey?

Many people have helped us on our journey over the past six years!  WomenVenture is a wonderful example of a women-centric organization that partnered with us to bring our dream to life.  We’ve also had wonderful women working on our benches, behind our counters and microscopes, and also shopping with us–all playing their part in our story–and it’s a love story.  Love shows up in everything we do:  our conversations, our people, and our products. People say you can’t buy love, but we disagree; come in and let us show you! | 4300 Upton Ave S. Minneapolis | (612) 402-0561 

  • Co-owners Jenifer Bellefleur and Kelsey Lee-Karol.

"Love shows up in everything we do."