Jewelry Designer Spotlight: Todd Reed

Since 1992, Todd Reed has been making exceptional, hand-made jewelry. Early in Todd’s journey with jewelry, rough diamonds, with their architecture and natural beauty, captivated his attention. His first collection grew from a desire to create settings that housed these gems in a manner that suited their raw beauty. As one of the first people in the jewelry industry to embrace and champion raw diamonds, Todd is credited for starting and then channeling a trend that has taken off with alacrity in recent years. But in the early 1990’s, this was pretty radical.

Todd Reed Jewelry

Todd Reed Rings.

From the beginning, Todd sourced ethically mined and socially responsible diamonds and set them into recycled metals–before it was a marketing phrase. He felt strongly that it was the right way to do business. Today, his studio continues to push the envelope to find the best, most ethical and responsible practices in their award-winning, green-built studio/showroom in downtown Boulder, CO.

Todd Reed Ring

Todd Reed’s exceptional modern take on a statement ring in 18kt yellow gold and 2.42 ct tw in white diamonds.

Although Todd’s designs have become world-renowned, winning awards and garnering press along the way, he and his company have never lost sight of his aesthetic origins. He is constantly looking for new ways to embrace the natural beauty inherent in the raw materials of precious metals and diamonds. Rather than choosing an Ideal 000 colorless diamond, he looks at diamonds with natural characteristics—what some would call flaws—as an essential design element.

Todd Reed bracelet

Todd Reed cuff bracelet in 18kt yellow gold with natural color rose cut diamonds and raw diamond cubes.

Even as his company has grown substantially over the past 20 years, Todd still works at the bench, connecting to the materials and design process. He continues to push and reinvent the ideas that germinated many years ago. New designs that I saw at the Couture Jewelry show in June of 2012 incorporated more yellow gold, often combined with dark oxidized silver. His bridal line, a perfect choice for someone looking for an alternative perspective while still timeless in design, has rings crafted from rose gold and interesting combinations of rose and palladium, a white metal in the platinum family.

Todd Reed rings

A stack of Todd Reed rings in 18kt yellow gold with natural color and white diamonds.

In June 2012, Todd released his new men’s collection. Traditionally, men’s jewelry has just been a LARGER version of women’s jewelry: narrow wedding band–wider wedding band; fine link chain–wide link chain. The Todd Reed Men’s Collection turns that theory on its head, with jewelry that seems like it springs from natural geography: I see mountain ranges and creek beds in the textured metal and burnished finishes.

Todd Reed Men's Rings

A trio of Todd Reed men’s collection rings featuring signature details and raw cube diamonds.

Todd Reed Interview

I had a chance to connect with Todd to talk about celebrating 20 years in the jewelry business, what he likes to do when not at the jewelry bench, and his favorite kind of PIE. This is an excerpt from the full interview, which you can read here at CJDGjewelers.org, a website of fantastic independent jewelers where Todd Reed is a member, and I am an editor.

idazzle.com: You were an artist working in various mediums–painting, sculpture, clothing, furniture–before you started in jewelry. Why do you think jewelry design specifically captured your attention as your career?
Todd Reed: It’s like all the arts wrapped up into a gem: my little ball of emotional purity. Career? That part is always evolving.

Todd Reed bracelet

Todd Reed Men’s Collection bracelet in hand-forged 22kt and sterling silver with patina.

It’s pretty obvious that there was a huge chasm in the industry for good men’s jewelry design. But I’m curious, what was the impetus to create a Men’s Jewelry collection right now?
TR: We find the men’s category the main hole in the industry, we all have tried it, and all have basically flopped except D.Yurman and Scott Kay collections. So I have a new approach that is working well, but telling the whole story would be a bit premature.

Read more of the interview at CJDGjewelers.org! Thank you, Todd for your sharing your inspiration and aesthetic! To contact Todd Reed about any jewelry pictured here, and where to purchase, visit their website here or drop me a line here. Also, to find out more about Todd’s other passions, and see the most gorgeous natural-color diamonds ever, check out this video from Veranda Magazine: Todd Reed Video

Todd Reed Necklace

Todd Reed palladium, sterling silver with patina and raw diamond cube pendant.

Todd Reed Bracelet

Todd Reed 18kt, sterling silver with patina, and raw diamond cube men’s collection bracelet.

Todd Reed Ring

Todd Reed sterling silver and 18kt yellow gold men’s band with 2mm raw cube diamonds.

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