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Todd Reed


Todd Reed at the mines

Looking through the current Metalsmith magazine vol, 32 #2,I saw an article about my jewelry making hero TODD Reed, and decided to read it. Even though I know him personally, I really know very little about how he works, so I was amazed to see a photo of his new studio, and to learn more about his business. Now I’m really impressed! He has built the most awesome dream studio/gallery and serious jewelry business. And, he’s only 38!
The article mentions that he began using raw diamonds in 1992, and that got me wondering back to when I first started using raw diamonds. I know that it was before I ever knew of Todd,and I think it started with my quest to find Rose cut diamonds, which were uncommon in the last half of the twentieth century. This got me remembering how in my childhood, I was introduced to Rose cut diamonds by my father, who dabbled in sales of antique jewelry(and a thousand other things) My father was fascinated by and loved diamonds! He tried to interest me but I was not impressed(at that time).

I thought ,”how could a grown man be so taken by these tiny little stones?”

It went right over my head until much later. I had to learn step by step, starting with an appreciation of SW Indian silver and turquoise. As a self taught jeweler and stone cutter, and eventual turquoise mine owner, working the rarest of turquoise, setting it in gold, and Viola! Diamonds! Yes, I finally came round to diamonds since diamonds are a metaphor for ‘precious’. To me they are very generic in their typical white, round and brilliant cut state. They are a value enhancing accent, which people recognize and love. Truth is I have never wanted my Jewelry to look commonplace, and really don,t like to work with commonplace diamonds. My jewelry has a more antique feel and as such I started thinking about those rose cuts I saw as a kid. T rouble was that back in the 80s, they were not widely available. Raw diamonds were almost nonexistent.


Since I am religious about attending the Tucson Gem show, I get to see everything, and little by little, rose cuts began to appear amongst the east Indian diamond dealers. Seems there was a trend developing, and I was right there. I bought a few and started leaning how to set them. Another thing my father told me shortly before he passed away(1987) was

‘coffee colored diamonds are gonna be big’.

He was right about that.

I got into brown colored rose cuts. Eventually, raw diamonds started showing up, and I thought they would be perfect for the esthetic of my jewelry development. I was after all using raw stones from my turquoise mines, and raw diamonds would be the the perfect compliment.

That all seems like a long time ago, now.

I have continued to use both rose and raw diamonds. And believe I have created some unique styling, unlike any others.

Check out my Primal Diamond collection on my website. I love thinking that my father had an influence in my Jewelry Making development, and I am pleased to see the progress of my young colleage Todd Reed.

It’s a wonderful life!