Welcome to the Josephs Jewelers blog where you’ll learn all about fascinating gemstones, beautiful jewelry and the inner workings of Josephs Jewelers.

Meet the Artist Behind Spiritiles: Houston Llew Q&A

We will be having a spectacular signing event with Houston Llew – the artist behind spiritiles – at our West Des Moines location on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) from 11 am to 3 pm. We will be having a giveaway for a SIGNED Des Moines spiritile! To be entered to win, simply come in to our West Des Moines location on May 5th to receive an entry. The winner will be drawn by Houston Llew at 3 pm and you do not need to be present to win.

What exactly are spiritiles? They are great home décor items that have an eye-catching image on the front and an inspiring saying on each side. Each tile is hand-made using painted glass that is kiln-fired onto copper and added between the outer frames. We’ll let Houston do rest of the talking with this Q&A:

Q Where do you draw inspiration from when finding what image/words to put onto a tile?

A “Life! No, seriously… I don’t go anywhere without a pocket moleskine notebook to jot down ideas and sketch out concepts whenever they present themselves. Ideas have a life of their own. They are always floating around wherever you go, waiting to be plucked from the air, but you must have something to capture them and carry with you, otherwise it’s a “catch and release” of ideas. If you’re out walking in the park, and you’re struck with inspiration and nothing to capture it for later, the idea will return to the air like a fish and swim away! I recommend everyone carry something to jot ideas down when they happen… my moleskine is how I’ve caught so many ideas!”

Houston Llew Spiritiles - Josephs Jewelers

According to Houston Llew’s website, every spiritile is handcrafted according to the same dimensions following the golden mean ratio. / photos from houstonllew.com

Q What does the word ‘spiritile’ mean to you?

A “I wanted to make something that was more than a drawing or words – I think that infusing spirit into your work carries over to the experience someone has when they interact with that work in the gallery, in the home, or when they receive it as a gift. Calling them “Spiritiles” just made sense to me because the pieces fused image with a story to symbolize meaningful moments in life and in the spirit which people we fill those moments with… those moments that you just want to last for forever.”

Q When did you start your business?

A “October of 1980. I believe that if you build something that has your name on it, your business started when you were born, because all of your life experiences culminate in how you start and run a business. Everything stems back to then.”

Houston Llew Spiritiles - Josephs Jewelers

Q Where do you get the colored ground glass from?

A “It’s enamel glass, typically used for cloisonné jewelry. The process is very similar except I’m not using metal wire to separate the colors. Instead I use the different glass levels, stencils, and tensions, employing techniques taught to me by one of my mentors: Zingaro.”

Q You have an exciting new trio collection that’s been recently released. How long have you thought of creating these?

A I created my first triptych piece in that format around 2010. The format is designed to fit into our Spiritile hanging pattern (available upon request) which abides golden mean proportions.

Q When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A “Me! Big dreams. Honestly, I don’t remember but if I knew what it was like to be me today… this is what I would have picked.”

Sydney Lynch Jewelry: Going, Going, Gone…

If you love Sydney Lynch jewelry, you’ll want to act now! Hurry in because soon it’s going to be going, going, gone. Sydney Lynch announced toward the beginning of January that she will not make any more jewelry. She’s not “retiring,” she’s just riding off into the sunset looking for new adventures — including a nine week vacation in Mexico in March. We couldn’t be more happy for her (and sad for us). Her unique jewelry style will be forever missed.

Sydney Lynch Jewelry - Josephs Jewelers

Lynch has been a jeweler for 45 years. She started her career in the 70’s in Boulder, Colorado. She began and ended her 35 year career at the American Craft Council Show. Her inspiration for jewelry came from nature. Even as a child, Lynch roamed and collected objects from woods and beaches that she would later put into patterns and groupings to inspire her designs.

Sydney Lynch First Craft Show

Sydney Lynch’s first craft show, ACC Rhinebeck, NY, in 1983.

Sydney Lynch Jewelry - Josephs Jewelers

Sydney Lynch’s last craft show, The Baltimore Convention Center, in February 2018.

In a public announcement she sent to her collectors, she said “it’s time for me to move on to a new phase in my life after 35 years of ACC shows and 45 years in all, working as a jewelry artist. What a journey it has been!”

Josephs Jewelers has several pieces in both locations. NOW is the time to get everything you want! To see our available inventory, you can visit our website here and it will take you directly to our in stock items.

Josephs Jewelers Sydney Lynch    Sydney Lynch Jewelry - Josephs Jewelers    Sydney Lynch Jewelry - Josephs Jewelers

In Lynch’s announcement, she also answered the question on everyone’s mind about what she will be doing now with a simple answer: “Explore life, expand my learning, make better progress on the mountain of books by my bedside.”

We will carry Sydney Lynch Jewelry until our inventory is exhausted, and we know it’s going to go fast (that’s why we’re giving you a heads up!)

A Personalized Gift Guide Your Valentine Will Love

The best way to give a gift that matters is by making it something unforgettable and unique; a gift that your loved one can call their own because it’s literally one-of-a-kind. We want to make finding the perfect gift easy for you, that’s why we offer a variety of in-house services including customizing and engraving.

If you want to make your gift stand out or just want an affordable item to wow your lover, you’ve come to the right place! You can simply get an item custom-made (just arrive with your ideas) or purchase one of our many items and get it engraved. Our service pricing starts at $10 minimum for items purchased only from Josephs. For more expensive purchases over $500, engraving is complimentary. Custom items’ pricing varies as well.

Engraving will help tell the one you love something special through items like jewelry, cuff links, select giftware, watches or pens.

We understand the importance of affordable and good quality items, that’s why we have a large selection that includes several price points — from fashion jewelry and sterling silver to giftware and watches. We browsed around to find several Valentine’s Day gift ideas that your significant other, children or other family members will cherish for the rest of their life.

Josephs Jewelers Valentine's Day gift ideas

  1. Any of the pens we offer can be engraved. For some, it can take up to two weeks. Shown above are just a couple options. (MPEN09378 + MPEN07940)
  2. Simple and elegant describes this oval disc bracelet in yellow gold. Add a cute message or monogram to make it their own (or it’s stylish by itself). (JBKT21709)
  3. This glass globe is a great gift to engrave for the explorer in your life. If they’re always traveling, engrave a well-known quote like “not all who wander are lost.” (GMIG14493)
  4. Stop time with this beautiful Tissot t-wave mother of pearl watch with 22 diamonds. (WTSL04239)
  5. Your options are endless with an engraveable disc cuff. It can be worn with anything and is very minimalistic! (JSLBR30684)
  6. This Seiko solar nylon strap watch is an affordable and trendy watch option for any man. (WSKG11148)
  7. Store a wedding photo or photoshoot photo in this sleek picture frame. Add a customized message with your anniversary date or maybe “I love you.” (GRBG06479)
  8. The receiver of this Colonial Mahogany Jewelry Box Chest will love the classy dior red interior. Simply mark it as theirs with their name on a plate. (MJB00802)
  9. Put anything you want on a keychain that your Valentine can carry and cherish forever.

The Best Statement Jewelry from Golden Globes 2018

The Golden Globes will be one to remember with many celebrities making a solidarity statement with a sea of black dresses and suits in support of the #MeToo movement. The unforgettable evening was accompanied by sparkling accessories that made each outfit even more elegant. From oversized emerald earrings to bold diamond necklaces, each celebrity took a simple black gown and stole the show with spectacular jewelry pairings.

Here are some of our favorite jewelry from the night:

You’re Engaged, Now What? 6 Bulletproof Tips For Planning A Wedding

He popped the big question and you said yes! After taking a break from admiring your sparkling diamond ring and snapping a few photos for social media, you’ll probably begin celebrating with friends and family (which is fine; cheers). After a couple of weeks fly by, it’s time to start gathering the details to begin planning a wedding that will be perfect and stress-free.

We’re here to make your wedding the best moment of your life, without the fear of feeling like a ‘bridezilla.’ Follow these six important after-engagement tips and you’ll soon be on your way to a happy marriage.


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New Line: John Hardy Jewelry

We love partnering with companies that take the extra steps necessary to provide a great atmosphere for their employees and contribute positively to the environment – on top of fine jewelry craftsmanship and quality. John Hardy, a new jewelry line we got in our stores this fall, is a shining example of these qualities. Imagine a company so invested in their employees they provide lunch fresh from their organic garden each day and allow employees time with their families.  Where young moms can work from home so that they can be with their children. That is what John Hardy is all about, and we know you will be just as passionate about their story as we are! Read More

Industry News: Diamonds & Emmys Fashion

Time for a round up of some jewelry industry news bites!  We’re starting with the gemstone that dominates the news the most – diamonds, of course – and ending with a nice recap of award show jewelry fashions.

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Des Moines Fashion Week 9/25-9/29

Being involved in community events, fundraisers and projects is a top priority here at Josephs. We’ve been adorning the Des Moines community for 146 years – it only makes sense that we would be a part of the second annual Des Moines Fashion Week this year! We are headlining sponsors for the event along with Jaguar Land Rover of Des Moines and Splash Bar & Grill. We are looking forward to this opportunity to be involved in the Des Moines fashion scene and display our jewels in a new and exciting way.

DSM Fashion Week takes place Monday, September 25 through Friday, September 29.  For the Couture, Bridal & Accessories event on Wednesday, September 27 at Rollins Mansion, we will be adding some of our sparkle to the opening designer’s show and closing designer’s show. In addition, we will be showcasing Josephs pieces in our own runway show during this event as well. We’ll have a mix of beautiful pieces to show you – colored stones, diamond looks, big silver looks…you name it!

We’ll end the week with our own runway again at the Finale Night on Friday, September 29 at Splash. Hope to see you there at this event celebrating Des Moines and its up-and-coming fashion industry!

Peruse our Instagram for some behind-the-scenes photos of a recent Fashion Week video shoot.