The Egyptian Building, built during the mid-19th century, is a historic landmark located in Richmond, Virginia and serves as Hampden-Sydney College’s first medical department. The interior design of “battered walls” and spiritually based color schemes is believed to act as a striking homage to Egyptian physician Imhotep. Virginia is also home to featured jewelry designer Jerry “Jay” Sharpe.
In a world catering to instant gratification with fast-food and online banking, 20-year veteran Sharpe veers away from hurrying his creation process opting to spend months cultivating his sleek, classic designer jewelry.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Sharpe wasted no time to launch his official brand, the Jay Sharpe Collection, selling his fluid men’s cufflinks, and textured sterling silver earrings through respective local retailers Cavalier Men’s Shop, and Nordstrom’s. Sharpe also added jewelry repair to his repertoire providing such services to a myriad of local retailers.
In the years following his official launch, Sharpe made sure to keep visible appearing in both local and national publications including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond News Leader, Style Weekly, and Essence Magazine.
By 1994 prestigious retail store Henri Bendel added Sharpe’s timeless jewelry to its list of must-have products; three years later the Richmond Ballet commissioned him to design bijouterie for its production of The Nut Cracker; and finally by 1999 Sharpe opened his first flagship store in Richmond, VA.
Most recently in 2007, during the Bush Administration, Sharpe designed the Christmas tree ornaments for the White House.
Renowned for his exquisitely cut custom jewelry, Sharpe’s collections of diamond pendants, wedding ring designs, and silver pendants is subtle yet striking in their curvaceous, voluptuous outlines, pavé sets, and moderately complex geometric structures.
“Because designs are carved by hand the process of each design can take several months. We believe that something that is going to be with you forever should be special. You will see definite attention to detail, fluent cuts, smooth transitional depths and uniqueness.”
The jewelry isunquestionably beautiful with soft satin finishes, tiny splatters of diamonds, as well as beautifully carved West African Adinkra symbols.
Each design is a testament to Sharpe’s sublime artisanship and reaffirms to me that hands-on jewelry making imparts intangible yet palpable soul to every creation.
Photo 1 (top right): Gold Pendant with Diamonds and Pink Sapphires
Photo 2 (center): 14-Karat Yellow Gold Wedding Bands
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Earrings with Surface Textures