Todd Reed Jewelry Comes to Valley

Neiman Marcus now sells jewelry designed by Valley native Todd Reed. The designer, who has become known among collectors for his innovative approach to jewelry, spent most of his formative years in Scottsdale, attending Kiva Elementary, Mohave Middle School and Saguaro High School.


In high school, he loved the rocks and crystals he studied in geology, but it was when he first saw the diamond, that he was inspired.


“It’s a perfect geometric design,” he says. Its purity appeals to him.


What sets him apart from other jewelry designers is that he prefers colored diamonds over white and raw diamonds over cut.


“As humans, we try to cut every diamond to make it perfect,” says Reed. “But in nature, it’s already perfect. And beautiful.”


Untrained as a jeweler, Reed has forged his own way. Through experimentation, he came up with his own technique, and the result it that his creations are different from what we usually see in jewelry counters. “I had a look in mind that people said couldn’t be done,” he says. “But now my technique is copied.”


He designs mostly in 18- and 22-karat gold, silver, platinum and palladium – a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum – but he is not opposed to titanium and steel.

Raw diamond bracelet set in gold


Reed's technique allows his designs to seamlessly meld gold and silver. On this bracelet, the shape created by the diamonds continues on the underside in gold.


What you see under his name in the jewelry case is modern, just different enough to be fresh – and spectacular. The creations are mostly raw, colored diamonds set in gold or a gunmetal-colored sterling silver or palladium. Each is unique because each is handmade, and each is a work of art.


Reed points out that jewelry, especially diamond jewelry, is often used to reflect wealth. His customers, he says, are a little different.


“My customers are people who love jewelry and know themselves well. They want something that is special to them and that they can relate to personally. For these individuals, other people’s assessments really don’t count.”


Some clients wear his creations on the red carpet. But most, he says, would just as happily wear them to the farmers market with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.


Reed often works with couples to design custom wedding rings.


In the beginning, obtaining raw, colored diamonds was a bit of a challenge. After all, Reed started his work before he was 19. But he forged relationships with miners, mine company principals and even people like Martin Rapaport, who established the Rapaport Diamond Report in 1978 and in 1980 RapNet, which provides daily diamond listings. Often he met industry experts and designers – like David Yurman and John Hardy – because they came to him wanting to buy a piece of jewelry.


He recalls the first three pieces he sold. “All were to great collectors, and that validated for me that people are interested in raw diamonds.”


At 40, he has built his business to name recognition and uses as his trademark the apt phrase “Raw Elegance.” For the most part, his jewelry has been sold in high-end, independent boutiques. While he still designs each piece, he now employs 19 goldsmiths, whom he has trained in his technique, to execute his designs.


For Reed, quality is foremost. “I want to be the very best I can at what I do. It’s a personal thing. I want to be loyal to the core of the design.”


The global movement to downsize, to live more simply, aligns with his philosophy. “My work is like a geode or an onion,” he says. “If you start living with it for a while, you start to appreciate it more.”


The workmanship is remarkable. All of the pieces are designed for every component to be beautiful. A clasp is as exquisite as the necklace. A bracelet is more than pretty on the wrist; it’s also pretty when the wearer removes it and can see the underside.


Words to describe his work? He says passion, excitement, relevance. Most will add unique, gorgeous.



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