How Her Life and Heritage Influences Multi-Award Winning Artist, Alexia Connellan’s Colorful Pieces

Episode 112

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • What inspired Alexia to combine historical designs with tropical-colored gemstones
  • What Alexia’s experience as a Black jewelry designer is like, and why the idea that there are no Black jewelry professionals is a myth
  • How artisanal small-scale gem mining helps protect workers and communities
  • How Alexia pivoted to sell her jewelry directly to customers during the pandemic

About Alexia Connellan

Alexia discovered her passion for gems when she was still a child, fascinated to learn that the Vikings used iolite to navigate by the sun on a cloudy day. She began a lifetime of gemstone collecting, developing a refined connoisseur’s eye.

Alexia further honed her creative vision in New York at Columbia University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History & Visual Arts. She continued studying sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2015, she launched a signature collection of couture jewels inspired by extraordinary gems from her collection. One of her first creations, the stunning Victoria Bracelet, designed to feature a spectacular 16.06-carat purple-pink tourmaline, was honored in the Spectrum Awards, an annual gemstone jewelry design competition sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association.

Alexia’s jewelry is bold yet sophisticated, with a joyful palette of remarkable gems: yellow green sphere with sparks of orange and gold, glowing mandarin garnet, and lagoon-blue tourmaline. Each vibrant stone explodes with personality: the perfect complement for the woman who leads a colorful life.


Additional Resources:


Floating Orb Earrings:
The golden glow of the sun shines in these classic earrings updated with a floating pearl suspended below the ear. In the Floating Orb Earrings 2.43cttws of fancy intense yellow diamonds are perfectly balanced by rare 14mm 24k yellow gold colored South Sea cultured pearls. You’ll reach for these handmade 18k yellow gold earrings every day because they can be worn three ways. Wear them as diamond studs for the day, seamlessly attach their gold pearl drops for evening, or instantly update your look by substituting the yellow diamond studs with another pair of studs in your jewelry box. Price on application.
Gatsby Convertible Earrings:
The Gatsby Earrings evoke the rhythmic geometry of Art Deco, with graduated circles pivoting on sparkling diamond pave links so they move with you.  Handmade in 18k yellow gold with 2.66cttw of fancy intense yellow diamonds, and 9ttw of unheated tourmaline, the Gatsby Earrings will take you from day to night because they transform from discrete hoops to dramatic drop earrings and show stopping pendant necklaces. They are designed to be worn five ways: as a diamond huggie, as yellow circle drops, with a long yellow diamond dangle, with a green tourmaline crystal dangle, and with either of the drops as a pendant on a 20″ 18k yellow gold chain. With their versatility, they’ll work with everything in your wardrobe. Price on application.
Ophelia Ring:
Like the beautiful waters of the Caribbean, the hypnotic teal blue of the unheated 18.66ct indicolite in the Ophelia Ring refreshes your spirit. The siren call of the watery depths of this one of a kind gem will make you want to dive in. The design of the ring frames this coveted gem in 18k yellow gold with the intense sunshine of fancy intense yellow diamonds that fade in an ombre pave pattern to white diamonds. Altogether the meticulously handset diamonds total 2.79cttw. “This ring was inspired by the painting Ophelia by John Evert Mills. The lush teal green of the indicolite reminded me of the vegetation in the painting, which is very vivid. The prongs are like flower petals. They are outstretched like Ophelia’s arms in the painting, holding the gem like the water holds her up.” – Alexia Connellan
Price on application.

Hydrangea Earrings:

Toi et Moi ring:


Spiral Earrings:

Sharon Berman