Fossils Take Center Stage in New Jewelry from Cresta Bledsoe and Jacquie Aiche
Instead of traditional precious gems, Cresta Bledsoe and Jacquie Aiche have turned to unconventional materials—well-preserved shark teeth—as centerpieces for their latest jewelry works, giving the fossils an extraordinary second life.
For decades, relatives of Bledsoe’s combed the shores of Ponte Vedra Beach on the northeast coast of Florida for fossilized shark teeth, eventually accumulating a vast collection that she now sets in recycled 18-karat gold and crafts into earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Among Bledsoe’s most remarkable designs are a pair of drop earrings made of deep-green Siberian nephrite jade with shark teeth and white diamonds ($8,700) and a bib necklace that suspends 10 shark teeth and black diamonds in a web of fine gold chain ($8,300).
The Los Angeles–based designer Jacquie Aiche draws inspiration from her family’s Egyptian heritage to create pieces that pair fossilized shark teeth with hammered gold or mount them in amulet-like settings. She frequently positions colorful gemstones alongside fossils of varying sizes and shades. For example, her new 14-karat-gold necklace is made with three small, light-brown shark teeth set with diamond shaker bezels ($2,875). A vibrant gold cuff features a delicate white shark tooth beside a petite diamond, an eye-catching chrysoprase, and a green tourmaline ($3,965). “I love that the tooth represents safety while the gold and diamonds bring them to a whole other level,” Aiche says, pointing out that the client drawn to her shark-tooth designs is usually “a woman with a bit of rebellion in her.” (crestabledsoe.com; jacquieaiche.com)