Todd Reed (1973 – ) Todd Reed is an iconoclast whose work is driven by artisanship and inventiveness and, according to his official website, “…the twin methods of a renaissance man.” He is best known as an award-winning, American fine jewelry designer who specializes in the use of rough diamonds. Reed’s designs are hand-fabricated in Boulder, Colorado using recycled metals.
Reed is a self-taught metalsmith who began teaching himself how to design and make jewelry from metal and colored gemstones. His design education coincided with his introduction to rough diamonds, i.e., uncut and unpolished specimens with natural, perfect geometry, unique surfaces, and textures.
Even though Reed recognized his passion for creating jewelry early on, he enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. While attending school he sold his designs at local markets. After completing school, he moved back to Colorado and began selling jewelry to galleries. As his small business grew, he began incorporating raw diamonds into his work. Reed was among the first to use raw diamonds in modern jewelry and it created a new category in fine jewelry.
In 2010, he opened his first showroom in Boulder. His second showroom opened in Venice, California in September 2014. Today, Reed’s designs are also sold in more than 70 jewelry stores nationwide.
From the outset, he recognized the natural beauty of the rough diamonds and wanted to incorporate them into his work as long as they were ethically mined. His use of raw diamond cubes and natural diamond shapes remain among the most revolutionary design steps taken in the jewelry industry in the last generation.
In addition to his work with sustainably-sourced diamonds, Todd has also become renowned for using recycled metals including 18K gold, palladium, platinum, and silver. His creations are entirely hand-fabricated and brought to life by exceptionally skilled and passionate artisan collaborators who ply their crafts in his Boulder studio.
Reed uses the raw diamond cubes and natural diamond shapes to design unique engagement rings and weddings bands. He launched his collection under his own name in 1992 and made it his mission to change the future of the fine jewelry industry by designing solely with these raw, uncut diamonds and recycled metals. A quarter of a century later, his raw diamonds are still considered to be among the most revolutionary design steps that the jewelry industry has taken.
According to an August 2018 article in The Robb Report, “When Todd Reed began crafting jewelry 26 years ago, the conversations around sustainability and responsibly sourced materials in the industry were not the hot topics they are today. Over the last few decades, the Boulder, CO based designer has become a key player in the realm of conscientious consumerism. Today, his efforts within and beyond his brand bring focus to the people and resources behind the craft.
“For Reed, the turning point occurred when a friend shared the concept of “right relationship,” a Quaker principle that emphasizes partnerships within a community that help create a positive environment for all.”
Reed says, “The themes of civic and social responsibility and environmental stewardship all fell under the umbrella of fine jewelry design for me, and it felt right to operate from that standpoint.”
The article goes on to state that, “Reed’s signature rough-hewn stones set within textured metals radiate a distinct wildness. His Zero Waste–certified headquarters in Boulder are a stunning representation of his creative vision. Outfitted with a waterfall wall feature, reclaimed wood and steel, and fresh ivy and rosemary, the space evokes creativity and surrender, as Todd describes it. His attention to his surroundings—from animals and rock formations to the shift of seasons—all inspire his … creations. Reed’s pieces range in price from $5,000 and $50,000 to upward of $200,000 for bespoke designs. These … treasures include a variety of necklaces, earrings, cuffs, and wedding rings for both men and women that utilize recycled metals and raw and fancy-cut diamonds. Among his standout designs are a one-of-a-kind pair of hand-shaped, blackened-gold-and-silver cuffs that glitter with diamonds, which Reed scattered like stars onto its surface.”
In 2017, Reed introduced the brand’s Forged as One campaign. In it, all 15 of his master jewelers forge their distinct monogram signature onto pieces they complete (Reed’s own signature looks like a diamond). These markings add a sense of specific humanity to each design while further emphasizing each creation’s handcrafted qualities.
Where many other brands outsource their manufacturing, Reed has a hand in the process from material sourcing to design and execution. In 2018, Reed said he is moving away from seasonal collections and instead focusing on the one-off pieces that set him apart. “I know that we do better when we are celebrating our uniqueness as a brand,” he says. “We are bringing an oddness to a sane world.”
The exquisite, raw designs of Reed’s jewelry has led the way for bold reinvention in jewelry design. Reed’s handmade line of matte and oxidized finishes, earth-toned diamonds, and asymmetrical settings revolutionized the way the industry has modified its approach to fine jewelry. Primary to the work is the individuality of each piece of jewelry.
Reed’s pieces are all crafted from start to finish by only one jewelry artisan in the Boulder studio. This attention to the craftsmanship of each piece of jewelry is part of what makes Reed’s designs innovative.
Notable examples include Reed’s raw diamond necklace which is a one of a kind pendant necklace with raw diamond macles (23.02ctw) and raw diamond cubes (12.50ctw) in 18k yellow gold and sterling silver with patina, in a 24” chain length, that sells for $65,010 and a Todd Reed Bridal ring priced at $9,900.
One of the qualities of Reed’s designs is that they actually look like they came from the earth. While many buyers seek the perfectly-cut diamonds that remain popular in contemporary jewelry, Reed designs with the natural form of the diamond in mind. Another example is his cufflinks that sell for $9,900. He says, “Luxury isn’t about the object. It should be more than that. My work features raw diamonds. I look at each diamond as a sculpture, and I want to share that natural beauty.”
He does that in his Vintage Rings that range in price from $25,300 to $46,200. It’s also found in Reed’s Modern and Vintage Bracelets that sell for $66,000 to $70,400.
To commemorate the brand’s 25th anniversary in 2017, the designer launched a collection of functional and luxurious objects. He created collectible handmade boxes, bowls and spoons that are sold on his website, in his Boulder showroom, and by some of the jewelers who carry his line.
According to a press release distributed at their launch, the objects aren’t merely decorative but are intended to be used.
“They are unique, beautiful, and collectible. Use them,” he said. “Bowls can be filled with spices. Float a flower in a bowl filled with water. Keep your Todd Reed jewelry in one of our boxes. Give a spoon as a gift for a newborn or just because it’s a cool, fun gift.”
The boxes are rendered in metal, some with metal lids with flush-mounted diamonds, and some with hinged or removable stones as lids in materials like Swiss jasper and Apache gold. The bowls are hand-forged in Reed’s showroom at the renovated forging space, where visitors can view Todd Reed artisans crafting silver into small bowls accented with diamonds.
Reed has long created spoons as gifts for family and friends and introduced several new styles to honor his 25th year in business. Prices for available pieces start at $825 for a small bowl in sterling silver with patina and rise to $27,000 for the “Honeycomb Box,” which is rendered in 18-karat yellow gold and patina sterling silver.
Each piece is marked with the hallmark of the specific artisan who crafted it. Items made in 2017 are also stamped with a special symbol that honors the brand’s anniversary.
Reed is the recipient of jewelry design awards from the American Gem Trade Association, Veranda Magazine, Town & Country and others, Todd Reed jewelry is considered more art than accessory as well as an expression of individuality and true beauty.
Between his dazzling designs and forward-thinking acts of philanthropy, Reed continues to prove that conscientious creating and consuming is itself a work of art. Today, Reed works with 100% recycled materials, sourcing gold and other precious metals from Hoover & Strong, a refiner and manufacturer that has been providing socially and environmentally-responsible products for more than 95 years. From conflict-free diamonds and fair trade gemstones to 100% recycled gold, platinum and palladium, they are the source for green jewelry.
Reed’s collection continues to grow and evolve, as does his interest in and relationship with the material. All of Reed’s pieces are hand fabricated at his Pearl Street studio by a team of exceptional goldsmiths working under Todd’s guidance. Interested buyer can find his pieces in many boutiques and jewelry stores around the United States.
Reed says, “I am a self-taught goldsmith and metalsmith, and very much enjoy the hard work that goes into each piece. I have been extremely fortunate in that my work has won many international awards, and it is frequently included in books, trade publications, and consumer magazines. My work can be seen at the finest shows and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. My work continues to grow as I grow, and I am still inspired by most everything. Beauty and nature are endless inspiration.”Sell Todd Reed All Artists