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Beautiful and sustainable jewelry made with care in San Francisco. Edgy and unique styles to wear everytday. We have everything from tiny platinum stud earrings to Moissanite engagement rings made from recycled gold and fashion jewelry from solid sterling silver.

Read all about how we make sustainable jewelry!

We have so much to share with you! Follow along on our blog | Sharon Z Jewelry | Shop Handmade Sustainable Jewelry San Francisco

Filtering by Category: Maker Stories

OMG Palladium What the Hell?

Sharon Zimmerman

A quickie economics lesson from someone with experience pricing jewelry and making jewelry - sometimes jewelry materials are really really expensive. Reductive? Yes. True? Also, yes.


Metal prices change daily with the market. Most jewelers I know take a look at the metals market at least weekly, if not daily. I will admit that one of the first apps that I open on my phone in the morning is Kitco to check on the day’s gold prices. More importantly than the day-to-day changes, year to year they can shift enough that we as designers and jewelers will take a step back and reevaluate our pricing. Such is the situation I’m in with palladium today. Palladium is a tricky metal to work with. It has a prettier color than 18 or 14 karat white gold (Full disclosure that I have OPINIONS about metal colors and which ones I like), which makes it great for bridal jewelry, but it isn't as easy to work with as platinum or white gold. It takes heat from a torch very weirdly (trust me, it is extremely weird to solder and melt this metal) making it a more technical metal to work with and it takes a lot more time to make almost all of my palladium jewelry. In the past, the relatively low cost of palladium made it worthwhile since you could make a piece that has a prettier color than white gold, and at a price point that was slightly less than 14 karat white gold. The extra work was worth it to be able to make something in a white metal that could still be in an acceptable price range for my clients. It's also a sturdy metal with a lot of qualities similar to platinum, but without the weight and density. It also used to be a fraction of the price of platinum.

That's all been changing in the last 4-5 months. The price per ounce of palladium has grown high enough that some of the rings I make in palladium are almost as much as the same ring in platinum. With all of the changes to palladium costs, I’ve been recommending to more and more clients that they simply upgrade a little bit to platinum.


This is all to say that part of the reason why my palladium rings are discontinued is that I won't be able to recreate these rings at a price that would appeal to most of my customers. I've tried re-pricing some rings in palladium and most of these rings would all be almost double their current prices. In the coming months, you’ll see some changes to my bridal collection as I reprice just a couple of styles and change the rest over to either platinum or 14 karat palladium white gold. This may be the last that you see of the solid palladium rings until palladium prices come down.**

**If they ever do. Currently, palladium prices are driven up by an increase of the use of palladium in car exhaust filters - it is keeping your air clean of pollutants. Take a metal in high demand, add limited mining output of palladium and presto! Increased metals costs. Citation - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-21/why-palladium-s-suddenly-an-especially-precious-metal-quicktake


Our Feature in the San Francisco Chronicle

Sharon Zimmerman

It's been a roller coaster year, but we were thrilled with our recent feature in the San Francisco Chronicle. It shows mein action - drawing down wire to make a nose ring, soldering a wedding ring, and basically showing you all the work and effort and love that go into each and every piece of sustainable jewelry we make here in our San Francisco Studio.

Sharon Zimmerman draws down wire for a  nose ring  in her San Francisco studio

Sharon Zimmerman draws down wire for a nose ring in her San Francisco studio

Soldering a  wedding ring  in 14 karat gold. Image by Liz Hafalia

Soldering a wedding ring in 14 karat gold. Image by Liz Hafalia

Article by Carolyn Said, photos by Liz Hafalia.

Read all about it here.

How I Wear It - the Spear Huggies with Tiny Studs

Sharon Zimmerman

I'll admit it - I got into jewelry-making largely for my own self-interest. I wanted to have beautiful pieces of jewelry to wear and the best way to get something that's exactly what I want is to make it myself. So I started making jewelry. A lot. Obsessively. All the damn time.

Time passed, more jewelry got made and I got more curious about where my metals came from. I got more interested in creating a jewelry line that uses sustainable materials and incorporated more designs and more creative and wild visions. Each year, I make more and more jewelry that I love down to its core. It becomes pretty hard to figure out which pieces to put on each day when I feel like I have an embarrassment of riches. So much to love...so little ear space.

I mean, of COURSE - making more jewelry means that I need to be wearing more jewelry. So a couple of years ago I added two new piercings to my left ear to make room for more studs and earrings.*

I love how tiny studs accent the ear like a sprinkle of stardust. All the more so when those studs are made in rose gold. (14 karat rose gold is my not-so-secret favorite metal to wear). Though if yellow gold or platinum are your jam, by all means go to town and create your own ear party!

Sure, you can wear our spear huggies on their own, without any other earrings and they will still look great alone, but this was far too fun of a look for me to pass up and adding in all of these studs feels like I’ve armored up for the day.

Pictured on my ear from left to right, all of these are shown in rose gold, and available in yellow gold, platinum (except for the spear huggies) or sterling silver:

Tiny Stick Stud Earrings
Spear Huggies
In the Rough Diamond Studs
Tiny Pebble Studs

We’d love to hear from you and see how you arrange your ear party! Feel free to post a comment or reach out to us by email. We’ll post your image to our Instagram feed and tag you too!

How do you like to wear your tiny studs and huggies?

*I had mine pierced by Perry at Rose Gold in the Haight.

Happy Five-Year Anniversary! Time for a major sale to celebrate!

Sharon Zimmerman

Five years ago, in the midst of a recession and a ginormous spike in metals prices, I thought, "hey, I should really get around to launching my jewelry business". And five years later, I am still here. 

Designs have come and gone, work spaces have come and gone, I've learned new techniques, traveled to exotic locales like LA, New York and Chicago in a quest to expand my business. I've met awesome people and created a community of bloggers, stores and other jewelry designers all focused on independent design and entrepreneurship. I've rededicated myself over and over to finding the most ethical and sustainable methods for making fine jewelry and along the way I've discovered new passions for unusual materials.

I couldn't have done this without the many people supporting me through this. Thank you all.

Use Coupon Code HAPPY20 to take 20% off at checkout through April 10 (sale ends at Midnight)

Style - the Made in the USA edition

Sharon Zimmerman

Pink and black and Made in the USA

Live your values, wear your values. That’s what I always say.  OK, not really, but that should be my motto, for sure.

A little over 10 years ago, I made a personal pledge to try to shop for products Made in the USA. I felt good about this pledge...until I tried to go shopping at all of my usual haunts. I found a whole lot of Made in China and Made in the Philippines, but not so much with the Made in the USA. Flash forward to 2014 and in many malls and department stores, this is still the same story. I’ve spent some time researching American designers and seeking out makers who are not only committed to creating beautiful clothing, bags and shoes but have also kept their production here. Keep an eye on my blog for more outfits pulled together from American makers in the coming months.

Featuring Karina Dresses - made in Brooklyn, Nanette LePore shoes - made in LA, belt and bag by 49 Square Miles - Made in San Francisco and Wabi Sabi Earrings by me - Sharon Z Jewelry - Made in San Francisco.

Thank you!

Sharon Zimmerman

Opening party for Goldlight Jewelers @coreyegan @luanacoonen @sharonzjewelry Party time is over (cue sad music).  We had a blast hosting more than 60 of our friends and family. Briana from Urban Bazaar meeting my sister #SharonZJewelry

It was gratifying to see everyone in our space, enjoying the food and wine and getting excited about the fabulous light in the production space, the tools and our jewelry.

Spaz the dog learns to ask politely for some jewelry #DOGGIEVISITORS #goldlightjewelers @coreyegan @luanacoonen @sharonzjewelry

We are so happy to be in our new space and ready for new challenges and new experiences.  Thank you all for coming!

@luanacoonen @sharonzjewelry

Outfit of the Day - Jeweler Style

Sharon Zimmerman

Jewelry Designer Style - all day, every day


My work is dirty.  The process that I go through as a metalsmith to create the beautiful jewelry that you (and I) wear is filthy, dusty and sometimes a little sweaty.  Not such a great place to wear your new silk maxi dress and thong sandals.

And yet, I pine for outfits, clothing, fashion and style.  I love it all.  I really do. There is an art to dressing well on a day to day basis, you know that effortless way that French women can carry off even the most simple get-up?  I love it.  But day in and day out, my work keeps me in pretty basic clothing - t-shirt, jeans, boots. Or maybe a long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans and boots. And sometimes to mix it up I go for a v-neck T-shirt instead of a crew neck (oooooh exciting).

I recently discovered Polyvore (I know, I know, what took me so long?) and I love creating outfits, but they seem so unreal to me.  So I decided to create my true outfit of the day.  Picture it sprinkled with massive amounts of gold and silver dust (the jewelers version of glitter) for the full effect. And while you’re there you can check out the clothing that I would wear everyday if I could.

 Note-I do in fact wear my jewelry while I’m making jewelry. My stacking rings only seem delicate - I can assure you that I wear them while wielding a hammer, soldering new rings and sanding and filing my castings.