By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Born of a life-long love of nature and with a focus on sustainable development, the Glória Erthal Joias da Natureza jewelry line was created over a year and a half ago by businesswomen and designers Glória Erthal and Ana Lucia Chebabe. The two use harvested and dehydrated leaves and seeds, hand-coating them with precious metals, including gold, platinum and copper, to turn them into unique biojóias (bio-jewelry).
“We wanted a product that would make a difference in the market,” Glória Erthal told The Rio Times. “As we have always been linked to nature, we had the idea of working with leaves and seeds. When we met a person who had the technique to turn ‘nature’ into a gem; then we partnered.”
Erthal, whose career has always been associated with products linked to the woman’s beauty, including perfumery and cosmetics, explained that she was drawn to bio-jewelry because “fashion accessories are timeless,” and that “every woman loves an original piece.”
The raw materials used to create Glória Erthal Jóias da Natureza (Jewels of Nature) are harvested directly from the Brazilian soil, mostly located in the Midwest regions of the country.
In the beginning, the manufacturers opted to hire less fortunate local families in the region to pick and dehydrate the leaves as part of the production process.
“Human beings and nature are the reason for our work,” said Erthal. “We work with people who are directly linked to the process of collecting the materials, materials that would otherwise be wasted, that would be discarded” Also adding “Sustainability is fundamental in any production process,[…] it would be meaningless to work with such quality products and then have that relationship not be reciprocal.”
Once harvested, the process of coating the raw materials in precious metals helps to draw out the lace-like textures of the leaves and the intricate surface texture of the seeds. The delicate work of coating each piece is done by hand.
“The biojóia, is a product made with organic materials extracted from nature and it is, with fine workmanship, finished by hand in 18K gold,” Erthal explained. “We also create silver pieces, but instead of using silver, we use a mixture of platinum, palladium and copper. Silver tends to darken with age, so we chose to use materials that will not change over time.”
Currently the duo is offering a special line for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. Including a golden pendant portraying a map of Brazil, the jewelry celebrates the country with pieces of the land forever perfectly preserved in exquisitely handcrafted jewelry and wearable art.
“We want our brand, Glória Erthal – Jóias da Natureza, to be a reference point for biojóias in national and international markets,” said Erthal when asked what she hoped the future would bring for her company. “Our main goal is to become a known and desired product.”
* This is an Advertorial for Glória Erthal Joias da Natureza.