Category Archives: Featured News

John S Brana Named Bay Area A-List – Best of 2014 Runner-up for Best Fine Jewelry

San FranciscoCA — Jewelry designer John S. Brana has announced that his eponymous collection of handmade fine jewelry has been selected as a runner-up winner for the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List. This marks his fifth honor in the Best Fine Jewelry category.

The Bay Area A-List is a website that awards Bay Area businesses honors in 168 categories. Winners are determined based on the tabulation of more than 37,000 votes from local residents and industry experts. Winners are given a web page to promote their products and services, and new results are published annually.


In the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List Awards, Brana’s designer jewelry collection received Runner-up Award – Best Fine Jewelry, ranking in second place out of 45 local San Francisco handmade jewelry collections in the Fine Jewelry category. His handmade fine jewelry line won Runner-Up awards in 2010 and 2013 and was named a Finalist in the Fine Jewelry category in 2012.

The line of designer jewelry made from copper, aluminum, fine silver and gold received the Best Designer Jewelry Award in 2008.  On John S Brana’s Handmade Jewelry profile page of the Bay Area A-List Awards, more than 35 voters are quoted, describing the quality craftsmanship and unique designs of the John S. Brana Jewelry Collection.

John S. Brana Handmade Jewelry is a collection of fine jewelry produced in San Francisco. The pieces in the collection are handcrafted from a variety of precious metals, including fine silver, sterling silver, copper, gold and aluminum. Embellishments like freshwater pearls and faceted gemstones are used in many pieces and are all hand-selected to ensure that every piece is of high quality. Designs are inspired by natural elements from the texture of tree bark to the colors of flowers. Pieces are sold online at


John S. Brana is the artist behind the collection and the owner of the jewelry line. His career began in law and banking, and he formerly served as a Vice-President for Finance for The Charles Schwab Corporation. In 2003, Brana was inspired to leave the corporate world and begin producing his own handmade fine jewelry. The collection debuted in 2004 and is produced at Brana’s San Francisco studio.

John S Brana Handmade Jewelry

1043 Portola Drive
San FranciscoCA 94127

[email protected]

Stunning Handcrafted Jewelry in Atlanta

Oxidized Sterling Silver White Agate Flower Ring
Oxidized Sterling Silver White Agate Flower Ring

Shopping for a unique gift for that someone special, or maybe yourself?  Have you thought-about hand-crafted jewelry? There are tons of well-designed items of jewelry by hand made craftsmen of Atlanta. There are a a handful of issues you need to take into account before you begin shopping for that amazing gift. You should first of all ponder the recipients taste before making any purchases. The best received present will be one that compliments their present collection or taste. Have they got a favored gemstone? What’s their birthstone or zodiac stone? Do they like one metal over another? An example could be if the recipient has a good number of silver earrings, you’ll probably decide to try buying them a silver necklace or silver cocktail ring to add a little spice to their jewelry collection. You will surely find some exquisitely designed handcrafted copper bracelets by Atlanta jewelry designers.

Fold Formed Aluminum Leaf Drop Earrings
Fold Formed Aluminum Leaf Drop Earrings

Throughout history, jewelry has continued to develop coupled with advances in materials. Styles and designs have transformed and modernized, and then often return to their most basic forms and elements. Even before the age of reason, men and women both adorned themselves with handmade jewelry. Simple necklaces and bracelets constructed from flowers, woven grasses, shells and stones were created to decorate early humans.

Practically all of today’s jewelry is manufactured. Machine fabricated jewelry is much more economical, not only for the consumer, but also for the manufacturer. Casting machines now quickly process into uniform molds such components as metals, plastics, and resins, allowing even complex jewelry designs to be produced with speed and consistency for the majority of Atlanta jewelry manufacturers. Mechanized punch presses and forges are also employed by many Atlanta jewelry manufacturers to simulate a handmade effect. Hand-hammered texturing is one of the more “handmade” looks manufactured by this method, making the production consistent and highly profitable to the manufacturer.

Patterned Copper Cuff Bracelet
Patterned Copper Cuff Bracelet

In the past decade, however, the modern marketplace has experienced a resurgence of interest in handmade jewelry, and a greater value is again being placed on unique and limited edition jewelry designs, made by hand with ancient crafting processes. Given this renewed interest in handmade, many Atlanta jewelry designers are seeing greater demand for their talents and designs for unique handmade jewelry. Even art galleries and major departments stores feature local and national designer jewelry that is handmade. With the advent and spread of the Internet as a sales tool worldwide, many international jewelry artisans, even located in remote regions, are also enjoying the benefits of direct sales to distant customers.

Choose Quality Over Quantity When Selecting Handmade Jewelry

Make sure you always choose quality vs.. quantity when buying jewelry that is handmade, especially if this purchase is a gift for someone special. Purchasing a smaller, well-made piece is much better than buying a larger, poorer quality item for the same price. Speaking of price, those on a budget simply need to remember that good handmade jewelry is not always expensive. It is the quality and look that truly counts, not the amount paid.

What are the Benefits of Purchasing Handmade Jewelry Rather Than Mass-produced Jewelry?

14k Gold-Filled Wire Wrapped Carnelian Tear Drop Earrings
14k Gold-Filled Wire Wrapped Carnelian Tear Drop Earrings

The most basic definition of handmade jewelry is that it is crafted by hand as opposed to mechanically made by a machine. In its purest form, hand-assembled does not mean handmade. Handmade and hand-assembled are totally unrelated, but commonly misunderstood by both consumer and designer. Just because a piece is hand-assembled does not make it handmade. Handmade jewelers use old metal-smith skills, simple tools, and a broad variety of techniques to create their desired forms and shapes. In handmade jewelry you can often observe each item’s uniqueness, its dissimilarity from similar pieces. Individuality, culture, and meaning are clearly evident in handmade objects. Making marketable and sought after handmade jewelry requires a considerable amount of dedication, skill, and creativity not often found in most mass-produced jewelry. The quality of a piece of fine handmade jewelry will definitely be recognized and appreciated by many over mass-produced jewelry.

16ct Rutilated Gold Quartz Sterling Silver Ring
16ct Rutilated Gold Quartz Sterling Silver Ring

Even though handmade jewelry might appear to be slightly flawed in the eyes of the casual observer, high quality handmade jewelry should nonetheless last a lifetime. More often than not, manufactured jewelry has a higher probability of breaking than its handmade counterpart. Many department stores sell “handmade jewelry” labels, but this doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Many of these “handmade” pieces are actually hand-assembled pieces that are composed of mass-produced components (findings) and are quickly assembled by hand. Mass-production facilities typically require artisans to meet efficiency quotas that result in poorly made jewelry, made with cheaper materials — even if it is technically made by hand. Over the long run, you would be much better off in terms of wear ability if you selected non-mass produced jewelry, or jewelry that wasn’t made in huge production runs. High quality Atlanta handmade jewelry often has an artisan’s name and reputation proudly attached to the finished product. Fortunately, quality and uniqueness are typically apparent to the careful observer.

Certainly the most important advantages to owning hand-crafted jewelry is that it gives the wearer the pleasure of wearing something one-of-a-kind which no one else has, that is created by a genuine artisan with love and passion for his or her work. Crafting well made and designed jewelry is an art form. This strength of feeling comes across in the design process, and in the finished jewelry itself. Mass-produced jewelry is just “soulless.” One’s personalized style, taste, individuality, and identity can be conveyed by and can be better reflected by wearing jewelry that is hand-made. Wearing mass-produced jewelry lends oneself to look mass-produced and off the rack. Regardless, mass-produced jewelry usually brings with it no special meaning or history — no story, no life. When you wear beautiful Atlanta handmade jewelry, it is a pleasure to be able to explain to admirers the actual story or history behind what you are wearing, or information about the artist, which is often possible with handmade jewelry bought from individual artisans or their representative galleries. Above all, it is simply a joy to wear jewelry that someone has personally and lovingly created by hand.