By Brecken Branstrator
Velyan’s 18-karat yellow and white gold cuff features multi-colored sapphires and diamonds ($68,200).
With a penchant for metallurgy and an attraction to gemstones with the best color saturation, designer Victor Velyan has created a collection of pieces with a very distinct look that he describes as “primitive but sophisticated.”

Velyan started in the jewelry industry at a young age as a diamond setter and then a jeweler’s apprentice, and in 1995 opened his own manufacturing shop in Los Angeles to produce pieces for other designers.

He eventually created his own collection when he began experimenting with metals to create the looks now seen across his pieces.

In addition to crafting jewelry in gold and silver, he has developed a patina line, produced using his own recipes of mixing acids and metals such as copper, iron, zinc and cobalt to see the reactions and colors produced.

When talking about the process of making the colored patina, Velyan says, “a lot of designers are afraid of using anything but gold or platinum or metals like that. I’m not afraid to use any metal because all metals are beautiful in their own way,” adding that he is inspired by designers like Joel Arthur Rosenthal, better known as JAR, who uses aluminum and titanium in his pieces.

Velyan draws inspiration for the way he makes the jewelry--the hammered, bent and textured looks--from old world architecture, while the beauty of Europe and Africa inspire his designs.

Click through the slideshow to see 10 pieces by Victor Velyan. 

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