Neither Benjamin Guttery nor Grace Lavarro live in Houston. But when they saw the devastation Harvey left across the Gulf Coast, they wanted to do something to help. So Guttery, who runs Third Coast Gems in Dallas, and Lavarro, the owner of Los Angeles's Jewels By Grace, joined forces to launch Jewelers for Texas, an online jewelry auction to benefit the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
In a matter of weeks they were able to pull together 50 donated lots, each of them a spectacular piece of fine jewelry. We're talking diamonds and gold, not costume jewelry you can find at Charming Charlie's. The auction closes on Oct. 17, but currently the bids are a mere fraction of the retail price of each piece. So not only can discerning shoppers discover new independent jewelers and pick up something beautiful while knowing that the money spent is going to a good cause, they could also nab some great deals. (Although we'd rather see higher bids and more money going to charity—which will hopefully be the case as the auction close approaches.)
Among the Texas-themed items up for auction are a pendent in the shape of Texas outlined in colorful gemstones by Melissa Spencer Gessner, and a 'Lone Star' Victorian-inspired ring with a rectangle frame of rubies and a central star-shaped sapphires in a bed of diamonds by Safia Kaman. There's also gemstone earrings, vintage pins, loose gemstones, delicate diamond necklaces and a few pieces of jewelry-themed original art. Most have starting bids around $500 and a retail price of at least $1,000.
"To me it means the world to give back to something that so specifically helps those affected," says jeweler Lindsey Scoggins, a Houston native whose grandmother lost her home in the flood. Scoggins donated a pair of diamond stud earrings with a four-pointed star shape, which she calls her Stars at Night earrings. They retail for $2,850 and the current bid is under $1,000.
"We invite people to bid generously on all the beautiful jewelry and art work we have curated for this auction, and to remember that each time you look at the beautiful jewelry you purchase via this auction, you would have been instrumental in helping Texans in their time of great need," write Guttery and Lavarro. "It's not just jewelry—it's also hope and a message to our fellow Americans: They are not alone."