Please join me in wishing a happy 40th anniversary to one of my very favorite family owned jewelry stores, Hunt Country Jewelers!
Why Hunt Country’s 40th matters to you:
- They’re delightful and it’s heartwarming.
- They’re celebrating by having an ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE SALE of their gorgeous handmade jewelry.
What you’re seeing in the window is part of Carolyn of Hunt Country’s famous Halloween decorations: they’re always Harry Potter-inspired and a source of great local pride. (Carolyn and Logan are the second generation of Cutshalls to run the store, although founding couple Ed and Claire are still very involved, both in the business and production side.)
Seeing that Halloween window for myself is part of why I decided to drive an hour into Virginia’s picturesque wine country to take these pictures myself, even though I had just come home from Paris and Carolyn offered to save me the trip by sending me images.
The biggest reason, though? I love being there.
HCJ itself is a beautiful, open-hearted sanctuary of a place. Big, bright windows, elegant displays, and the nicest people you will ever meet.
Half of the customers who stopped by were greeted by name and the other half were treated just as warmly. It is everything that is wonderful about small businesses.
Part of what makes Hunt Country Jewelers so special is that they really do handle every aspect of their production themselves: they import their gemstones directly from a contact in South Africa, cut the gems in house, carve original designs from wax, and every other step up to and including the final polishing. (See one of their custom pieces come to life in video here.)
The image above shows Ed, half of the original founding Hunt Country couple, carving a large block of wax for a custom project in 1979. Hunt Country Jewelers still uses the same techniques as they did in the 1970’s – and in some cases, the exact same equipment.
Loudoun County, VA, is known for its wineries today, but it has historically been a center of the region’s fox hunting tradition. Hunt Country Jewelers offers a variety of fox-inspired pieces for those who may love the romance of fox hunting culture but don’t want to hunt anything alive.
This gorgeously crafted fox brooch is one of my favorites. There are also simpler (and very affordable) pieces that use the motif of the fox’s head as a pendant or stud earrings.
The best part about a jewelry store that’s owned by a family of gem-importing lapidaries is, of course, the gemstones. Even a modest piece of rough becomes extraordinary when it’s cut by someone with as much experience as the Cutshalls.
When you take those stunning stones and put them in Hunt Country’s signature settings, the airy but substantial goldwork elevates these individual parts into wholes that are truly exceptional.
Here’s a close-up view of that dreamy Hunt Country Jewelers signature goldwork. It’s light as a feather, but those ethereal swirls have a presence that can’t be ignored.
And did I mention how many pieces are on sale right now in honor of the anniversary?? If you love what you see here, don’t wait…it might be the perfect time to make it yours.
Claire – the other half of Hunt Country Jewelers‘ founding couple and an accomplished lapidary, was in store the day I was there. She let me play with some juicy diamonds she had in for a custom job (16 carats’ worth!) and told me stories about the pieces I was photographing.
When I remarked on my love for this particular ruby, Claire immediately told me how long it had been since they acquired the stone (30 years) what it looked like as rough (flat and dull) why it was worth keeping (Burmese ruby!!) and where they’d been when her husband, Ed, had the idea to make it into a cabochon (Japan – which also inspired the dragons in the setting).
Hunt Country Jewelers has a wide array of already made pieces in their store, but they also specialize heavily in custom design.
One of the first thing you’ll see when you walk into the store is a case filled with loose gemstones, faceted and just waiting to become someone’s dream piece. And next to that: cases of wax molds, showing a small selection of the many design options possible. I couldn’t resist playing with them.
Hello, dreamy dreamy amethyst necklace! This is one of the boldest beauties currently on hand in Hunt Country Jewelers. I love the modern vintage vibe of this piece.
I actually wore it around the store for a while, but none of the pictures of it on my neck came out as well as this one. Wouldn’t it be perfect on a bride?
A true beauty to end on. This is such a special diamond ring: bold, romantic, unique and so gorgeous. it’s somebody’s dream come true just waiting to be found in Hunt Country’s cases.
When you go to Hunt Country Jewelers, be sure to leave yourself time to explore the rest of Purcellville, too. I highly recommend Magnolia’s at the Mill and also basically every single winery nearby.
But for now, go check out their sale!! They’re posting new updates on Facebook and Instagram all the time, as well as on the Hunt Country Jewelers website. The sale only lasts until the 15th, so don’t wait!
This sponsored post is brought to you by Hunt Country Jewelers. All photos mine or c/o Hunt Country Jewelers.