About the Artist
"Making jewelry has been a part of my life since I was a teenager. Taking a silversmithing class as a high school elective put me on a path into the jewelry industry that I am still following today with the same sense of excitement."
Melissa studied jewelry design and fine metals at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and then began working professionally in jewelry for several luxury brands in the New York City Jewelry District. Throughout more than ten years in the business, she has been building her skillset and industry expertise and is currently settled in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.
Melissa's work is centered around the idea that wearing a piece of jewelry can be a reflection of your identity and a way to hold close the personal messages, reminders or memories that are important to you. A sense of meaning is tied to each piece of jewelry through the use of symbolism. Concepts such as time, memory and storytelling are themes that repeat throughout the collections.
Throughout history, jewelry in some form has been a mainstay across cultures. The concept of the Talisman and the protective and empowering nature that jewelry can provide is something that has also stayed relevant and is an underlying inspiration throughout her work.
Melissa's appreciation for jewelry making began to overlap with watchmaking several years ago when she became fascinated by the craftsmanship, precision work and engineering involved with watch movements. This was a pivotal moment and she found a strong connection with the concept of time and its passing which led to the Sundial, Hourglass and Moon Phase jewelry designs.
Each piece is carefully hand made in small batches.
Melissa uses a combination of metalsmithing techniques such as hand fabrication, hand engraving, along with wax carving and lost wax casting. All stone-setting is done in house specializing in pavé, flush and bezel-setting.
She takes pride in doing things the old way and keeping techniques like hand engraving and wax carving alive in a time where technology has become the new norm.
Melissa has made it a priority to source materials responsibly and educate herself regarding how and where supplies and raw materials like gold and gemstones are purchased.
It is such a long and complex process when it comes to the mining of precious metals, colored stones and diamonds in order to get them to a point where they will be incorporated into a piece of jewelry. This takes a heavy toll on both the people and environment surrounding mining practices that are often exploitative and harmful using toxic chemicals like mercury to locate gold in the earth.
Melissa Scoppa is proud to be a Fairmined Licensed Brand. All gold used in the making of the jewelry is Fairmined with exception to some styles of manufactured chain that is currrently not available in a Fairmined option. This provides assurance that the gold is coming from a traceable source that respects both people and environment.
With your purchase of a piece of gold jewelry, you contribute to the social and
economic development and to the environmental protection of mining communities.
The silver used in my jewelry is recycled which means that no new metals have been mined in order to produce the jewelry. The silver castings, sheet, wire, chain and other things like clasps are carefully sourced and can be traced back to refineries that melt down existing silver jewelry from various sources and refine and repurpose it. It is always a work in progress in terms of educating oneself and continuously making improvements around this topic.
We hope to create a welcoming experience for all people shopping for fine jewelry and recognize that the jewelry industry as a whole has historically not been fair or welcoming to groups of people based on class, race, and gender identity. We have dropped outdated language surrounding commitment jewelry and make contributions when possible to organizations that support the development of emerging BIPOC jewelry designers and makers in this predominantly white industry.
Melissa currently helps to run the local chapter of the Women's Jewelry Association with the mission of providing education, resources and mentorship opportunities to jewelry professionals in all stages of their careers.
As a small business in a world of big box stores, it's important to have a voice and stand for creating quality, handmade, original work of lasting value that is made in the USA and supports people making a living wage. Thank you for visiting and I hope you connect with the jewelry and its message.