Grand Bahama News

Young Grand Bahamian jewelers capture beauty of the islands

Two Freeport natives are in the UK creating mementos honoring the beauty of The Bahamas while accenting it with the avant-garde style of the British capital through their jewelry brand.

The London-based LeBlanc Jewellery, founded by sisters Lian and Nicole LeBlanc, specializes in rings, necklaces, earrings, charms, and pendants created with demi-fine and precious metals and gemstones.

The gems used in their pieces are lab-grown allowing them to vary greatly in color and cut while rivaling the quality of mined gemstones.

The sisters also make it a point to give back to their home island as the brand donates a percentage of its profits from selected jewelry to Grand Bahama-based coral farm, Coral Vita.

“Growing up on an island and seeing climate change affect The Bahamas so much, it feels like it makes so much sense to put our energy into conservation relating to the ocean,” Lian said.

“Seeing the coral dying over time, we want to be part of the vision to produce billions of coral to maintain these ecosystems. As an island that relies on tourism, having an abundance of coral reefs is important to sustain this economy.”

Though based in London, the jeweler is a digital business and ships worldwide with price points ranging from £130 to £6,000 GBP, which is $155.49 to $7,176.34 in BSD.

LeBlanc Jewellery also provides a bespoke service where customers can customize any piece or have their own designed.

Lian revealed that the business was inspired by her grandmother.

“I inherited a lot of heirlooms from my grandmother in Freeport and was always obsessed with them,” she said.

“I always wanted to make more of what she gave me.

“Jewelry always felt like a small piece of treasure that you can wear and carry with you throughout life and, as time went on, that piece became more and more special.”

She said that the inspiration came at a time when she lacked direction, noting that jewelry making became a way to combine her background in advertising and love of the arts.

Lian noted that it became a bonding experience between her and her sister.

“I then found a part-time course in jewelry design and manufacturing in London that I completed over a year,” she said.

“I created many pearl studs that almost sold out the week I made them, and a manta ray charm that was a big hit in The Bahamas. It was so much fun, my sister got involved and we then did our first trunk show in Freeport that basically sold out that Christmas. Then, the brand was officially born as we felt we had something going.”

Lian described the brand as a celebration of Caribbean glamour, bold spirit, and individuality with hints of influences of their Bahamian and British heritage.

She added that inspiration for the designs comes from the sisters’ strong connection to the ocean and a desire to replicate the fluidity, shape, and colors found in the sea.

The Cobo and Ray collections embody these influences.

Lian explained that the Cobo collection takes its name from the language of the Taino, the first inhabitants of The Bahamas, as their word “cobo” means seashell.

The collection uses various shell fragments that are encased in silver and gold exactly as they’re found to create charms, necklaces, earrings, and rings.

Lian noted that the fragments signify beauty in imperfection and the development of character as the natural smoothing of the seashells by the sea represents the trials people experience when seeking growth.

Pointing to the Ray collection, she said the ray is a symbol to remind wearers to move with strength and grace, especially when faced with obstacles.

The Eagle and Manta rays appear on various pieces including chokers and earrings and can be bought as individual charms.

Lian noted however that both collections are limited in supply as LeBlanc Jewellery is taking a new design direction moving to a modern style while retaining a vintage appeal as the sisters want to design jewelry that is “out of the ordinary”.

“We want people to feel like they are wearing something magical, special,” she said. “Each piece is inspired by something different, creating a fantasy almost, and confidence. We want people to envision the best part of themselves and bring their boldest spirit out.”

If you’re curious about the brand, you can browse and buy pieces from their company website, You can also follow the brand for updates through Facebook at leblancjewelleryofficial and Instagram at leblanc.jewellery.

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