Ok, I know this is sort of "cheating," but hear me out...
If you want a Spratling, you have to pay a Spratling price. There's no other way around it. But you CAN buy lesser known designers and get the same awesome look at a fraction of the cost. I'm going to introduce you to a designer you've never heard of, but should have.
Graziela Laffi was born in Florence and worked in Lima. She was known as the “Spratling of Peru” after creating Pre-Columbian and Pre-Incan folklorist and modernist designs. Her works
rival the Mexican designers of the same style and age, hence the nickname. She passed in 2009. Since then, her work is becoming scarcer and increasingly desirable.
Take a look at the bracelet below. It's a Spratling Cuff bracelet selling on Ebay for $1499. Which would you rather wear? Not only is the Graziela Laffi above much cooler, it's $795! (And it's at a trust worthy jewelry store.)
Just take a look at the inside of the Laffi cuff. One glance tells you it's a quality, hand made piece.
jewelry, we will be the experts by having a first-hand collection of her pieces as reference.
"What if her pieces never become as collectible", you ask...? First, let me say that I was running around collecting loose pink sapphires and tanzanites in the early 1990's. What's going on with those stones now? Second, my ability to predict trends aside, if Grazeila Laffi never becomes as big a name as Margo de Taxco, so what? Here are my thoughts on the matter: Having an awesome collection of signed designer jewelry that I can look fabulous wearing is always a good thing! My other thought is this: there are more women jewelers today than ever before. We all like the idea of wearing and promoting women jewelers (that's why I have a blog category focused on it). The more women jewelers there are who start collecting and promoting other women jewelers, the more valuable the pieces they create become. We are strong, independent women who make our own money, buy our own jewelry, and show our solidarity by wearing other women jewelry creators. Besides the fact that her designs are cool, isn't that why we like the Margot de Taxco pieces in the first place?
All that being said, it is pretty easy to purchase a piece of Laffi jewelry and know what it is. If you are a beginning collector and love the look of Vintage Mexican Taxco jewelry, how about original Graziela Laffi jewelry too?