These days, it is rare to come across jewelry that has not been mass-produced in a large factory. At Mark Areias Jewelers, the professional craft and personal care of jewelry is refreshingly “old-fashioned”.
Local artist Mark Areias is a formally trained Goldsmith and one of this area’s most esteemed creators of fine jewelry. For more than 30 years, he has been offering elegant jewelry that is custom designed and created by one person-per-piece in his two stores – located in Carmel and Aptos, California. The personalized attention given to each customer is the essence of his business, and his inventory is recognized for its quality craftsmanship.
In the past, people often became familiar with the jewelry business as an inherited family trade, however Areias connected with it independently. The 3rd generation Californian grew up on a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley. In High School, his fascination with natural gem stones inspired him to attend an adult education jewelry class. To pursue his interest, he moved to Carmel Valley to train in a six-year apprenticeship under a master jeweler. His appreciation and passion for the jewelry industry’s historic handmade process is reflected in his spectacular work.
Areias’ unique and extensive training has kept the spirit of commitment, consistency, and love for the craft alive in his stores. Unlike many businesses that now depend on computers and machines, most of the tools and techniques for designing and shaping jewelry are still used by hand. Each individual piece is made on the premises by skilled jewelers who work with a mix of gems, stones, and metals with exceptional patience, concentration, and dexterity. In the Aptos store workshop, Areias works with a highly skilled team that includes his daughter and newest apprentice Bella, and longtime colleagues Isauro Martinez and Sylvia Boune.
As well as being experts in the precise design and artistic production of original jewelry pieces, Areias and his team have a genuine understanding of relationships. They work closely and co-creatively with customers to transform jewelry design requests into meaningful creations. They are also respectfully aware of the nostalgic value jewelry often has for people – they work with each person and piece of jewelry from this perspective.
In addition to specializing in Areias’ jewelry pieces and custom design work on-site, the store sells a sophisticated variety of new and previously owned jewelry and timepieces for men and women, displayed in the showroom. To support the diverse needs of each customer and prolong the integrity of each item, both shops also provide complimentary services, including appraisal, lifetime inspection and cleaning on all jewelry purchases and special order pieces, as well as a certified watchmaker available for watch repair needs.
Learning the art of jewelry making (or any hands-on craft) requires long term dedication and personal interaction that seems increasingly overshadowed by technology and the allure of instant gratification. The dazzling artistry and collaborative approach at Mark Areias Jewelers inspire us to continue supporting old-school traditions. The trade may be centuries old, but like a valuable piece of jewelry will hopefully last for generations to come.
Visit Mark Areias Jewelers in Aptos and Carmel.