A short walk from their home in Portland, OR is the Zaffiro jewelry design studio where Jack and Elizabeth Gualtieri use the artistic legacy of ancient Etruscans to craft their fine works of art. The unique form of jewelry making they use first appeared 4000 years ago in and around Italy and Greece.Zaffiro’s work reflects influences from Etruscan craftsmanship and urban architecture while also incorporating colorful gemstones. “Sometimes our pieces are inspired by specific stones,” Elizabeth says. “We pick stones based on their personalities—some are just livelier than others.” The couple frequently uses distinctive and unique varieties of stones. Jack adds, “Sometimes we design a piece around a specific unique gemstone and sometimes one of us has a vision or inspiration that needs to be created, and we find the right stones to make the idea work.”
Zaffiro (meaning sapphire in Italian) designs uniquely original pieces that embody the shapes and colors of the stones they acquire from around the world. The most common stones that appear in their work are rainbow moonstones, boulder opals, unusually colored sapphires, baroque pearls, and tourmalines. They build each piece as a one-of-a-kind, highly original creation. Zaffiro’s timeless, handcrafted modern heirlooms have won many national jewelry design awards and appeared in national exhibitions and books.