Magazine article Black Enterprise

Rock Stars in the Making: Suzanne le Mignot's Jeweled Creations

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Rock Stars in the Making: Suzanne le Mignot's Jeweled Creations

Article excerpt

Displayed in a downtown Chicago jewelry store window was a stunning smoky topaz stone that first romanced Suzanne Le Mignot. She loved the jewel but hated the setting. Le Mignot decided to buy the ring anyway, sketch a design to her satisfaction, and have the gem reset. The newscaster for Chicago's WBBM Channel 2 received several compliments that led her to think: 'This is a sign. Maybe this is a gift I didn't know about." By the next year, Le Mignot, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native who had never taken an art class, had fully immersed herself in the hobby of designing jewelry and developed a growing clientele.

"It's a hobby that's turned into a creative outlet," says Le Mignot, who today transforms stones such as peridot, yellow sapphire, and brilliant green tsavorite into 18-karat gold and sterling silver creations for individual clients and upscale Chicago boutiques Geneva Seal and Steve Quick Jeweler.

Le Mignot seeks out gems that embody certain qualities or traits and provoke emotion, assigning names such as "Contessa" and "Queen" to her creations. Amethyst. is associated with power, Swiss blue topaz is said to promote calm and well-being, garnet symbolizes strength. "I started researching and found meaning in everything," she says. "Honestly, sometimes people are looking for something--tranquility or confidence. It's an added benefit for the wearer." Le Mignot's treasure hunting takes her mostly New York, Las Vegas trade shows, and Chicago's Jeweler's Row. Designs sell for between $650 and $13,000 (more for custom jobs). …

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