By Ashleigh Balsamo
Quinn’s Goldsmith is a hidden treasure located in historic Occoquan, and has been serving the area in pristine jewelry making since 1990. The owner, Terry Quinn, developed his passion for jewelry at a young age, when he became close with a goldsmith along his paper route who allowed him to come by and watch as he worked.
“That’s how it all started,” he said. “At Christmas, he melted down a small piece of gold, polished it and handed it to me. It was my own piece of gold! I think that set the stage.”
Quinn has been sculpting and creating jewelry for years and has taken many different types of classes in order to create the highest-caliber work. These classes, which have ranged from wax carving to hand engraving and sculpting, have allowed him to gain expertise in multiple processes done using different approaches, which he believes truly sets his work apart.
“I think my pieces do well because I use several design processes,” he said. “I try to use the very best stones I can find and use different combinations of stones and colors to bring my pieces to life.”
Last month, Quinn headed to the Independent Jewelers Organization conference in Grapevine, Texas, where he entered some of his pieces into the organization’s anonymously judged design content.
He won first place for a pair of aquamarine diamond earrings set in 14-karat gold that he hand carved from a block of wax after designing them on paper for his customer. After casting the wax into gold, the diamonds were set around the original setting. Finally, thin wire was inserted via laser to help enhance the center of the piece and the aquamarine was set into its new home. He was also awarded second place in the contest’s bracelet category, with his original-design dragonfly bracelet.
While Quinn was excited to take home two awards at this year’s conference, winning big is nothing new to him. In total, he’s won 11 design awards; of the 11, six have been first place.
Quinn’s love of creating beautiful jewelry doesn’t stop when his work is complete. Thanks to his talent and immense passion for what he does, his expertise follows him even after he’s left his workshop.
“When I hear a nice song or see a curved landscape, designs enter my head and I see them in 3-D, as if they were already made,” he said. “I just have to put the pieces together.”
Ashleigh Balsamo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Prince William Living‘s Digital Media Coordinator.