Unearthen Astara Ring Unearthen Prism Ring

{I asked and she gave! Get 20% off your order with code ECOCULT at checkout.}

Unearthen is outlandishly beautiful.

And I don’t mean outlandish as in, so, so beautiful. I mean, it’s outlandish. And beautiful. At the same time. You see it, and you have a sharp intake of breath. I want that. 

I first saw the prism ring (top right), which was awesome enough. But it was the huge Astara ring got my heart racing. I decided I wanted to find out more about the designer of these Cali-made, organic, badass jewels, so I got Gia Bahm on the phone for a chat. She was super chill and super open about her views on crystal spirituality, where she sources her materials, and her evolving view on diamonds.

EcoCult: Why crystals?

Gia: Originally I just thought they were so amazing because they were formed like that by nature. It wasn’t someone’s brain that thought of that, it was just the way the minerals were composed. That just blew my mind. And also, it’s nice that they’re all one of a kind. Every piece that I would make would be just a little bit different and it would make the person wearing it feel like it was just for them.

Unearthen Pyxis Cuff Unearthen Mini Phynix Ring
Unearthen Andromae Necklace Unearthen Large Pyramid Watch

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Do you believe in the power of crystals? 

I look at it kind of how you look at astrology, with a grain of salt. It’s something that is thought provoking. It gives you a new perspective, it acts as a reminder to think positively about something that you want to work on and change in the life … it’s all helpful.

You say on your site that the crystals choose you, though.

People are attracted to the thing that is right for them. It’s like the thing that’s right for them will pop out to them–you’ll just intuitively know. Sometimes it’s not up to you to make the decision, the decision is made for you, and that can be comforting.

But do you think that works online, too?

I kind of do. I feel like it’s one of those things, people just know. I don’t think it’s any different from anything else you would buy online. You don’t even get to touch it or hold it, and it’s an even stronger pull.

Do people who are into spirituality like your jewelry or mostly people who just like it because it’s beautiful?
It’s a mix. Definitely more the second option. I feel like it was therapy for a lot of people. People would tell me about their problems and ask me the best crystal to help them. More so with the necklaces, less so with the rings.

What is the L.A. scene like for jewelry designers? 
I actually don’t really know a ton of jewelry designers out here. Most of my friends who design jewelry live in New York. There’s a good district in L.A. to work with production houses, but that’s more for mainstream, traditional jewelry. L.A. in general is a surprisingly supportive artistic community. I lived in New York for a long time before I moved here, and it really drew me here, the supportive, healthy, relaxed environment it is here. People are really busy doing things and making things. It’s awesome here, I highly recommend it.

Unearthen Citrine Necklace Unearthen Raw Quartz Earrings with Studs

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Are any of your stones besides the diamonds certified in any way?
Not really, without going to visit the actually mine, which I haven’t done. Except for I know about the one in Arkansas, where we get our quartz from. The stones that aren’t at the value of diamonds, people don’t spend the time to do that sort of thing. The best thing is to ask the company and work with people that you have a good feeling about. That is something you can sense. There’s a few people I’ve gotten stuff from at trade shows, where I talked to them and I thought, This person is trying to rip me off.

Even with diamonds, they’ll just go into a place, blow up the area, dig around, and leave a big mess. I think especially for the less expensive crystals like quartz, any sort of uncut crystal, there’s not even enough money to be made off of it, for people to care about how they’re leaving things.

Tell me about the new diamond company you’re working with.
I just met him through a friend of mine. He’s so cool. You can meet people and know right away what your feeling is about them–the way they talk about their experiences with other buyers. There’s no middle man. He sources from the middle of the continent of Africa close to the equator on the west coast. So, he’s actually going there himself and setting up relationships with the villages. He showed me videos of them, with buckets of gravel and pouring them into sieves and shifting them around. The people seem stoked to be working and discovering the stones. He works with the tribes and villages as well and put in a well in one of the towns. He put in a solar panel for one of the meeting rooms in the village. A couple of the places they go, there’s no way to get there by car. You have to hike for ten hours to get there; it’s pretty Indiana Jones.

Can you share his name?

I want to keep him to myself, for now! I think we’re going to end up doing a collaboration together, so I’ll go public then. I want his business to be successful too.

What kind of girl do you imagine wearing your jewelry? 
To be honest. I don’t. I just make things that are inspiring to me, and I hope that every kind of woman would want to wear it. I don’t want just one type of chick.

How long have you had your wedding line, and how is it going?
I started making the pieces maybe a few years ago. Bonadrag.com did an exclusive ceremonial collection with us. We took one of our styles in a different color, and we put all white moonstones and white sapphires and clear quartz. And then we expanded on that, because people seemed to like it. We’re still slowly doing it; I’m adding newer pieces. We’ll have maybe a 10 to 15 piece collection by fall. It’s also so exciting now that I’ve found this great diamond guy.

It’s funny–when I started I was so obsessed with crystals, and anti cut stones. But there’s so many different types of cuts that people don’t work with that I’m trying to bring back. Diamonds, there’s nothing like them. They are so sparkly. I never thought I would say that. I feel like a lot of people who are working with diamonds don’t have an appreciation for it in its raw form. That’s something we’re adding, rings with a rough-cut diamond. There was one diamond that was a perfect octahedron, which was amazing that it could be that way in its raw form.

So you do custom work?

A lot, yes. It’s so fun. I love it. It’s just another one of the ways to make something more personal and special for someone.

{I asked and she gave! Get 20% off your order with code ECOCULT at checkout. xo}