John S Brana Named Bay Area A-List – Best of 2014 Runner-up for Best Fine Jewelry

San FranciscoCA — Jewelry designer John S. Brana has announced that his eponymous collection of handmade fine jewelry has been selected as a runner-up winner for the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List. This marks his fifth honor in the Best Fine Jewelry category.

The Bay Area A-List is a website that awards Bay Area businesses honors in 168 categories. Winners are determined based on the tabulation of more than 37,000 votes from local residents and industry experts. Winners are given a web page to promote their products and services, and new results are published annually.


In the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List Awards, Brana’s designer jewelry collection received Runner-up Award – Best Fine Jewelry, ranking in second place out of 45 local San Francisco handmade jewelry collections in the Fine Jewelry category. His handmade fine jewelry line won Runner-Up awards in 2010 and 2013 and was named a Finalist in the Fine Jewelry category in 2012.

The line of designer jewelry made from copper, aluminum, fine silver and gold received the Best Designer Jewelry Award in 2008.  On John S Brana’s Handmade Jewelry profile page of the Bay Area A-List Awards, more than 35 voters are quoted, describing the quality craftsmanship and unique designs of the John S. Brana Jewelry Collection.

John S. Brana Handmade Jewelry is a collection of fine jewelry produced in San Francisco. The pieces in the collection are handcrafted from a variety of precious metals, including fine silver, sterling silver, copper, gold and aluminum. Embellishments like freshwater pearls and faceted gemstones are used in many pieces and are all hand-selected to ensure that every piece is of high quality. Designs are inspired by natural elements from the texture of tree bark to the colors of flowers. Pieces are sold online at


John S. Brana is the artist behind the collection and the owner of the jewelry line. His career began in law and banking, and he formerly served as a Vice-President for Finance for The Charles Schwab Corporation. In 2003, Brana was inspired to leave the corporate world and begin producing his own handmade fine jewelry. The collection debuted in 2004 and is produced at Brana’s San Francisco studio.

John S Brana Handmade Jewelry

1043 Portola Drive
San FranciscoCA 94127

[email protected]

Amazing Chicago Handmade Jewelry

Handmade Cast Bronze Agate Gemstone Cocktail Ring
Handmade Cast Bronze Agate Gemstone Cocktail Ring

If you live in Chicago, the task of searching for hand-made jewelry for a special someone can be extremely challenging. There’ re a few considerations you need to take into account before you begin going shopping for that amazing gift. Firstly, you seriously should think about what their tastes are like when it comes down to style and jewelry. Among the finest ways to guarantee that your gift of hand crafted jewelry is likely to be well accepted is to first figure out if it fits amongst the individuals personal tastes. There is nothing more embarrassing than giving a present of hand made yellow gold jewelry to someone that routinely wears only white gold, silver or platinum jewelry. Perhaps you may also want to keep in mind what they have most of and combine it with a contrasting class of jewelry. If they’ve lots of band and cocktail rings, perhaps you may want to buy them a pair of earrings or maybe a bracelet or necklace, just to be different.

Handcrafted Jewelry – A Historical Perspective

Over the millennia, jewelry designs and materials have progressed in step with the advances of civilization Jewelry design progressed during the Stone Age to the Bronze age and again during the Iron Age through the Industrial Revolution, only to return back to very primary forms in design and materials. Handmade jewelry has adorned mankind long before man had the ability to reason. Garlands of flowers, bracelets of woven grass, shells, and stone; such were the first adornments to beautify our bodies. National Geographic recently revealed that early man began wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago (almost 30,000 earlier that formerly thought).

Machine made jewelry allows today’s manufacturer the ability to consistently produce uniform quality jewelry designs while keeping jewelry affordable than most hand-casting and fabricating processes would allow. CAD/CAM design and high-volume casting machines allow many Chicago jewelry manufacturers to efficiently turn designs into uniform molds and onto finished jewelry with speed and uniformity. Mechanized punch presses and forges are also employed by many Chicago jewelry manufacturers to simulate a handmade effect. Hand-hammered texturing is one of the more “handmade” looks manufactured by this method, making the production consistent and highly profitable to the manufacturer.

Copper Fold Formed Cuff Bracelet
Copper Fold Formed Cuff Bracelet

During the past decade, a great interest in handmade jewelry has taken place. Many consumers are seeking jewelry with greater individuality and uniqueness that handmade jewelry designers in Chicago have to offer over mass-produce pieces. Many Chicago jewelry designers are seeing increased interest by consumers for their unique skills and talents. Even art galleries and major departments stores feature local and national designer jewelry that is handmade. The internet has also made handmade jewelry very accessible to a world wide following. Many handmade jewelry artisans can enjoy the benefits of selling directly to a world-wide clientele.

Only Select the Highest Quality Handmade Jewelry You Can Afford

Always choose quality over quantity every time when shopping for handmade jewelry. If prices are equal between two pieces, always look at the quality first. A larger, poorer made piece is definitely not worth buying just because it looks larger, and thus might be a better value than a smaller well-made piece. Speaking of price, those on a budget simply need to remember that good handmade jewelry is not always expensive. In the end, quality will always win out.

Most often, handmade jewelry is typically not identical to other pieces of the same design. Usually a pair of earrings might be slightly off either in shape or hammering pattern. One of the easiest ways (even for an untrained eye) to identify handmade vs.. manufactured is to look at the textures and patterning of the piece. First, start by looking at how the piece is constructed. Are their any variations or imperfections? Look at the solder joints. Are they visible?

Copper Chinese Knotted Necklace with Carnelian Flowers and Carnelian Focal Bead
Copper Chinese Knotted Necklace with Carnelian Flowers and Carnelian Focal Bead

Machine-made jewelry typically looks more rigid and uniform. Solder joints are usually done by arc or laser welders and frequently less durable than hand-soldered joints. Although there are some imperfections to handmade jewelry, this does not mean that handmade jewelry is inferior to manufactured. High quality handmade jewelry will last a lifetime. You might find this sup rising, but more often than not, manufactured jewelry has a higher probability of breaking as compared to handmade. Many department stores sell “handmade jewelry” labels, but this doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Many of these “handmade” pieces are actually hand-assembled pieces that are composed of mass-produced components (findings) and are quickly assembled by hand. Mass-production facilities typically require artisans to meet efficiency quotas that result in poorly made jewelry, made with cheaper materials — even if it is technically made by hand. Look for handmade jewelry that is not mass-produced — not available in large quantities. Quality jewelry that is handmade in Chicago will not only have the artisan’s mark, but also have the reputation and guarantee attached to the finished piece. Fortunately, quality and uniqueness are typically apparent to the careful observer.

Handmade jewelry offers the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, which are not-identical, typically made by a true artist, with great love and passion. Making well made and designed jewelry is an art form. This strength of feeling comes across in the design process, and in the finished jewelry itself. Mass-produced items simply have less soul. Hand-made jewelry also better mirrors the wearer’s personalized touch and style, revealing individuality and interest. If you purchase mass-produced, your “look” will appear mass-produced! Mass-produced jewelry can indeed be less expensive to purchase, as it is undoubtedly less costly to make, but it is not invariably less expensive to purchase. Regardless, mass-produced jewelry usually brings with it no special meaning or history — no story, no life. When’s the last time you told a story about that one pair of earrings you bought from your favorite Chicago department store ( you know, the one’s picked from twenty identical pairs)? Probably never. With handmade jewelry, it’s a pleasure to be able to tell admirers the story behind what you are wearing. Above all, it is simply a joy to wear jewelry that someone has personally and lovingly created by hand.