Jewel of the day: Jeanine Payer

I first noticed Jeanine Payer’s jewelry about ten years ago, a fabulous necklace that was crafted to look like a tiny book. Engraved on the “pages” was a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, and set on the panels were two miniscule photos of a baby with applied gold angel wings, set under glass.

Since then, I have collected several of Ms. Payer’s pieces and have been fortunate enough to visit her shop on Market Street in San Francisco. I also met her at a trunk show at a local department store, where I bought a wonderful solid and weighty heart engraved with verse from the Persian poet Rumi.

This piece is unusual in that it was crafted for one of the poets whose work she quotes, Kate Richey, and due to its massive size. It measures about 5 x 4 inches. Most of Ms. Payer’s pieces are fairly dainty. The top is a lovely piece of onyx, prong set into a silver backing with engraved poetry.

You can see her work at



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