Spotlight on Daunis Fine Jewelry
Words and Photos By Nora Ibrahim

Downtown Portland is home to a one of a kind jewelry store that creates handmade gold and silver rings, bracelets, and necklaces with a dazzle of precious gems: Daunis Fine Jewelry , an award winner of the Maine Master Craftsmen of the Year. This spectacular jewelry store, located on the third floor at 616 Congress Street, is combined with a  workshop where, commented Daunis, “nobody does what we do.”

We were immediately hooked by the elegance of the items when we first walked in. Many of the jewelry pieces were wavy lines that resemble the harmonious motion of water waves. Furthermore, the shop has a timeless feel to it with the decor and displays following the traditional and glamorous glow of gold and silver.
Patricia Daunis-Dunning, the artist and the owner, with over 40 years of experience, explained to us the significance behind many of their designed pieces. Many clients bring in pieces worn by their parents or grandparents – and Daunis transforms them to fit the client’s modern needs and interests. This symbolizes an eternal bond through a jewelry piece.

In addition to that, Daunis' best sellers, the rings, are part of a collection that is designed in such a way that they house different shapes and colors of gemstones. Patricia uses technology to model the many ways of layering the stones above the gold or silver rings. Thus, giving her clients the best of the best with options they can choose from! Also, the combination of gems and their color are a way to characterize the individual in a special fashion.
After the tour, we looked closely at the jewelry selection  with a new impression and an appreciation of the story behind each design. The pieces truly fit the quote, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

By now, we were curious to see inside the workshop where the magic happens. We met Nick, a metal artist with 7 years of experience, who was polishing an exclusive design for a necklace that featured  sheep, a rooster, roman numerals, and dragons following the birth years of the family members of the client. The miniature carvings of the animals had an impressive amount of detail and texture. He described the process as “technical work.”

Finally, we were introduced to an extraordinary design of a ring that has the mechanics to fit the hands of a client with arthritis. It is worn like a cuff bracelet that has a hidden closure.

This workshop permeates with the warmth of the stories and the wonderful memories of the clients, and the owners. Daunis  ensures full satisfaction and production of high-quality work that will be ageless in design and the memories it holds.
Fun Fact: Certain pieces of Daunis' jewelry are inspired by every day objects. The earrings pictured above were inspired by brown rice, while the piece below was inspired by toothpicks!