This new gold jewelry brand evokes the spirit of Puerto Rico – JCK

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In 2019, two longtime friends, Inés Capó, originally from Puerto Rico, and Äfet Burcu Salargil, based in Istanbul, founded İTÄ Jewelry (the name is a fusion of Inés and Äfet) to create fine jewelry souvenirs that celebrate diverse cultural traditions, beginning with the folklore of the indigenous Taíno people, who settled in parts of the Caribbean, including Porto Rico.

ITÄ’s second collection, Encantada, is comprised of five distinct lines that honor different aspects of Puerto Rican and Taino heritage. The collection, which sells for between $400 and $3,500 and is made in Turkey, interprets stories of goddesses, demons and sacred places in 14-karat gold, diamonds and colored stones.

“There are a lot of very talented artisans who use the petroglyphs of our native ancestors and use the flora and fauna of our island to inspire them and they create beautiful pieces,” Capó says. “But from a fine jewelry perspective, to create in a more literal sense pieces that carry that meaning, I hadn’t seen anything. And being someone who had lived both on and off the island , I really wanted something like that.

We asked Capó to share with us the folklore that inspired some of ITÄ’s most popular styles.

Atabex

ITA Atabex cut gold bracelet with sapphire
Atabex bracelet in 14k gold with blue sapphires, $1,550

Named after the Taíno deity Atabey, ruler of the sun and moon and goddess of fertility, the Atabex collection features a depiction of the goddess rendered in styles marked by the use of negative space as well as colored enamel.

“Atabey is the mother of all Taínos,” says Capó. “For the Taíno culture to revere women the way it has, it’s so special and so important because it’s such an ancient culture and such a powerful statement of femininity.”

In ITÄ’s interpretation, an element of Turkish culture is also integrated into each piece: “We really wanted to protect her belly, so we put a dim eye on her,” says Capó.

Keko & Kiki

ITA Kiki Coqui gold necklace
Keko & Kiki Coquí 14-karat gold necklace with champagne diamonds, $1,350

At first glance, the Keko & Kiki is a charming tribute to frogs. But it’s not just any amphibian. It is the endemic coquí frog of Puerto Rico. And in ITÄ’s version, it is lovingly recreated as stud earrings, pendants showing the coquí depicted in gemstones such as pink sapphires and green tsavorites, and macrame bracelets.

¡Buenos Dias!

ITA Buenos Dias gold sun earrings
¡Buenos Dias! Diamond and cognac sapphire earring, $800 (for a single)

Capó describes the ¡Buenos Dias! line like “happiness”.

“It’s our true bestseller and also our toughest line from Encantada,” she says.

The sun motif is consistent throughout the range and is most eye-catching in different styles of 14k gold earrings, set with white, black or cognac diamonds. All of ITÄ’s earrings are sold individually to encourage people to “create their own ear story,” says Capó.

Macu

ITA Macu Caribbean Evil Eye Gold Pendant
Macu Caribbean Evil Eye Pendant in 14k Gold with Enamel, $550

In the Taino language, mac means “big eye” and is associated with the legendary figure Macocael – “He with unblinking eyes”.

“It had no eyelids, which was very important because it was protecting a very sacred cave, where all the Taínos were supposed to come from,” says Capó.

When Capó and Salargil were looking at the patterns of Taíno pottery, the eye pattern “just jumped out at us”. One of the reasons it resonated so strongly was that it was consistent with nazar boncukthe Turkish eye of vigilance and protection.

the Macu-Collection features numerous pendants set with precious stones in various combinations of colored enamel and gold.

Txirimiri

ITA Txirimiri ring in gold and black and white diamonds
Txirimiri ring in 14-karat gold and black and white diamonds, $2,350

The swirling patterns of Txirimiri range are borrowed from petroglyphs found near rivers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Capó says. But the motif, which denotes the movement of water, is also common to other places, such as Greece and Turkey, where Capó and Salargil spent time.

“It’s such a universal symbol, so we made the most of it,” says Capó.

Incidentally, txirimiri is taken from Basque, where it means “light rain”, a subtle homage to the Capó family, half of whom hail from the Basque Country.

Top: Atabex enamel and 14k gold pendant, $425; ITÄ Jewelry

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