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Androgyny Design's Mystical Jewelry Might Give You Special Powers

Androgyny Designs

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Most of us would argue that our favorite item to wear (be that a cozy sweater, badass boots, or sparkly cocktail ring) has legitimate powers to make us feel happier. Jewelry designer Courtney Bensik takes that concept one step further in creating her line, Androgyny Design. The Colorado native—who now calls Koreatown home—has always been drawn to nature's elements, and that fact is obvious in examining her pieces, which are both designed with them in mind, or centered around crystals that are chosen for the specific properties they offer their wearer.

A self-taught jeweler and self-described gemstone aficionado, Bensik aims to make wearable works that not only look beautiful (though they completely do) but do their owner some good: balancing energy, protecting, and bringing success among some of the capabilities her gemstone-boasting pieces may have. The made-in-LA collections feature raw, edgy pieces in bronze, sterling silver, and gold, frequently with stones like amethyst or quartz, but the line's most exciting possibilities lie in creating custom pieces. Bensik loves to work one-on-one with clients looking for something that will benefit them both aesthetically and spiritually.

We sat down with Bensik to learn more about her stunning work, what she loves so much about rocks, and where she might be secretly hiding a crystal.

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You grew up in Colorado. How is the landscape in Los Angeles different and how does it inspire your designs?

I grew up in a very dry, dusty part of Colorado that wasn't too far from the New Mexico border. We lived on 1.5 acres of prairie land that felt more like a desert on most days. The California landscape east of Los Angeles feels very similar. Along the 17-hour  journey from LA to my hometown, we drive through the deserts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and the beauty you see on that drive is something out of a science fiction film. You really get to see the bare bones surface of the earth for miles and miles. It's a humbling feeling, and something that never ceases to amaze me. It inspired the distinctive aesthetic of the line for sure.  

You're self-taught in the area of gemstones. What things have you learned that most made an impact on you?

The science behind how gems and crystals are formed and the properties they carry is so fascinating to me. Different chemical reactions and climate change create the colors and shapes of the stones which in turn effects their properties. Stones of different colors relate to different chakras in our bodies effecting our physical state. Earth has its own alchemy that has been brewing for millions and billions of years before we ever came along. Another mystery that consumes my mind on a regular basis.

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When you create a custom piece for a client, how does the process of choosing materials or designs to suit them work?

One of my favorite things to witness is when a human falls madly in love with a rock. Whether it's because of how it visually looks or because of how it makes them feel. It ignites a sensation. That's an example of the magic I was previously referring to. So once that happens, it's fairly easy to come up with their preferences for metal, style, fit, etc. I then have the fun job, often with much creative freedom (which I love!), of designing the setting to compliment an already amazing treasure.

What has been your favorite custom piece?

My favorite custom piece I've created is a raw Moldavite ring in a sterling silver setting. Moldavite is out-of-this-world; literally. It was created from the impact of a meteorite and has a crazy powerful energy. There's a finite amount left making it more rare and valuable than diamonds. This piece, in particular, was a fun one to work with.

What is the craziest (to others) place you might tuck a crystal or the wildest thing you've used crystal energy for?

Most crystal-loving gals will tell you that one of the best places to carry your crystals is in your bra. Just make sure you remember they're in there at the end of the day or you risk loosing them! I can't say that the things I use crystal energy for are wild per se, but what's wild is how often and quickly they get the job done.

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Androgyny Design's edgy, earth-inspired collection is available for purchase via the website. Select pieces are sold at Los Angeles County Store and Crystal Matrix. Schedule a consultation with Bensik for custom creations here.