Ring Leaders: Bario-Neal creates a new gold standard

Shark Triad necklace from the Devonian Collection. $164story by Liz Pacheco | photos by Alyssa Robb

When college friends Anna Bario and Page Neal reconnected at a wedding a few years ago, the pair discovered they shared an interest in creating sustainable jewelry. At the time, each had an independent jewelry label, but in 2007, decided to forgo those to launch a collaborative line, Bario-Neal, which features handmade pieces crafted from reclaimed metals and ethically-sourced gems.

Though neither is a Philadelphia native—Bario is from West Virginia and Neal from Virginia—the pair was attracted to the city and in 2010, opened a store and workshop in Bella Vista. “[Philadelphia] was really affordable, so I think that was a lure,” says Neal. “It also has the major manufacturing hub in jewelers row—small, family-run businesses that have been making jewelry for years and years.”

Shale Studs from the Devonian Collection shaped to mimic a fragment of shale rock. $68All metal work is done in-house, while specialized crafts, such as casting, stone-setting and enameling, are locally outsourced. Their gold and silver jewelry uses 100 percent recycled metals from two places: a refinery in Richmond, Va. and Abington Reldan Metals, a local LEED Silver-certified facility. Finding a source for 100 percent recycled bronze can be a challenge, but Bario-Neal uses recycled material as much as possible.

While known for their handcrafted wedding and engagement rings, Bario-Neal also makes boutique jewelry that reflects natural themes and forms. Their Devonian Collection explores fossils, imprints and human-made patterns—highlights are a shark pendant and earrings cast from a piece of lace. The Alluvial Collection takes inspiration from hand-drawn maps made in 1944 of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and includes a pair of earrings in sterling silver that mimic eroded land. – Liz Pacheco

Bario-Neal, 700 S. 6th St., bario-neal.com

Bario-Neal Holiday PartyThurs., Dec. 13, 5-9 p.m. 700 S. 6th St. Celebrate the holiday season with 20 percent off all boutique jewelry, plus snacks, drinks and a mini art market.