By Susie Scott

Jim and Lia Biond have been jewelry designers and fabricators for more than 30 years and have been participating in the Mandarin Art Festival for 25 years. In 2022, Biondo Jewelry earned Best of Show honors and as such, their artwork will be featured in the 2023 Mandarin Art Festival posters and advertising materials. They live in NW St. Johns County.

The Bionds have almost retired from the art show circuit, but said they will continue to show in Mandarin for as long as possible.

“It’s the best art show in Northeast Florida,” Jim Biond said.

Jim Biond graduated from Penn State University with a degree in engineering and worked in different countries throughout Europe for 13 years. Upon his return to the United States, he became fascinated with gemstones and metals and began his formal jewelry training at Rowan State College in New Jersey. He then continued at the Center of Visual Arts and College of Arts in Philadelphia and has attended many workshops. 

Jim Biond’s design inspirations have come from many different aspects of life, such as boot laces, gears, folded forms, teapots, and irregular shapes. His current metal of choice is pure silver, which is the whitest of all the precious metals. 

Lia Biond takes some of his unique pendants and designs Kumihimo (a Japanese weaving technique) necklaces to accentuate the colors in the gemstones. She fell in love with Kumihimo braiding when she saw the beautiful work of an expert at a fine arts show. After making some time in between her work obligations, she took an intense course from that artist and has never looked back. Kumihimo braiding combined function and beauty when the braids were used by the Samurai warriors to attach swords to their sashes and to decorate the handles of their weapons. 

The Bionds go to wholesale gem shows several times a year in search of special stones to make their jewelry pieces. They call it “treasure hunting.” Sometimes it takes several years for the design inspirations to come. The Bionds are advocates of continuous education; however, most of their techniques have been learned through irreplaceable “hands on” experience. They say their goal is to help beautify every person who wears their creations. Visit to see pictures of their jewelry and their art show schedule.

The 2023 Mandarin Art Festival will be held Easter weekend, April 8 – 9, 2023 at the Mandarin Community Club. Visit for more information.

Photo courtesy Susie Scott

Biondo Jewelry, Best in Show, Mandarin Art Festival 2022.

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