Nancy and Stephen Attaway collaborate on one-of-a-kind jewelry designs that they regard as wearable pieces of art. Nancy has been cutting gemstones since 1987. She learned to facet colored gemstones from several master gem cutters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She designs and cuts the colored gemstones used in their jewelry. Steve carves gemstones and renders the gold work with hand-fabrication and lost wax casting.


Nancy and Steve’s designs are truly collaborations. Sometimes, they even work on the same gemstone. When Nancy facets a gemstone tablet that has a double-sided table facet, Steve hand carves in reverse intaglio a narrative scene on the back, like a hummingbird with flowers or jumping frogs. Steve and Nancy represent a very small group of lapidary artisans who perform custom gem cutting and also work in precious metal to create one-of-kind designs for their gemstones.


Many of Nancy’s original faceting designs and her articles on faceting have been published in magazines like Lapidary Journal and Rock & Gem, as well as in faceting guild newsletters across the US and outside the country. Lapidary Journal has also published several of Steve’s articles on the mechanics of gem polishing. Nancy teaches faceting to members of the New Mexico Faceters Guild, where she has served as president and newsletter editor. Nancy and Steve enjoy demonstrating faceting and gemstone carving at gem shows.


In 2004, Steve and Nancy were involved in a special project with the Smithsonian Institution studying the Hope Diamond that was first televised in February, 2005 on the Discovery Channel. Nancy has three gemstones in the Smithsonian’s gem collection, including a replica of the French Blue Diamond, from which the Hope Diamond was cut. This replica appeared on the cover of the June 2005 issue of Lapidary Journal, and her article on the Hope Diamond project was featured in the same issue. Nancy and Steve have both won several awards from the New Mexico Jewelers Association.


The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) hosts their Spectrum/Cutting Edge jewelry and gemstone competition annually. Award winners are selected from entries sent by US artisans and artisans from other countries. In 2007, the AGTA awarded Nancy an Honorable Mention in the Classic Gemstone Category for her 5.85-carat bi-colored modified square Barion Montana sapphire.