Nolan Sponsler Owner & Goldsmith of Deep River Jewelry Design
In April of 2022, Nolan Sponsler, a jewelry artisan previously hailing from Northern California but with roots deeply embedded in St. Louis, MO, took the helm of Deep River Jewelry Design. The torch was passed from the esteemed previous owners, Russell and Lisa Cunningham, who had nurtured this business for over 30 years. With no family to inherit their legacy and amidst the evolving landscape of the jewelry trade, they sought to entrust the business to someone who shared their vision of preserving high-end artistry.
Nolan’s serendipitous connection with the Cunninghams, through a family friendship stemming from his father’s high school days, culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His journey from a young man with a penchant for baseball to becoming a master jeweler is a testament to his unwavering commitment and boundless artistic talent.
At the age of 30, with nearly a decade of experience in the jewelry business, you may wonder how Nolan found his way into this illustrious field. Surprisingly, jewelry was not his initial career path. Originally pursuing a future in D1 baseball, Nolan found himself seeking a summer job and took a chance on a position as a bench jeweler at the local Jared store. Over the course of four years, he worked his way up, honing his skills in clerical work, polishing, evaluating jewelry for repairs, and building lasting connections with clients.
It wasn’t long before Nolan realized he possessed a remarkable gift for working with his hands and an innate artistic vision that set him apart. While continuing to refine his craft at Jared, he invested in mentorships and training opportunities, simultaneously cultivating his presence on social media. As his craftsmanship flourished, he made the life-changing decision to embark on his own journey in the world of jewelry.
Nolan’s path led him to Nashville, Tennessee, where he undertook an apprenticeship at the prestigious New Approach Jewelry School under the tutelage of Mark Farrell. With a hunger for knowledge and a relentless pursuit of excellence, he furthered his skills under the guidance of luminaries in the field, including master craftsman of Tiffany & Co., Jason Fava, and advanced lapidary artist Mark Oros. His exceptional work even graces the distinguished Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum in Tucson, Arizona & Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection.
Today, Nolan brings a wealth of experience and a passion for merging the elegance of the West Coast with the traditional stone-setting artistry of the East Coast. His expertise as a lapidary artist allows him to transform precious gems into bespoke creations that transcend the ordinary.