About Mochi’s Gifts

Johanna is an artist, geologist, and gemologist located in Concord, California.  She has been selling her unique, geology-inspired jewelry at art and gem fairs around the San Francisco Bay Area since 2003.  In addition, her work is available in her on-line store at mochisgifts.etsy.com.

Like most children, Johanna had a collection of rocks – mostly unidentifiable but pretty – that were special to her.  Unlike most children, her love of rocks and minerals grew with her as she became an adult and led her to serious study; she received a B.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and an M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

She decided to return to school later in life to learn more about gems and jewelry.  She completed Jewelry Technician certification from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and then completed the Graduate Gemologist (GG) and Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP) programs through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Her career has included work in the areas of geology, natural hazards, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and emergency management as well as jewelry and gemology.

Her study of minerals gives her a unique perspective on stones in the form of gems suitable for jewelry.  What makes her pieces unusual is that she seeks out and uses a much wider variety of natural stones than are commonly seen in jewelry.  While she does create pieces with frequently seen minerals such as lapis and amethyst, her specialty is the use of gems that rarely show up in jewelry, such as kyanite, amazonite, and rhodonite.  Many of her pieces also incorporate beautiful fossils.