Todd Bracken started his career in his father's Decatur, Illinois jewelry shop at the age of 9. After high school, his desire to learn led him to California where he attended The Gemological Institute of America (GIA); the international authority for grading the worlds most important and rare gems. This is where he first studied the art and science of gem grading.
After completing his residency, he returned to Illinois to grade gems, repair high-end vintage watches, and manage at his father's store. Two years later he was offered a job at GIA, and California bound he was again.
Todd worked for several prominent West Los Angeles jewelers in his first few years in California. During this time he discovered a new passion...Gold. He got his first taste of gold mining by dredging in the mountain streams just north of Los Angeles.This hobby would turn passion, turn obsession in the coming years.
Todd opened Bracken Jewelers in Santa Monica's brand new 3rd St. Promenade in 1984. He continued for twenty-five years at this location, building a star studded client list, and creating world class masterpieces. His commitment to quality of material and craftsmanship established a reputation of excellence.
In the mid 1980's Todd began gold prospecting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's. Amid his traversing of the hills and valleys, he formed lifelong friendships with local miners. His fascination with the history of the land and the people who lived and worked there grew deeper.
The tale of the 49'rs inspired Todd's signature California Gold line. This line is created exclusively,"From Mining to Making", in California. People love this line because they know where it comes from, and that the utmost care was taken to insure safety and preservation of the land. This line features raw yet elegantly designed gold jewelry crafted in the same purity as it came from the ground. This gives the California Gold line a unique, high quality look and feel.
In 2006 Todd left the open storefront of Santa Monica and relocated in Venice, Ca. where he serves his clients in an intimate private studio setting. When visiting his studio, it is more like "Breakfast at Bracken's" than formal business interaction. Clients enjoy the relaxed environment and often strike conversation about the miscellaneous rarities that Todd has collected over the years.
Beginning 2009 Todd and a partner have started the process of reopening a historic 1840's gold mine for production. While following in the footsteps of the early miners' journey of fulfilling their manifest destiny, Todd's love and respect of nature will lead him down a slightly different vein. Besides providing the gold for his California Gold line, this venture will provide the opportunity to rid the land of chemicals used by early gold hunters and reclaim the sheer cliff faces they're hydraulic mining methods left behind. The venture works closely with government and private organizations to ensure it remains an exemplary leader of responsible mining.
The Discovery Channel series "Curiosity: What's Beneath America?" features Todd as the mining, gold, and geology expert. Todd illustrates how the gold was deposited in the Sierra Nevadas, washed down through the ancient river channels, and how it was collected by the early miners. He explains the importance of the gold mining industry in the development of the United States as we know it; from funding the Union's victory to keeping a stable US currency. Further, Todd finds a nice "clinker" gold nugget on camera! (Which Was Not Staged!)
ToddBracken.com is Todd's new public storefront. Launched March 2012, it showcases the California Gold line of Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and Accessories. It will also feature information about the new responsible mining practices aimed at dispelling many people's antiquated idea's of mining and how respectful, responsible mining can be carried out today.