Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot Fall Colors

2013's New Hot Fall Color is Acai'!

Drum roll please....The designers have spoken and "Deep Orchid, Black Plum, Midnight Velvet, Acai' is the deep new luxurious fall color.  How does this translate to colored gemstones? Beautifully. There are many choices for fashionable customers wanting jewelry in this lovely palette.

Amethyst, Sapphires, Alexandrite and Spinels

These stones will offer a wide range in this purple violety rich magenta colors.  Deep purples add a mystery and richness to the design.  Amethyst's hardness of 7 on Moh's Scale does not make it a good choice for a ring that will be worn daily.  However Sapphires, Alexandrites and Spinels would be a great choice for everyday wear.
Tanzanite Right Hand Ring
A Tanzanite Krikawa Right Hand Ring 

Cocktail Rings and Right Hand Rings

Right hand rings and cocktail rings .  We have had several clients designing right hand rings as a personal statement.

Purple Sapphire Right Hand Ring
Three Stone Branch Cocktail Ring

Mia Katrin wrote an article in Mid-America Jewelry News entitled "The Impact of Color! What's Hot Now" in which she discusses her take on the trends. She introduces her article:
"For instant impact, try color. Charged with emotion, color can electrify, command attention, create a mood"
Although some psychologists would argue that the effects of color are exaggerated and that color carries different messages across cultures, the anecdotal messages and interpretations issued by fashion and merchandising markets indicate that people take color seriously to some extent. At the end of the day, the subjective and personal experience we have with certain colors must be meaningful enough if we continue to abide by certain rules in fashion and style that we set for ourselves.

The truth is...
Color is a deeply personal choice for everyone. Some people tend to gravitate to a color or set of colors that really express who they are as individuals. Some people report feeling comfortable wearing a certain shade or believe that certain palettes and designs are flattering to one's figure. Some people also associate certain colors with positive experiences in their lives -- like the cool crisp blue of the sea to help cope with intense summer heat, or shades of pink in our favorite Valentine's Day flowers and treats, or the preternatural green of trees first coming into bloom.

Whatever the link between color splashed out there in the real world and what we choose to wear, just knowing our thoughts and impressions about color is a useful piece of self-knowledge.

Pantone's Picks for Fall 2013
Pantone issued its top ten choices for women's fashion in 2013

See all the top ten in the Pantone Top 10 Fashion Report.

Just because it looks good on a runway model...

Exactly. Despite the prettiest models and highly polished sketches, regardless how "hot" the trend, both mean relatively little if you don't feel comfortable with the choice.

Here are a couple of simple suggestions:
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your birth stone?
  • What about _______ as something in that range of color?
Jewelers should also pay attention to skin tone, hair color, any recent changes in hairstyle or color choice, and lighting since tones can vary when juxtaposed against different tints and textures. Of course.

Self-knowledge may vary!
To be fair, some customers can rattle off any and all of these answers in a moment's notice, but not everyone. Women stereotypically care and invest more in these attributes than men. Some people are just "into" fashion and style more so than their counterparts. Some know the trends; others don't, or they don't care. Some people feel more comfortable with stylists and experts leading them on that trip of self-knowledge; they entrust us with the decision making.

Don't just think color. Think scene. Redirect the question. Don't just ask about favorite colors (which could be plenty or depend on the day) or birthstones (may not know that either). Ask for a story.

Ask for some information that will get the customer talking and will reveal to you the turning imagination lying underneath.
  • Where did you go on your last vacation?
  • If money weren't an issue, where would you go?
  • What are some hobbies that you enjoy doing in your spare time?
  • What childhood memory stands out to you?
The jeweler frames the questions in order to get the client thinking. Just let them take it at their own place. They make chortle a little or dismiss it a first. A good listener would give positive eye contact and attention so that the client feels, first of all, heard, but more importantly, that effort is made toward building a relationship.

We here at Krikawa believe that in order to unlock the vision and imagination of what our customers need, we need to show just how much we care and how much we want to learn that information.

The questions above were past questions designed to help trigger that information. When we know the stories, we can suggest colors, images, and designs that appeal to the customer. But what if they're struggling with the memories a bit? Fair enough. This customer might prefer more of a present focus.
  • Tell me the last time you couldn't stop laughing.
  • Tell me a movie you've seen lately and would recommend to others.
  • What really turns your head and makes you look twice?
In any event, keep it simple. Ask. Talk. Discuss.

Fearful of color?
A girl friend and I went shopping this past weekend. We were strolling through the mall, and as a pal, I patiently sat outside the dressing room while she tried on a number of tops. She shops like she eats -- hesitantly -- and it's fine. For the short time I have known her -- a new engagement, struggling to move to be with her man and to find a good job, resisting her curves instead of embracing what comes her age (far from fat, I say!) -- you see this really interesting match between her thoughts on fashion and body image and how she is coping with real life so far.

She hates wearing black as a rule, but likes wearing tops with some ruffle at the top to mask some of her cleavage. She stuck to the style (despite it being a dark color), and we found something similar in a strikingly delicious teal shade. "How did I miss this?" she gasped after trying, buying, and walking out of the store.

We may not re-envision a new palette or a bold character on day one, but maybe people take well to just a gentle nudge. In this case, we, again, stuck with something really familiar and comfortable and just kicked it up a notch. That way, the feeling of newness isn't so overwhelming.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Krikawa Jewelry Designs just negotiated the rights to produce the FLiP, a musical instrument aid that, when worn, enables guitarists to alternate effortlessly between playing with a guitar pick and strumming with one's fingers. The FLiP is the cast-metal and gem and motif accented version of the recently patented Jam Kat product. Here is a picture of a gold FLiP.

The idea for the Jam Kat originally nearly twenty years ago as President and founder of Pick-Smith, Inc., Patrick Swartz, experienced what every guitarist struggles with at some point: the sheer annonyance of picking up, putting down, and subsequently losing guitar picks while playing, writing music, and recording songs. He had a short brainstorm -- imagining what it would be like to grasp a pick and slide it halfway up his finger, retracting it when not in use. He had built a small prototype version for his personal use. With advances in drawing, modeling, and rendering, personal computing, and computer-assisted design, the prototype underwent several revisions.

Krikawa Jewelry Designs experienced unprecedented growth in the past decade, which gave Patrick greater access to technologies that would build up the prototype. Enjoying a lifelong creative exchange when it came to his music and her metalsmithing and John's technical savvy, we jumped at the chance to work on the Jam Kat. With the old prototypes scrapped and the pick holster being recreated into a cast metal setting, Patrick found plastic injection to be very workable into the piece. Two years later, Patrick filed the patent for the Jam Kat pick holster and development continues to the current day.

Patrick is excited about offering online orders for the Jam Kat within the next month. Click here for ordering information. Patrick also invites Facebook users to check out and follow the Pick-Smith fan page.

We wrap up the spotlight on the Jam Kat with some online video. Please be sure to let the video completely buffer and load before viewing.

Jam Kat product demonstration

Check out some additional footage Lisa shoot at the NAMM '09 festival.

Rock on!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Mamoru is the Japanese word for "protection," which symbolized the endearing intent of the engagement ring that editor-in-chief of, James Mielke, presented to his fiancee.

Mielke asked colleague, good friend, and Final Fantasy series illustrator, Yoshitaka Amano, to draw a ring operating from the keywords "joy," "harmony," and "forever." The ring -- named So Red the Rose -- features two platinum arms wrapping warmly around a ruby. Armed with the framed illustration, some background music from famed composer Nobuo Uematsu, and a lot of nervous anticipation, Mielke proposed and she said yes!

Click below to read Mielke's story for yourself.We wish James and Joy many years of happiness for the future, and we are honored to have joined some of the best creative minds in the video game industry in helping this course bring their vision to life.

Geek bonus:
Carbuncle's an endearing summon, isn't he?
(Thanks, garudoh!)

Fair Trade

How many of you have ever heard of the words fair trade?

Back home, I used to live fairly close to a neighborhood coffee shop, and I would visit there maybe once or twice a month whenever exams and papers were due. The company declared that several of its brews were made with fair trade coffee beans. Although it did not mean much to me at the time (since I wasn't writing a paper on social responsibility), during the past few years, companies have begun showing a genuine interest in taking steps to improve the level of social responsibility in their business practices.

Businesses conduct fair trade agreements for the following reasons:
  • to build commerce and access to otherwise marginalized producers
  • to decrease and eliminate "middlemen," ensuring that the producers attain better control of profit
  • to provide higher wages and enhance regional quality of life
  • to promote sustainable initiatives for long-term commerce
  • to identify and perpetuate environmentally safe techniques and practices
  • to reduce chances of opportunism and exploitation
  • to advocate and extend fair trade principles
Should companies conduct fair trade business and successfully uphold certain labor, developmental, and environmental standards, businesses can opt for fair trade certification.

Does jewelry have fair trade requirements as well?
Absolutely! As with cocoa, coffee, and crafts, jewelers can buy gemstones and metals from retailers that promise to uphold fair trade practices. Fair trade jewelry is designed to minimize negative environmental impact in mining and production, promote sustainable practices, distribute wide opportunities of partnership, and to practice zero-tolerance regarding labor exploitation and community displacement.

Which organizations represent fair trade in the jewelry industry?
Krikawa Jewelry Designs is proud to be a member of the following fair trade organizations.

No Dirty Gold
The more you know, the less gold glows.

No Dirty Gold extended from its parent nonprofit Earthworks in 2004. According to the organizations's About Us page, uncontrolled gold mining continues to be one of the dirtiest industries, with the production of one gold ring resulting in 20 tons of industrial waste. Referred thereafter as "dirty gold," irresponsible mining practices lead to displaced communities forcibly removed from homelands, waterways contaminated by industrial pollution, decimated landscapes and natural habitats, and numerous worker abuses and human rights violations in mining the ore. Users are encouraged to read the full report -- Dirty Metals: Mining Communities and the Environment -- which details dirty gold activity occurring worldwide.

1% for the Planet
Keep Earth in business.

One Percent teams up responsible jewelers all over the world who pledge to donate one percent of their sales to environmental organizations. Founders Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews blended successful business savvy and environmental commitments to start forming One Percent in 2001. Memberships accrued the very next year. To date, the site has grown to over 1,200 business alliances. And to do our part for the cause, Krikawa Jewelry Designs sent a gift of $8,438 this past February.

The site also hosts a vast network of environmental organizations to which businesses can initiate direct contact.

Responsible Jewellery Council
Reinforcing confidence in the diamond and gold supply chain.

Some of the biggest suppliers in the world including Cartier, De Beers, and Tiffany & Company joined forces in 2005 to support the Responsible Jewellery Council. RJD's mission statement reads, "To advance responsible ethical, social and environmental practices, which respect human rights, throughout the diamond and gold jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail." As of June 2009, the Council enjoys a membership of 130 organizations.

The Council advocates a high level anti-trust labor platform and certification standard. The standard allows retailers and independents to verify that their gems and metals have been acquired through ethical standards. The Council includes a PDF document of their Codes and Practices available here.

At the end of the day...
Social responsibility is important for the jewelry industry to embrace because, in our business of procuring valuable metals, gems, and stones, we recognize the threat of exploitation and environmental damage and are committed to halting it in its course. When we work together to cooperate with compliance standards and restrict our dealings to those who share that philosophy, we send a powerful message to the more scrupulous parties out there. The message reiterates that just as hard as we work to produce and distribute fine jewelry, there are individuals and communities out there who do the hard labor to keep us going. We need not free-ride on their backs to build a profit and we urge others to remain sensitive to the issue.

Know that each piece of Krikawa jewelry is built with top-notch construction, careful selection, and a clear conscience.

Please visit our socially responsible partners.
Clear conscience and conflict-free.

Columbia Gem House
Hoover and Strong
Polar Bear Diamonds
Diamond Empowerment Fund

Monday, July 20, 2009


Last time, we talked about nickel allergies. Nickel is a metal commonly found in jewelry and in household items that may cause some people to experience an allergic reaction. In fine jewelry, nickel is sometimes blended into white gold and stainless steel products to give the metal a bright and polished tone and to resist tarnish.

Krikawa Jewelry Designs is a responsible manufacturer of nickel-free products. In our response to customers who choose nickel-free products, we offer an affordable and safe alternative. For individuals who enjoy the finish and appearance of the white metals, we highly recommend platinum.

Platinum signifies the ultimate standard in precious metals for the following reasons:
  • Platinum jewelry carries a purity level between 90-95%, and if featured in a platinum alloy, it is blended with other platinum-group metals. As a result, the customer gets more platinum metal for the purchase price while avoiding lower grade metals in gold alloys.
  • Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold.
  • Platinum is very durable. Though no metal is totally resistant to scratching, platinum is much more resistant, tolerates constant wear, and holds stones securely in their mounts.
  • Unlike white gold which is bleached with nickel and needs replating to retain its color, platinum is naturally white and will not tarnish.
  • Platinum is a highly dense material, thus providing jewelry with a characteristically weighty and sturdy feel that is appealing.
The best ways to deal with nickel allergies are to stay alert to substances that trigger a reaction, to talk with a trusted medical professional about your skin, and to select jewelry made with your hypoallergenic needs in mind. Should you choose to do business with us, please allow us to show that our jewelry is responsible, truly unique, and breathtaking all at once.


Jackie_Rox left the following Tweet:
When your body seems to physically reject your engagement ring, its never a good sign.

That's correct.

Contact dermatitis is a fancy name for a skin allergy -- the uncomfortable itch, burning, peeling, and redness that comes from wearing certain types of jewelry. According to the Mayo Clinic, jewelry prepared with nickel alloys can cause skin reactions. Nickel is a strong and durable metal; it is a common component of everyday household items like necklace clasps, watch bands, belt buckles, zippers, coins, and eyeglass frames. This is unfortunate for people who are sensitive to nickel because it becomes difficult to figure out what, exactly, is triggering the reaction.

People can have an "innate" nickel sensitivity triggered upon a single exposure, or develop sensitivity over repeated exposures. Nickel allergies affect both men and women of all ages, though it appears more frequently on women since they tend to wear more jewelry than men do. Free Beauty estimates that as much as 15% of the population is sensitive to nickel.

Do you have a nickel allergy?
Sometimes people are unaware of a nickel allergy until they experience it firsthand. Your local health care professional can test for allergies by administering an allergen sensitivity test. The test involves rubbing or injecting allergens onto or just beneath the skin and recording any changes at the reaction site.

It is also a good idea to take careful note of any funny reactions to wearing a specific type of jewelry or using household items, and not trick oneself into thinking, "Oh, this is just a one-time thing. It'll go away!" This might make the problem worse! Although it is possible to help the body develop resistance to an allergy -- a process called desensitization therapy -- this is best done under the care of a medical professional, and it is usually more effective in children dealing with common outdoor allergies.

I'm allergic. How can I deal with it?
The best strategy is to avoid nickel exposure. If you must work with nickel products, be sure to wear protective gear such as rubber gloves and to wash hands thoroughly after use. If suffering from an allergic reaction, wash the affected area with soap and warm water, then administer a topical cream like Benadryl or calamine lotion and/or an oral antihistamine.

Do jewelers sell nickel in their products?
Some do, yes. Jewelers can tell customers whether or not nickel exists in a given alloy. Here at Krikawa, we take customer concerns about nickel sensitivity very seriously, so we provide a chart listing the quality, grade, and composition of all of our jewelry metals. For more information, please take a look at our Learning Center. If you see the letters Ni under "Composition," then that product contains nickel.

Of the 13 alloys we use for our jewelry, only two of them contain nickel: the 14-karat precise white gold and our 316L stainless steel grade.

In our next article, we will talk more about platinum, a fine substitute for people who like white metals but cannot tolerate nickel.

Come to Tucson!

Derek Levin wrote an amazing article for Jewelry Artist Magazine called "5 Reasons to Go to Tucson," which details several important reasons why jewelers, designers, and craftspeople ought to visit this wonderful city. Jewelry, minerals, and fine art generate significant tourist traffic and business for the city every year, so it is no small wonder that the industry prominently appears among its main attractions. The gem shows strongly contribute to an over $2 billion per year tourism industry.

Levin writes that in 2008, Tucson hosted over 50 shows in that year alone, presenting many opportunities for professionals to buy, sell, and trade, and even more importantly build networking connections in the industry. Attendance for that year's event topped over 55,000 visitors and over 3,000 vendors. Krikawa began its humble beginnings on the trade show market, and such exposure proved beyond invaluable.

There's a spirit here.
There is something almost organic about the ease of networking in this city. Perhaps it is because in the summer, the temperature easily tops the triple digits, and even the most adversarial persons can agree on sharing some shade or offering a bottle of water. The city epitomizes warmth, comfort, and engagement wrapped neatly in a swathe of informality. Perhaps we can blame the heat as well for a refreshing lack of business suits and stiff ties, but visitors readily experience both a relief from undue pretension and also a passionate and vibrant love of the craft.

Going way underground.
Tucson is not only rich on retail stones, gems, and metals, but the land underground possesses some of the most unique natural rock and ore in the country. David A. Kring and Anna M. Domitrovic detail the rich mineral content lurking beneath the surrounding mountains. The authors trace historical volcanic activity millions of years ago in which "hot magmatic fluids concentrated metals and precipitated metalliferous sulfides, some of which were then altered by additional fluids to produce an even wider variety of exotic mineral specimens."

With a rich history and a vibrant jewelry and artisan culture, Tucson truly stands out as the jewel in the Sonoran Desert.

Check this out!
Tucson Show Guide

All About Krikawa

Krikawa Jewelry Designs began as a small, family-supported business in 1998, and has since grown to a company of seven outstanding individuals working together to deliver top-notch, unique wedding and engagement rings to an internationally-based clientele. Founded by jewelry designer and artiste, Lisa Krikawa, from humble beginnings of sole proprietorship and navigating the trade circuit, Krikawa Jewelry Designs has made a home for itself in the beauty and warmth of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and continues to excel in brand growth, marketing, and excellent customer service.

Our vision.
To our customers, the custom, high-end jewelry we create is perhaps one of the most important pieces of jewelry our clients will purchase. Engagement and marriage represent an important crossroads in life, a time in which two people have found true love and wish to embark on a lifelong journey and union to celebrate their togetherness. It is an exciting and emotional journey for the both of them, one of heightened clarity and a major milestone. What better way to celebrate that journey by co-creating not just a ring, but a meaningful vision of their union through the media of fine art jewelry.

Our partnership.
Appropriately enough, our mission is to partner with clients to create beautiful jewelry that taps into that wellspring of vision and imagination revealing the deeper essence and soul of the loving relationship. Readers can also expect the same impression from this blog. We talk about rings, of course, but there is so much more to the creative process. We review and highlight educational materials, self-care for jewelry, detail what’s hot in the industry, and express our commitment to social responsibility with discussion and by staying current on important news within the industry.

Thank you for visiting with us.
For more information, please feel free to visit our main site at We look forward to this project and engaging our readers and customers that much more!