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Put a Ring on It

For the coolest jewels, look no further than the ateliers of these East Bay artisans.


The season of romance is upon us. Treat your wife, gal pal, mom, or even yourself this Valentine’s Day with gorgeous jewelry handcrafted by Lafayette designers—or pick up a sparkler created by Oakland artisans to help you pop the question with style.

Kainoa Designs creates colorful resin jewelry.

Kainoa Designs

Add a healthy dose of color to any jewelry collection with a unique piece by Lafayette’s ​Marisa Tashima of Kainoa Designs. Her preferred medium is resin, which she infuses with iridescent film, imitation silver and gold flakes, glitter, charms, or even dried botanicals. Select a heart-shaped mold to get into the loving spirit. etsy.com/shop/kainoadesigns.

Irenka Kudlicki Jewelry

Delicate elegance meets modern minimalism in Irenka Kudlicki’s precious-metal jewelry. The East Bay resident’s cool-girl designs— which are inspired by the exotic locales she’s visited overseas—adorn the jewelry boxes of celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus. For a romantic gift, go with a classic freshwater pearl necklace or a pair of hand-​hammered gold hoop earrings. irenkakudlicki.com.

Lauren Wolf Jewelry

Achieve “refined imperfection” (think: inclusions of un​common diamonds) with designer Lauren Wolf’s ethically sourced, one-of-a-kind engagement rings. Wolf, the owner of Oakland’s Esqueleto boutique, boasts an impressive client list that includes Penélope Cruz and Brooke Shields. Treasures such as champagne diamonds set in 18-karat white gold and a 10-stone ring featuring gray diamonds await you. Have a specific vision in mind? Wolf will collaborate with you to bring your creation to life. laurenwolfjewelry.com.

Propose in style  with a Crown Nine  engagement ring.

Crown Nine

For a twist on timeless engagement rings, visit Kate Ellen—a member of the Ethical Metal-smiths’ guild and owner of the recently remodeled Crown Nine in Oakland. Score a Montana sapphire set in rose gold or a ​Trillium three-stone ring made from 14-karat yellow gold—the material of choice for Ellen’s signature line. Many of her pieces can be customized, but you can also start from scratch for a personalized experience. crown-nine.com.

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