“My goal is to give women choices to make a statement, a statement about themselves."
Since 2012 Karin Jamieson has merged the beauty of natural gemstones with the sophistication of modern, handcrafted design to create jewelry that embodies her distinctive tastes and singular style.
A trained gemologist, Karin’s eye for unique stones, their magnificence of color and subtleties of texture, ensures the gemstones she selects are the centerpiece of her work. She favors rare, exquisite materials: aquaprase and rutilated quartz, moonstone and csarite, to give each piece its own, signature allure.
Handmade to order in the U.S. by skilled artisans in a generations old Cincinnati workshop, the Karin Jamieson collection is rooted in statement pieces that are at once modern and transcendent of trends.
Like all rewarding journeys, Karin Jamieson’s path to becoming an award-winning jewelry designer has included a detour or two.
After successful post-collegiate turns as a travel agent, and then as a financial advisor for a major investment firm, Karin decided to pursue her life-long interest in gemstones and enrolled in a course at the Gemological Institute of America.
Her passion and talent for working with rare stones was obvious, and she soon received an offer from Tiffany & Co. to take a position in sales and earn her Gemology Degree. It was here that Karin began to build a roster of private clients for her own designs.
By 2009 Karin was selling her own work through trunk shows and personal shopping events. The experience was an education in what women wanted from their jewelry: Karin’s clients entrusted her with precious commissions, including reworking heirloom jewelry into more modern, custom pieces or designing bespoke engagement rings.
In 2012, Karin launched her first collection. Her ambitions paid off instantly, with influential jewelry industry organization JCK labelling her a “Rising Star”.
Living between Cincinnati and Arizona, Karin takes inspiration from the canyons surrounding her Scottsdale home. The striking landscape represents the essence of her jewelry: the scale of design and its unaffected elegance, the splendour of natural colors, and a bold, uncompromising grace.
"The stones dictate the shape of the design as well as the color of the metal. The collection evokes a streamlined, sculptural monochromatic feel. Each piece is a limited edition, one of a kind, and no two will ever be the same. My goal is to give women choices to make a statement and let that statement be about themselves."
A CONVERSATION WITH KARIN
What attracted you to making jewelry?
Jewelry isn’t something you wear out of necessity, but you’re not fully dressed without it. There’s an emotional component to the way it makes you feel and communicates your personal taste. And there’s an heirloom quality to my jewelry, too. I focus on making sure my pieces endure season after season.
What’s the first step in your design process?
It’s always finding the gemstone. I hunt for ones that speak to me, that are unique. After that, I choose the metal. Usually it’s 18-karat yellow gold or 14-karat rose gold but I also work with oxidized sterling silver — its dark finish strikes a great contrast against gems like prasiolite and London blue topaz. When I find the materials I love, I’ll sometimes design on the fly and instantly lay out stones in a design!
Is anything else a major source of inspiration?
I have wanderlust and so many favorite destinations: Barcelona, Paris, Florence, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Santorini and New York, just to start. Each place is an adventure. Wherever I go, I visit markets and museums, and observe how locals dress. It all has an effect on my collection.
When you get dressed, which comes first, the clothing or the jewelry?
It depends on my mood! Normally I choose my clothing and then accessorize with the right gemstones. My jewelry is the finishing touch.
Is there one piece of jewelry everyone should own?
I love wearing (and designing) rings. They become a focus of every gesture and are really powerful pieces. But a great pair of earrings is versatile. They can be worn every day, especially if you’re working with your hands a lot and a ring isn’t practical.
What would you be doing if you weren’t designing?
If I had one more career left, it would probably be interior design or architecture. Just like making jewelry, it’s about shapes, color and texture. That’s what I keep coming back to.