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3 Questions for California Jewelry Designer Kate Ellen on the Latest Engagement Ring Trends

Engagement rings might be a longstanding tradition, but modern-day designs are breaking all the rules. To get a sense of what rocks today’s brides are rocking, designer Lisa Anderson Shaffer of Zelma Rose stopped in to visit an up-and-coming Bay Area metalsmith.

Photography by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
Kate Ellen of Crown Nine in Oakland, California.

Kate Ellen has been working from her studio above her downtown Oakland boutique, Crown Nine, since 2008. Built around rich textures and metals, Ellen’s Celestial Vow Collection comprises unique handmade engagement rings and wedding bands. I asked Ellen her thoughts on current engagement ring trends and what has been popular with her customers. 


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Photography by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
Crown Nine’s Diamond Constellation Stack rings.

What trends are you seeing right now in alternative and handmade engagement rings?

​Stacking styles that can be collected over time for anniversaries, births, travel, and other special moments for the couple. It leaves room for continued excitement and romance.


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Photography by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
Crown Nine’s Estrella ring.

What is your favorite trend?

​Antique diamonds​ dating back to 1800. The cuts are flowery and each stone has such a unique look compared to the next. Choosing the perfect antique gem feels personal and aesthetically influences the entire design.​


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Photography by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
Crown Nine’s Vetiver solitaire ring.

What stones or metals are your customers gravitating toward?

Using family heirlooms in a new design; the ring becomes a continuation of a long family story and legacy. When couples are starting out, it can feel fortifying to have the love and remembrance of people who walked the path before them.


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