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Most Covetable Gems 

Crown Nine

One of Popuphood's success stories, Oakland's Crown Nine has flourished into a well-loved jewelry boutique and art gallery, frequently mobbed by First Friday revelers and jewelry addicts alike. Owner Kate Ellen has taken this buzz and launched a new store series, aptly named A Rarity. Every month, Ellen curates a selection of super-limited-edition jewelry — only ten to twenty of each are made — from local artisans, and every piece is available for less than $150. Since the event's inception, works have included a loopy necklace influenced by Oakland's art deco architecture, Egyptian-inspired hoop earrings, a brass fringe bracelet, and Ellen's own Mitsuro bangle, produced using a rare Japanese wax technique. Ellen also delves into the background of each piece on her website, interviewing the designers and bringing photographer Eva Kolenko along to snap behind-the-scenes shots of each studio. This holistic approach to jewelry design and story makes each piece feel like a true treasure, and the entire approach, we admit, feels like a rarity.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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