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Aiko Designs

Aiko Designs

The Sophisticate on Feminine and Ethereal Jewelry

Aiko DesignsChristine Aiko Beck is the sole designer and creator of Aiko Designs. She describes her style as “Ethereal yet organic. Simple, feminine, elegant and sophisticated.” Her pieces encompass a range of materials, and some of her favorite gemstones are tourmaline, labradorite, and spinel. Her designs can be simple, but there is something special about them, something very elegant and sophisticated. Christine says, “Details are important to me - you can see this in my designs where there are added touches like freshwater pearls or small stones at the clasp. Those little touches can mean a lot.” She considers her jewelry to be clean, feminine, and timeless rather than trendy, fussy or overpowering. Her jewelry exudes both a vintage and modern feel through thoughtful simplicity.

Christine’s path to becoming a jewelry designer was not a direct one. She has a B.A. in Geography and a Masters in Library and Information Science. Aiko Designs came about while she was in grad school and has grown into more than she ever expected. Christine says, “I knew I had found something I loved doing and decided I needed to follow through with it… Not everyone finds their passion, let alone gets to follow it!” For a long time she felt like she needed a professional career, but after finding her passion, she realized she had to do what she loved. In retrospect, Christine is happily surprised and grateful at how this all came about.

Aiko DesignsHer personal favorites change as new pieces are created, but her current favorites are the Pyrite and Chain Earrings and the new freshwater pearl and Alexandrite pieces. One of our Editor’s Picks are the Nori Quartz Drops, made of tourmalated quartz drops on 14kt gold-fill ear wires. Christine cannot get enough of this stone, also known as black rutilated quartz for its black tourmaline strands running throughout. Aiko DesignsShe appropriately named it “nori” quartz for its resemblance to bits of black seaweed. The streaks of black add depth and flair to these uber cute earrings. We also love her Sapphire & Zircon Earrings for its classy blue-green sapphire drops and small zircon beads on 14kt gold-fill ear wires. The blue-green sapphire drops resemble a dark forest green jade faceted drop and compliments the light green zircon beads, giving off a feminine touch.

Her idea process begins with buying stones and materials, and pulling them out to put different things together. Sometimes she knows exactly what she will create while other times it is a blank slate with materials ready to be used. As Christine is half-Japanese, her strong connection to Japan has strongly influenced her aesthetic. In the future, she plans to continue traveling and hopes to introduce her jewelry to more people in the United States, as well as internationally in Japan and the United Kingdom. Eventually she hopes to build a thriving and sustainable business where she can keep doing what she loves, creating beautiful jewelry. She is open to opportunities that come her way and recognizes that it is all about enjoying the journey.

Aiko DesignsWe now turn towards some of our favorite selections of necklaces. For a long and stunning necklace that is sure to add sparkle and sophistication, the Jade Kyanite Pendant is a must. This necklace features a lovely, long, rich, 14k gold-fill 32” necklace with a faceted jade stone and sparkly blue kyanite oval briolettes at the end. The contrast of the Kelly green jade with the smaller dark sea blue oval faceted stones pulls Aiko Designsthe piece together giving it a more mature look. If you want a simple but charming necklace for everyday wear, the Green Amethyst Drop Necklace is gorgeous. A sparkling, solitary green amethyst drop dangles from a sterling silver or gold-fill chain with freshwater pearls at the clasp. This popular necklace is one of their bestsellers and can be worn with everything from casual to formal attire.

The Green Garnet Bracelet is made of three strands of stunning green garnet briolettes and vermeil beads along a 14kt gold-fill chain. This bracelet is feminine and striking as the three strands gracefully hang on the wrist with the sparkling pear green garnets. For its simple beauty and refreshing color, it is no wonder why this is one of her most popular items. Christine is always designing new pieces to update her collection with, while also keeping favorites. Aiko DesignsIn addition to jewelry design, Christine also holds a strong passion for social entrepreneurship. She is involved with a non-profit organization called Nest, which provides small loans to female artists and artisans in developing countries by allowing them to sell their products via the Nest site, and in turn give back a percentage of sales to Nest. Christine is on the board of the San Francisco chapter and also has some of her own pieces on the Nest site. Making jewelry is very meditative for Christine as she can gladly spend hours designing and making jewelry and she hopes people enjoy her designs as much as she loves making them. Aiko Designs is sold at the De Young Museum and Adorna Bella in San Francisco and EqliQli in Tokyo. To view or purchase from her current and full collection, visit aikojewelry.com.

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