Kirk Kara (Est. 1890) During its nearly 130 years in business, the talented Karaguezian family of artists and artisans has designed and handcrafted beautiful rings and fine jewelry. The brand began in 1890, launched in a modest workshop with Kirk Kara’s grandfather crafting platinum jewelry featuring intricate engravings. The grandfather’s talent for creating legendary and distinctive pieces of jewelry has been passed down through four generations from fathers to sons.
“Jewelry design is a true labor of love, and it’s a blessing to share this gift with my family,” says designer Kirk Kara, who, like his father and grandfather before him, has spent his entire life perfecting his craft. Kirk’s mother, Angelique, whose partiality for elegant jewelry is mirrored in Kirk Kara collections, was the inspiration for the vintage-style Angelique, right-hand ring.
Kirk began his apprenticeship in 1965 under the guidance of his father, Artin, a master jeweler. At that time, jewelry making was an art: there were no shortcuts to perfection. Spending evenings in his workshop, Kirk eventually began designing jewelry and establishing his own clientele.
Kirk’s wife Lucy, who comes from a long line of fabric designers and manufacturers, shares her eye for fashion and feminine intuition with Kirk. She also serves as his daily creative inspiration. Now, for the first time in the company’s history, Kirk’s two daughters, Grace Terezian and Angela Karaguezian, continue the brand’s spirit and pursuit of perfection.
In a May 2017 article in JCK Insider, Grace summed up how she became involved in the business. She told the publication that she was guided by her parents’ hard work and commitment to family and an independent lifestyle.
“I started working with my family while I was in college, and after I met my husband, at the age of 21, I discovered my obsession for engagement rings.”
Her sister, Angela, added, “To uphold our family culture and heritage that spans over a century … to be a part of the Kirk Kara legacy is a real treasure.”
The legacy began when Kirk Karaguezian’s grandfather opened his small workshop to showcase his exquisite hand engraved jewelry. His designs were inspired by highly detailed carvings that were part of the Armenian culture.
In 1915, Kirk’s grandfather was killed in the Armenian Genocide. His son, Artin, escaped and opened a new workshop in Beirut, Lebanon. Because of his extraordinary talent and sophisticated manufacturing tools, Artin soon became the ultimate resource for a high-end tourist clientele from Europe seeking beautifully crafted jewelry.
Artin started traveling to Europe where he fell in love with its cultures and style. He began to infuse a European aesthetic into his designs. During this period, he met the love of his life and created a magnificent hand engraved wedding band for his bride, Angel. This extraordinary piece set the path for all original Kirk Kara designs to come.
Kirk Kara pieces are all original designs inspired by the past and re-imagined for the present. Each detail is drawn from romantic patterns found in nature, architecture and art. They’re brought to life in platinum, gold, gemstones and diamonds.
Every Kirk Kara ring is hand-crafted and includes lifetime-secure stone settings both on the center and the sides to showcase their brilliance. Each stone is hand-sorted and matched by color for each ring and hand-cut to perfectly fit the Kirk Kara design. Metals used are of the highest quality casting and insure durability, longevity, and material for the fine milgrain, filigree and hand-engraved work required for every ring. Each ring goes through 10 hand-inspected quality control checks to insure it is perfect.
Master Craftsmen do everything free form by hand. Their designs are never traced nor preset on a mold. While casting from a mold can create hundreds of identical pieces. That process tends to diminish the fine details.
It takes up to 6 hours to hand engrave one ring. Kirk Kara uses sophisticated tools with the narrowest points to create every hand engraved detail. The rings are primarily engraved in a delicate scroll and wheat hand engraving. Some rings feature custom designed engraved patterns that are unique to those pieces.
The craftsmen also use a special engravers tool to create refined, delicate beaded edges called Milgrain. Making these minute beads is hard but gives the overall design a graceful and elegant look. The brand’s designs feature signature Kirk Kara hand carved filigree and peek a boo diamonds along each side making them visually stimulating from every angle. Built much like striking pieces of architecture, the first step is to delicately hand sculpt original wax molds to be as detailed as the finest architectural designs.
In recognition for their outstanding creations, Kirk Kara has made history by capturing the coveted Jewelers’ Choice Award for best bridal design for ten years in a row. A double halo engagement ring from the Pirouetta Collection recently took the coveted top spot in the mid-priced Bridal category ($5001 – $10,000 range).
Two other rings were declared finalists adding to the company’s growing list of award-winning work. These came from the Lori and Pirouetta Collections.
Designs from the ultra-popular Lori and Pirouetta lines have been part of Kirk Kara’s impressive list of past Jewelers’ Choice Award wins. All pieces that bear the Kirk Kara name feature signature handcrafted details and quality. The company’s award winners are also their best sellers, year after year. More than 20,000 industry pros vote for the winning designs, and Kirk Kara has been at the top of their lists for a decade.
Kirk Kara pieces come from the Angelique Collection, Artin Collection, Charlotte Collection, Carmella Collection, Dahlia Collection, Lori Collection, Pirouetta Collection, Stella Collection, and also from the general inventory of Kirk Kara engagement rings
The Angelique collection features two engagement ring styles by Kirk Kara that won “Best Bridal Design” two years in a row. Kirk Kara styles K1250DC_R and K1330DG-R are both as unique as they are beautiful.
The Artin collection presents each prospective bride and groom-with a unique design approach to the high-quality engagement ring. These wedding bands feature old world craftsmanship with handcrafted milgrain edging and carved wheat engraving.
For more of a dramatic, vintage air, the Charlotte collection of engagement rings and wedding bands are more classically elegant, employing white diamonds and various colored gemstones including vivid blue sapphires in a uniquely carved, feminine setting with milgrain detailing and scrollwork designs.
The Carmella collection features several cushion halo styles with engagement ring style K1170DC-R being one of the most popular styles within the collection. Any of Kirk Kara’s rings can be ordered with hand engraved details or high polish.
The Carmella collection became famous in 2008 when the engagement ring style SS6757-R became 2008’s Jewelers Choice Winner for “Best Bridal Design.” Jeweler’s Choice winners are deemed to be the best designs in their specific category, voted on by owners of fine jewelry stores across the country.
The Dahlia collection represents one of Kirk Kara’s finest works with the centerpiece of the collection being the Dahlia ring with blue sapphires.
The Lori collection is a tribute to Kirk Kara’s Armenian roots. This sophisticated collection proudly bears the name of a lush province in Armenia. Debuting in the company’s 125th year, the richly detailed engagement rings are inspired by old world Armenian carvings, patterns and art, with a nod to refined Art Deco style.
A ring from the Pirouetta collection doesn’t just encircle a finger – it dances around it. Elegant, handcrafted swirls flow seamlessly into one another symbolizing togetherness and love. Pirouetta wedding bands and engagement rings feature romantic details like halo, double halo and split shank designs, as well as the signature engraving, quality, and craftsmanship for which Kirk Kara is known.
In the Stella collection the engagement rings and wedding bands are more classically elegant, employing white diamonds and various colored gemstones including vivid blue sapphires in uniquely carved, feminine settings with milgrain detailing and scrollwork designs.
For more dramatic, vintage styles there are exquisite engagement rings from among Kirk Kara’s other creations. These engagement rings and wedding bands are more classically elegant.
Every Kirk Kara ring is customizable to specific tastes. Customers can choose an engagement ring or wedding band to be designed in rose gold, a mixture of two-tone gold, and can specify the center diamond to be any shape or size.
Inspired by vintage treasures and influenced by Angela and Grace Karaguezian’s design aesthetic, today Kirk Kara is best known for creating one-of-a-kind engagement rings and wedding bands. These creations are not merely reproductions of the classics but reimagined originals that never feel out of style. The Karaguezian sisters bring the modern woman’s style and perspective to the world of bridal.
In addition to Kirk Kara’s incredible artistry, each piece is also crafted with skill and precision. Each stone is carefully set under a microscope on a special four-prong base to ensure the ring will last a lifetime. Only the highest-quality gemstones are chosen for each piece, with the stones carefully sorted and matched by Kirk Kara’s team of experts. Each stone is hand-cut to make it perfect for the ring. The fine metals are strong and durable ensuring the quality of the ring.
With such an enduring heritage of excellence, Kirk Kara truly embodies its Forever Captivating™ promise.Sell Kirk Kara All Artists