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Blog

I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

Filtering by Category: Gemstones

Diamonds, the April birthstone

Niki Grandics

Rough diamonds from the Raw Stone

Rough diamonds from the Raw Stone

Happy birthday to all of you April beauties! Spring has finally sprung after a long rainy winter in Southern California and the wildflowers make your birth-month a little more colorful. For all of my Aries/Taurus friends, here a few interesting facts about your birthstone, the diamond.

Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man, an impressive 58 times harder than any other material to be exact!

Diamonds were used to engrave other gemstones in India as early as 30BCE.

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Most diamonds are formed over 80 miles below the Earth’s surface. Almost all bright sparkly diamonds are formed in total darkness, 87-120 miles below the surface in the lithospheric mantle layer. When volcanoes erupt deep underground, the force of the eruption and the magma carry diamonds closer to the surface. The diamonds are hidden inside and mined in the ingneous rock formed by the magma as it cooled.

Most diamonds are 1-3 billion years old. The oldest discovered diamonds are even estimated to be around 4 billion years old.

Some diamonds may have even come from outer space. Carbonado diamonds are thought to have formed around 3 billion years ago when an asteroid collided into the planet. These diamonds are quite porous, so you won’t see them in any rings and they are usually found in Africa and South America.

There’s a diamond in the sky named “Lucy”. The star was named after the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” when it was discovered by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 2007. The star is approximately made of 75% pure diamond as is located 50 light years from Earth.

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A diamond loses up to 50% of its rough carat weight in the cutting and polishing process. The result? A stone cut to maximize its brilliance and fire.

Only 30% of all diamonds mined are gem quality. What happens to the other 70%? They’re often used in industrial applications such as abrasives, cutting equipment, and even medical equipment.

You can turn the remains of a loved one into a diamond. Thanks to the power of science, their ashes could be compressed into a lab grown diamond, so they can be cherished forever.

The largest diamond ever mined is the Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in 1905 and weighed an astonishing 3,106 carats. It was cut into 105 diamonds, the largest of which are the Greater Star of Africa (530.20ct), and the Lesser Star of Africa (317.60ct), part of the British crown jewels. Eight of the other diamonds cut from the Cullinan are also part of Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection.


Here’s a few of our fave pieces featuring these unique and radiant gems. Shop the look below.






Transparent vs Traceable vs Ethical, is Blockchain the answer for ethical sourcing in jewelry?

Niki Grandics

If you can trace a flower or a single avocado back to a single farm or field, you should be able to trace a diamond back to a mine, right? Blockchain for the jewelry industry is actually already on its way, with large mining corporations like DeBeers and Alrosa investing heavily into their own blockchain programs. DeBeers is even testing out their program on diamonds 2ct and above and plans to expand it to smaller sizes in the future. These two mining companies on their own account for almost 80% of all diamond mined today. But what about the other 20%?

GIA, Rappaport, have tried creating industry-wide blockchain networks for traceability, however, DeBeers has made it perfectly clear that their blockchain network is only theirs and won’t connect with any industry-wide traceability initiatives. And unfortunately they’re DeBeers and they’re huge and influential and ultimately they do what they want. Large (expensive) tech projects like this may be no big deal to a company that large, but what about the artisanal miner? The Tanzanian Women Miners Association certainly doesn’t have the funds to compete, and ultimately any traceability solution we come up with needs to take small-scale miners into account, or we risk further marginalizing some of the most marginalized people on the planet.

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Birthstone of the month: Moonstone, Alexandrite, Pearl

Hilda Chang

Summer is officially starting this month and it's arguably the best month according to June babies. We all have fond memories of summer vacations and sweet treats. June babies are lucky to be born such great weather and to help them celebrate their special day Enji is sharing 10 fun facts about their birthstones.

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Beyond Blood Diamonds: Myths and Facts to Shine a Light on Diamond Sourcing

Niki Grandics

Diamonds are one of the most well-known gemstones in the market today. Their rise in popularity has even caused a bit of a confusion about their journey from mining to market. It is undeniable that certain companies have made ethical sacrifices in the name of profits, but that does not mean that the diamond industry isn’t riddled with false claims and misconceptions. Like any industry, rumors are started, and myths created, but at Enji we aim to deliver only the truth! Not all diamonds are bad, and we are here to shine a light on some of these convincing facts.

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5 Gemstone Alternatives for a Diamond

Hilda Chang

Diamonds are beautiful and regarded as one of the most expensive gemstones due to their brilliant shine. Although often described as “a girl’s best friend”, there has been a steady shift to more economically and environmentally friendly stones. These substitutes offer quality and brilliance at a fraction of a price of diamonds. For this article’s purpose we will not be looking at lab created diamonds as they are still technically considered diamonds, but instead focusing on other gemstones who can resemble a diamond. The following gemstones are Enji’s top 5 diamond substitutes.  

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Sapphires, are they an ethical choice?

Hilda Chang

With Enji’s newly released sapphire rings and earrings, you might be wondering about the stone’s ethical background. Ever since princess Diana chose her stunning 12 karat sapphire wedding ring, the magnificent blue gemstone has been making a strong comeback in the jewelry industry. With the sapphire gaining popular momentum and emerging ecofriendly trends, there has been more demand for ethical sapphires than in previous years. But, where exactly do these little gemstones come from? Who produces ethical sapphires? Enji is here to explain it all.

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Birthstone of The Month: Aquamarine

Hilda Chang

San Diego has been very cold this past month, with many people wondering why winter felt like it came late. Lucky for us, March has officially begun and with it the promise of soft spring breezes and warm kisses from the sun. Spring is amazing and so are the people who are born on this month. To help our loyal and dedicated Enji fans celebrate their birthday (and we’ll be celebrating too, Niki’s birthday is also this month), we have composed a list of 10 fun facts about their birthstone.

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Birthstone Of The Month: Garnet

Niki Grandics

The new year is here, and it just so happens to land on a Monday. What a perfect coincidence for our blog. I (Hilda), would like to say congratulations to all the January babies out there. I was also born on January and know that all thought the cold nips at your toes, we couldn’t have asked for a better birth month. Most stores are eager to put on after holiday sales and our birthdays are just far enough from Christmas to be their own celebration. To help you celebrate Enji has made a list of 10 fun facts about our birthstone, the garnet.

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Taking Care Of The Ones You Love - Part 3

Hilda Chang

It has been a great week here at Enji. I have tried different greener cleaning techniques for metals and shared how to properly care for your favorite jewelry pieces. Although this will be my last post for the week I am excited to share what I have learned with you. Today I will be sharing my research on cleaning and storing gemstones. There are many stones and here at Enji we continue to explore and learn more about different stones and gems each day. We advise you to seek the original jeweler for questions about cleaning your jewelry if you are unsure what stone you own. Here are some easy ways to care for your most common precious stones.

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Taking Care Of The Ones You Love - Part 2

Hilda Chang

Last time we talked about 5 ways to keep your jewelry looking pristine in daily use. But what if you are the type of person who just bought an elegant piece that is perfect for that event in a few months? How do you keep it looking its best so that you can look your very best? Today I will share a few ways of how to store the most common jewelry and how different metals require special attention.

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Taking Care Of The Ones You Love - Part 1

Hilda Chang

We have all been there. We buy an amazing piece of jewelry and do one of two things, we either save it for a special occasion or wear it every day. But rarely do we stop to think if we are taking care of our jewels in the proper way. Do some pieces require more attention than others? Is there a difference in how we treat different metals? What about gemstones? Well friends I am here to help you find your way through this elaborate maze of jewelry care with a three-part blog on how to properly care for your pieces. Today we talk about prevention and day to day wear.  Here are five simple steps to ensuring that your jewelry stays almost as new as the day you bought it.

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Carat Vs. Karat

Hilda Chang

If you have ever bought jewelry you might have heard the words carat and karat. But do you know the difference between them? It’s ok if you don’t, as a high schooler I thought carat was the same as karat which lead to some major faux pas. Although they sound the same their definitions mean something completely different in the jewelry world. Enji wants to help you understand the difference so that you can avoid faux pas too.

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Birthstone Of The Month: Blue Zircon, Tanzanite, and Turquoise

Hilda Chang

Congratulations and happy birthday to the loyal Enji fans who are born in the magical month of December. It can be a bit challenging to share your birth month with major holidays, but we’re here to help you celebrate. And because you have three major birthstones associated with your birth month, we will be giving you an extra five interesting fact about your birthstones.

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