September 26, 2005
There is a competition in the jewelry industry, and it's goal is to promote high quality jewelry. A man in our area is winning it all.
The job is tedious. It requires patience, and creativity.
Like some jewelry, Charlie Kingrea, is one of a kind, creating some of the most impressive designs in the jewelry industry. His designs have won many awards from the National Jeweler's Association.
"It gives me a boost in my morale, thinking it's something I worked really hard on. People appreciated that," said Charlie Kingrea, owner of CK Jewelers near Palmyra.
Kingrea, who used to work out of his home with his wife, chiseled his way to success when opening CK Jewelers in 1997. Kingrea had no idea he'd be a jeweler, but knew he'd do something hands-on.
"I needed a job, and I was in an early work release, and a teacher said there was a job available in jewelry. I went and tried, and I could actually solder," said Kingrea.
His ability to craft jewelry that sparks an immediate 'wow' from customers could have come from a sparkle he saw at seven years old.
"When I was really small I took a bucket of sand. If you look at sand under a microscope or a magnifying glass, they'll be little clear crystals, and one day I just sat down starting to pick out all the clear crystals," said Kingrea.
On local, state, and national levels it seems Kingrea's work is in a huge sandbox by how the judges choose. Their criteria include "craftsmanship, design, wearability, and just an overall presence of the piece," he explained.
Kingrea won the state awards last weekend, and moves onto the national competition which takes place in New York City in January 2006.