Kabana Jewelry Company and Quality Information
Kabana jewelry epitomizes superb quality and brilliant creativity. With over 30 years of experience in the design and creation of inlay jewelry, Kabana is truly a master of its craft.
Kabana History - 1-Way Ticket to Success
It was 1975 when a 22-year-old Stavros Eleftheriou decided he needed a drastic change. With a mere $60 in his pocket, he traveled from Greece to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began a whole new life. He began working with jewelry, his first job, and by the second day, he knew that jewelry was his destiny. In 1977 he bought a historical converted mission church, saying that it had "a good feeling and blessing inside." It was there that Stavros set up shop and founded his jewelry business. As a tribute to the church's bell tower, he named his company, "Kabana", which means "bell" in Greek.
Kabana Craftsmanship - Stavros AKA, the "Master of Inlay"
Stavros is known as the "Master of Inlay" for good reason. Impeccable precision and an eye for fine stones and designs has allowed him to create jewelry that is truly unparalleled.
With very little employee turnover, Kabana artisans have benefited from years of extensive training in their respective areas of expertise. The manufacturing of each piece of Kabana jewelry involves 5-10 people, each the best in the technique they employ. An astounding 10-20 quality control steps per piece ensures that each ring, pendant, bracelet, and earring conform to the highest Kabana standards.
In the late 70's Kabana was the first to introduce fine opal inlay in precious metals such as white and yellow gold. With the creation of select museum-quality limited editions, Kabana pushed the limits of imagination and excellence, allowing the world to see the exquisite possibilities of the inlay technique. With over 10,000 copyrighted designs, Kabana jewelry epitomizes creativity and vision.
100% Made in the USA - Except for the stones, of course!
Today, Kabana remains one of the few jewelry manufacturers who don't outsource any step of the jewelry-making process. Every part, from the design to the inlay setting to the polishing, is performed by skilled craftspeople and goldsmiths in America. While many jewelry manufacturers outsource parts of production to areas such as Southeast Asia, it is well-known that cuts in cost result in cuts in quality. Despite fluctuations in the economy, Kabana has always remained loyal, not only to the United States and the local economy, but to the high standards they have set for themselves.
Handmade Quality - Every Step of the Way
Kabana jewelry is complex and thus requires up to 25 steps to ensure quality (not including the 10-20 quality control checks each piece undergoes). Let's take a ring, for example, and illustrate some of the steps involved in its creation.
Design Phase - The Kabana ring is first conjured in the mind of the designer, a mere idea. As that idea takes hold, it is drawn onto paper and then painted. Once a design is adopted, it is copyrighted so that it remains unique to Kabana jewelry. Kabana currently has over 10,000 designs copyrighted!
Lost Wax Casting - To form the base of the ring, the ancient "Lost Wax Casting" process is used, a technique that is believed to date back to before 3600 BC! This requires that the metal portion of the ring is first carved into wax with the utmost precision. This is truly an art, as some master wax carvers have been training for 20 years! Using this wax figure, metal molds can be formed, which allow the same metal ring base to be formed multiple times.
Metal Polishing - After the metal portion of the ring has been created, the metal is then polished and ground under running water to remove any blemishes.
Stone Setting - If there are faceted gemstones, the ring is sent to the stone setter so that they may be added to the metal.
Inlay Process - After this, inlay stones must be specially selected, based on the dimensions needed, and the quality sought (Ex. Opals vary in quality and color). Stones are ground down by hand on a wheel until they reach the exact dimensions called for in the ring design. These stones are then placed into the corresponding sockets in the ring.
Polishing - The ring is then hand-polished to a high shine using 3 types of wheels. This ensures the seamless inlay look that epitomizes Kabana jewelry.
Steaming - The ring is then steamed to remove any dirt or fingerprints it may have accrued in the process.
Voila! A new Kabana ring is ready for a home!
Important Quality Points
In comparison to generic brands of jewelry, Kabana puts in the extra effort, time, and expenses to ensure each piece conforms to the highest standards of excellence. Below are some of the ways Kabana stands out.
Kabana Inlay - The stones which are used in Kabana inlay are 4 times thicker than most other inlay. This results in more durability, depth of color, and an overall increase in value. You get more stone for your money. Doublets and Triplets are NEVER used for their inlay. (A 'doublet' refers to using only a thin slice of opal, glued to a black backing. A 'triplet' is similar, except a clear cap of quartz, glass, or plastic is placed over top of the opal)
Instead of being ground down to a flat plane, the tops of Kabana inlays are rounded like a cushion so that they blend with the contours of the jewelry. To do this, more material has to be used (and ground away). Each stone is shaped and polished by hand so that the overall feel of the jewelry is seamless and whole.
Kabana Gold - Kabana jewelry contains more gold per piece than most jewelry on the market. Thicker pieces result in more durability and safety for the stone inlay. All pieces are hand-polished to ensure a flawless result
Diamonds - Kabana never uses cheap diamond chips - only fully faceted diamonds; Even the tiniest diamonds have 57/58 facets (planed surfaces)! All diamonds are at a minimum, SI/VS clarity and G/H color.
Opal - Kabana is known for their use of the finest Australian Crystal Opal, a very rare commodity. This opal is vividly hued and full of fire, unlike its lower-value counterpart - white, cloudy opal.
We hoped you enjoyed our tour of Kabana. Also be sure to read about our Kabana Customization Options! Let your imagination run wild as you choose between various metals and top-quality stones, creating the perfect piece of jewelry for yourself or someone you hold dear.