June Carter Cash Willing to Die for a Diamond Earring

EGL Certified Diamond Stud Earrings 14k White Gold

There is not much in the way of information about June Carter Cash’s engagement or wedding rings, though Johnny Cash’s famous onstage proposal is worth discussing for a moment. They were performing on stage at the London Ice House in London, Ontario, Canada. The story goes that they were singing a duet, “Jackson,” and mid-lyric (“We got married in a fever…”), Johnny abruptly stopped singing.

Planting his eyes on June, while all other eyes rested upon him, he asked June to marry him. According to her own report, June was scared speechless. She says she just shook her head, not knowing how to respond. He grinned at her until she found her words. Her first words were, “Shut up,” and one can only guess this was a response to her family and backup singers who were laughing at her on and off stage.

Since Johnny refused to sing again until she responded, she finally said, “Yes.”

They were married just a few weeks later, probably too swiftly for a true engagement ring. I’m sure wedding rings were exchanged, but I have yet to find a source with such details. However, given the importance of one diamond earring which June wore nearly everywhere, she likely wore it on that day.

It is her son, John Carter Cash, who tells the story of this earring in his book Anchored In Love. On a night when their lives hung in the balance, June Carter Cash made a bold move to hide her diamond ring behind the leg of a piece of furniture in their Jamaica home, Cinnamon Hill. Three hoodlums descended upon their evening festivities, holding them at knife- and gunpoint, demanding jewelry and cash to the tune of $3 million.

These hoodlums walked away with $5,000 in cash and “all the jewelry, including some exceedingly valuable watches, rings, and gold necklaces” {p. 83}. Taking care to protect their identities and cut the phone lines, the thieves decided to spare the lives of those present and took off in the family’s English Rover.

Though the burglars were caught, only a small number of the jewels were recovered. One piece that did not need recovery, however, was the diamond earring, which John noticed the next day on his mother’s ear where it always lived. In response to her son’s inquiry, June responded, “I gave them quite a bit of my jewelry, son, but not this one” {p. 85}.

Of course, her son freaked out, chiding her for what he felt was a foolish act on her part. “Some things are worth my life, I guess,” she told him {p. 85}.

You might suspect that this diamond earring represented a special token of affection from her crooning husband, but that is not the case. Indeed, it was a parting gift from her mother, known colloquially as Mother Maybelle, who left the diamond to June in her will. June had the diamond made into a single earring, which she wore on stage and nearly everywhere else.

I can only imagine how much that piece of jewelry, worn so close to her ear, must have in some way represented more than her mother’s love. It must have been in some way talismanic, otherwise I don’t believe she would have risked her life for it.

Ahhh! The power of jewelry!

Desi Arnaz Proposed to Lucille Ball with a 40-Carat Aquamarine

Capture the Essence! of Lucille Ball with this 27-carat aquamarine ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Lucille Ball with this 27-carat aquamarine ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Imagine the luxury of wearing such a large and beautiful stone on that finger every day. This beautiful 27-carat aquamarine rests beautifully in a modern four-prong ring fashioned from 14k yellow gold. A total of 12 round brilliant diamonds flank the stone, six on either side, giving an architectural dazzle to the whole of the ring.

Can you feel the weight of it? Now, imagine that the aquamarine was another 25% larger.

This was the scrumptious luxury afforded the late Lucille Ball, to wear such a knock-out ring on a daily basis.

In 1947, a journalist wrote of a collection of jewelry which Lucille Ball carried with her when traveling {4}. According to reports from that time, these jewels were among her favorites, gifts from her husband Desi Arnaz. According to an AP news report from 1950, her gorgeous aquamarine ring was actually her engagement ring {5}.

To date, I have been unable to verify this claim with any primary sources. All secondary sources seem to trace back to this one AP article, which does not list its source for the information. There are some reasons to believe such a claim, one of them being that aquamarine was one of Lucy’s favorite colors.

Lucille Ball was clearly a woman of her own mind, not likely to hold to the traditions of men when making her choices. Several sources claim she actually chose the ring herself, and some facts surrounding her marriage to Desi Arnaz intimate that she may have actually purchased the ring for herself.

The authors of Planet Wedding describe a scene that begs the question of an engagement ring. In this account, Desi is said to have overheard Lucy giving an interview onset in 1940.  During this interview she proposed a list of all the reasons why she would never agree to marry Desi. In an outrage, Desi is said to have confronted Lucy with an announcement that not only would she marry him, but she would do so the next day.

Again, I have been unable to confirm this information with a primary source, but quotes from both Desi and Lucy intimate a shotgun style wedding on Saturday, November 30, 1940. So hasty were their plans that Desi forgot to purchase a wedding ring. He slipped a brass ring, purchased at a nearby department store, onto her finger as he made his vows against their “Christmas card” backdrop at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut {1}. If the account in Planet Wedding is true, then it’s likely Lucille Ball did not actually receive a true engagement ring.

I have, to date, found no comment from Lucy on the aquamarine ring, though she does remark that her brass ring, though replaced by Desi with a platinum band, enjoyed a long life “among the diamonds and emeralds in my jewel case…” {2}.

Unfortunately, this beautiful aquamarine ring was among the $6000 worth of jewels stolen from the comedienne’s hotel room in Chicago in 1950. It is unclear whether her jewels were ever recovered.

Notes

  1. Arnaz, Desi. A Book. Cutchogue, NY: Buccaneer Books, Inc., 1994, p. 115.
  2. Ball, Lucille. Love, Lucy. NY: Berkley Books, 1997, p. 110.
  3. Choron, Sandra and Harry Choron. Planet Wedding: A Nuptial-pedia. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2010, p. 91.
  4. Karol, Michael. Lucy A to Z: The Lucille Ball Encyclopedia, 4th Edition. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse Star, 2008, p. 231. 
  5. “Lucille Ball Robbed of $6000 in Jewelry,” Spokane Daily Chronicle, June 2, 1950, p. 9.

Noble Purple Bridal Jewelry for the Royal-Inspired Bride

Long associated with royalty, purple is such a beautiful choice for an evening bride. Are you planning to say your vows at sunset or just after? May we recommend dripping yourself in these royal purple jewels?

 

3-Carat Lab-Created Purple Sapphire Engagement Ring Palladium

 

Begin at the beginning with this gorgeous conflict-free lab-created purple sapphire engagement ring. Crafted from solid palladium this gorgeous solitaire band is crowned with a 3.22-carat, royal purple, round fancy-cut lab-created sapphire set into a four-prong fishtail head. If you love purple, this is the ring for you!

 

Art Nouveau Amethyst & Seed Pearl Brooch

 

 

Made of 9k gold, this beautiful antique brooch was crafted during the revolutionary Art Nouveau movement. Its royal frame is paved with 40 cultured seed pearls. Six bezel-set round amethysts decorate the outer edges, while a 1.3-carat oval-cut natural amethyst rests regally in the center within an oval bezel-type setting with granulation details.

 

Antique Bezel-Set Amethyst Pendant

 

Complete the royal theme with this gorgeous drop pendant in solid 10k gold and natural amethysts. A combination of cushion-cut, pear-cut, and round-cut stones are bezel-set in an elegant design fit for royalty, indeed.

Beautiful Antique Brooches for the Royal-Inspired Bride

Brooches are growing more popular by the minute in bridal jewelry. If you’re a bride who looks to the royal courts of Europe for inspiration, we believe these stunning antique pins will turn your head. Choose one for your hair, pin one to your waistline sash, or wear one clipped into your hair. Whatever you choose, they will add a touch of elegance and nobility to your special day.

Antique Crown Brooch with Diamonds and PearlsVictorian Rhodolite Garnet Brooch 18k Gold Antique

 

This magnificent 1930s brooch is fashioned as a solid 18k yellow gold crown topped with platinum. Its open work design renders it light and easy to wear, and also lends it a delicate presence. Its simple design is embellished with 14 Old European cut diamonds and 5 pearls.

 

 

 

Here we offer a most exquisite Victorian Rhodolite garnet brooch. Eight faceted pear-cut garnets are prong set in a flower pattern  around a round cut central garnet. A single cultured seed pearl rests within an etched golden sunburst. The whole is surrounded by an intricate metal framework decorated with intricate filigree and granulation in solid 18k yellow gold. A drop pendant features a larger pear-cut garnet set within a pear-shaped metal frame decorated in granulated scrolls. This piece is absolutely stunning.

Antique Star Brooch with Diamonds Opals and Pearls

 

Our final offering is this delicate antique star brooch. Centering the piece is a beautiful Old European cut diamond set into a five-prong buttercup head. Surrounding the diamond are six cabochon-cut, prong-set natural crystal opals. Radiating out from this central open work piece is a star-shaped design in 14k yellow gold accented with 42 flush-set half seed pearls. This beautiful piece would look beautiful clipped into your hairpiece or onto the waistline of your dress.

Grace Kelly’s ‘Sweet Diamond’ Engagement Ring

MGM Head Shot Prior to Her Wedding in 1956. Photo is in the Public Domain.

MGM Head Shot Prior to Her Wedding in 1956. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Rumors have circulated since 1956 about Grace Kelly’s engagement ring(s) from Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Some speak of her diamond and ruby eternity band, while others speak of what has been hailed the second most-famous engagement ring in history, a stunning 10.47-carat emerald-cut diamond ring with a baguette diamond set horizontally onto each of its platinum shoulders.

Most sources claim that the Prince initially proposed with the eternity ring, only to realize his error in American etiquette after visiting Hollywood for the first time. Others give the Prince a little more credit and claim he gave Ms. Kelly the eternity band as a ring of promise while the more elaborate diamond ring was fashioned in the workshops at Cartier.

As reported in Life Magazine on January 16, 1956, Ms. Kelly wore the diamond and ruby ring on her first visit home after her engagement. In that issue, a photograph shows Ms. Kelly seated next to Prince Rainier between her parents on their couch. She holds her left hand extended toward her mother. We cannot see the ring, but the caption reads, “In the Kellys’ living room Grace’s mother examines daughter’s diamond and ruby engagement ring as Prince and father Kelly proudly look on.”

When she returned to the set at MGM for filming of High Society, Ms. Kelly asked the director if she could wear her real engagement ring in lieu of costume jewelry for the appropriate scenes in the movie.

While Cartier on their website claim that on set Ms. Kelly wore the magnificent diamond and platinum engagement ring, James Spada, who wrote a biography on Grace Kelly called Grace: The Secret Lives of a Princess, claims that the ring she dazzled her coworkers with was “an enormous, spectacularly beautiful ring: intertwined diamonds and rubies (to represent Monaco’s official colors) set with Grimaldi family heirloom jewels” {p. 170-71}.

Unfortunately, Mr. Spada fails to credit his source for that piece of information. I suppose it’s possible she wore both while she was off screen, but on screen she clearly wears only one ring, and it is definitely not an eternity band. The rest of the story he tells about that moment in history is so charming, one hopes the only detail he got wrong is the description of the ring.

He writes that after she asked, her director quipped that he must of course examine the ring in order to ensure “it was good enough” {p. 170}. She dutifully obliged him the next day, and as her co-workers gasped and gaped, she demurely responded, “It is sweet, isn’t it?” {p. 171}. This understated response, Mr. Spada relates, elicited no small amount of teasing from her awestruck co-workers.

Certainly, gorgeous diamonds are sweet and then some!

Hilton Heiress Nicky Hilton Sports a Large Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Nicky Hilton Glamour with this 2.77-Carat Old European Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Nicky Hilton Glamour with this 2.77-Carat Old European Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Nicky Hilton is keeping her dazzling diamond engagement ring under wraps. Paparazzi have managed to capture only three views of the ring so far. In one series of photos, Ms. Hilton wears the diamond nestled against her palm. E!Online has published a second close-up photo of Ms. Hilton on her cell phone, sporting what appears to be a cathedral-style, prong-set diamond solitaire on a platinum or yellow gold band. The ring is turned slightly inward toward her palm, so further details are impossible to discern.

In another of E!Online’s photos, we glimpse the only head-on view of her ring. Ms. Hilton stands on the banks of a river casting a fishing line in her beautiful designer clothes. On her left ring finger all we see is a flash of brilliant white light. The one thing we can surmise from this shot is that that diamond is a doozy.

Ms. Hilton received the ring from her long-term boyfriend, banking heir James Rothschild, on August 12. Rumor has it that shortly after surprising her parents with a visit to ask for her hand in marriage, the young heir took Ms. Hilton to Italy to celebrate their third anniversary together. According to online sources, Mr. Rothschild proposed on a boat ride in the middle of Lake Como.

The Origins of One of the Rarest Gemstones on Earth, Alexandrite

Capture the Essence! of Exclusivity with this AGTA-Certified Alexandrite Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Exclusivity with this AGTA-Certified Alexandrite Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Alexandrite is among the rarest of gemstones found in the earth. Its hardness, beauty, and rarity make it a particularly becoming choice for engagement rings. Its history is short, but gloriously rich. There are only a few known sources for gem-quality specimens, which makes its presence in contemporary jewelry fairly uncommon.

Alexandrite was initially discovered in the 1830s, in the emerald mines of the Ural Mountains of Russia. The bright green stone was at first mistaken for emerald, until the sun went down. In the light of candles, its greenish hue vanished and a bright purplish-red took its place.

This was no emerald. Not only did it exhibit this extraordinary dichroism, but this new stone also proved to be far harder than emerald, registering an 8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.

A Brand New Gemstone

Its discovery is most commonly attributed to the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskjold (1792-1866). Others attribute its discovery to the man who ended up naming the stone, Count Lev Alekseevich Perovskii (1792-1856). Count Perovskii was an important nobleman and politician in Russia. He was also an avid mineralogist.

In truth, it is unlikely that either of these men drew the first sample out of the ground. However, they were among the first to put it under the microscope and are therefore credited with its ‘discovery’ as a brand new gemstone.

In one version of events, the Count, perhaps perplexed by some of its non-emerald characteristics, is said to have sent a sample to Herra Nordenskjold for further study. The Finnish mineralogist at first mistook it for emerald, but its hardness caused him to investigate further. Looking long into the evening, the stone’s surprising change from green to red confirmed his suspicions: He was holding an exciting new gemstone in the chrysoberyl family. Having experienced this exciting revelation, he decided to give it a name.

Herra Nordenskjold went with diaphanite, based on its color-changing characteristic. This scientific name may have accompanied some documentation of the stone, but in the end it wouldn’t stick. In a move motivated by politics, the Count stepped in and made a grand gesture. On April 17, 1834, he declared publicly that the new stone would be named after Russia’s future Tsar, Alexander Nikolaevich, who on that very day entered his majority (16th birthday).

The name stuck, and to this day alexandrites are linked inextricably with Tsarist Russia’s infamous history.

Exclusive Access

For the next 150 years, Russia enjoyed exclusive access to this new gemstone. Its rarity prevented it from saturating the market. However, those in noble and royal positions in Europe and America were privileged to purchase alexandrite jewels made by some of the world’s most prestigious jewelers, most prominently Russia’s court jeweler Carl Faberge and Tiffany & Co., whose access came through famed gem expert George Frederick Kunz.

Russia’s alexandrite remains the most desirable on the market, though most of it is housed in museums or prestigious collections. These Russian stones are characterized by strong saturation in shades of green to bluish-green in daylight and red to purplish-red in artificial or candle light. The color change in these stones is dramatic, and stones of this origin are valued around $100,000 per carat, more if the piece has historical value.

Although the Russian mines were depleted by the late 1890s, no new sources of alexandrite were discovered until 1987. Though this new Brazilian discovery could not compete with the history of Tsarist Russia, the grade of stones coming out of South America’s mines were in fact superior in color saturation. In a side by side comparison, historicity not withstanding, the value of Brazilian alexandrite would exceed that of Russian samples.

These beautiful Brazilian stones were characterized by a deep red purple in artificial light and rich verdant greens by day. Production from the Brazilian mines was high in the 1980s, but stores have dwindled significantly. More recent deposits are now sourced in Africa, the United States, Burma, and Sri Lanka.

However, for gem-quality specimens, it is to Sri Lanka that dealers primarily turn. Sri Lankan specimens run a bit larger than those found in Russia and Brazil, whose stones rarely exceed one carat. Sri Lankan color saturation is different, as well, with the greens tending toward the yellow end of the spectrum and the reds appearing brownish. While they can’t be compared to those originating in Russia or Brazil, these richly colored alexandrites from Sri Lanka make absolutely gorgeous jewels.

It cannot be overemphasized that faceted alexandrites of greater than two carats are extremely rare. The Russian and Brazilian mines have been depleted, and gemstone-quality alexandrites of a decent size are hard to find even in the Sri Lankan mines.

If you’re looking for a way to express your love in a unique way, we invite you to experience the wonder of the rare and beautiful alexandrite. Make an appointment today to see this beautiful ring for yourself.

To Complement Elaborate Necklaces Brides Are Choosing Chandelier Earrings with Some Color

Bridal jewelry trends are edging toward the elaborate, and this includes earrings. Not only are brides opting for showy dangle-style earrings, but more and more they’re opting for a touch of color, as well. Here we offer a few sophisticated choices for today’s bride, each with their own splash of color:

Natural Briolet Aquamarine & Diamond Chandelier Earrings

 

These striking estate chandelier earrings are crafted of solid platinum and feature a pair of briolette-cut natural aquamarine gemstones accented by genuine natural diamonds and bezel-set aquamarines. These earrings hang 3 inches and will add a touch of color and elegance to your bridal jewelry ensemble.

 

 

Natural Pink Sapphire & Diamond Dangle Earrings

 

These luscious dangle earrings feature a split drop and bow motif set with sparkling white diamonds. Dangling from each bow is a solitary briolette-cut pink sapphire which is further accented with white diamonds. These royal earrings are crafted of solid 18k white gold and will add a touch of pink, and a touch of class, to your special day.

Judy Mayfield Pearl & Blue Sapphire Drop Earrings 18k White Gold

 

 

 

If pearls are your wedding day choice, these Judy Mayfield pearl and sapphire earrings are the perfect accessory. These designer drop earrings are fashioned from solid 18k white gold and feature rope motifs surrounding a pair of bezel-set blue sapphires. Dropping from a line of diamonds and pearls are a pair of exquisite drop-shaped cultured pearls. These earrings exude contemporary elegance.

 

Hollywood’s First Vamp, Theda Bara, Ties the Knot in Secret Ceremony on July 2, 1921

Theda Bara as Cleopatra in 1917. Photo in public domain.

Theda Bara as Cleopatra in 1917. Photo in public domain.

She took other people’s minds off their troubles… ~The New York Times, 1955

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

She was Theda Bara, Hollywood’s first femme fatale, Fox Studio’s top-billing silent screen star between 1914 and 1919, and one of America’s most beloved actors, “ranking behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford” {8}.

Taking her cues from the alluring Mata Hari and Sarah Bernhardt, Ms. Bara brought America’s favorite bad girl to the big screen–”a sultry, exotic, erotic woman who went through the world leaving broken men in her wake {3}.

Audiences could not get enough of her. Even decades later, the New York Times reported, “On the silent screen she appealed to men’s most primitive instincts. On the screen she was, indeed, a bad girl, and this was her allure” {4}.

Her kohl-lined eyes simmered on screen and off, and her publicists made sure that even those who knew they were being conned believed she was a “deadly…crystal gazing seeress of profoundly occult powers, wicked as fresh red paint and poisonous as dried spiders” {7}.

According to Terry Ramsaye, the escalating rumors (all manufactured by Fox’s best publicists) of her nefarious background caused little girls to swallow “their gum with excitement,” while big movie men to balk at the thought of meeting her in private {7}.

There was one man, however, who seemed completely undaunted by the soul-sucking powers of Ms. Theda Bara. He was Charles Brabin, the British-born director, a self-made man who knew the business of acting and directing.

She met him on set, where he directed her in several versions of The Vamp on screen for Fox. By April 1921, reporters were jumping the gun, claiming that Theda Bara and Charles Brabin were soon to wed.

Instead, she left for a European tour with her sister. The rumors began again when reporters caught the two kissing in New York upon her return. “Can’t a chap kiss a young lady when she returns from Europe [without being] married?” he asked the press {4}.

Love was in the air, though, and friendship swiftly turned into more. On July 2, 1921, a justice of the peace in Greenwich, Connecticut, united the two in marriage. Her love of film and stage receded not. Rather, it expanded to include this new facet–a man with “mental brilliance” {5} and a charisma that livened up the party wherever he went who offered her what would become the greatest role of her life.

When she wasn’t announcing her latest comeback, Theda Bara threw herself into the role of a 1920s Beverly Hills housewife. According to the Los Angeles Times, her home was tastefully furnished, though author Roberta Courtland describes it as “an old grandma house filled with antiques” {6}. Unfortunately, none of these reporters seemed the least bit interested in discussing her wedding jewelry.

To date, this writer has been unable to find any concrete information on Ms. Bara’s engagement or wedding rings. It’s possible, given the swiftness of their elopement, that there was no engagement ring. Rumor has it that Ms. Bara hated diamonds and wore only two jewels on her finger, an emerald ring reportedly given to her by a blind sheik and a turquoise ring that reportedly served talismanic purposes {1}.

Given the report that in 1957, Mr. Brabin sold at auction his wife’s collection of jewels, including “diamonds up to seven carats and delicately designed diamond, emerald, and platinum pieces” {4}, it stands to reason that these rumors emerged out of the heavy publicity surrounding her role as The Vamp.

In all likelihood, if she wore a wedding ring at all, it would have been a tasteful Art Deco piece which more closely complemented her efforts to “play the part of a sweet, essentially feminine woman” {6}. While she played this role happily at home, she continued staging a series of comebacks that would take her new part to the screen.

Rumors abound that her husband frowned upon her return to the screen. I doubt this is true, though they would offer a more pleasant answer to her failure to return to the screen than that she just couldn’t make it happen. To her credit, she would not allow that unfortunate truth diminish her happiness.

“[T]he wages of screen wickedness is domestic bliss,” she told a reporter in 1933 {4}. Nearly 20 years later, Hearst Hollywood columnist, Adela Rogers St. Johns, commented that the two were still happily married {4}. Theda Bara died in 1955, leaving the bulk of her estate to her sister, Charles needed none of her money.

Notes

  1. Bernstein, Matthew and Gaylyn Studlar. Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film. London: I. B. Tauris and Co. Ltd., 1997.
  2. Bonhams. “A Century of Movie Magic at Auction as curated by Turner Classic Movies.” November, 2013.
  3. DiGrazia, Christopher. “Theda Bara: An essay to accompany the Tambakos Silent Film Series: A Fool There Was (1915),” Kiss Me My Fool website, October 24, 2007.
  4. Genini, Ronald. Theda Bara: A Biography of the Silent Screen Vamp, with a Filmography. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1996.
  5. IMDb. “Theda Bara, Biography.” Accessed August 7, 2014. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000847/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm.
  6. Petersen, Anne Helen. “Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Most Wicked Face of Theda Bara,” The Hairpin, January 8, 2013.
  7. Ramsaye, Terry. A Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Picture. Abingdon, Oxon: Frank Cass & Co., Ltd., 2012.
  8. Silentmoviequeen. “Theda Bara Biography,” YouTube video, published July 11, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ejQVRW0ts.

Go Retro with a 1960s Gemstone Engagement Ring

Retro Vintage Old European Cut Diamond and Ruby Ring

In the 1960s, color was king, and big and bold were in. One could submit that 60s-era jewelry represented the best of both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Strong architectural lines remained, but to these geometric lines were added sweeping curves and artful flourishes, lending an organic flair not seen in the early 1950s. It was a time of free love among the masses, so the wedding industry had to turn almost entirely toward America’s landed gentry for its cues.

The likes of the Vanderbilts, Kennedys, and Astors set the standard for designer engagement rings, buying their important ladies the best of Cartier, Tiffany, and Van Cleef and Arpels. Stylized floral themes emerged, even in wedding jewelry, and brooches, bracelets, and necklaces became larger and more ostentatious. One could argue that the wedding industry boomed under the heavy influence of these art-conscious trend setters.

If not for the insatiable and exotic appetites of these world travelers, these historic jewelry legends might have become stuffy and repressed in their designs. Instead, those who had all that money could buy wanted the unusual, the unreal, the unexpected. This leant a decided flair, even to engagement rings. Thus, we have the stunning, larger-than-life step-cut aquamarines flanked by diamonds in platinum, as well as sweeping swirls in platinum and yellow gold ornamented with blue sapphires, rubies, and diamonds.

With the onset of this new wave of art jewelry, stone size became only slightly less important (unless you were Elizabeth Taylor). A number of styles features modest blue  sapphires, interspersed with diamonds of equal size, which were displayed right alongside solitaires boasting large diamonds. Rubies were also popular, and sometimes designers used all three precious stones together. It was a time of showy beauty, and every one of these pieces evokes the nostalgia of a unique era.

If your sweetheart loves the high-style of Jacki Onassis Kennedy or Gloria Vanderbilt, may we suggest you surprise her with a 1960s retro-vintage engagement ring? We have a number of beautiful options in stock and would relish the opportunity to place a bit of history right into your hands. Just give us a call.