All posts in Engagement Ring News

Blue Sapphire: The Stone of Heaven

Capture the Essence! of the mystical qualities of blue sapphire with this 5.5-Carat Asscher Cut Light Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of the mystical qualities of blue sapphire with this 5.55-Carat Asscher Cut Light Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

This stunning Asscher-cut light blue sapphire stone is set regally into a four-prong setting which is mounted high atop a platinum shank engraved in a beautiful floral motif that is flush set with three round brilliant diamond accent stones.

The regal setting of this crystalline blue sapphire calls to mind the ancient legend attributed to the Persians in which these beautiful stones were believed to be chips off the blue sapphire pedestal that held the earth in place. It was from this dazzling blue foundation that these ancient peoples believed the sky attained its color.

The Persians weren’t the only ones to believe the earth was paved in blue. According to Wayne Horowitz, author of Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, the Mesopotamians believed, as did the Hebrews, that the earth was founded upon a number of precious gemstones. In both cases, it was believed that the blue sapphire (though it is disputed that their sapphire is actually our lapis lazuli) was the very layer upon which comprised the floor of heaven, upon which God rested his feet.

What woman would not want a touch of heaven gracing her finger? Are you planning a September proposal to your sweetheart? May we recommend gracing the affair with this, the stone of heaven?

Anne Hathaway’s Custom-Designed Engagement Ring

Anne Hathaway poses at the Golden Globes, wearing her favorite Kwiat jewels including diamond cluster earrings, bracelets, and of course her beautiful engagement ring. Photo taken by Jenn Deering Davis, licensed under Creative Commons.

Anne Hathaway poses at the Golden Globes, She wears her favorite Kwiat jewels, including her beautiful custom-designed engagement ring. Photo taken by Jenn Deering Davis, licensed under Creative Commons.

The private symbolism that surely graces Anne Hathaway’s custom-designed engagement ring remains an intimate secret between husband and wife. Thankfully, there is still plenty to talk about in the public arena.

First, we know the diamonds in Ms. Hathaway’s ring were ethically sourced by the prestigious company, Kwiat. In business since 1907, Kwiat has distinguished itself as one of New York’s finest diamond suppliers. Kwiat has mastered the art of cutting diamonds and strives to make a perfect match between diamond and setting.

In Ms. Hathaway’s case, the perfect match setting was designed by her perfect match, actor/jewelry designer Adam Shulman. Having met his business partner, goldsmith Heidi Nahser Fink, on the set of Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland, Mr. Shulman stepped through the magical rabbit hole of jewelry design in 2011, when he Ms. Nahser Fink established James Banks Designs. The company is named after his grandfather, who designed romantic jewels for his wife long ago.

In keeping with their company’s namesake, Mr. Shulman and Ms. Nahser Fink collaborate to make handcrafted jewelry which alludes to bygone eras. Their antiques-inspired jewels are exactly what you’d expect to find in a Steampunk grandmother’s jewelry box. Lightbulb-shaped pendants filled with minuscule black diamonds and a ruby, anatomically correct butterfly pendants offered in various stages of development, and a most elegant jeweled key charm which profits their favored charity, World of Children.

With his keen eye for design, Mr. Shulman fashioned for his bride-to-be an exquisitely delicate platinum band paved in diamonds on which a gorgeous emerald-cut diamond rests majestically. People boasts the most detailed glimpse of Mr. Shulman’s brilliant creation. Their capture illuminates the fantasy-inspired lines of the band as it rises to meet its showstopping diamond.

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.

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.

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.

The History + Characteristics of the Cushion Cut

GIA 1.5 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of 2014 Engagement Ring Trends with this Halo Engagement Ring featuring a GIA 1.5-Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond.

 

This stunning halo engagement ring is crafted of solid platinum. The central stone is a spectacular GIA-certified, 1.56-carat, cushion-cut diamond. Surrounding this dazzling center stone is a halo carved in platinum and paved in 20 round brilliant diamonds. The gallery, shoulder, and sides, edged in beautiful millgrain, are accented with another 74 round brilliant diamonds. This ring is sure to dazzle from every angle, particularly since two of this year’s most popular trends kiss in perfect platinum–the halo and the cushion cut.

Throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s, before round brilliant diamonds took center stage, the Antique Cushion (Old Mine/Pillow) cut was the most popular style of diamond. During the mid-1900s, many of these antique diamonds were re-cut to meet market demand for round brilliants. It wasn’t until recently, when nostalgia and romance began to turn our heads back toward the royal diamonds of the 1800s that cushion cuts began to return to fashion.

Today the cushion cut enjoys the highest popularity among all the fancy cuts. Offering the romance of a candlelit room, this shape captures the light and throws it around with artful beauty, sometimes emanating more fire than even a round brilliant. Even in harsh direct light, the cushion shape captures the light and refracts it with romantic warmth.

Unlike most diamond cuts, the cushion has several variations that affect appearance in terms of fire, brilliance, and size. Depending on the proportions chosen by the cutter, a cushion cut can vary greatly in dimension and shape. In its original form (circa 1800s), the cut was square with rounded corners. However, modern cushions can be any shape between a rectangle and a square, with an open culet and rounded corners. Even with a modern cushion cut, you can be sure that your diamond is truly unique.

 

If your beloved tends toward the romance of days gone by, we highly recommend considering a cushion cut diamond engagement ring. That being said, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing your homework when it comes to buying a diamond. Learn all you can about the 4Cs, as well as about the different shapes and cuts. Particularly if you’re interested in a fancy cut, like the cushion, it is extremely important to seek a reputable jeweler who can show you a number of different facet patterns, sizes, and styles.

 

Go Retro-Vintage with a 1950s Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Retro-Vintage with this 1950s Engagement Ring in Platinum and Diamonds. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Retro-Vintage with this 1950s Engagement Ring in Platinum and Diamonds. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Retro meets vintage with 1950s engagement ring styles. The 1950s marked the beginning of Mid-Century Jewelry Design, with its turn toward the flashy and opulent. With style icons exuding the elegance of Grace Kelley’s and the freshness of Audrey Hepburn, the first decade of the mid-century marks the time when glamour reached its apex.

Even the normally conservative bridal industry threw open the curtains to let in a little flair. Diamonds dominated the scene, and a trend toward clustered arrangements afforded the most bling for your buck.

The round brilliant was beginning to outshine the transitional and Old Euro cuts of the previous decades, though a fair number of these romantic cuts remained in circulation. For the opulently wealthy diamonds surrounded diamonds, while those of lesser means chose the illusion setting, a style in which a demure diamond is surrounded by a series of architectural facets carved directly into the metal.

Yellow gold once again fell out of favor, as white gold and platinum resumed their position of dominance. When yellow gold was used, it was typically topped with platinum or white gold so as to maximize the reflection of the diamonds.

Although 1950s engagement ring bands remained fairly discreet, their shoulders grew in size to accommodate the extra bling factor. Halos of single-cut diamonds surrounded stunning central stones, and small bead-set Old Euro cut diamonds edged the tops of the shoulders. It was fairly rare to see a band without accent stones of some kind.

If your sweetheart is a glamour girl with the style and sophistication of Hollywood’s most celebrated movie stars, may we recommend a perusal of our vintage 1950s engagement rings?

We invite you to visit our vintage engagement rings page, or give us a call if you’d like to view them in person.