All posts in Engagement Ring News

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.

The Oval Cut Take the Fore in Engagement Ring Trends

Capture the Essence! of Celebrity Ovals with this Oval-Cut Blue Sapphire and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Celebrity Ovals with this Oval-Cut Blue Sapphire and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

According to Today Style, more and more women are opting for oval-cut diamonds and gemstones for their engagement rings, rather than the more traditional round brilliants. It seems that the oval lends a more contemporary feel, especially when mounted east-west, as opposed to the traditional north-south orientation typically associated with fancy-cut stones. There are many advantages to an oval-cut diamond or gemstone. Though aesthetics may play the larger part in this new trend, we believe there are a number of other compelling reasons to choose oval diamonds.

  1. Optimizes Carat Weight. Their ovoid shape typically makes oval diamonds and gemstones appear larger to the naked eye than a round brilliant of the same carat weight.
  2. Slenderizing. Whether worn horizontally or vertically, an oval-cut stone slenderizes the fingers of the hand on which it’s worn.
  3. Price Point. Carat for carat, oval-cut stones typically cost less than round brilliants, all other aspects being equal.
  4. Diamond Sparkle. Though no cut can contend with the sparkle of a round brilliant, since oval diamonds are cut with many of the same proportions they come in at a close second in brilliance and fire.
  5. Celebrity Choice. The oval cut has been the choice in engagement rings for such well-known celebrities as Katie Holmes (diamond), Kate Middleton (sapphire in a halo of diamonds), Blake Lively (pink diamond), and Katharine McPhee (yellow diamond).

If you’re considering an oval diamond ,we recommend that you view them in person before purchasing. Ovals must be cut with expert precision, and only with your own eye in the presence of a knowledgeable jeweler can you be sure that your stone will have the dazzle your sweetheart deserves.

Charlize Theron Treats Herself to Delectable Designer 18k Gold and Pave Diamonds

Capture the Essence! of Cool Feminine Luxury with this Effy Rose Cut Diamond and Gold Designer Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Cool Feminine Luxury with this Effy Rose Cut Diamond and Gold Designer Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

There’s a bit of buzz out there today about Charlize Theron’s choice to wear her newest Anita Ko jewel on her left ring finger. It’s a beautiful and very feminine 18k gold ring featuring a pair of twin leaves paved in diamonds. The leaves arc together, nearly kissing. The ring retails in rose gold, through Net-A-Porter, London Jewelers, and Broken English, for $4,700, so you know if she’s chosen the yellow gold it will have cost at least a bit more.

Her choice to wear the ring on that finger has led to rumors that she and Sean Penn are about to tie the knot. However, this ring is not an engagement ring from her boyfriend. Though the couple appears to have discussed the possibility of marriage and adopting a sibling for Ms. Theron’s son, Jackson, their time has not yet come.

In fact, Ms. Theron reportedly purchased the ring for herself, adding it to her growing collection of Anita Ko designs. For the past several years we’ve seen Ms. Theron wear her favorite KoKo earrings, the pyramid studs in 18k gold, to both gala and casual events. She has also been seen wearing the designer’s fan-style diamond and gold earrings, with a diamond stud resting in the center of her ear lobe while an arc of diamonds rests just below the rim of her ear.

It’s no surprise that Ms. Theron adores her Anita Ko pieces, since the LA-based designer prides herself on offering fine jewelry designed with today’s woman in mind. Ms. Ko brings an edginess to feminine chic, and her aim to make pieces that are “cool and luxurious” {cited} has caught the attention, not only of Charlize Theron, but of several other cutting-edge celebrities, including Demi Moore, Kate Hudson, and Victoria Beckham.

Ms. Ko does not feel she has to compete with the big names in jewelry, rather she feels she must distinguish herself from them and the traditions surrounding them. “The established houses created in a time when many pieces were worn on special occasions and purchased by men. This is the opposite of how I design. I want women to connect to their luxurious side and treat themselves with a beautiful piece that makes them feel special,” Ms. Ko told Divia Harilela of Post Magazine.

That is precisely what Ms. Theron has done–she has treated herself to an artfully designed, luxuriously feminine designer ring, and she has chosen to wear it boldly on the finger of her choice, despite the obvious clamor it would cause in the press.

We’re glad she’s done it, for it reminds us again of the sheer pleasure of wearing beautiful jewelry and the fact that today a woman is allowed to treat herself.

If you’re looking for a way to treat yourself to cool luxury, we have a number of beautiful designer rings in stock today.

We invite you to call and make an appointment. We’d love to see you walk out of our showroom ready to start some rumors of your own!

Shopping for a Vintage Engagement Ring? Look to the 1940s!

Capture the Essence! of 1940s Vintage with this 18k Gold and Diamond Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of 1940s Vintage with this 18k Gold and Diamond Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Once again, decadence returned to fashion in the 1940s. Glamour neared its peak, with the faces of Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and Bette Davis leading the pack. The jewelry industry took a turn back toward yellow gold, and diamonds were en vogue for engagement rings.

As with nearly every decade, bridal jewelry erred on the conservative side, with modest and largely plain bands and classic diamond cuts. Platinum continued to hold a place on the wedding scene, though yellow gold most definitely dominated.

The round brilliant cut was making more of an impression, though the more traditional (at the time) transitional and Old Euro cuts continued to hold their own. Blue sapphires and rubies maintained a slight presence on the scene, though the diamond was definitely king of the 1940s.

Are you shopping for a lady that exudes class, sophistication, and a touch of decadent elegance?

Then look no further than EraGem’s 1940s vintage engagement rings. Give us a call today, so we can outfit you with a dreamy ring for your proposal!

Diamond Eternity Rings Are Making a Debut as Engagement Rings

Capture the Essence! of Eternity with this Square Step-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum. Photo ©EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Eternity with this Square Step-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Traditionally, diamond eternity bands were given as a gift from husband to wife on a significant anniversary. More recently, though, according to Today Style, couples are beginning to choose an eternity band as a stand-in for an engagement ring. This trend appears to be developing in sync with the increased popularity of stackable rings and bracelets.

The versatility and simplicity of eternity bands create a perfect foil for celebrities to hide their engagements from the paparazzi. Since eternity bands are low-profile, it’s easy to stack several bands together, even alternating them day by day to throw the media off their scent. In January, Ben Foster proposed to Robin Wright with two simple golden bands which the actress sports on her left ring finger. One is a golden lover’s knot, and the other is an eternity ring.

In keeping with the notion of wearing multiple bands on one finger, rather than purchasing a separate wedding ring at the time of their union, a couple can opt to add an anniversary band on their 5- or 10-year anniversary. Not only does this decrease the initial impact to their wedding budget, but also allows the freedom to change styles over time. For those more trendy brides, this option has a tremendous amount of appeal.

Eternity bands come in all shapes and sizes, from wide bands with ornate detailing and evenly spaced gemstones, to narrow bands studded all around with diamonds or gemstones, to half-eternity bands with stones lining only the face of the band. They come in a wide range of precious metals, including platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and more. They can be intricately carved without stones, or they can be studded with stones of varying colors.

Truly, there is an eternity band for every style, every taste, and every whimsy. We invite you to make an appointment to come and see our wide selection of beautiful eternity bands.

Shopping for a Vintage Engagement Ring? Look to the 1930s!

Capture the Essence! of 1930s Vintage with this Diamond and Platinum Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of 1930s Vintage with this Diamond and Platinum Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Are you drawn to the sophisticated styles of such mavens of fashion as Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, or Norma Shearer?

Well, you’re in luck, because we have a number of beautiful vintage engagement rings that drip with 1930s glam.

As the decadence and extravagance of the 1920s gave way to the sensuality and sophistication of the 1930s, jewelry design turned toward more classic understated styles. Engagement rings from this period, while lending a nod to the architectural lines of Art Deco jewelry, became more streamlined, developing swiftly into what we now call the classic look. The gemstones of choice were white diamonds and blue sapphires.

Most brides-to-be wore a ring with a modest center stone, typically an Old Euro Cut diamond, an oval-cut or cushion-cut blue sapphire, or a transitional-cut diamond. Although solitaires were popular, a fair portion of 1930s engagement rings were decorated with a variety of accent stones,  typically single-cut, transitional-cut, or baguette diamonds.

On occasion, the Art Deco trend of using small triangular-cut or baguette blue sapphires carried over in a small number of early 1930s engagement rings. Platinum and white gold were the metals of choice, and often these simple simple tapering bands were embellished with filigree.

We would love to show you our selection of 1930s vintage engagement rings in person. Just drop us a line to schedule an appointment.

Turkish Engagement Traditions

Mens Scott Kay Javlin Diamond Wedding Band Brushed PlatinumTraditional Turkish marriages were once arranged by the parents of the couple. While this practice is still in effect in parts of Eastern Turkey, a majority of Turks choose life partners of their own accord. Once a partner is chosen, however, the path toward marriage is typically paved by the traditions that encompass the blessing and participation of their close-knit extended families.

Meet the Parents

Once a couple has chosen to marry, the next step is to meet each others’ parents. Without the approval of their parents, it is unlikely that the couple would proceed to marriage, regardless of the depth of their love for each other. Thus, though these initial steps toward marriage are rituals based on tradition, they do carry a lot of weight in the culture still.

The first step is to meet each others’ parents. These are formal affairs, where everyone dresses in their best and hosting family members take time away from their daily routines to prepare a special meal for their guest of honor. After dinner is eaten together, traditional sweets, tea, and fruit are served and a conversation commences. If the families approve, then a date is set for both families to meet each other to continue the progression.

None of these are casual affairs, such as we would arrange in America. Rather, they are all formal events laced with tradition. According to said tradition, when it’s time for the families to meet, they converge at the home of the bride-to-be’s parents. When the day arrives, her family prepares the food and helps her get ready. It is typical for the woman to visit a salon for hair and makeup. These meetings are considered a formal cause for celebration, so everyone dresses up and often important members of their extended families are invited, as well.

Turkish Coffee

The man’s family will arrive at the door with a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers in hand. This signifies a request to eat sweet and then talk sweet, and expresses clearly their intent to ask for her hand in marriage for their son. While some families actually declare their intent by asking outright, others allow the sweets and flowers to do the talking for them. Both ways are acceptable.

Once the guests have been properly greeted and the small talk is well under way, the bride-to-be commences with the first of the evening’s traditions: making Turkish coffee. A perfect cup of Turkish java has bubbles on top, and this test of her skill is the one his parents will claim to use to determine her potential as a good wife. Not to worry, inherent in this custom is a test of the groom-to-be’s character, as well.

The bride-to-be is encouraged to put salt in his coffee. If he is able to drink it without showing his displeasure, he will have demonstrated to her parents that he is able to show patience in the difficult days they will face in their future. As with most customs like these, this is an opportunity for the families to have fun together and not a true test of their character.

Humor aside, the next portion of the evening is a solemn affair, conducted by the oldest member of the groom-to-be’s family. He speaks to her family on behalf of the man, announcing his intention to request permission to marry their daughter/granddaughter. An elder of the bride-to-be’s family replies with their assent (hopefully), and then the couple take turns kissing the backs of their elders’ hands. As a symbol of sweet harmony between the families, sherbet is poured and everyone drinks to the arrangement.

The Rings & A Ribbon

Once the families drink the sherbet together, they choose an auspicious date for the engagement party. In cases where the families have known each other for a long time, or when the couple wishes to wed quickly, this event can be combined with the initial meeting of the families. Traditionally, however, the engagement party is a separate event, another opportunity to fix a fancy meal, get all dressed up, and celebrate the good life.

Between the meeting of the families and the engagement party, the groom-to-be’s mother will take her future daughter-in-law shopping for a new dress, fancy shoes, and engagement bands. These bands are typically gold, though they can be silver or platinum, as well, and they can run the gamut of styles, from simple plain bands to ornately engraved bands. At another time, the mother of the groom-to-be also sets out to purchase a very special gift for her future daughter, which she will present to her at the party.

On their chosen date, invitations are sent to close family and friends, and once again the families converge at the bride-to-be’s parents’ home. Lunch is served, with the women and men typically segregated, and afterward the customary rituals begin.

Jewelry and More Jewelry

First the mother of the groom-to-be presents her future daughter-in-law with the gift she purchased ahead of time: a lovely parure, including a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings. At this time, other distinguished members of both families are free to present the bride with gifts as well, usually more jewelry.

Shortly thereafter, the engagement rings, tied together by a red ribbon, are brought out by the bride-to-be and an appointed family representative on a special presentation tray. This representative (typically an elder aunt or grandparent of one of the families) offers a word of intent and blessing and then places the rings on the bride and groom’s right ring fingers. In some families the couple will spend the rest of the evening joined by their rings and the red ribbon, but in others the rings are cut by the family representative with a specially decorated pair of scissors.

Afterwards, the youngest members of the families bring out the engagement cakes, and the families continue with harmonious conversation. In some households, it is customary for the youngest members of the families to join the newly engaged couple for a night out on the town, thus ending the party.

This engagement period is slightly different from ours in the States, as Turkish culture allows that the couple may or may not proceed to the altar from here. Even though expensive gifts are given, and even though rings are exchanged, the engagement period is one in which the families are expected to test their mutual good will. Much depends on this harmony between the families, and so there is a bit less pressure on the couple. The possibility of marriage is wide open and hoped for, but the arrangement is not actually as binding in Turkey at this point as it seems to be in America.

More Gifts

As the months progress toward the wedding celebrations, the couple’s families begin to lavish them with gifts in preparation for their new life together. Furniture and household goods are provided for the couple, so that when the wedding comes there is no need for the guests to bring gifts of tea towels, punch bowls, china, and mixing bowls. Instead, they rain upon her with money. Forget the money tree, the Turkish bride becomes the fount of all blessing as she is literally showered with bills and coins and gold. And this is after the henna night and an exchange of yet another set of rings, these worn on the left ring finger, and a series of parties and festivals that can last for weeks on end.

What a rich and glorious tradition, yes?!?

Lauren Scruggs Said Yes to Jason Kennedy AND to a Jennifer Meyer Radiant-Cut Cushion-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Lauren Scruggs' diamond sparkler with this 1.5-Carat Cushion-Shaped Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Lauren Scruggs’ diamond sparkler with this 1.5-Carat Cushion-Shaped Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

We’ve been captivated by reports of the perfect surprise proposal carried out by Jason Kennedy for Lauren Scruggs at her Dallas apartment. However, it has been a tad bit disappointing that her beautiful diamond designer engagement ring has been given no more than a sideways glance.

Of course, the proposal was absolutely romantic, complete with an apartment filled with white tulips and a yard filled with a candle-lit message. Jason ensured that those people most important to Lauren, her family, were present to witness as he dropped to one knee and declared his intentions, and photos flood the web documenting her acceptance, given also on her knees.

Of course, it’s not wonder with a story as inspiring and dramatic as Lauren’s that the so-called minor, more personal issue of her ring have faded into the background. In several interviews over the past few years, the courageous fashion expert has publicly shared openly about her horrific accident, her trying recovery, and her bleak outlook on the possibility of future love.

In her book, Still Lolo, written a few years before meeting Jason, Lauren wrote of her ideal partner, what she called “the ultimate boyfriend” and described as “…tall; beachy good looks; laid-back yet driven personality; tender and caring; funny and genuine; a heart for God; a clear direction in life” {p. 4}.

Sounds like a tall order, and one she gave up on until the day she stepped onto the set of Dateline NBC for an on-air interview with Natalie Morales. Somewhere nearby, as Ms. Scruggs expressed her deepest fears after the accident, that “no guy would ever think I was attractive again, much less would want to marry me”, E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy, was watching her in awe, thinking to himself, “I would love to marry a girl like that.”

A year later, he was on his knees, slipping a gorgeous Jennifer Meyer ring onto her right ring finger. And as most of Hollywood already knows, Jason is Lauren’s perfect match. Driven and purposeful, successful and definitely sporting those beachy good looks, Jason Kennedy also has a heart for God and, as Ms. Scruggs told Ms. Morales, “he just loves people well, loves me well, and is fun and funny.”

And there you have it, another article about Lauren Scruggs and Jason Kennedy and their engagement with only a scant mention of the ring. Ah! But we’re not finished yet.

Here are some details I was able to gather on her gorgeous ring:

  1. It was made, probably bespoke, by Jennifer Meyer, an LA-based jewelry designer who strives to strike “the perfect balance of understated elegance and unparalleled quality” {cited: jennifermeyer.com}.
  2. Since Jennifer Meyer typically fashions her jewels in white or yellow gold, the band and setting are likely made of white gold.
  3. The central diamond is a radiant-cut cushion-shaped diamond of an undisclosed carat size {cited}.
  4. In some photos, the central diamond appears to be surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. This halo, if it is not an optical illusion, looks to be tucked tightly around the center stone, which appears to be set in cathedral style atop the band.
  5. The narrow tapering band is studded with pavé diamonds, ensuring maximum sparkle from every angle.
  6. She wears the absolutely beautiful ring, an elegant choice for an elegant lady, on her right hand, the one uninjured in her accident.

Pearls: The Quintessential Wedding Gemstone

Antique Pearl & Diamond Three Stone Ring

Pearls are not only the birthstone of those born in June, but they rival the diamond for the title of Quintessential Wedding Gemstone. It’s true that diamonds have taken center stage for the past century, but the pearl appears to hold the record for being the gemstone longest associated with bridal tradition.

There are a number of legends recorded in ancient Hindu texts detailing what may be the very earliest use of pearls in weddings. In the Rig Veda, dating back to around 1000 BC, Krishna, a divine incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, dives into the ocean. He arises from the depths with the first pearl ever seen and presents it to his beloved daughter on her wedding day. In another legend, this same Krishna is said to have received a grand pearl as a reward for defeating the great monster called Pankagna. Krishna is said to have adorned his bride with the pearl on their wedding day.

Because of their close resemblance to and association with the moon, pearls have assumed the same symbolism credited to that lunar celestial body–that of purity and love. The Ancient Greeks believed that the beautiful gifts of the sea would bestow upon a bride pure marital bliss. Other cultures believed they would ensure love, happiness, and harmony. Not only are pearls credited with bringing strength to the bonds between husband and wife, but they have also long been believed to confer wealth and status, both implied and actual.

This particular association between the pearls and wealth has continued throughout the ages. By the time our modern-day customs were being birthed in the halls of the European royal courts, pearls were everywhere, never more so than in France in the House of Burgundy, where royal weddings were inundated with pearls. The brides wore them, of course, but so also did their wedding attendants and wedding guests. Even male well-wishers wore the white beauties.

The trend continued into the British Royal Courts, where almost every queen and princess wore pearls on her wedding day. Even Queen Elizabeth II wore pearls on her special day, as did Jackie Kennedy. Our current First Lady also wore a stunning pair of drop earrings featuring exquisite pearl drops.

So, if you’re choosing pearls for your wedding day, you are making a decidedly royal choice.

 

Courteney Cox Eludes the Press with Several Engagement Rings

Capture the Essence! of Courteney Cox's showstopping Tribeca Film Festival bling with this Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with three rows of Pave Diamonds on a Plaintum Band. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Courteney Cox’s showstopping Tribeca Film Festival bling with this Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with three rows of Pave Diamonds on a Platinum Band. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Just today Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid made their official announcements via Twitter. The simple statements, “I’m engaged to him,” and “I’m engaged to her,” captioned an identical selfie of their calm and happy faces.

For a few months now, Ms. Cox has been seen sporting a blingy ring (or possibly two) on that finger, sending the rumors flying. When asked directly if she was wearing an engagement ring, Ms. Cox downplayed the whole thing with a “this-old-thing” attitude and an almost self-conscious attempt to distract the reporter from the question at hand.

The ring appeared to be a diamond-studded sparkler with a wide crown and a tapering band that looked to be completely paved in white diamonds. She wore it to the Tribeca Film Festival, which she attended in April for her feature-length directorial debut, Just Before I Go.

Just last night she sported what appears to be a different ring (or several rings) on that same finger. The blurry paparazzi photos make it hard to tell just what’s going on, but if I were to guess I’d say it’s a swirling gold or rose gold band nestled against a thin-banded platinum or white gold ring with a single diamond. This could be another of her rings that she’s worn for ages, it could be the same one she wore to the film festival, or it could be the one.

Aside from their official Twitter announcements, the couple appears to be playing a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with the press. Stellar of them, don’t you think? If we find out more, we’ll be sure and let you know. Until then, we wish the pair all the happiness in the world.