All posts in Wedding Bands

Was the Virgin Mary’s Wedding Ring Amethyst and Onyx?

Santo Anello, the Blessed Virgin's Wedding Ring, Perugia, Italy.

Santo Anello, the Blessed Virgin’s Wedding Ring, Perugia, Italy.

Rumor has it that Joseph gave the mother of Jesus Christ a wedding ring on the day of their betrothal. Such was the widespread belief among Catholic communities in the mid-to-late 1800s. This rumor appears to have two separate sources. The first source comes from the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, a mystic seer and Augustinian nun who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004.

Between 1813 and 1819, the sickly nun began experiencing the sainted sign of stigmata. A series of investigations took place, and her piety and sanctity were confirmed by a number of inquirers. Soon after, she was visited by several figures prominent in the emerging Church renewal movement. One such visitor, the poet Clemens Brentano, made it his mission to record their discussions about her visions.

It is within a series of these visions, dated between July 29 and August 3, 1821, that Sister Catherine saw the wedding ring of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is said to have reported that the ring was “neither of silver nor gold, nor of any other metal; it is dark in color and iridescent; it is not a thin narrow ring, but rather thick and at least a finger broad. I saw it smooth and yet as if covered with little regular triangles in which were letters. On the inside was a flat surface. The ring is engraved with something. I saw it kept behind many locks in a beautiful church. Devout people about to be married take their wedding-rings to touch it.”

Nearly simultaneously, in 1823, William Hone wrote a book titled Ancient Mysteries Described. In it, he also describes the Virgin Mary’s wedding ring, though he reported that it was said to be of onyx and amethyst, representing the budded rod of Joseph.

So, did Mary have a wedding ring? Was it amethyst and onyx, or was it the larger quartz version eluded to in Sister Catherine’s visions?

Even Mr. Hone holds his tongue in his cheek as he comments on the ring’s miraculous powers. Not only was the ring capable of healing the sick and bringing fortune to those whose wedding rings touched it on St. Joseph’s Day, but the ring also held “miraculous powers of multiplying itself” {1}. Apparently, there were several churches claiming to possess the precious relic during the mid-1400s.

Legend has it that the ring was acquired by a traveling jeweler and lapidary, Ranerius. In 966 AD, Judith, wife of Hugo, Marquess of Etruria, hired Ranerius to travel to Rome in search of beautiful jewels for her. While in Rome, Ranerius met a jeweler from Jerusalem who offered him an onyx and amethyst ring as a token of their friendship.

Ranerius appears to have been somewhat callous about the gesture, considering the ring to be of little value despite the Jewish man’s insistence that the jewel was the betrothal gift given to the Virgin Mary on her wedding day. The Italian tossed the ring in a chest, clearly unconvinced by the Jewish lore surrounding the ring. Ten years later, the man’s son lay in a coffin, borne upon a hearse toward a cemetery.

In a moment of mystical mayhem, the young boy suddenly rose up and called for his father, claiming a visitation from the Blessed Virgin. The story goes that the boy described the ring and its location in the forsaken chest and insisted that Mary desired her wedding band to receive its full due. When the chest was brought to the boy, he pulled out the ring and kissed it, just as the bells began to peal spontaneously. The onlookers were moved to worship as the scene unfolded, and the boy delivered the ring to church officials. Satisfied with his task, the boy lay back down in his coffin and breathed (again) his last. He was buried that day.

The ring remained in church custody for the next 500 years, rumored to bring relief to women in labor, to heal sciatica and diseases of the eye, to bring about reconciliation between married couples, and to exorcise demons. In 1473, it was handed over to the Franciscans in Clusium, where it was shown by appointment to visitors. On one such occasion, some say in 1488, a visiting priest, described by Mr. Hone as “a crafty German” named Wintherus, faked the ring’s return to its cherished box, hiding it instead beneath his sleeves. He fled to the countryside, where he encountered trouble in the form of a mysteriously deep darkness supposedly created by the disgruntled relic {2}.

Failing in his efforts to smuggle the ring out of the country, he made his way to Perugia where he convinced the resident church leadership that he had rescued the relic from the Clusiums. Realizing he would not make it out of the country under the thick veil of darkness, he willingly exchanged the ring for a modest fortune and a position in the governance of the city of Perugia.

When Sister Catherine saw the ring in her vision, it was housed in a medieval lock box gilt in silver and gold in Perugia’s San Lorenzo Cathedral. The box required seven keys to open, and the ring is neither onyx nor gold. Today, a wide band of pure quartz with a flattened bottom hangs from a golden crown at the apex of an elaborate statue.

Notes

  1. Hone, William. Ancient Mysteries Described. London: J. M’Creery, Tooks Court, 1823, p. 119.
  2. Ibid.

Prometheus and the First Finger Ring

A Shen Ring from Egypt, Ptolemaic Period (1569-31 BCE). On view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo Public Domain.

A Shen Ring from Egypt, Ptolemaic Period (1569-31 BCE). On view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo Public Domain.

In Volume 6 of Natural History, Pliny the Elder includes a chapter called “The Origin of Gold Rings.” In this section, Pliny briefly discusses the legends of Prometheus and Midas, as well as the practices of the Romans and the Greeks. It is this account, more than any other, that appears to corroborate the legend of Prometheus and the First Finger Ring, although Pliny is not entirely certain the ring was worn on the Titan’s finger.

The story goes something like this:

Prometheus was hailed as the benefactor and protector of mankind. He is well-known for his trickery against Zeus, beginning with arranging for Zeus to choose the worst of sacrifices for the gods, leaving the best meat for men. In retribution, Zeus punished man by revoking from men the use of fire. Soon after, Prometheus stealthily recovered fire for men, so Zeus sent Pandora (woman) to earth as further punishment.

On that same day, Zeus chained Prometheus to Caucasus, a rock in the Kazbek Mountains, and ordered a eagle (some say a vulture) to eat Prometheus’s liver every day. By the next morning, the Titan’s immortal liver would grow back just in time for the bird’s return. His punishment was slated to continue for all eternity.

Respite came for Prometheus when Hercules braved the stormy heights to ascend the mountain. After killing the bird, he heaved a mighty blow upon Prometheus’s iron chains and set the Titan free. As a concession, Zeus ordered that Prometheus wear upon his finger a link of his chain into which a piece of the rock was set, thereby ensuring that Prometheus would ever carry the weight of his punishment.

Who Wore the First Wedding Ring?

Antique Mens Old Euro Diamond Wedding Band

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Many talk of the very first diamond engagement ring, reportedly worn by Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Said to be a gold ring with the letter ‘M’ spelled out in small diamonds, this ring was a gift from her husband before their betrothal.

But don’t you sometimes wonder who wore the first wedding ring?

Some say the first wedding rings were made of rushes and reeds, worn by Egyptian wives nearly 5,000 years ago. This is a hard one to prove, as such rings were likely replaced month after month as the materials eroded.

According to some, the Romans were the first to claim their wives with a ring, usually one forged of iron, though this practice was borne out of a sense of dominion rather than sentiment. Others believe the Romans were heavily influenced by the practice of the Greeks, who credited Zeus with the construction of the first finger ring for Prometheus, an act of mercy laced with a hint of bondage.

Perhaps the most interesting legend comes from ancient Jewish tradition. A somewhat obscure legend places the first wedding ring on the finger of the wife of a descendant of Adam, Israel’s first man. According to such stories, Adam’s banished son Cain went on to the land of Nod to create his own tribe.

Cain’s descendants became the smithies, workers of metal, men of science, and creators of art. As such, it was believed that Cain’s son, Tubal-Cain, was a master in the working of metal ore, including iron. It was under his designer’s eye that the first ring was forged of iron.

Not quite sure what to do with it, Tubal-Cain is said to have brought the ring to Adam. Following the sage man’s advice, Tubal-Cain gave the ring to his son with instruction to procure with it a wife.

Notes

  1. _______. “Rings and Their History,” The Illustrated American, June 20, 1891, pp. 213-215.
  2. Chambers, William and Robert Chambers. “The Ring of Rings,” Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts. London & Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1872.
  3. Steiner, Rudolf. “The Temple Legend–Freemasonry & Related Occult Movements.” London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1985.
  4. Wikipedia. “Tubal-Cain. Accessed March 26, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tubal-cain.

Vintage Royal Weddings: John Jay + Sarah Livingston

Jacobean Thimble 17th Century. Photo licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Jacobean Thimble 17th Century. Photo is used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

The year is 1774. The month is May, and the New York Gazette posts a public announcement that a prominent attorney, Mr. John Jay, has married “the beautiful Sarah Livingston,” at her parents’ New Jersey estate {1}. The Livingstons and the Jays are two of only a handful of founding families in America. Predating the American Revolution, these families remain as true to their core values, those of culture and refinement, integrity and civic duty, good manners and respectability, as their forebears did in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Their names are a legacy, and their descendants carry on lives that are, although private, extremely notable. They often shun the limelight, though their deaths usually spark a flurry of press attention. Far from being celebrities, these are the American aristocrats, American Royalty. Often moneyed, always influential, these families have shaped America in a subtle, yet profound way. In a slight nod toward European royalty, their marriages were quite often made for alliances rather than for love. Although, unlike their royal counterparts, they wisely chose not to keep it in the family.

According to Stephen Birmingham, author of America’s Secret Aristocracy, the discreet marriage announcement, made almost a month after the wedding took place, was perfectly appropriate, despite the underpinnings of royalty associated with such a delicious merger between “two linchpin American families” {2}. These two families had lived on American soil as colonizers for nearly 100 years by this time. Even the most private family affair included 300 Livingstons, perhaps as many Jays, and then all their close family friends, easily 1000 wedding guests.

In lieu of wedding or engagement rings, it was customary for Colonial Americans to receive or exchange thimbles. Rings were eschewed by their Puritan ancestors, being that they were all too showy and altogether impractical. The practice of exchanging thimbles extended well into the 19th century, though by that time young women were said to remove the top portion of the thimble and wear the rim as a ring. Not so with Sarah Livingston. In all likelihood, she received a thimble and probably used it, too.

Notes

  1. Birmingham, Stephen. America’s Secret Aristocracy. Boston/Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1987, p. 17.
  2. Ibid, p. 16.

Vintage Celebrity Weddings: Amelia Earhart + George Putnam

Portrait of NY publicist George Palmer Putnam and his wife, Amelia Earhart, c. 1930s in the Purdue University archives. Photo is in the public domain.

Portrait of NY publicist George Palmer Putnam and his wife, Amelia Earhart, c. 1930s in the Purdue University archives. Photo is in the public domain.

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

In 1928, George Putnam embarked on the adventure of a love that was as wild and wonderful as any excursion into the unknown. Already a seasoned explorer, Mr. Putnam had seen for himself the pristine shores of Greenland and Baffin Island. He had written three books on his travels and one about the tale of S.A. Andree’s tragic hot air balloon excursion to the North Pole. He honed his editorial skills on books written by Charles Lindbergh, Rear Admiral Byrd, and Captain Bob Bartlett.

Adventure ran through his veins, and as he made the transition from publishing to public relations, he naturally gravitated toward what would become one of the most famous flights in history. In June of 1928, Mr. Putnam managed and directed the transatlantic flight of the Friendship, piloted by Wilmer Stultz, with Lou Gordon serving as mechanic. For publicity, he arranged for a new acquaintance, Miss Amelia Earhart, to ride as a passenger.

The flight’s success swiftly launched Mr. Putnam and Miss Earhart into closer contact, as they worked closely on her book, 20 Hrs. 40 Min. By the end of that summer, Dorothy Putnam had grown very fond of Amelia despite suspicions that her husband was falling in love with the young aviatrix. Indeed, she was somewhat relieved having set her sights on her son’s tutor a whole year prior {6}.

Though their divorce was highly publicized, riddled with no small amount of scandal, the Putnams seem to have parted amicably the following year. Between 1929 and 1931, Mr. Putnam proposed marriage to Amelia Earhart six times before the reluctant heroine finally agreed. Her terms were tough, but fair:

  1. We must allow each other the privilege to fall in love with someone else if the opportunity presents itself.
  2. We must not “interfere with the others’ work or play” {7}
  3. The world must not be allowed to “see our private joys or disagreements” {7}
  4. I must be allowed my own separate space, “for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinement of even an attractive cage” {7}
  5. Happiness is paramount: “I must exact a cruel promise and that is you will let me go in a year if we find no happiness together” {7}

Mr. Putnam gladly accepted her counter-proposal, and the two were married in a private family ceremony at his mother’s home in Noank, Connecticut, on February 7, 1931. According to the New York Times, “As Mr. Putnam slipped a plain platinum ring on Miss Earhart’s finger [two] cats, coal black and playful, rubbed arched backs against his ankles” {1}.

Not even the post mistress in Noank knew there was a wedding taking place nearby, and Mr. Putnam’s mother was kept in the dark as to where the couple spent their first nights as man and wife. They returned to the public eye the following Monday, and their romance has been one of the most celebrated in history ever since.

Bibliography

  1. “Amelia Earhart Weds G.P. Putnam,” New York Times, February 7, 1931.
  2. Davey, Helen. “Horizons Unlimited: True Stories of Trauma and Triumph,” Huff Post: Books, The Blog, January 25, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-davey/horizons-unlimited-true-s_b_2547695.html.
  3. Forney Museum Newsletters. “Amelia Earhart (1897-1937).” Accessed January 22, 2014. http://www.forneymuseum.org/News_AmeliaEarhart_2.html.
  4. Hess, Amanda. “Amelia Earhart’s Surprisingly Modern Prenup,” Slate: The XX Factor Blog, December 11, 2012. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/12/11/amelia_earhart_s_marriage_prenup_i_won_t_be_faithful_i_won_t_stop_working.html.
  5. Jones, Victoria Garrett. Amelia Earhart: A Life in Flight. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2009.
  6. Chapman, Sally Putnam. Whistled Like a Bird: The Untold Story of Dorothy Putnam, George Putnam, and Amelia Earhart. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1997.
  7. Usher, Sean, ed. “You must know again my reluctance to marry,” Letters of Note, April 1, 2010. http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/04/you-must-know-again-my-reluctance-to.html.
  8. World History Project. “Amelia Earhart marries George Putnam.” Accessed January 22, 2014. http://worldhistoryproject.org/1931/2/7/amelia-earhart-marries-george-putnam.

Robin Wright + Ben Foster Seal Their Engagement with a Lover’s Knot and Eternity Band

Diamond Eternity Band in Platinum. Photo © EraGem Jewelry

Look Right Here! at this Diamond Eternity Band in Platinum. Photo © 2014 EraGem Jewelry

Robin Wright and Ben Foster appeared together Friday night with Ms. Wright’s daughter, Dylan Penn, at Diane von Furstenberg’s “Journey of Dress” premiere in LA. In photos captured on the red carpet, the esteemed movie and TV actress wears two simple golden bands, one a lovers knot and the other a gold eternity band which may be set with diamonds. The couple confirmed their engagement today after a two-year romance.

Ms. Wright is as famous for her wild 20-year romance with actor Sean Penn as she is for her iconic roles in The Princess Bride and Forrest Gump. Her most committed role to date, however, has been that of mother to Dylan Penn (22) and Hopper Penn (20). During their formative years, the actress repeatedly refused roles that would distract her from her leading role. ”I did what I wanted to do: I raised my kids” {cited}.

Now that they’re all grown up, Robin Wright has emerged once again, as brilliant and busy as ever. With leads in The Conspirator (2010) and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009) and supporting roles in Rampart (2011) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Robin Wright worked diligently toward her current Emmy-nominated role in TV’s House of Cards.

She met her sweetheart, Ben Foster, on the set of Rampart, and the two began their public romance in February of 2012. Mr. Foster began his career as a TV actor, appearing regularly in Flash Forward (1996-97), Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000), and Six Feet Under (2003-05). He first appeared in movies in 2006, when he scored parts in Alpha Dog and X-Men: The Last Stand. Ben will be taking the lead for the first time in a biopic about bicyclist Lance Armstrong. The movie is currently in the works with an unspecified release date.

The couple’s big day also has yet to be announced.

Platinum: The Perfect Representation of Eternal Love

© 2013 EraGem

© 2013 EraGem

May we recommend this lovely bridal set for your winter wedding?

The central diamond weighs in at 1 carat and has been graded by the Gemological Institute of America as a G in color with a clean VS1 clarity grade. The stone’s excellent cut, polish, and symmetry ensures that this diamond will dazzle even on the grayest winter day.

For additional sparkle, one round brilliant diamond sits on either shoulder alongside the central diamond, and the complementary wedding band features a row of three round brilliants. All together, 1.84 carats of high-quality diamonds sparkle amidst a lovely setting crafted entirely of platinum.

Truly, there is no metal more perfect to represent the bonds of love than platinum. First, it is heavier than any other metal used for gold. Platinum’s hefty substance symbolizes the greater weight you will now give this one relationship over all that have gone before it.

Platinum is also extremely durable, withstanding great heat and pressure without losing its luster. Your marriage, too, will endure hardship, uncertainty, and the pressures of daily life. It is our hope that through it all, you will find your bonds will be as durable as platinum.

In order to produce one ounce of pure platinum, ten tons of raw ore must be worked for over five months, and when platinum is scratched its substance is only displaced and not truly lost. With a little attention and a good polishing, that material can be coaxed back into place, leaving the surface as shiny as when it was before the wound.

Similarly, the purity of your love will require careful cultivation over time, and when hard times come your way, we hope that with a little bit of attention and a good dose of healing, your love will be as shiny and pure as it was in the beginning, if not more so.

Rarer, purer, and stronger than nearly every other jewelry-grade metal on earth, platinum is truly the perfect representation of the eternal bonds of love between marriage partners. What better way to seal your union than with this gorgeous pairing of pristine diamonds and lustrous platinum?

Designer Spotlight: Mimi So

Photo © 2013 EraGem

Photo © 2013 EraGem

Modern, timeless, wearable: Essentials for choosing a wedding and engagement ring, and essential design principles for jewelry designer Mimi So. “You can wear my designs every day with every sort of lifestyle,” says the New York-based designer {cited}. Each piece is “created for what global women want…wearability from day into evening, and styling for vintage and couture casuals” {cited}.

This Mimi So designer wedding ring has all of those characteristics, which makes it the perfect choice for the international modern woman whose wedding jewelry must match her lifestyle, which may include swift transitions from business meetings, to soccer games, to cocktail and office parties, to lazy Sunday mornings poolside.

Crafted of solid platinum, this softly squared wedding band is set with a half circle of 13 princess-cut natural white diamonds of high-quality clarity and color. The unique shape of the band not only ensures that the sparkle will be seen by all, but also identifies this ring with the cutting-edge modern designs of Mimi So.

Ms. So grew up among sparkling gemstones, precious metals, and handmade fine jewelry. Her parents owned three jewelry stores in New York’s Chinatown, and as a young girl, she spent countless hours weighing and polishing stones, serving coffee, wiping down counters, and observing the craftsmanship of the fashion-forward jewels her parents designed.

Her downtime was spent daydreaming of the beautiful jewelry she would create for kings and queens {cited} and dressing up 70s style, complete with her mom’s white vinyl boots and blue eye shadow {cited}. As a young adult, Ms. So pursued the arts.

She graduated from Parson’s School of Design and landed a job as a graphics designer for an ad agency. A family illness brought her back to the jewelry business in New York. She managed the family store for several years, ushering the business into the 20th century by implementing innovative marketing strategies {cited}.

In the early 1990s, Ms. So craved a greater challenge. In 1992, she invested her entire savings into a bold move to open a boutique in Manhattan’s Diamond District. At first, “it was really tough” {cited}. Overlooked by wholesalers and unwelcome by retailers, she had to rely upon her own ingenuity and dedication to prove herself worthy of the Diamond District distinction.

Eventually, her dawn-til-dusk practice and commitment to matchless customer service softened the rough edges of her “intrusion” into the male-dominated, old-school ways of the Orthodox district. Wholesalers began to take her seriously, and she eventually carved a respected niche in New York’s fine jewelry industry.

At first, she focused solely on designing bespoke bridal jewelry. With all her available capital tied up in overhead, Ms. So relied solely on the generous referrals of her satisfied customers to succeed. She developed a deep reverence and joy for the process of helping couples make their wedding dreams come true. To Mimi, those years serve as “the most intimate times [she has] shared with [her] clients,” many of whom remain her friends to this day {cited}.

Her big break came when David Bowie and Iman commissioned her to design and manufacture their wedding jewelry in 1993. It wasn’t long before Ms. So began designing full collections. Soon after, her pieces were worn by Carrie, Samantha, and Charlotte on the sets of Sex & the City {cited}.

A strategic partnership in 2004 with Richemont, “the conglomerate that owns Cartier and several other international luxury brands” {cited}, successfully launched the Mimi So brand internationally. In 2007, Mimi So bought out Richemont’s share in the business, and has stood at the helm of her successful international brand ever since.

Today, every Mimi So piece is made in-house, hand crafted and carved by dedicated New York craftsmen who work alongside designers in the same building. “We are completely about being united,” says Ms. So {cited}.

And isn’t UNITY what it’s all about as you hunt for the perfect wedding band for your very special day?

If you are a woman who appreciates sophisticated style combined with the highest quality in a timeless modern design, then look no further than this gorgeous Mimi So designer wedding band!

Designer Spotlight: Natalie K

Natalie K Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring

 

Classic elegance defines the pristine lines of these beautiful designer engagement and wedding rings. Two bands of solid 14k white gold, studded with four baguette white diamonds, culminate in a gorgeous 1.6-carat, oval-shaped pink sapphire. For the woman in search of a beautiful colored stone, one need look no further than this beautiful Natalie K bridal set.

Natalie K is recognized for exquisite artistry, intricate details, and breathtaking vintage-inspired engagement and wedding rings. Their affair with diamonds began in 1978, with the launch of their prestigious diamond division. To this day, Natalie K is renowned for selling high-quality diamonds, with an increasing turn toward conflict-free Canadian diamonds.

Furthermore, their trademark Natalie K Diamonds are unique. Shaped into an Ideal Cut, these diamonds feature 8 hearts and arrows embedded within, which elicit a fiery brilliance unprecedented in the industry.

As a worldwide supplier of high-quality diamonds, the transition to designing high-end bridal jewelry was effortless. According to their website, in 1998, Natalie K began creating “distinctive and inspired delicate designs” of the highest quality “to celebrate the most treasured moments in life.”

As with all Natalie K rings, this gorgeous pair, set not with a Natalie K diamond, but with a pristine 1.67-carat natural pink sapphire, is a study in simple elegance. With a touch of romance carved into the base of the setting, this bridal set is the perfect choice for a woman of timeless elegance who adores classic beauty.

Gypsy Settings: Popular Among Men Since the 1880s

Vintage Mens Gypsy Set Diamond Wedding Band

 

The brilliant diamond in this 1940s vintage mens wedding band is mounted in a classic gypsy setting, complete with the star-shaped engravings typical of 19th century “gypsy rings”.

To make a gypsy setting, a goldsmith first drills a precisely calibrated hole into the band of the ring. He then presses the gemstone into the hole up to its girdle. After taping the stone and mounting to protect them, he rims the stone with a ring of molten metal and gently taps around the stone at 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 3 o’clock.

He continues tapping gently at these points until the metal firmly hugs the stone, which appears nearly flush with the mounting at this point. As the metal begins to harden, he may use a chisel to add the star-shaped design flourishes. This was common practice for gypsy rings at the turn of the 20th century.

The gypsy setting is one of the most secure settings for gemstones. As such, it has been favored by men since its inception in the late 1880s. According to an 1884 issue of the Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review, while the gypsy ring had been in fashion among men for quite some time, ladies were beginning to wear them in the quintessential Victorian three-ring fashion:

“Gypsy rings, with the stones deeply imbedded in the gold, which were originally intended only for gentlemen, are now as often chosen by ladies. As a whole, these are not so massive as those worn by gentlemen. They are rounded bands of gold and may have a ruby, sapphire, cat’s-eye or any other stone in the center with a diamond on each side. The stones are so buried in the gold that only the surface shows.” {1}

At this same time a new trend was emerging, one so novel that it was called odd in the same issue of the Jewelers’ Circular. “Rings of hammered platina* with a brilliant diamond in gypsy setting are odd looking, as the metal resembles silver somewhat.” {2} Since yellow gold was still the fashion of the day, platina was most definitely out of place.

As time progressed, both white gold and platinum became widely used for crafting rings for both men and women. What once appeared odd became highly fashionable and remains so to this day. With the resurgence in popularity of antique and vintage engagement rings, the gypsy setting proves a wise and fashionable choice in wedding jewelry, especially for men.

The classic lines of the design, long associated with masculinity, offer a sophisticated way for men to include a little dazzle in their wedding bands. And the security afforded by the gypsy setting makes it an ideal choice for men who use their hands a lot, especially if their work requires the use of tools or heavy equipment.

How about it, men? Would you choose a gypsy set wedding band?

*Platina is a native alloy of platinum with paladium, iridium, osmium, etc.

Notes
1. “Cause and Effect.” The Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review, Volume 15, No. 1 New York, February, 1884, p. 4.
2. Ibid., p.