Latest Jewelry News

Dream Honeymoon Destinations: The Most Searched Honeymoon Spot in Every State

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:37

 

There are many exciting steps in planning a wedding, but who could forget about the grand finale—the honeymoon!

Romantic getaways at the start of a marriage can be a significant milestone, so we decided to do some research around which honeymoon locations are the most coveted. We dug through Google autocomplete data to discover which destination each state desires most. Check out our findings below!

First, we looked at the #1 dream destination for every state.

Nationwide Searches

Hawaii was the top search in over 30 states, with Las Vegas as a close second.

Next, we looked at how the United States differed by region.

Midwest Searches

Northeast Searches

South Searches

West Searches

 

Hawaii and Las Vegas dominated the #1 and #2 searches in all four regions, but there were a few unique results! Kansas City showed up in the top searches for the Midwest, and Arkansas appeared in the South’s top searches. Interestingly, states in the Northeast and West tended to have the same top searches as their neighboring states, while states in the South and Midwest were more likely to have unique  destination searches from the others in their region.

Next, we looked specifically at the searches for international honeymoon locations.

International Searches

Italy was by far the most popular international search, with Thailand and Greece also appearing in searches from every region. Interestingly, those in the Northeast were the only states with significant interest in having a honeymoon in Ireland.

Final Thoughts

What is your dream destination? Let us know on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or in the comments below!

 

The post Dream Honeymoon Destinations: The Most Searched Honeymoon Spot in Every State appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

December Birthstones: Their History and Meaning

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 19:08

 

Although this time of year is strongly associated with holiday hues of red and green, December birthday girls have far more color options when it comes to December birthstone jewelry: the light, bright blue of turquoise and the many shades of zircon.

Both of the beautiful stones can be found featured in our selection of one-of-a-kind vintage rings. Here’s some fascinating background on these December birthstones:

Turquoise: Ancient Amulet and Victorian Favorite

Ranging in color from bright robin’s egg to pastel blue to light bluish green, turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. This December birthstone has been prized for thousands of years by cultures ranging from the Aztecs to the ancient Egyptians (who used it to decorate King Tut’s tomb) to the Persian empire. From ancient times to today people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet thought to offer protection, in ancient Persia (and modern day Iran) some believe that wearing turquoise can ward off the “evil eye” (other people’s ill will), and over the centuries turquoise has been thought to protect people from misfortunes ranging from falls from horseback to poisoning.

Although the gem is ancient the name is relatively new:  dating from thirteenth century France, the word “turquoise” meaning “stone from Turkey”, came from when the gems were brought from Turkey to Western Europe. Turquoise cabochons are often found in antique jewelry from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Queen Victoria gave her bridesmaids turquoise embellished brooches as gifts.

Buying turquoise as a gift

If you’re shopping for a December birthday girl, turquoise jewelry is a can’t-miss choice, but don’t forget to consider her personal style. If she likes a boho or Western look, then Southwestern style turquoise jewelry set in silver would make a great gift. If she goes for a more feminine or vintage-inspired style, then consider a one-of-a-kind vintage turquoise ring. Can’t decide?  Simple turquoise beads in a necklace or earrings are a timeless style she’s sure to love.

Caring for turquoise

As gemstones go, turquoise is a bit fragile, so we recommend taking special care when wearing turquoise fine jewelry. High heat can damage its surface or cause discoloration, and exposure to some chemicals, cosmetics and even skin oils can change its color. Clean turquoise with warm soapy water, but avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Our jewelry specialists would be happy to answer any questions about care for your particular turquoise fine jewelry piece.

Zircon: Beauty from the Earth’s Earliest Days

Zircon is another gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewelry. Although Zircon isn’t as well-known as some other gems, this stone is a celebrity among geologists. The oldest rock ever discovered was a zircon found in Australia dating 4.4 billion years, nearly as old as the planet itself (the oldest diamonds are 3.3 billion years old).

Zircon can be found in a rainbow of colors, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red and even clear. Clear zircon is one of the most brilliant non-diamond gems, and was often used as a diamond alternative in the nineteenth century (though zircon is different than cubic zirconia, a type of imitation diamond). According to the American Gemological Society, folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares.

Buying zircon as a gift

With this gem you have lots of beautiful color options. You can’t go wrong with a sparkling blue, the most popular shade of zircon and a universally flattering hue. But whatever your December-born loved one’s favorite color, you can probably find zircon jewelry to match it.

Caring for zircon

Zircon is fairly durable, but it’s not as strong as sapphires and diamonds so you should avoid wearing it or storing it in places where it could get roughed up. If a zircon has been heat-treated to produce a certain color (many blue ones have been), prolonged exposure to light could lead to the gem changing back to its original hue. Clean zircon with warm water and gentle soap, but don’t use steam or ultrasonic cleaners with this gem.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a December baby, what do you think of your birthstones—do you have a favorite?  Do you own any birthstone jewelry?  Let us know your thoughts on  Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or in the comments section!

 Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gemological Society

The post December Birthstones: Their History and Meaning appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Men’s Wedding Bands: The Complete Guide

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:19

 

A guy usually puts a ton of thought into selecting an engagement ring for his fiancé, but when it’s time to choose his own wedding band he may realize that he’s clueless about the options.

If that describes you, don’t let your ring be an afterthought! Since you’ll be wearing it for the rest of your life, and it may even be the only piece of jewelry you wear, you should love your wedding band every bit as much as your fiancé loves her carefully selected rings. There are six things to consider when choosing wedding bands for men: width, metal choice, fit, finish, detailing and engraving.

Width

How wide do you want your ring to be? Try on a few men’s wedding bands in a variety of different widths to decide what you like best. Wider rings tend to be more expensive (since they require a larger quantity of precious metal), but you can balance size and price by choosing a metal that’s within your budget. For example, palladium looks very similar to platinum and white gold, but costs less.

Metal Choice

The metals traditionally used for men’s wedding rings are platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and palladium. Here are the benefits of each:

Platinum

Platinum is extremely durable and is among the rarest elements in the earth’s crust.  It is also hypoallergenic and almost never causes skin reactions.

White Gold

White gold is gold plated in rhodium, a member of the platinum family, which gives it a brilliant white color similar to platinum’s but at a lower price point (note: the rhodium plating on white gold jewelry may need to be replaced after a decade or so).

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold gives off a subtle, warm glow and is a classic option.

Palladium

Palladium is a member of the platinum family of metals and has a very similar look, but generally costs less than platinum and white gold.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a beautiful, less common choice and creates a unique vintage effect.  It’s perfect for a groom who wants a more distinctive look.

Can’t decide?  Consider a mixed metal wedding band. No matter which metal you choose, we recommend recycled precious metal as an eco-friendly choice.

Fit

The edges of men’s wedding bands can be curved or flat, forming right angles to the sides of the ring. Our popular Comfort Fit band has gently rounded edges, which can make it a good choice for men who are concerned about how it will feel to wear a ring every day. Try on a number of different rings to get a sense of which fit feels right to you.

Finish

Finish describes the texture of a ring’s metal.

These are the terms to know:

High Polish

High Polish is the most traditional choice and describes metal with a reflective finish.

Matte

Matte is a less reflective finish with an understated, modern feel.

Combination

Combination wedding bands combine both matte and high polish textures.

Hammered

Hammered rings look as if a tiny hammer has pounded the metal to create a textured effect. They are popular with men who want a unique, eye-catching look.

Detailing

Not so long ago there were very few options in men’s wedding bands beyond choice of metal, but these days you can have a very unique men’s wedding ring. Add style to your ring with diamond or sapphire accents, like a subtle vertical stripe of sparkling gems or a Celtic knot design.

Engraving

Whether you choose a ring that’s understated and classic or more unique and eye-catching, there are endless ways to personalize the band with engraving. The date of your wedding, your fiancé’s name or initials, a word, phrase or song lyric that’s central to your love story—engraving any of these on your ring will lend it extra meaning. You could even have your fiancé’s fingerprint engraved into the metal—what could be more romantic than choosing to keep a reminder of your other half close to you every day?  You can have either the inside or the outside of your ring engraved, depending on whether you want to keep the engraving private or show it off to the world.

Custom Designs

To wear a ring that truly reflects your one-of-a-kind personality, consider having your wedding band custom designed. Our jewelry design experts will help you bring your vision to life, and can suggest styles and effects that will express your unique style, such as nature-inspired motifs, antique designs, or custom patterns or symbols that honor your heritage or history.

Final Thoughts

It’s a great time to be shopping for men’s wedding rings—there are more options than ever, and today’s grooms are going beyond the standard simple bands to choose styles that reflect their unique personalities and tastes. If you want to talk about your options, please contact us. We are happy to guide you through the process of selecting or creating your perfect wedding band.

What’s your favorite men’s wedding band style? Let us know on Facebook, InstagramTwitter or in the comments section!

Learn more about Ideas for Matching Bride-and-Groom Wedding Bands

The post Men’s Wedding Bands: The Complete Guide appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Company Markets Itself to the Newly Divorced With a Ring to Sell

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 00:41
Worthy, which auctions used jewelry on its website, hopes to attract women with a message that the cash can set them on the road to personal freedom.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Simple Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 18:30

 

While some people live their lives striving for the intricate and the elaborate, others discover profound beauty in simplicity.

Just look at the spare prose of Hemingway, the large swaths of color in a Mark Rothko painting, or the graceful minimalism of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Like these works of art, a striking diamond in a simple setting or a harmonious three stone ring never goes out of style. But don’t be fooled—choosing a simple engagement ring does not mean that you are limited when it comes to design and personalization. A ring can be both elegant in its simplicity and as utterly unique as your relationship.

The Classic Solitaire

The classic solitaire engagement ring enjoys a permanent place high on the list of the most sought after engagement rings. The simple design puts the focus on the center diamond, allowing it to show its fire and brilliance. It is elegant, understated, and the very essence of sophistication.

You may be surprised to learn how many variations of solitaire rings are available. Once you’ve determined that you want a solitaire ring, you can then search for the style that truly embodies your unique personality. Carefully consider what type of center gemstone you want, then think about details such as setting style, diamond shape, and precious metal. By trying out different pairings, you may just discover that a subtle variation on the classic is exactly what you had in mind, but couldn’t find the words to describe. A one carat diamond engagement ring with a solitaire setting is a classic and sophisticated choice.

Four- and Six- Prong Settings

Devoted traditionalists swoon over four- or six-prong solitaire settings. The differences between the two are small, but important to consider. The four-prong setting gives a round diamond a slightly square look and also allows more light to make contact with the diamond, increasing its brilliance. Within four-prong settings you can choose between a standard style and a “compass point” setting, in which the prongs are directly above, below and alongside the center gem, like the four directions of a compass.

The six-prong setting doesn’t allow quite as much light in, but it enhances the round look of the diamond, plus the two additional prongs provide greater security.

 

Bezel Solitaire Setting

A bezel solitaire setting offers a fresh take on the most classic simple engagement rings. In a bezel setting, there are no prongs, instead a thin band of precious metal surrounds the center gem. It is a sleek, modern way to highlight a diamond. A bezel setting not only provides a perfectly smooth edge, but also keeps the gem secure. Active women who play sports or work with their hands love the durability of a bezel setting, not to mention the lack of prongs that can catch on fabric or hair.

 

Fancy Shaped Diamonds

Although we often think of solitaire rings containing round diamonds, keep in mind that one way to add a bit of unexpected glamour to a simple engagement ring is by choosing a fancy shaped diamond. These distinctive diamond cuts, such as marquise, emerald, princess, cushion and asscher, give solitaire diamond rings a fun, unique look.

You may recognize some of these diamond shapes from the scores of celebrities who have opted for an engagement ring featuring a fancy shaped diamond—Gabrielle Union and Jennifer Garner both have gorgeous rings featuring cushion cut diamonds, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s ring is an asscher cut, and that’s just for starters.

 

Precious Metal Selection

An important decision when it comes to the overall look of your engagement ring is what precious metal you would like—and while that’s always true, it’s especially so with a solitaire, since the metal band is more on display than in other ring styles. Platinum and white gold are the most popular selections, undoubtedly because these cool shades have a harmonious relationship with the sparkle of diamonds. Yellow gold is a rich, traditional metal that makes your center diamond stand out. More and more women are finding that the warm, pinkish hue of rose gold offers an ultra-romantic vintage feel and flatters many skin tones.

 

Choosing a Diamond for a Solitaire
The style of ring you choose influences how you should balance the “four Cs” when selecting a diamond. Because the diamond will take center stage, you probably want to choose a diamond with a high-quality cut. A well cut diamond will shimmer with fire and brilliance, and appear even larger than it is. You also want your solitaire to have good clarity, with no internal flaws (or “inclusions”) that are visible to the naked eye (at Brilliant Earth all of our diamonds are “eye clean,” so clarity is less of a concern if you purchase your ring from us). Finally, with a solitaire the color grade of a diamond is a bit less important relative to other factors. Since there will be no other diamonds alongside it or on the band, your center diamond is guaranteed to be the whitest, brightest one on your hand. (Tip: The contrast of a yellow gold band and a diamond solitaire makes the diamond look extra white.) To learn more about selecting a diamond, consult  our Diamond Education Guide.

 

Sapphire Solitaires

Don’t forget that a solitaire needn’t feature a diamond!  The bezel-set solitaire Luna ring featuring a vibrant sapphire is among our most beloved styles, and can be created with a pink or yellow sapphire, in addition to the classic deep blue.

 

Three Stone Simple Engagement Rings

Another sought after option for a simple style  is the three stone engagement ring. This design features a center gemstone highlighted by an accent diamond on either side. In addition to its beauty, a three stone engagement ring is rife with symbolism: the three stones represent a couple’s past, present, and future together.

The most classic three-stone ring features three round diamonds, and the center gem is usually slightly larger than the side gems. But the gems in three-stone rings don’t have to be round—you could instead choose square princess cut, emerald or oval diamonds, and there are even more possibilities. You can also mix diamonds with colored gemstones in a three-stone design, and combine different gemstone shapes. Jessica Simpson’s football player fiancé did just that when he presented her with a ring featuring a center ruby with pear-shaped diamonds on either side.

 

Diamond Bands As Simple Engagement Rings

There’s certainly no rule that an engagement ring must contain a large center gemstone. Women who crave a simple engagement ring might want to consider wearing a diamond band (more often used as a wedding or anniversary band) as an engagement ring. Most diamond bands stack easily, so your engagement ring would combine well with your wedding band, and with any diamond bands you might add in the future to celebrate life’s milestones.

Simple Wedding Rings

 

When it comes time to choose a wedding ring to perfectly complement your minimalist engagement ring, choosing a simple wedding band design might be best. Here are some of our favorites:

Petite Comfort Fit Wedding Ring

The rounded inside edges of this delicate wedding band provide increased comfort, making for a classic choice with any engagement ring.

Petite Shared Prong Diamond Ring

This beautiful band features round diamonds set in delicately sculpted shared prongs reaching almost halfway down the shank for maximum sparkle.

Winding Willow Ring

This beautiful nature-inspired ring features delicate strands of high-polish precious metal twisting together to create a beautiful band.

Final Thoughts on Simple Engagement Rings

Which type of simple engagement ring is your favorite? Do you prefer classic one carat diamond rings, stunning two carat diamond rings, or luxe three carat diamond rings? Let us know on InstagramFacebook , Twitter, or in the comments section!

The post Simple Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds

Brilliant Earth - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 03:02

 

There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information about diamond simulants and lab created (also called “cultured”) diamonds. Despite what you may have heard, simulant diamonds and lab created diamonds are not the same.

We want to help you sort through the confusion to better understand the options available, and more importantly, what you are actually buying.

Simulant Diamonds

 

Diamond simulants are manufactured to look like diamonds but are composed of very different materials.  Although simulants share some similarities in appearance to a diamond, they are generally readily identifiable as stand-ins.  The most well-known option is cubic zirconia, or CZ, which is a crystal form of zirconium oxide.  Moissanite is an alternative  to CZ, and is both durable and low cost. This simulant is newer, boasts slightly more sparkle, and is composed of the crystal carbide.

It is important to note the vast distinction between simulant diamonds, such as those mentioned above, and lab diamonds. Lab diamonds are man-made diamonds that consist of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. Simulants do not have the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds, and merely imitate the appearance of a diamond. Therefore, simulants sell at much lower prices than cultured diamonds.

When is a simulant diamond useful

If you love a particular setting and/or have your heart set on a certain size diamond, wallet-friendly simulants may allow you to have a ring that you adore without having to wait. You can upgrade with a diamond—cultured or mined—when the time is right for you.
Additionally, if you travel frequently, for work or leisure, having a ring set with a simulant may come in handy.  You can leave home without worrying about having your diamond engagement ring lost or stolen.

Lab Created Diamonds

Brilliant Earth’s lab created diamonds  have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as our natural diamonds. Even when using professional gemological equipment, lab created diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds and can only be identified with extensive scientific testing using specialized equipment. Lab created diamonds should come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory grown.

Arriving at a process that allows for the same composition in lab created and mined diamonds has taken decades, and not compromising quality has been worth the wait.

When to look for lab created

Lab created diamonds are an appealing option for many brides and grooms—they are slightly more affordable than their naturally-mined counterparts and are starting to become available in larger sizes.  Brilliant Earth is pleased to offer a wide selection of colorless lab diamonds.

Of course, this process isn’t—and shouldn’t be—all about cost.  Brides and grooms looking to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing the look or feel of their diamond may be particularly drawn to lab created diamonds.  Ultimately, selecting and wearing an engagement ring, and the diamond or gemstone sits at its center, should be a deeply personal and romantic experience.  We would be honored to help you navigate—and enjoy—this incredible milestone.

The post Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Rock Star

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 04:32
The humble rock crystal shares the transparency and light-reflecting properties of diamonds but without the price tag.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

High Jewelry Today. Clients Tomorrow?

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
Houses like Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier use dazzling exhibitions as part of their strategy to lure the next generation of buyers.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

‘I Don’t Wear Jewelry. I Wear Art’

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is preparing an exhibition of Diane Venet’s 200-piece collection.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

David Yurman Jewelry: ‘This is an Art Project’

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
For almost 50 years Sybil and David Yurman have focused on a creative approach to jewelry, like their well-known cable designs in silver.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Put a Ring on It

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
From a 13th-century religious ring to a modern twist of silver, the book “Rings” features the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

On 48 Years With Christie’s

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
François Curiel, the house’s chairman for Europe and Asia, talks about the business’s evolution, the Asian market and da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.”
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Jewelry Diversity: A Taiwanese Designer at a Finnish Brand

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
Chao-Hsien Kuo and another designer, Liesbeth Busman of Holland, were hired to give Lapponia a feminine feel.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Neha Dani Has ‘the Eye for Something Beautiful’

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
The New Delhi-based fine jeweler worked with titanium and rhodium finishing for a psychedelic vibe.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

London Jewelry Gets an Awards Event: The Leopards

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:27
The first awards, intended to raise jewelry’s profile among a wider audience, honored Elton John, Daphne Guinness, “The Crown” and others.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

4 Secret Ways to Personalize an Engagement Ring

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 22:44

There are tried and true ways to personalize an engagement ring, from engraving your initials inside the band to designing an entirely unique custom ring. But design choices offer less expected, secret little ways to give an engagement ring personal meaning.

You can incorporate aesthetic elements that are rich with sentimental significance for you as a couple but which won’t be obvious to the outside world. Consider these ideas to give a personal touch to your engagement ring, while sticking with a classic and timeless overall look:

Color Connotations

Choosing a gemstone in a color with significance to the bride or to you as a couple will strongly imbue the ring with personal meaning without making a major statement to the outside world. You might select the bride’s or the groom’s birthstone, for example an aquamarine engagement ring (such as the Aquamarine Willow Ring, above) for a March birthday, a sapphire engagement ring for a September birthday, or an amethyst engagement ring for a February birthday. Depending on how it would look, you may even be able to incorporate both of your birthstones into one ring—the Sapphire Willow Ring with Lab Emerald Accents includes both birthstones of a September-May couple.

Thinking beyond birthstones, you might choose a gemstone in a color that evokes a special place—a teal sapphire if you both love the ocean, emerald if your best moments take place camping in the woods, or rosy morganite if your favorite vacation as a couple was spent on the pink sands of the Bahamas.

Meaningful Numbers

Another way to subtly give an engagement ring extra personal meaning: Look for a ring featuring a number of gemstones that is relevant to your relationship. If you’ve been together for six years you might choose a ring with three accent diamonds on each side of the center gemstone (one accent diamond for each year of your history, the center gemstone to represent your future). Or if the anniversary of your first date is on the third of the month, a three-stone engagement ring would be a sentimental choice. This is even an option if your anniversary is the thirtieth day of the month, if you can select a halo engagement ring featuring thirty accent diamonds (the precise number of accent diamonds on a halo ring will depend on the diameter of the center gemstone—we can help you achieve the right number). The Circa Engagement Ring, above, is one eye-catching option.

Sentimental Seasons

You might choose a ring design evocative of the season when you met. The Willow Ring calls to mind the leaves and curving exposed vines of fall, while the Venus Ring inspires thoughts of summer beach days spent together. A floral ring design represents the blossom-filled months of spring, even more so when in rose gold, as seen above in the Lotus Flower Ring. And any diamond ring featuring lots of pavé diamond accents in icy white gold or platinum (think the Waverly Ring) resembles the dazzling white of a snowy winter day.

Secret Gemstone Messages

In England, France and other parts of Europe in the early nineteenth century aristocrats used a “language of gemstones” to spell out meaningful words in jewelry, using the first letter of each gemstone name. One popular example was “Dearest,” spelled out by a diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz. While modern couples are unlikely to want such multicolored gemstone jewelry as an engagement ring, you might choose a gemstone that begins with your first initial, or the first letter of a pet name or of a word that has special meaning to you as a couple. Think a sapphire ring (like the Sapphire Delicate Antique Scroll Ring, above) if your name is Sam or hers is Stephanie, an antique ruby ring if your last name starts with an R, or a gemstone that shares a first letter with your favorite place, favorite musician or poet, your religion, or any other shared passion.

Final Thoughts

Will you personalize your engagement ring in a subtle or secret way? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments!

The post 4 Secret Ways to Personalize an Engagement Ring appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

For Wood, It’s Time to Shine

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 08:08
A down-to-earth material is inspiring some very different looks in high-end jewelry and watches.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Engagement Ring Trends of the Past, Present, and Future

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 17:00

 

 

The modern engagement ring has a history that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, if not earlier. Here’s a timeline of how the ultimate symbol of love and commitment has evolved from then until now.

History of Engagement Ring Trends

 

Ancient Past
Egyptians have been found buried with metal wire around the third finger of their left hands, which was believed to be directly connected to the heart by a vein. Engagement rings were also used to some degree in ancient Rome.
Middle Ages
Most historians agree that the first use of a diamond ring to mark an engagement occurred in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring with the letter M spelled out in tiny diamonds.
1500-1700
There are references to engagement and wedding rings in Shakespeare’s plays, and in the 1600s and 1700s lovers in Europe often exchanged poesy or posie rings, silver or gold bands with a line of poetry or a love message engraved on the inside.  Sometimes a silver ring would be given to mark an engagement, and it would be replaced by a gold ring upon the wedding.
1800s

The Victorian era  in England is considered a very romantic time, in part because beloved Queen Victoria was very much in love with her husband Albert (rare for royal marriages, which were often arranged for diplomatic or economic reasons). Victorian engagement rings often feature whimsical and romantic motifs, such as hearts, bows, flowers and even snakes (which were seen as a symbol of eternity). Toward the end of the Victorian era diamonds became a more common feature of engagement rings, after a large deposit of diamonds was discovered in South Africa. Tiffany & Co. introduced the six-prong “Tiffany Setting” which raised the diamond up above the band to maximize its brilliance, a style that has influenced engagement rings ever since.

Early 20th century

The Edwardian era saw engagement rings become a widely accepted social custom. The industrial revolution had brought about increased prosperity and a growing middle class in much of Europe and America, so fine jewelry was within the reach of more people than ever before. Edwardian engagement rings often contained diamonds in lacy and ornate platinum designs.

Engagement Ring Trends by Decade

1920-1930’s Engagement Rings

In comparison with Edwardian rings the engagement rings of the 20s and 30s were less distinctively feminine and more geometric, reflecting the Art Deco aesthetic of the day and the era’s love of all things modern. They frequently feature diamonds set in platinum or white gold and are often accented with colorful precious gems such as sapphires and rubies.
1940’s Engagement Rings

Despite the hardships of World War II, 1940s engagement rings were often big and bold. They featured curving designs and feminine motifs such as ribbons, bows and flowers. Platinum was scarce because it was used for the war effort, so gold was the precious metal of choice. Although diamonds remained the most desired gemstone for rings, budget-conscious shoppers often turned to synthetic rubies and sapphires.
1950’s Engagement Rings

Audrey Hepburn’s husband Mel Ferrer may have kicked off the trend of stackable rings in different metals, a style that’s still going strong today, by giving the style-conscious star rings in both yellow and rose gold, so she could switch them out to match her outfit.
1960’s Engagement Rings

This decade saw the rise of the headline-making celebrity engagement ring. In 1963 Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor a ring featuring a 33-carat asscher-cut diamond, which makes Kim and Kanye’s 15-carat ring look almost diminutive. And at the beginning of the decade, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s distinctive diamond and emerald engagement ring made emeralds an in-demand gemstone for many brides-to-be.
1970’s Engagement Rings

The princess cut and radiant cuts were invented or perfected in the 70s and their square shapes became very popular for engagement rings, fitting for a generation that embraced the new and different and did away with many of the traditions of the past.
1980’s Engagement Rings

The engagement and wedding of the decade was that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and her oval sapphire engagement ring set off a major sapphire trend.
1990’s-present Engagement Rings

During the most recent decades, no one trend has ruled. In part because of the internet, couples have more access to information about engagement rings, and more ability to choose between different styles, than ever before. Although styles may rise and fall in popularity year by year, the same basic look that dominated for much of the twentieth century—of a ring with a prominent, sparkling diamond—continues to be the most sought after at the beginning of the twenty-first.

 

Engagement Ring Trends of the Future

We certainly can’t predict the future, but we do expect that some of the trends we’re seeing in engagement rings today will continue for quite some time. That includes antique engagement rings, antique-inspired styles, and delicate, nature-influenced designs. One trend we will go ahead and predict: Couples wanting an engagement ring that’s unique and says something about their style, whether that means an antique, a custom design, or a classic look that they’ve given a little tweak by choosing a different color of metal or an unexpected gemstone.  But no matter what the future holds, we think that the trend of socially conscious and eco-friendly rings—made with ethically sourced gemstones and recycled precious metals—is one that will never be out of style!

 

Final Thoughts

What are your favorite engagement rings of the past, or the present? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments section!

The post Engagement Ring Trends of the Past, Present, and Future appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

6 Nature-Inspired Wedding Rings

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 23:11

 

If you and your bride- or groom-to-be share a love of the outdoors, then you may want to symbolize that with your choice of wedding bands.

Nature-inspired wedding rings evoke the earth’s beauty and can serve as an everyday reminder of the times you and your beloved have spent hiking, biking, horseback riding, or doing whatever outdoor activities you love. There are a variety of ways that a wedding band can reference the natural world—here are six of our favorite wedding rings for nature lovers:

Nature Inspired Wedding Rings

Cordoba Diamond Ring

Reminiscent of spiraling vines, ribbons of lustrous metal and pavé diamonds twist down this ring for a captivating and enchanting look.

The Petite Twisted Vine Ring

A ribbon of pavé set diamonds appears gracefully interwoven with a ribbon of high-polish precious metal in a design which subtly evokes vines and branches. It coordinates with the Petite Twisted Vine Engagement Ring.

The Hand-Engraved Laurel Ring

This whimsical ring features a relief vine design wrapped around the top of the band, and engraved scrolls and delicate milgrain along both sides. It coordinates with the Hand-Engraved Laurel Engagement Ring.

The Winding Willow Diamond Ring

This band wraps around the finger in fluid curves of a beautifully sculpted metal vine, with diamond accents framed in marquise-shaped buds. It coordinates with the Willow Diamond Engagement Ring.

Feather Diamond Ring

An effervescent feather covered in pavé diamonds captures nature in its wild, organic glory. This band is masterfully sculpted to carry the design to new heights.

The Ivy Scroll Diamond Ring

Swirling sculpted vines and round diamonds in leaf-shaped settings give this ring an elegant organic look. A petite version is also available.

If you have a specific, unique vision of what you want a nature-inspired wedding ring to look like, consider having it custom designed. Contact our design team so they can help you make your vision a reality.

Nature Inspired Bridal Sets

Gently curving lines, delicate leaves, and flower motifs grace the rings in these made-for-each-other bridal sets. Organic beauty is the muse for these gorgeous engagement and wedding ring pairings, and truly capture the beauty of the natural world.

Willow Diamond Ring with Luxe Willow Diamond Ring

Glittering with diamonds, the Willow Diamond Ring paired with the Luxe Willow Diamond Wedding Ring is the epitome of beauty. The set features delicately curving vines adorned with marquise diamond buds and dazzling round diamonds along the wedding band.

Verbena Diamond Bridal Set

This matched set features dazzling marquise-shaped and bezel set diamond accents. The matched band perfectly complements the floral engagement ring with a claw prong basket setting.

Twisted Vine Bridal Set

Both rings in this beautiful matched set feature gracefully entwined ribbons of high-polish precious metal. Worn together the two rings create an enchanting nature-inspired pattern.

Zinnia Diamond Bridal Set

This feminine matched set showcases a dazzling center gem blooming from within a gallery of shimmering diamond petals. Additional diamonds sparkle along both bands, which harmoniously taper for a beautiful and unique look.

Three Stone Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Bridal Set

A natural twist on the classic three-stone ring, this design features entwined vines shimmering with pavé diamonds.

Willow Bridal Set with Sapphire Accents

Wispy vines of precious metal entwine toward lustrous marquise-shaped sapphire buds in this nature-inspired trellis ring. The matched band sits flush and features a trio of marquise-shaped sapphires in a delicate floral pattern.

Keep in mind that Brilliant Earth’s nature-inspired styles honor the earth not only in their designs, but in their sourcing as well. Recycled precious metals and diamonds mined according to earth-friendly practices offer the purest way to express your love of nature.

Final Thoughts

Do you love nature-inspired wedding rings? Which of these designs is your favorite? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section!

 

The post 6 Nature-Inspired Wedding Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Surprising Results of Our Wedding Etiquette Survey

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 20:55

 

There are about a million questions that arise in the months before a wedding. Do I need a ring to propose? Who should be included in the bridal party? How will the wedding be paid for? Navigating these decisions can be overwhelming!

Many of the answers to these questions used to be set in stone by strict etiquette rules. However, 21st century couples are breaking from traditional norms. We surveyed Americans to uncover which rules they felt were made to be broken and which have stood the test of time. Find the most intriguing takeaways below!

Rules of Engagement

Before a wedding, there is usually some form of a proposal. For many, the idea of a proposal conjures up thoughts of someone down on one knee with a ring in their hand. But, does a ring always need to come before the proposal, or is it better for the couple to decide on a ring together after the question has been popped?

The majority of respondents (58%) still believe that there should be a ring in the proposer’s hand, but those in the West were the most likely to say that a ring could come later.

Once you’ve got the ring (whether it’s during the proposal or after), should you wear it at all times?

Those aged 35-54 were 1.4 times more likely than millennials to say you should never take off your ring. Millennials, however were the most likely to believe that it’s okay to take off your ring while sleeping, working out, or traveling.

Knowing that most Americans would prefer for their significant other to “put a ring on it” when proposing, it’s important to know what guidelines should be used when purchasing a ring. Do people still prefer a traditional diamond ring, or would they rather use a colored gemstone or a diamond simulant?

While a traditional diamond is still the most popular choice when it comes to shopping for an engagement ring, we were excited to see rising interest in unique choices, like colored gemstones, diamond simulants, and bands! We’ve seen this trend echoed over the past year, as more and more couples are opting for more non-traditional rings that reflect their personal style.

However, men seem to be much more willing to feature a colored gemstone or a diamond simulant in an engagement ring.

Feelings towards lab created diamonds are also improving significantly, especially in millennials. In fact, millennials are 1.4 times more likely to have very positive feelings about lab diamonds than they were in 2015 and 1.7 times less likely to have negative feelings about diamonds created in a lab.

Planning for the Big Day

After your partner says “yes”, it’s time to start planning for the big day. This is when more etiquette rules really come into play. For instance one of the bigger dilemmas often faced, if one of your friends recently asked you to be in their bridal party, do you have to return the favor?

54% of Americans believe that there are no rules when it comes to planning your bridal party, but 22% still believe that you would have to invite your friend to be part of your bridal party if you were asked to be a part of theirs.

What about paying for the wedding? Money can be a touchy subject and while tradition says that the bride’s parents should foot the bill, many couples are breaking from this etiquette rule.

In fact, most couples are paying for their own wedding (either individually or as a partnership). Men were 1.6 times more likely to stick to the belief that the bride’s parents should pay, but close to a quarter of respondents felt that both sets of parents should foot the bill.

Etiquette for Attendees

Sure, most of the etiquette rules fall on the bride(s) or groom(s), but attendees should also worry about considering what is proper. While some rules seem to be pretty well known (such as not wearing a white dress as a guest), others prove to be a bit trickier (such as how much to spend on a gift).

As it turns out, men were 1.3 times more likely to spend $100 or more on a gift. The majority of women feel that $50 is an appropriate amount.

Other big spenders can be found in the Northeast, where respondents were 3.6 times more likely to say that $200 is the appropriate amount to spend than those in the West.

While men seem to be more giving with their wedding gifts, they don’t mind breaking the rules of attendance. Males were 1.7 more likely to say they would bring their significant other without having been given a plus one.

Social media is a whole new territory when it comes to rules of etiquette! With many of us posting our every move, it can be hard to know where to draw the line. Is it okay to create a story on Instagram as the couple says their I do’s?

9% of respondents believed it was okay to post a picture of the wedding in real time, but 68% think it’s only okay to post your pics once the bride or groom has shared on social media.

Final Thoughts

Do you follow all of the etiquette rules when it comes to a proposal, planning a wedding, or attending the nuptials? Let us know in the comments below or share your opinion with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

The post The Surprising Results of Our Wedding Etiquette Survey appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

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