What’s the right mix of modern and traditional when it comes to bridal jewels? In the olden days, and that would be the mid-20th century of course, engagement rings were diamonds. The ¼ carat solitaire diamond was de rigueur during that time. But as the years went on, the central diamond size edged up with each decade. Today, the sky’s the limit with carat size. The current diamond motto is ‘the bigger the better’. In earlier days, the engagement ring signified the groom’s ability to pay for such a luxury, signaling his capacity to provide for the bride.
Today, the focus has shifted. Now an engagement ring reveals the uniqueness of the happy couple and above all the personal style of the bride. That’s a blessing and conundrum at once for jewelers and designers. There’s no limit to the diverse designs that manufacturers must crank out year after year to entice a bride who wants her ring to express her personal style.
In the midst of that quest for the original statement that modern bridal jewels must make, there lies behind it all a trace of melancholy for tradition – just not too much of it.
The blue gemstone engagement ring answers part of the call – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Blue engagement rings are not new, but they’ve taken flight as an engagement ring choice today. And there’s certainly a royal precedence for this preference.
In 1981 a blushing Princess Di picked out her ring from English jeweler to the Crown, Garrard. It was unheard of for a royal person to select their important jewelry – and certainly their bridal jewels from the on-hand collection in a store. Anyone could have bought that ring. And it made royal tongues wag. But that’s exactly what Diana did. Her 18-carat oval Ceylon sapphire set in 18K white gold had a halo of 14 diamonds. It cost 28,000 pounds sterling. In February 1981, a pound was equal to $2.40 US. Garrard Jewelers said it wasn’t the biggest sapphire ring they had but it was the one she liked. This historical ring passed on to her son Harry after her death. Harry gave it to William for Catherine when they became engaged in 2012.
The nod to sentimental choices in engagement jewels was advanced when Tacori unveiled their Something Blue collection featuring sapphire and diamond bridal rings. It was believed that something blue represented fidelity in Victorian times when that charming rhyme citing ‘something blue’ first became popular. It’s probably the origin of the ‘true-blue’ concept.
Don’t think that brides are satisfied with traditional metals either when it comes to their engagement ring, finds Etienne Perret. He’s a designer who’s celebrated for choosing bold iconoclastic alternatives to standard precious metals in his luxurious collections. And that’s just the reason why his customers are so loyal. Pairing a head-turning ceramic band with precious gemstones in his Daisy Blue ring makes his engagement ring a memorable treasure for stylish brides.
Brides can literally have it their way today. With the widest array of blue gemstone engagement rings ever available and endless creative styles – the bride can wear a fusion of something blue for a traditional choice while selecting a style that is truly modern.
|Something Blue Collection sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Courtesy Tacori.|
|Rose gold and sapphire accent diamond band. Courtesy Fascinating Diamonds.||Black Opal, sapphire, tsavorite and diamond ring. Courtesy Omi Prive.|
Try showing your bridal customers some blue gemstone engagement and wedding bands. Remind them of the charming sentiment attached to the color blue. But with the latest styles available today, she’ll certainly find her blend of tradition and personal expression.
Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, her blog: Color-n-Ice, and www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).