Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diamonds are Forever, But Colored Stones are Fun

Just days ago it was announced that Jessica Simpson was engaged for a second time, with much attention being given to her new engagement ring; a 5 carat center Ruby flanked with two diamonds on either side. And despite the beauty and unique design of the ring, many people have focused more on price due to the fact that it is not a diamond.

For her part, Simpson seems to be perfectly happy with her latest ring; not only is Ruby her birthstone, but we should keep in mind that two of the world’s classiest ladies didn’t sport diamond engagement rings  either.

In 1952, Jacqueline Bouvier attended a private dinner party thrown by friends, and although they were in the same social circle, this was the first time she was formally introduced to the U.S. Representative, John Kennedy. Just a little over a year later, in June of 1953, the couple announced their engagement after Kennedy presented Bouvier with an emerald engagement ring.

The ring featured a 2.84 carat square cut emerald center, paired with a 2.88 diamond, and surrounded by tapered diamond baguettes on a gold band. Although Jackie O, as she was later labeled by the pressed due to her second marriage to Aristotle Onassis, passed away in 1994, she remains one of the major fashion icons of all time, and her unique engagement ring was one of the most impressive pieces of her collection.

Speaking on classic fashion icons, it would be hard pressed to find one as iconic or world renowned as Princess Diana, the former Princess of Wales. Princess Di, as she was later known, broke the royal mold in many ways over the fifteen years of her marriage to Prince Charles, starting with her engagement ring.

The Prince proposed without a ring, reportedly to give Diana time to fully consider and accept the high profile lifestyle he was offering her. It didn’t take long for her to accept and was almost immediately presented with a selection of engagement rings.

Her final selection was a stunning 18 carat Sapphire center, surrounded by 14 additional diamonds worth $65,000 in 1981. The ring initially shocked the royal family because it was not custom made for the soon to be princess, but was rather readily available in the jewelers catalog, complete with visible price tag. But as is the same with all brides, her choice was made and overruled royal concern.

Their son and heir apparent, Prince William, very recently announced his own impending wedding, and although their engagement ring has not yet been revealed, rumors have been circulating that William proposed with the same iconic sapphire ring his mother chose 30 years ago.

Because all of Verragio’s engagement rings are made-to-order, the use of birthstones or other colored gemstones incorporated in designs are always an option. In the past year alone, Verragio has custom designed the Venetian 5011P-4 to fit an emerald center stone instead of a Princess cut diamond. Or the time we custom designed the Couture 0379 to feature a very rare and unique Tanzanite center.


However, if center diamonds are more your style but you still would like a little splash of color, Verragio have been known to substitute accent diamonds for gemstones. The Couture 0410LR, featuring either a Round cut or Princess diamond center, was once specially made with a small sapphire in the signature crest under the band, retaining the white sparkle of a diamond, but still incorporated an eye catching special feature.

Using a birthstone, or a colored gemstone that is special to you, can be an easy and personal way to create a meaningful engagement ring design. Just ask some of history’s leading ladies.

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