Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Engagement Rings on the Red Carpet

The 2010 Academy Awards, the holy grail of cinematic award ceremonies, will not be held until February 27, but the early prediction buzz has already started. And what a person wears, particularly an award winner, is always headline news the day after.

Designers fight to offer gowns and diamond jewelry is lent to leading ladies, and while we may have to just wait and see who wears what, we can predict a few sparkly pieces that are rumored to be there.

Despite the fact that she has already won an Oscar for best actress in 2002, Nicole Kidman is giving it another shot. Even though the official nominations are not out yet, Kidman is getting pretty good odds for her role in the upcoming movie The Rabbit Hole. And since the actress married fellow Aussie and country music star, Keith Urban, in 2006 she has rarely been seen without her unique engagement ring. The thee diamond Trinity engagement ring, rumored to be worth about $73,000 is at least one piece of jewelry we can expect to see this February.

Javier Bardem has plenty to celebrate about, since it looks like his performance in the movie Biutiful, while considered a long shot, is still being considered in the running for Best Actor. As if the nomination gossip weren’t enough, the recently married actor is also expecting his first child with actress Penelope Cruz. Although she is due in March, we can probably expect to see her in attendance with her 3 carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring. And since the two have been dating since 2007, Cruz has been sporting this engagement ring long before Kate Middleton worked to world into a Sapphire craze.

Amy Adams is beloved. She won audiences over with her performance in the fairytale spoof, Enchanted, and has continued to make audiences love her ever since, even receiving an Oscar nomination for last year’s Julie and Julia. This year, her name is being tossed around for best supporting actress again, this time for the drama, The Fighter. Even without the nomination, Adams is a red carpet regular, so we can plan on seeing her walk the red carpet with her one carat, Round cut diamond engagement ring, featuring pave’ set diamonds on the band and surrounding halo. The likable actress is constantly described as adorable, making this petite ring perfect for the petite star.

The months leading up to the Oscars only increases the interest of the public, so it’s safe to say that this is not the last we have heard about our favorite stars and their shot at the big time.

Getting Married in Reality: Television Stars Tie the Knot

It seems to have been a while since we have heard from former Bachelorette and soon to be bride, Ali Fedotowsky and fiancé, Roberto Martinez, whom she became engaged to after they were featured on the ABC reality show. And her recent interview with Us Weekly seems to explain why.

“I've been looking at a lot of wedding things and I'm always like, 'That looks tacky,'" she told the magazine, and even confessed that she had thought about eloping.

Another Bachelor couple Jason and Molly Mesnick recently renewed their vows during the city's Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas, giving Fedotowsky the idea before she quickly changed her mind, she told Us, as “it would probably upset a few people”.

Despite planning reservations though, Fedotowsky is still hoping to exchange wedding rings in 2011, and is keeping things in perspective.

"I definitely need to have comfortable shoes," she told the magazine. "That's the most important."

And there’s another former reality star that thinks the big day should be all about the bride, Nick Lachey recently talked to People magazine about his plans to exchange weeding rings with his longtime girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo.

"Any guy will tell you that it's probably more about the bride than the groom,” He told the magazine. “It's just about celebrating your love for each other."

Much like his ex-wife, Jessica Simpson who has been in the news constantly since announcing her engagement just days after Lachey’s, he claims to not have made it to the planning stage yet.

Instead, the couple plans to head to Cincinnati, Lachey’s hometown, to spend some time with his family, most especially his brother Drew’s family.

“It's great being an uncle," Lachey told People. "Vanessa and I try to spoil them every chance we get."

Being an uncle is great training, he said while he joked about fatherhood being imminent at almost 40, and while they haven’t planned the big day yet, Lachey is just happy to be engaged to Minnillo.

“She’s a great girl," he told the magazine. "She's incredibly intelligent, incredibly personable. She's independent, yet supportive. I'm extremely happy that she's mine."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Random Selection: Verragio’s Latest Engagement Ring Sweepstakes

At Verragio, it often warms our hearts to see the out pouring of support from family and friends that is displayed when we conduct one of our engagement ring giveaway contest, as we have been doing for the past couple of weeks. Contestants had a chance to share their stories as to why they should win a Verragio engagement ring, an as one contestant said, just seeing how much their family and friends supported them already made them a winner. It is reactions like this that makes us love what we do.

And yes, all good things must come to an end, however if we may be allowed one more cliché, which each ending comes a new beginning. And Verragio is just beginning to show our appreciation to our fans.

So while tomorrow marks the end of our current contest, it also marks the start of our new giveaway, where we will be having sweepstakes with random selected winners. The concept is fairly simple in design, each sweepstakes Verragio will hold a random drawing where a winner will be chosen from the pool of contestants. That winner will then be able to choose a ring, from a pre-determined selection of different engagement rings for their very own.

The catch however, lies within the sands of time. As each week passes with that drawing, and each ring is selected by a winner, the contestant and that ring will be out of the running, leaving the pool with one less style to choose from. In other words, each ring chosen will then be rendered ineligible. So at the beginning of each new sweepstakes, there will be as many rings to choose from as there are weeks left in the sweepstakes: Seven weeks, seven sweepstakes and seven rings, six weeks left and six rings left in the pool, etc.

This of course will all be explained and posted through our  fan page on Facebook,  because this sweepstakes is all about our fans. So this time around there are no votes, only luck. So try your luck tomorrow (December 7th, 2010) and visit Verragio’s page on Facebook for the official rules of participation and to see how you can throw your name into the hat, so to speak, to take home a Verragio engagement ring.

Another Engagement Made in Reality TV?

He has been called one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, she is a dancing darling thanks to her time on dancing with the stars, and together they have become one of the most talked about reality couples around. And they don’t even have a reality show.

Best known for his duties on American Idol, radio host and television producer Ryan Seacrest has constantly been seen in the company of Julianne Hough since the couple began dating earlier this summer.

The couple has been trying to keep things very low key, but the couple once again finds themselves defending against rumors of an engagement ring. The first time was an early October interview with Entertainment Tonight, where Hough was asked about rumors that Seacrest had proposed.

In her typical classy way, Hough good naturedly laughed it off. “Well, that's news to me,” she told interviewer. “And I think it's news to him.”

Despite a 13 year age difference, the relationship has seemed to heat up lately, after the couple was spotted spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Paris, igniting a fresh round of wedding rumors. And while neither has jumped to deny the gossip that claims Seacrest secretly gave an engagement ring to Hough while traveling abroad, Hough’s brother Derek recently spoke to People.com about rumors.

Derek, also a professional dancer and this season’s Dancing with the Star champion for his work with actress Jennifer Grey assured the magazine’s website that there was no diamond ring on his sister’s finger.

"I haven't heard anything,” he told people.com. “And I am sure I would have it if were true.”

The dancer also addressed the couple’s age difference, telling the website that he did think she was a bit young for such a commitment, he also said he would show his support either way.

“We are all very supportive, and as long as she is happy that is what matters," he said.

Hough herself, who is currently set to star in the remake of the movie “Footloose,” hasn’t been seen wearing an engagement ring lately, so it’s probably safe to assume that for now this couple is diamond pending.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Diamonds in High Demand this Season: A Verragio Wish List

Holiday sales are up from last year, if consumer wish lists are any indication. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation, 23 percent of consumers are asking for diamonds and jewelry this year, up from last year’s 13 percent.

In the spirit of the holiday, we have put together a holiday wish list that works for all those recipients with bling in their eyes, and you don’t have to be engaged to get these gifts.

The Eterna collection from Verragio is often looked at as a series of unique wedding bands for her, however they are actually perfect for any occasion from anniversaries or just to show your appreciation to the ones you love.

For those who are looking for just a little extra sparkle this holiday season, the Eterna 0350W is the perfect band to catch the light in a subtle way. Decorated with small Round cut diamonds in a joint prong setting that decorate the entire span of the ring, the total diamond weight in just under one carat, which makes it perfect to complete a smart, sophisticated look without stealing the show.

For a slightly more geometrical style, the Eternal 4009W a middle row of Round cut diamonds set into the band, with a row of smaller Round diamonds on each side that almost appears to sit on top of the center row. Slightly thicker in width than the 0350W, this ring is obviously a bit more visible, but offers an interesting design created from the alternating diamonds and contrasting textures.

However, since this is a ‘wish list’ and should you wish to shoot for the stars, the Eterna 0005 is one of the most stunning designs in any of the Verragio collections. Featuring a total diamond weight of 5 carats, this ring alternates a Round cut diamond interrupted by two smaller Round cut diamonds side by side. The difference in diamond size and placement creates a pattern that from far away looks like a beautiful chaos that up close is really an intricate design that catches the eye.

The National Retail Federation’s survey, which shows appliances were the big ticket items last year, indicates that a rise in diamond purchases is a sign that the economy is bouncing back, according spokesperson for the Federation, Ellen Davis.

"A bump in jewelry sales is a positive sign for retailers that consumer confidence is rising,” Davis told CNN. “And that the tide could be changing."

Chad Ochocinco and Fiancé reveal Engagement Rind and Proposal Story

Although he may have been billed as the ultimate catch by VH1 for his reality show, it seems that Chad Ochocinco is officially off the market. The Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver has proposed to his model girlfriend, Evelyn Lozada, who sat down with Us Weekly to talk about his surprise proposal.

The NFL star proposed on November 16th at his home in Cincinnati, but the pair wasn’t exactly alone for the big moment. Ochocinco, according to Lozada’s interview, had a jeweler come to the house with a selection of engagement rings for her to choose from. But just because he didn’t choose the ring himself, doesn’t mean he didn’t have some input, according to Lozada he definitely had a say.

The couple eventually settled, although settle may be the wrong choice of words, on a 10 carat, Round cut diamond engagement ring, with surrounding pave’ set diamonds. What makes ring truly unique thought is the band, split into three parts, the middle band splits just under the center diamond.

But don’t look for the pair to exchange wedding rings just yet, as the couple would like to have their respective schedules slow down first. Ochocinco currently spends most of his time on the football field, and Lozada is gearing up for the next season of “Basketball Wives,” a reality show on which she stars.

“We're waiting on the show and football season to end so we can start focusing on the next stage of our lives,” Lozada told the magazine.

Lozada first came on the reality scene due to her time with basketball player Antoine Walker, but ultimately fell for Ochocinco’s interesting depth and great sense of humor, she told Us.

But it was communication that played a an important part in building the foundation of their relationship, according to Lozada who told the magazine that the two spoke over the phone for a month before meeting in person. But there is a little extra something that makes them the perfect match.

“And he can keep up with my mouth! I'm very verbal, and say what I think and feel,” Lozada told Us. “He's the same way. He makes me laugh."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vintage Inspired Engagement Rings: Romance Personified

More often than not we celebrity engagement rings that are, while impossible stunning, imposingly large. The styles worn by celebrities like Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, and Khloe Kardashian may vary in detail; however the style remains the same: beautiful, large, square cut, and solitaire. And while that combination of elements never fails to produce a clean and modern look, there are still some celebrities that prefer the more romantic feel of a vintage engagement ring.

Though the engagement was short lived, when Scottish actor Ross McCall proposed to television star Jennifer Love Hewitt, he presented her with an engagement ring that managed to be both modest and elaborate at the same time. Featuring a 1.5 carat Round cut diamond center surrounded by floral diamonds set in platinum, prompted friends of the actress to say that the ring was perfect for her ultra-feminine style. While 1.5 carats is nothing to sneeze at, it was relatively small by Hollywood standards, and yet the intricate detail of this ring made it stand out in a sea of red carpet bling.

Megan Fox was lucky enough to receive two engagement rings from her now husband, Brian Austin Green, or unlucky considering it’s rumored she lost the first one in the sand hours after the proposal. And despite the somewhat flamboyant aura that surrounds the movie star, Fox couldn’t seem happier with the Radiant cut diamond solitaire set in platinum and rumored to be from the 1930’s. For someone with such an audacious reputation, the ring may seem to simple, but Fox insists she is an old fashioned, simple girl at heart.

Another couple that got married along with the slew of celebrity couples that exchanged wedding rings this summer, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski tied the knot in Italy this past July. The actors have never been one to live too much in the public eye, and do their best to keep their business private, which explains why the two got married in a private ceremony at the remote Lake Como with a small group of friends and family. Shortly before, Blunt was photographed wearing a 3 carat, Edwardian cut, vintage inspired diamond engagement ring, perfect for the couple that always seem very much in love, when they are seen at all.

So no matter what kind of ring appeals to an upcoming bride, it can be argued that all engagement rings are meant to be a reflection of the bride-to-be’s personal tastes, and that is true, which is why Verragio’s collections offer a range of looks from the ultra-unique 3002R from the Paradiso collection, to the clean look of the 0378 from the Couture collection.

But it is the Venetian collection that was specifically inspired by the antique elements of the old world Italy. Whether it is the lace detail mimicked in the band of the 5003 or antique beading that can be seen on the 5016-3, the Venetian collection is all about capturing that vintage feel, and including other design elements which can become just as important in creating a romantic feel as the center diamond.

Despite Elaborate Engagement Ring, Jessica Simpson Wants to Keep Things Simple

When Jessica Simpson married Nick Lachey in 2002, the then 22 year old pop star arrived at a chapel in Austin, Texas in a 1937 Cadillac limo, wearing a custom made Vera Wang gown, to an audience of 350 guests. The elaborate ceremony also included hundreds of candles and pale pink rose petals, a five tiered wedding cake, and original songs performed by both the bride and the groom for the occasion.

This time around, Simpson told People magazine that she wants to keep things simple when she walks down the aisle with fiancé and former NFL player, Eric Johnson. However, despite rumors that the starlet has been rushing to the altar in an effort to beat ex-husband Nick Lachey, who also became engaged for a second time ten days before Simpson, she recently claimed to have not yet set a date.

Simpson is currently sporting a three stone ruby and diamond engagement ring since Johnson proposed on November 11, and has since had her hands full battling rumors regarding the purchasing the her engagement ring and a possible pregnancy; she has denied both.

During an appearance at the recent Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony in NYC, Simpson told reporters that while on a current promotional tour for her Christmas Album, planning a wedding is the last thing on her mind.

Gossip recently surfaced that Simpson has been busy planning a holiday wedding for this year, yet another thing she strongly denies.

“We're just going to enjoy the engagement,” Simpson said at the tree lighting. “And we'll get married the moment we feel like it."

The couple recently spent the Thanksgiving holiday together in New York after Simpson performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Simpson shared plans to spend Christmas in Boston with Johnson’s family. And while she claims to have no plans to exchange wedding bands this holiday season, it seems Simpson has no plans to let another pass her by.

“By next Christmas hopefully,” Simpson told reporters. “We don’t have any plans but I’m pretty sure by next Christmas we’ll be married.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Split Shank Engagement Rings Done Right

Split shanks are quite literally named for the technique of splitting the shanks into two, (sometimes three) parts, creating what looks like two bands, but are actually joined closer to the bottom. Although often adorned with pave’ set diamonds, it creates an interesting enough design that can also stand on its own.

The Classico collection from Verragio aims to offer timeless, classic designs with a bit of a modern twist, like the 0363 which features a small split in the shank on either side of the center diamond, and is the perfect complement to the Round cut center diamond which is surrounded by a slightly angular halo made up of Round cut diamonds as well. Adorned only with the trademark Verragio crest under the band, the purpose of the shank is to add an interesting detail to the band without distracting from the intricate design on the setting.

Jennifer Hudson’s engagement ring also features a Round cut center, but she took things one step further with a little extra bling. Her stunning 5 carat diamond is surrounded with a delicate halo of smaller Round cut diamonds that also continue to the split shank.

If Hudson’s style matched more closely with your own, the Verragio 7010R also features a halo of diamonds that surround a Round cut diamond center that seems to almost float above the pave’ set, split shank. Unlike Hudson’s, this ring adds the extra scrolling detail under the band for which the Insignia collection is known for, and makes the design just a little more conversation inducing.

Split shanks may have been around for a while, but they have become increasingly popular with the Hollywood set lately, as well as modern women looking for something a little different than what their parents had.

Movie star Gwyneth Paltrow can be seen everywhere these days from television guest spots to the Country Music Award’s performance, but one place you won’t see her is hand in hand on the red carpet with her husband, Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin. The two are notoriously protective of their privacy, so little is known about her engagement story, but she can often be seen wearing the square cut diamond center with micro pave’ halo engagement ring. But what makes this truly interesting is the shank that splits into two thin bands, also featuring micro pave’, creating a unique and delicate look that complements Paltrow’s style perfectly.

Verragio’s latest line, the Venetian collection offers a variety of styles, and many with split shanks, that mix modern designs with delicate antique detail to create rings that are truly one of a kind. The Venetian 5007P-4  features an eye-catching look created by the Princess shaped diamond center, surrounding halo made from pave’s set diamonds that continue down the split shank. The delicate twists and turns of the antique lace inspired design under the band that epitomizes the entire Venetian collection, but it also elevates the design to ring unlike any you have seen before.

Diamonds Shine at Sotheby’s Auction

The entire collection of jewels from the private collection of Wallis Simpson, the late Duchess of Windsor and wife to Prince Edward of England, was sold at auction yesterday for almost $12.5 million, breaking records and far surpassing the original estimate of around $4.7 million.

The 20 pieces, which included brooches, bracelets, and other gems, that were up at Sotheby’s in London tell the story of one of the most fascinating modern day love stories to captivate the public’s attention over most of the 20th century and obviously after last night, still to this day.

The highlights of the auction included a jewel and diamond flamingo gifted to Simpson from Edward in 1940 for her birthday, and a heart shaped brooch inscribed W.E. for their combined initials commissioned for their 20th anniversary.

But by far the star of the show was a diamond and onyx bracelet in the shape of a panther that inspired what is described as a heated bidding battle between two phone bidders, and sold for over $7 million. Despite missing some stones, the bracelet’s sale price set the record for the most amount ever paid for a single bracelet at Sotheby’s.

Madonna, who is currently making a movie based on the couple’s relationship together, entitled “W.E.”, is rumored to have been one of the buyers involved in the bidding war for the panther bracelet, however Sotheby’s will not release the name of the winner.

In the months preparing for the auction, David Bennet, the head of Sotheby’s jewelry for Europe and the Middle East called the Simpson’s jewels “The most important collection put together in the 20th century."

All of the pieces in the collection were designed by the couple themselves, and many mark important moments in their life together, including the charm bracelet hung with nine crosses that Simpson wore on their wedding day in 1937.

Their fairytale-like and often complicated love story never fails to fuel interest when pieces of their private collection come up for auction. In 1987, when 300 pieces from Simpson were sold after her death, the auction was filled with movie stars and international businessmen alike.

Simpson was immortalized in history when King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne after the royal family opposed their plans to marry, famously announcing, “"I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love." He was subsequently titled Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor; the couple wed in 1937 and remained married until his death in 1972.

“They say no man ever gave up more for the women he loved,” Bennet told reporters. “The quality of the jewels and the way they tell the story of a relationship are just irresistible.”