February 1998

Feature Article




Trends in bridal jewelry reflect premillennial yearnings to assess the past while looking to the future


A young couple searching for bridal jewelry today is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. While they say they are looking for something new, suppress that smile as they head toward your antique-inspired lines. "I like these," she may exclaim. "They're really fresh and different."

To most Baby Boom jewelry store managers, those antique-looking rings were for your grandmother's generation, not yours. But today's bridal couples think differently. "Hand-engraving is very big," says Lisa Labrado, manager of public relations and special events for the Platinum Guild International USA. "It's the old look, but with a contemporary feel."

Along with interest in contemporary vintage jewelry, consumers are showing more interest in diamonds of all colors and styles, say many retailers.

Solitaires with diamond accents in contemporary styles represent another strong trend.

A final category to note is fresh and innovative styles in the men's wedding band category. Gone are rocky and awkward looks. Today's designs are as complex and interesting as today's men.

What pulls all these ring trends together is an unmistakable love affair with platinum. Even companies such as Samuel Jewels in New York City, traditionally a maker of fine handmade gold rings, has seen the change. Sixty percent of its jewelry is now requested in platinum, says Steve Samuel, the company's president.

Though the tradition of gold endures, and jewelers still sell the majority of their rings in gold, platinum's momentum in bridal jewelry is strong. Many manufacturers and retailers tell Professional Jeweler they see the platinum trend getting stronger and continuing for at least five years. And while much of today's platinum bridal jewelry has yellow gold accents, these manufacturers and retailers also predict more all-platinum rings.


Women's platinum ring on top is $1,950 suggested retail; men's platinum ring is $3,495 suggested retail. Rudolf Erdel Platinum, New York City; (212) 633-9333, fax (212) 242-7678.



The Captiva Collection features a semimount for $5,600 suggested retail; the matching wedding band retails for $6,200. Gumuchian Fils Ltd., New York City; (212) 921-2755, fax (212) 764-7278.



The 1920s-inspired engagement ring on right is $2,550 keystone. Judith Conway, Windsor, CA; (707) 838-8760, fax (707) 838-8765.


Antique Look


This ancient-inspired platinum ring (above) is handmade and hand-finished. Samuel Jewels Inc., 17 W. 45th St., Suite 204, New York, NY 10036; (800) 257-3338 or (212) 869-5688, fax (212) 768-3743.


The Bianca Collection by Emmi Inc. (above) includes a platinum semimount with 16 invisibly set princess-cut diamonds and 10 channel-set round diamonds ($3,399 keystone) and an estate-inspired wedding band with one 1-ct. and two 0.30-ct. bezel-set diamonds and 28 round pavé diamonds ($20,000). Universal Fine Jewelry, 631 South Olive St., Suite 510, Los Angeles, CA 90014; (213) 622-7234, fax (213) 622-7542.


This 18k yellow gold semimount engagement ring with triangle diamonds is $5,200 suggested retail. A matching 18k yellow gold band is $2,120. Rings are part of the Award Collection by Walls Design Ltd., 73 Genesee Court, Boulder, CO 80303; (303) 494-1636, fax (303) 494-3396. Photo by Sky Hall.


Platinum and diamond rings from Mark Silverstein, 23161 Ventura Blvd., Suite 203, Woodland Hills, CA 91364; (818) 712-0010.


The Serendipite Collection by Tacori features hand-engraved semimounts with or without side diamonds. Both will accept any size center stone. Tacori, 607 S. Hill St., Suite 414, Los Angeles, CA 90014; (800) 421-9844, fax (213) 488-0635.



Studded Solitaires


Baguette diamonds swirl around the center stone in this 18k yellow gold semimount engagement ring, which holds any size center stone. Suggested retail, $6,000. Unigem, 350 S. Beverly Drive, #350, Beverly Hills, CA 90212; (800) 421-8208 or (310) 286-9100.


Bar-set round and baguette diamonds comprise this wedding set. The engagement ring semimount has 0.44 carat of diamonds. The wedding ring has 0.54 carat of diamonds. Sachs Reisman, 31 W. 47th St., New York, NY 10036; (212) 719-4102, fax (212) 719-4103.




Handmade platinum rings from the Trio Collection can accommodate round diamonds up to 1 carat. Accent diamonds are canary yellow and natural pink. Michael B. Jewelry, 12220 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604; (818) 769-8388, fax (818) 769-0028.








Men's Club

Platinum and 18k gold men's wedding bands feature matte centers inside polished frames. B. Sholdt Designs, 1424 Fourth Ave., Suite 331, Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 623-2334, fax (206) 682-6204.


18k white, yellow and textured pink gold band is by William Richey Designs, Box 819, Camden, ME 04843; (207) 236-4731. Photo by Pam Perugi Marracinni.


Platinum and 18k gold men's diamond ring with a 1/3-ct. round diamond is from the Diana division of Frederick Goldman Inc., 154 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10011; (212) 807-2041.



Matte and polished finishes contrast in this platinum men's wedding band. Suggested retail, $1,625. Rudolf Erdel Platinum, 78 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011; (212) 633-9333, fax (212) 242-7678.


18k Egyptian-inspired wedding bands are $500 suggested retail. Matching women's bands are $250. Cathleen Bunt Fine Art Jewelry, 3204 Mapu Place, Kihei, Maui, HI 96753; (808) 874-8855.


New wedding bands by William Schraft Designs are available in 18k and platinum with or without diamonds. William Schraft Designs, 58 E. Willow St., Millburn, NJ 07041; (201) 376-8575.



- by Peggy Jo Donahue

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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