Professional Jeweler Archive: With this Ring . . .

February 2000

Feature


With this Ring . . .

... Or maybe this ring or that one over there. In white or yellow, antique or modern, bridal jewelry this year is diverse enough to satisfy any customer’s desire


The bridal business is serious business for you and your customers. Most couples planning first weddings, as well as more seasoned couples marrying again, will look for these most personal pieces of jewelry together, sharing in the excitement of buying rings to last a lifetime. Take the time to listen to their stories, wants and needs, and you’ll be able to find the perfect rings for them. We’ve sifted through the many choices available in bridal jewelry to help you spot the trends and steer your customers in the right direction.

Band of Gold (or Maybe Platinum)

White metals – platinum or gold – are at the forefront, followed closely by yellow gold. “Because fashion is dictated in the major cities first, platinum is stronger on the coasts than in the middle of the country,” says Catherine Iskiw, owner/designer of Catherine Iskiw of New York City. However, classic yellow gold has a permanent place in bridal jewelry.

Two-tone rings remain popular. Though traditionally yellow and white, two-tone jewelry is getting more colorful. “Two-tone jewelry of the future could be pink and yellow gold or white and green gold,” says Melissa Shipley of Melissa Shipley Designs, Evergreen, CO.

Experts estimate your bridal jewelry inventory should be roughly 65% platinum, 15% yellow gold, 10% white gold and 10% two-tone, with all designs available in all metals for custom orders.

Style File

Jewelry styles are more durable thanks to thicker, heavier mountings than in the past. Designs are becoming more defined and substantial. “A beautiful, clean setting is a nice form of self-expression. People want timeless, classic styles with a slight twist,” says Luly Erdel, president/design director at Rudolf Erdel Platinum, New York City.

There’s also a trend toward antique looks, but even this jewelry has a modern flair with cleaner lines than the originals they recall, says Nancy Klein, president of Antica Design Inc., New York City.

Gemstones & Diamonds

In a twist on tradition, colored gemstones are making inroads in bridal jewelry. “It is more socially acceptable to see wedding rings with stones other than diamonds,” says Shipley.

Exciting cuts and colors make colored gem bridal rings a trend that will pick up momentum. Sapphire is the leader, especially set in white gold or platinum. “People like how white metal complements blue,” says Klein.

For statement-making jewelry, ruby is proving to be a good alternative to diamond. And for more conservative customers who yearn for something just a bit different, yellow gems are a good choice.

Diamonds do remain the standard, either in traditional white or fancy colors. Generally, older and more affluent customers understand the beauty and drama of a colored diamond. Diamonds come in a wide selection of natural and treated colors such as purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, cognac and black. Because these diamonds are pricey when large enough to be a center stone, the trend is to use them as smaller accents.

Cuts Above

Unusual cuts or faceting offer a refreshing change from the expected. Tiffany & Co.’s new Lucida cut, as well as the Criss Cut® and Hearts and Arrows diamonds, are on the leading edge.

The Lucida (an altered princess cut) will help keep consumer awareness of squares high because of a related ad campaign. Any square variations for diamonds are selling well, with the princess cut remaining the most popular. Still, nothing beats the traditional round brilliant, says Klein.

Setting the Stage

Prong and bezel settings are easily found, but four-prong settings are the coming thing, says Erdel. “A four-prong setting inset into the design is the strongest trend I’ve seen,” says Erdel. The prongs hold the diamond while keeping the flush look of a bezel for a contemporary look. The setting is secure without compromising the design. Semibezels are also popular because they allow more light to penetrate the diamond than does a full bezel.

In the Future

What does the future hold? Look for more platinum, says Erdel. Iskiw predicts a move toward bigger diamonds and gemstones starting at 1.50 carats in fancy shapes and colors. And Shipley foresees more versatile styles that span the bridge between traditional and contemporary.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Platinum and diamond rings feature a bezel-set center diamond.

Cédé, Pforzheim, Germany; (49-723) 146-3091, fax (49-723) 146-3095.

Ventana trios ring features two princess-cut H/SI side diamonds totaling 0.80 carat set in 18k gold. Suggested retail, $3,095 for the semimount. Available in platinum for $3,995.

John Atencio, Denver, CO; (303) 830-7733, fax (303) 830-0891.

Anniversary rings are available in platinum or 18k gold with a variety of colored gemstones.

Suna Bros., New York City; (800) 456-SUNA.

14k gold bridal sets each hold a 1.50-ct. diamond. Sold as semimounts or with the stone of your choice. Also available in 18k gold or platinum. Suggested retail, $700-$2,000.

Melissa Shipley Designs, Evergreen, CO; (303) 679-6343.

Solitaire rings designed by Zsombor Antal are crafted in platinum with 24k gold inlays. Suggested retail, $1,490-$1,960 for the semimounts.

Babylon, River Edge, NJ; (201) 225-1750, fax (201) 225-1751, babylonpt@aol.com.

From the Leslie Gwenn Moments collection, this platinum band is set with 2.55 carats of E-F/SI1 diamonds. Suggested retail, $8,290.

David Friedman & Sons, New York City; (800) 221-3596 or (212) 684-1760, fax (212) 532-3891.

Platinum band is set with 1.03 carats of round diamonds and 1.01 carats of baguette diamonds. Suggested retail, $9,000. 18k yellow gold band is set with 1.03 carats of diamonds and 1.31 carats of sapphires. Suggested retail, $6,340.

Gemveto Jewelry Co., New York City; (800) 221-4438 or (212) 755-2522, fax (212) 755-2027.

Platinum, 18k gold and diamonds are the components of these rings.

Memoire Paris, Skaneatles, NY; (315) 685-1343, fax (315) 685-0403.

Two rings from the James Vilona Bridal collection are designed to hold a center stone of 0.50 carat and up. Designs are available in platinum, 14k or 18k yellow or white gold, two-tone gold or platinum with 18k. Suggested retail, $1,500-$10,000 for the semimounts.

Nagalle Designs, Wilsonville, OR; (503) 685-5044.

Five styles of engagement rings.

Mr. Baguette, New York City; (212) 758-1300.

18k gold rings (from top) feature 0.51 carat of diamonds ($2,340 suggested retail),
0.11 carat of diamonds and 0.27 carat of emeralds ($1,830),
0.23 carat of diamonds and 0.60 carat of sapphires ($2,860),
0.12 carat of diamonds and 0.25 carat of sapphires ($1,340).
Rings from left have 0.23 carat of diamonds with 0.58 carat of rubies ($2,990) and 0.26 carat of diamonds with 0.36 carat of sapphires ($1,430).
Also available in 14k, white, pink or green gold and platinum.

Antica Design Inc., New York City; (800) 934-9850, fax (201) 363-8719, NK5037@aol.com.

Handcrafted platinum ring features a 4.02-ct. round brilliant E/VVSI diamond surrounded by 0.89 carat of trapezoid-cut diamonds and 0.19 carat of princess-cut diamonds. Filigree and scroll engraving decorate the sides of the shank. Suggested retail, $191,400 with center stone, $9,900 as a semimount.

Michael Beaudry, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 623-5025.

Handmade platinum and 18k gold mounting features a 2.35-ct. fancy yellow brilliant diamond nestled between two 1.46-ct. F/VVS2 oval diamonds.

J.B. International, New York City; (800) 213-2077 or (212) 997-3205, fax (212) 997-3209.

Ring at left has a 1.50-ct. diamond and four quarter-moon diamonds totaling 0.33 carat, making a half-moon shape on each side of the center stone. It has six channel-set princess diamonds totaling 0.50 carat. Keystone, $4,000. Ring at right features a center diamond in a half bezel and graduating half moon diamonds. Rings are crafted in platinum.

Barnett Robinson Inc., New York City; (800) 223-0240 or (212) 682-1086, fax (212) 682-1848.

Platinum wedding band has 10 1-pt. burnish-set diamonds. Engagement ring excludes center stone.

Larter & Sons, Laurence Harbor, NJ; (800) 248-1933 or (732) 290-1515, fax (732) 290-0341, sales@larter.com.

Sculpted platinum band with 0.67 carat of diamonds is $3,800 retail. Sculpted 18k yellow gold band with 0.24 carat of diamonds is $1,600 retail.

Primavera, New York City; (212) 966-5386.

Platinum engagement ring is set with three G/VS baguette diamonds on each side of the head, totaling 0.30 carat. Suggested retail, $1,830 for the semimount. Also available in 18k gold.

Andrew Meyer Jewelry Inc., Ft. Washington, PA; (800) 775-8882 or (215) 542-8882, fax (215) 628-3235.

18k gold and platinum ring features burnish-set diamonds in the ring shank and a bezel-set center diamond.

Henry Design, New York City; (212) 840-0210.

14k two-tone engagement ring is set with a 1-ct. marquise flanked by four tapered baguettes. Suggested retail, $824 for the semimount. The other 14k two-tone ring features three princess-cut diamonds.

Overnight Mountings, Long Island City; (888) 731-1111.

Platinum ring is set with 0.20 carat of baguette diamonds in a heart shape with interlocking band. Suggested retail, $1,000. Center stone is not included.

Mayers, Hollywood, FL; (800) 624-5448.

18k white gold engagement ring features a center marquise diamond flanked by baguettes and filigree in the shank. Suggested retail, $2,030-$7,955, depending on size and quality of the diamond.

Keepsake by Frederick Goldman, New York City; (800) 221-3232 or (212) 924-6767, fax (212) 645-9182.

Semimount is from the Gold Inlay series, which starts at $1,120.

Somos Creations, Valley Cottage, NY; (914) 268-4004.

Platinum ring features a 3.73-ct. oval Ceylon sapphire and 0.30 carat of round diamonds set in the shank. Suggested retail, $9,500.

Carol Ackerman, West Hartford, CT; (860) 561-8807, fax (860) 561-8920.

Platinum rings have a satin finish with a high-polish outer rim. The engagement rings (from left) feature a four-prong setting with two brilliant side diamonds totaling 0.24 carat ($1,950 suggested retail),
a four-prong setting ($1,075)
and a 3/4 bezel ($1,095).
The wedding band is $985.
Center diamonds are not included.

Rudolf Erdel Platinum, New York City; (212) 633-9333, fax (212) 242-7678.

18k gold lattice bands are available with rubies (left) or enamel. Suggested retail, $650 or $500.

Carol Silvera, Allenhurst, NJ; (732) 517-8833.

Tension-set solitaire ring features a security bar in pure gold. Matching handmade wedding band is available. The band angle varies with the size of the diamond.

Creation Thibaudeau, Montréal, Québec, Canada; (514) 397-9411, fax (514) 397-8855.

14k gold engagement ring features a 7mm bezel-set peridot. Suggested retail, $300.

Raymond Mazza, Brightwaters, NY; (800) 841-3460, fax (516) 968-6561.

Hand-engraved platinum rings feature emerald, ruby, sapphire and yellow sapphire center stones and diamond accents. Suggested retail, $4,500+.

OGI Wedding Bands, New York City; (212) 840-0935, fax (212) 764-7240.

Handmade 950 platinum wedding band is $1,375 suggested retail.

Samuel Jewels Inc., New York City; (800) 257-3338 or (212) 869-5688, fax (212) 768-3743.

18k gold channel-set Criss Cross wedding ring has 1 carat of diamonds and is $2,820 suggested retail. Also available in 14k and platinum.

Sachs/Reisman Inc., New York City; (800) 236-6421 or (212) 719-4102.

18k pink and white gold ring is set with a 0.75-ct. princess-cut diamond. Suggested retail, $4,999.

Color Craft, New York City; (800) 321-5807
or (212) 840-1924, fax (212) 869-4216.

18k gold and platinum are fused to form the Nemphis wedding band.

Benchmark, Tuscaloosa, AL; (800) 633-5950 or (205) 345-0555, fax (205) 752-8322.

14k two-tone bezel-set engagement ring features 0.33 carat of diamond baguettes. Suggested retail, $1,458 for the semimount.

Stuller Settings Inc., Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777 or (318) 837-4100, fax (318) 981-1655, info@stuller.com, www.stuller.com.

Carl Lewis Signature series ring features platinum and 18k gold handcrafted with a “A Cut Above” Hearts and Arrows laser-inscribed diamond.

Alpha Inc., Houston, TX; (800)343-9021 or (713) 784-4750, fax (713) 784-2544, dia57facet@aol.com, www.alphadiamonds.com.

Emerald-cut diamond filigree ring.

Renaissance Platinum, Los Angeles, CA. (310) 360-1189.

Two-tone 14k engagement ring features three Gabrielle® diamonds.

Suberi Bros., New York City; (212) 979-9100, fax (212) 979-5331.

14k yellow and white gold bridal set features a 0.33-ct. center marquis, 0.12 carat of round diamonds (one on each side) and 0.28 carat of tapered baguettes set in the ring shank. Suggested retail, $2,995.

A&A Jewelers, Buffalo, NY; (800) 268-6555, www.aajeweler.com.

18k gold bands (from top) feature 0.13 carat of diamonds ($620 suggested retail),
0.48 carat of diamonds ($950),
0.33 carat of diamonds ($675),
0.12 carat of diamonds ($630),
0.25 carat of diamonds ($720)
and 0.39 carat of diamonds ($665).

Jeanne Cole, Van Nuys, CA; (818) 988-5398, fax (818) 988-6398, info@jeannecole.com, www.jeannecole.com.


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