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Jewelry Care Part 1: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

Jewelry Care Part 1: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

It’s the season for glitter and lights, and we’re gathering our accessory glam squad (aka jewelry essentials) for holiday parties, family gatherings and traveling. Diamond, gemstone and pearl jewelry need to be in top shape for mingling, jingling, and showing off on Instagram stories. Like all fine things, jewelry requires a bit of maintenance and care to prolong integrity and sparkle. Jewelry will stand up to generations of parties and fun as long as you take a few minutes to properly care for your valuables.

Daily Care - How to Keep Your Jewelry Clean

cleaning cloth and fine jewelry

Chemicals in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, and household cleaners as well as natural pollutants can dull or damage your gemstones and metals. Because of this, your jewelry should be put on last when dressing to avoid unnecessary exposure to beauty products and removed before swimming or household cleaning. It is good practice to wipe down your jewelry with a lint-free cotton cloth after every wear. Do so gently to avoid snagging the fibers on delicate prongs.

Every Few Weeks - How to Clean Jewelry at Home

Most diamonds, gemstones and metals only require gentle cleaning with a soft bristle brush in warm water with a few drops of mild liquid soap. Avoid any cleaners with ammonia, bleach or abrasive materials, and dry thoroughly with a cotton cloth. You’ll come across many DIY jewelry cleaning solutions on the internet, but many of them suggest salt, baking soda or other abrasive kitchen staples. We advise using these materials on DIY skin scrubs, but not for cleaning jewelry: the goal is to keep the stones and metal scratch-free, not to smooth out the edges!

cleaning supplies for fine jewelry

How to Clean Diamond Jewelry or Gemstone Jewelry

It’s recommended to get a new, soft brush specifically for cleaning jewelry, since old toothbrushes may have toothpaste or other risky chemicals. With some plated jewelry (such as gold vermeil), you run the risk of rubbing off the gold plating with a brush. But if you’re cleaning a Pratiksha piece, brush away: all our pieces are made with solid 14 and 18 karat gold, and never plated. Platinum jewelry will develop a lovely patina finish over time, but if you prefer, you can have your platinum jewelry polished to maintain its original shine.

pearls and soft makeup brush for cleaning

How to Clean Pearls

Pearls are exceptionally soft and vulnerable to scratching. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) suggests gently cleaning them in warm, soapy water with an unused, soft makeup brush, then laying them to dry completely on a towel before wearing. Pearl strands stretch with regular wear and should be restrung about once a year.

opal doublet jewelry

How to Clean Unique or Rare Gemstones

A few of our pieces feature doublets, which are stones created by fusing a slice of an opaque gemstone with a translucent or transparent gemstone layered on top. These handcrafted stones require special care to keep them looking their best. Avoid soaking doublet jewelry in water or any solvent cleaning solutions, and remove them before washing hands or swimming. We recommend that doublet gemstones never be steam cleaned. To maintain your doublet jewelry’s shine, wipe your piece with a soft polishing cloth after wearing.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Jewelry Care series for our recommendations on annual care! We're also offering complimentary professional cleaning for any of your jewelry, now through Thanksgiving! Please give us a call or email us to make your pre-holiday jewelry cleaning appointment.

Design Diaries- Maggie's Bridal Earrings

Design Diaries- Maggie's Bridal Earrings

When we think of the ideal Pratiksha bride, we think of someone like Maggie: a digital-savvy woman with a modern aesthetic and vision. For her big day, she had imagined a pair of elegant and dainty diamond drop earrings that would be a stylish, versatile, and a smart investment for her jewelry wardrobe. We were so pleased to work with her to design a pair of custom earrings for her wedding day, and this special, one-of-a-kind gift to herself was the perfect compliment her bridal look!

custom diamond drop wedding earrings in platinum

Tell us how you met your husband:

“We met on Tinder. Our first date was a Skype video date!”

Can you share your proposal story?

“Stuart planned a surprise party for me, and proposed during the party in front of 50 of our closest friends.”

custom diamond drop bridal earrings

Tell us about the jewelry:

The earrings are made in platinum. They feature 18 round diamonds set in a cascading drop, with a total weight of 1 carat of diamonds in tapering widths.

custom designed diamond line earrings

We love Maggie’s idea of creating a special pair of earrings for her wedding because they’re a perfectly timeless style that can be worn with anything. The earrings you wear on your wedding day will featured heavily on every photograph (even more than your engagement ring), so it’s a really good idea to spend some time thinking about your bridal jewelry and how it will tie into your look. Maggie’s dress featured a high neckline with lots of detail, so it was a wise choice to skip a necklace in favor of these dangling earrings. They feature such a romantic silhouette, resembling falling snow and shimmering clean lines. This set of diamond drops will always keep memories of her special day close to her heart.

custom made diamond earrings for wedding day

Old Stone, New Life

Old Stone, New Life

What revvs our engine? As designers, we really love the challenge of repurposing diamonds, gemstones and pearls into a brand new treasured jewelry piece. Styles and sentiments can change, but it doesn't mean that the stones in your old jewelry deserve a prison sentence, condemned to a life sitting your jewelry box or shoved underneath your bed. Collaborating with our clients to craft pieces of jewelry around their stones is very empowering for both parties. We get to explore creative solutions while our clients get to harness the value of their precious stones, turning it into a masterpiece that they designed for themselves.

Have a look at some of the brilliant ways our clients have recycled their fine jewelry diamonds and gemstones.

Blue Topaz Cocktail Ring with Baguettes

Created from the side stones of our client's old ring

blue topaz baguette cocktail ringAfter bringing in an old ring, Joan wanted to use the diamond baguette side stones to design a new cocktail ring. We helped her choose an oversized emerald-cut blue topaz as the focal point, adding a generous splash of color and maintaining the clean lines of the step-cut stones. The result was a beautifully unique and contemporary topaz ring that took our breath away. She said, “I’ve always wanted a custom signature piece that is uniquely mine!”

Joan's Design Story

 

Diamond Halo Pendant

Fashioned from 4 diamonds from our client

diamond pendantWhen our client asked us to dismount her four diamonds, we realized that they slightly graduated in size. With four slightly different sized diamonds, we made a digital rendering using the exact measurements of the stones. After setting the largest diamond into a jump ring with a halo of tiny stones, the other stones were added to the bail for an elongating look. The end result was a gorgeous daily pendant that she can wear out with friends, in the office, or at any fancy event.

See More Angles

 

Layered Princess Diamond Pendants

Crafted from an unworn wedding ring

princess diamonds repurposed into new pendantAfter our client had grown frustrated with trying to sell her old engagement ring, Lillian still saw value in the gorgeous princess diamonds, and so did we. We crafted two new layered necklaces from the diamonds, creating a solitaire slide pendant from the center stone and stacking the side stones into a bar pendant.

Thrilled with the new contemporary look, our client remarked “I love that I now have two beautiful necklaces to wear, instead of just letting an old ring sit in my safe deposit box!”

Lillian's Design Story

 

Three Stone Sapphire Engagement Ring

Repurposed from our client's broken ring

three stone diamond and sapphire engagement ringWe didn’t create our client’s original engagement ring, but when the head broke off the band (yikes!), she brought it to us for a repair and a revamp. She had an idea to match the new band with one of her favorite sapphire stackable bands, which she often wore along her wedding ring stack. The new, cohesive look offers a gorgeous splash of royal blue along the sides of the set, and we just can’t get enough of the new contrasting style.

See The Set

 

Do you have an old stone you'd like to breathe some life into and create a new piece of jewelry? We'd love to talk to you about your options. Check out some other beautiful pieces our clients have created for themselves as a "just-for-fun" treat in the gallery below.

To Me, From Me, Love Me: Self-Designed Jewelry

Proposal Feels

Proposal Feels

The PJ Custom team has been privileged to craft engagement rings for over thousands of proposals globally, from Paris to Iceland to Texas. As a family business of crafters and designers, we cherish being a part of our clients' important life moments as they start their own beginning as a family. Proposals mark the point where two paths become one, and family cultures and values blend together to create a brand new story.

To honor #NationalProposalDay today, we rounded up stories of where some of our favorite "forever" moments happened.

A Paris Pratiksha Proposal

sarah proposal and ring eiffel towerMatt popped the question to Sarah under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Sporting a very unique and sparkly engagement ring, Sarah says "I am beyond elated with this beautiful piece of jewelry, and can't believe that this is what I get to look at for the rest of my life. The three rows of diamonds mean "I love you" and the two rows of baguettes symbolize Matthew and me." 

See Sarah's Story

 

A Private Proposal Dinner at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India

cushion engagement ring and india proposal in rambagh palaceOn her first trip to India, this lucky bride-to-be received the royal treatment for her proposal. A private dinner on the terrace awaited her at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, complete with flowers, candles, musicians and dancers. "It was truly the most romantic night of my life!"

Read Their Story

 

A Snowy Mountaintop in Aspen, Colorado

five stone engagement ring in aspen colorado proposalOn their last day of a ski trip, Kirk proposed in Natalie's favorite place in the entire world with her dream ring. "I love that I have a ring like no one else's!"

Read Natalie's Story

 

A Surprise Christmas Day Proposal at His Future In-Law's House

east west oval engagement ring and christmas proposalSneaky sneaky... David tricked his future fiancee by telling her he would fly out to her parents' house the day after Christmas, even booking and cancelling a flight to show evidence! But in reality, he flew in Christmas day to pop the question. "Her dad and sister helped me execute my master plan. I took pictures along the way, including me at the airport, on the plane, and at her front door. I texted them all at once... surprise!"

Read David's Story

 

A PJ Picnic Proposal on Art Hill in St. Louis, Missouri

art hill proposal and emerald engagement ringAndrew told Andie he wanted to marry her after just two dates, but for his proposal, he organized a classy picnic on Art Hill. "I set it up complete with champagne, snacks and flowers. When she arrived, I got down on one knee. Both of us were so excited, we sort of forgot to eat!"

Read Andrew's Story

 

A Library Hunt in Philadelphia with All Their Family

twisting engagement ring with library proposalThis couple bonded over their love for museums, monuments, memorials and books before the big question. "Jamie proposed in the beautiful Free Library of Philadelphia. He led me through the library on a scavenger hunt. Each of our family members was there with a book and the next riddle."

Read Anjali's Story

Joy to the Jewel

Joy to the Jewel

With ancient history rooted in folklore, spiritual influence, medicinal and cultural values, jewels have captures human interest for thousands of years. The perfect application of minerals, time and pressure create these precious treasures of the earth, with nature determining their rarity. Everything else about gemstones is created by human interest, such as their value, fashionability, legacy, cultural importance, and all the fun stories (including how effective they are at warding off bad luck).

In honor of National Jewel Day today, we put together a collection of our top gemstone picks. You'll find these beauties bedazzling many of our top selling styles, as these stones offer high color saturation, hardness, quality and durability for daily wear-and-tear. There's a reason that royal jewels have stood strong through centuries of politics, family dynasties, drama and debacles... they're strong and beautiful, just like the women who wear them.

loose rubies

Birthstone: July
Anniversary Stone: 15th, 80th
Shop Loose Rubies
Shop Ruby Jewelry

For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. The Sanskrit word for ruby is "ratnaraj," which means something like "king of the gemstones." It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent color, excellent hardness, outstanding brilliance, and extreme rarity. For a long time, India was regarded as the ruby's classical country of origin. 

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, named from the Sanskrit word "kuruvinda." Only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby, with all other colors being classified as sapphires. The close relationship between the ruby and the sapphire has only been known since the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to modern technology allowing us to study mineral composition. Up to that time, red garnets or spinels were also thought to be rubies, and many famous historical rubies were later discovered to actually be spinels.

color sapphires

Birthstone: September
Anniversary Stone: 5th, 10th, 45th, 70th
Shop Loose Sapphires
Shop Sapphire Jewelry

If there is talk of the sapphire, most gemstone aficionados think immediately of a velvety blue. However, the beloved royal blue is only one of a rainbow of colors in the family of sapphire gems. Composed of corundum, a mineral second only to diamond in hardness, the sapphire is actually defined as any color of the mineral besides red (reserved for ruby). The most valuable are genuine Kashmir stones (pure, intense blue with subtle violet undertone), with Burmese sapphires valued almost as highly; then come the sapphires from Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

Star sapphire varieties feature a star-like phenomenon known as “asterism,” when direct light shows star-like rays throughout the stone. Other rare sapphire colors include orange, green (mostly found in Thailand and Australia) and the most rare and highly prized of all: the Padparadscha sapphire (the enchanting coral stone found in Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring).

loose emeralds

Birthstone: May
Anniversary Stone: 20th, 35th
Shop Loose Emeralds
Shop Emerald Jewelry

The famous green stone has a long and colorful history (one of the oldest of all gemstones) and was the preferred stone of Cleopatra. This variety of beryl can grow to fantastic sizes: the Bahia Emerald, one of the biggest found in the world, is 840 pounds and is worth over $372 million.

Emerald is known for its verdant green coloring, which is its most important characteristic when estimating its value. It is also known for its flaws, which are tolerated more than any other stone as a mark of its character. Most emeralds feature tiny fissures, cracks, and inclusions, and flawless stones are extremely uncommon. Some actually prefer a stone with minute flaws over a flawless one as proof of its authenticity. Oil and resin treatments are common in the industry to improve the appearance of these imperfections.

tanzanites and tanzanite jewelry

Birthstone: December
Anniversary Stone: 8th, 24th
Shop Loose Tanzanites
Shop Tanzanite Jewelry

Tanzanite is a fairly new to the gemstone world. It was discovered in 1967 by Masai tribesman Ali Juuyawatu, who happened upon the glittering stones weathered from the earth and brought the find to ruby prospector Manuel de Souza.

So far the extremely rare stone has only been found in the original region of its discovery, the Mererani Hills in Northern Tanzania. It is a transparent indigo blue stone that resembles sapphire in coloring, brilliance, and luster. Given its pleochroism (change in color depending on orientation to the light), tanzanite can appear bright blue, violet purple, and rarely have a desirable burgundy flash. The stone was officially added as a birthstone for December in 2002 by the American Gem Trade Association, the first stone added since 1912.

Pastel colored tanzanite is far more common than darker-colored stones – about 80% of  mining production is pastel in shade, from soft greyish blues to lilacs. This is partly because the smaller tanzanite stones do not “hold” a deep blue color well, meaning that dark blue tanzanite is typically only available in larger stones over 2.50 carats. Supply of the stone is extremely limited and is expected to run out in the next 25 years. 

shop amethyst

shop garnet

shop topaz

shop aquamarine

March of the Aquas

March of the Aquas

There was a collective gasp heard around the world last spring when the Duchess of Sussex departed for her wedding reception. True, she brought the wow-factor with her dazzling wedding dress and chic reception gown, but all eyes were on the enchanting aquamarine cocktail ring adorning her finger for the black-tie event. The heirloom ring was from Princess Diana, her late mother-in-law, and was a famed piece of jewelry that she had worn many decades ago. The bittersweet moment showed that even though the women would never get to meet, there was a lot of love and pride present for the couples’ big day.

Aquamarine is March’s spring-tastic birthstone, and also serves as the 19th wedding anniversary stone. A member of the beryl family, aquamarines come from the same family as emeralds and morganite. While even the palest blue stone can be breath-taking, aquas range in color spectrum to a dark, denim-like teal. You can see what that might look like in the following examples.

aquamarine rings with diamond

To us, aquamarine serves as a “vacation stone,” immediately conjuring memories of sun-kissed ocean fun, sunny blue skies, and tranquil purity that lets us escape from daily mundane tasks. Our favorite materials to pair with aquamarine are cool white gold settings and crisp white diamonds to show off the aquamarine’s spectrum of blue. We like to think of diamonds as the “wing man” for aquamarines since they enhance the beauty and charm of the stone’s hue. Warm yellow gold is also very flattering, as it helps draw focus to the greener tones found within the stone.

custom aquamarine wedding band and engagement rings

Check out our Aquamarine Showcase Gallery to see more PJ Custom examples

Cheat sheet for buying aquamarines and customizing jewelry:

  1. Aquamarines register as a 7.8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them a durable choice for any kind of jewelry, including bridal and daily wear.
  2. Most aquamarines are heat-treated, which is a very common process for many different types of precious gemstones to bring out more of the color saturation. Treatment does not compromise the value or integrity of the stone, but aquamarines with more beautiful color quality and saturation command much higher prices.
  3. Aquamarines grow in large crystals, making many high-carat stones available. Since they are beryl crystals, aquas can sometimes have microscopic bubbles or inclusions within the jewel. Though they are not necessarily unattractive, you can ask your jeweler for an “eye-clean” aquamarine to make sure your stone looks crystal clear to the naked eye.

emerald cut aquamarine

3.26ct. Emerald Cut Aquamarine

$590

round aquamarine

2.51ct. Round Aquamarine

$850

oval aquamarine

1.82ct Oval Aquamarine

$209

Fun facts about aquamarines:

Aquamarines derive their name from Latin “aqua marina,” meaning “sea water,” and has thousands of years of history bringing luck to sea voyagers. The mysticism surrounding the stone was believed to come directly from mermaids, protecting the sailors from danger, evil, seasickness and other medical ailments. Ancient Romans believed that the stone could cure medical ailments as well, and healers in the Middle Ages believed that the stone warded off anxiety and toxins from poison.

Your "Soul" Stone

Your

Any time I meet up with one of my long-time friends, Emily, I can always count on her wearing her moonstone pendant. Emily’s carefree, spirited personality is perfectly encapsulated in this quirky and colorful gemstone, and I remember how it shimmers when we laugh together, make her signature s’mores dip, and run after our kids. Now every time I see a moonstone I think of her, and it brings a flood of our memories back.

moonstone ring and moonstone pendant

Making a connection with a gemstone is meaningful to not only you, but the people who see you wear it. Do you have a gemstone that really resonates with your personal style? Whether it’s a birthstone, a stone from a family treasure, or your “soul stone,” there is fascinating significance and cultural values behind each gemstone. Many of them have thousands of years of history (i.e. ruby, emerald, and sapphire), but some have only been recently unearthed (i.e. tanzanite in 1967). If you do some soul searching of your own, you’ll be surprised to find what kinds of naturally occurring colors appear in the gemstone world, and which ones mean a little bit more to you than just surface beauty.

Take a dip into history

Many gemstones have an ancient past with symbolism stemming from Eastern cultures. The aquamarine, for example, was commonly known as the “sailor’s gem” to ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed the stone ensured safe and prosperous voyages across the sea. If you’re curious about interesting stone facts and their historical value, take a look at any of the stones that pique your interest on PJ Custom. The product page has a tab that features cool and unusual facts about each stone used in fine jewelry, as well as buying tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.

how to learn more about gemstone

Explore your birthstone collection

If you love your month’s birthstone, awesome! These collections of jewelry by month can help inspire a new look for you. But you may be surprised to find that many months feature an “alternative” birthstone, such as June, October and December (which has 3!). Additionally, many birthstones such as Garnet (January), Sapphire (September) and Tourmaline (October) feature a rainbow of color options that beg to be considered. You can find all the alternative birthstone options in our gemstone inventory when you click the “Birthstone” tab.

Do you have a special anniversary in your life?

Most people liken anniversaries to weddings, but that’s an old philosophy. Celebrating the annual turn of anything of great significance in your life is worthy of commemorating in a fine jewelry piece. For example, one of our clients just celebrated her tenth year of sobriety. We suggested a sapphire, traditionally honored as the tenth anniversary stone, and created a pendant she could wear daily. Her strength, resilience and perseverance through her challenges were encapsulated in a fine jewelry piece to remind herself of her inner strength and worth.

loose sapphires and ring

The world of gemstones and their cultural significance are continually evolving. Take a look at our Gemstone Gallery to discover a jewel that speaks to you.

Design Diaries: Heidi and Neal

Design Diaries: Heidi and Neal

Tomorrow we turn the calendar page to mark the official season of love! Valentine’s Day ramps us up because there are SO many different ways to honor timeless love with fine jewelry, including gifts of love to yourself, a parent, sister or bestie. Amongst the women who choose and purchase their own fine jewelry, over half of the brides we work with are actively designing their own engagement rings.  We love this turn of tradition on its head, where women are taking charge of the piece of jewelry they’ll be wearing every day for the rest of their lives.

Take a note from PJ Custom bride, Heidi, who had a hand in the design of her engagement ring, but still got a wonderful surprise for her proposal. We love this method of engagement jewelry design because everyone wins while the romance is still kept alive. This PJ Custom couple’s Valentine’s Day engagement is particularly special because Neal picked out a beautiful and famed location – the Taj Mahal – to pop the question during his fiancee’s first visit to India. Built in 1643, this historic location’s name means “Crown of the Palaces,” and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to be “as beautiful as his love” for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

heidi and neal proposal

TELL US YOUR STORY!

Heidi: Neal and I met through friends. A fun fact about us as a couple: we are polar opposites! He took me to India for my first time, and proposed at the Taj Mahal on Valentine’s Day.

proposal at taj mahal on valentines day

DID YOU DROP HINTS ABOUT WHAT YOU WANTED IN AN ENGAGEMENT RING?

I gave him several pictures but didn’t know which idea he would go with, so the ring was a surprise!

double halo engagement ring

SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT BLING!

Pratiksha only uses the best quality and I get compliments ALL the time. It’s something about the design and quality that catches people’s eye.

NOTES FROM TISHA

I’m swept away by the level of detail of this proposal! I can’t imagine a more romantic backdrop than some of India’s most beautiful buildings and scenery.

To get the conversation started about your own custom jewelry project, send us an email at hello@pratikshajewelry.com,or visit our Custom Jewelry Gallery to get the creative juices flowing!

Design Diaries: Anjali's Story

Design Diaries: Anjali's Story

One of the very best parts of working in custom jewelry is being a part of our clients’ milestones and life journeys. We create one-of-a-kind custom pieces that commemorate events such as engagements, weddings, births, retirement and celebrations for parents, anniversaries, career achievements, and holidays. These pieces are created to last for decades, long after these milestones are celebrated, serving as a delicate reminder of our most special memories and moments enjoyed with family and friends.

This month, our dear client Anjali will be celebrating her first wedding anniversary with her husband, Jamie. Nearly two years ago in November 2015, we designed a beautiful custom engagement ring for her based on some inspiration pictures and ideas. Months later in September 2016, we created a custom matching wedding band for her and her fiancee on her big day. To honor their first anniversary, we sat down with Anjali and got the details about their love story and her engagement ring design process with Pratiksha.

engagement ring with twisting shank and matching band

HOW DID YOU MEET?

Anjali: Jamie and I first met in D.C. when we first worked for the same consulting firm. Our client was only a few blocks away from all the incredible museums, monuments & memorials in the city. We became lunch buddies who would escape the office to wander around the stunning D.C. buildings! We bonded over our mutual love for architecture. One day, I had to cancel on lunch since I was buried in work, and he went out of his way to bring me back my favorite lunch. It was so sweet! He asked me out soon after that, and I was thrilled.

CAN YOU SHARE YOUR PROPOSAL STORY?

A few years after he asked me out, I moved to Philadelphia for graduate school. Knowing my love for both books and architecture, Jamie proposed in the beautiful Free Library of Philadelphia. He led me through the library on a scavenger hunt. Each of our family members was there with a book and the next riddle. When I finally met Jamie at the end, he asked me to marry him and I emphatically said, “Absolutely!”

engagement photo shoot

DID YOU DROP HINTS ABOUT WHAT YOU WANTED IN AN ENGAGEMENT  RING?

Yes! I sent him very specific inspiration pictures. But the final engagement ring was a surprise!

NOTES FROM TISHA

Jamie picked a stunning diamond for the ring, and the twisting shank design was the perfect touch. It's very symbolic of intertwining, eternity love. We created a band that matched the curves of the twisting shank for a perfectly matched pair, like Jamie and Anjali. Happy anniversary guys!

engagement ring and wedding band from pratiksha jewelry

To get the conversation started about your own custom jewelry project, send us an email at hello@pratikshajewelry.com, or visit our Custom Jewelry Gallery to get the creative juices flowing!

Beyond Bridal, pt. III: Gifts for Your Bridesmaids

Beyond Bridal, pt. III: Gifts for Your Bridesmaids

They’re the unsung heroes of your big day:  they helped you pick your gown, DIY’d your wedding décor and planned all those endless little details. Give back with gifts to your bridesmaids to show how much you appreciate their support.

Personalized Gifts

While everyone appreciates a personalized gift, we all know what happens to that hot pink “John + Maggie Bridesmaid Squad” t-shirt.

Consider a more subtle personalization that acts as a reminder of the big day without screaming “souvenir”:

 

matching bridesmaids pendants with oval tanzanites

Matching jewelry sets

Give each bridesmaid a matching pendant or bracelet charm that coordinates with your wedding colors—they can even wear them for the ceremony.

 

Monogrammed jewelry

A monogrammed pendant is cute, personal, and pretty much foolproof.

 

Custom engraving

A cute stackable band with the wedding date, her initials, or even the coordinates of the ceremony’s location is a memento she can wear every day. You could even consider giving a pendant or ring with a personal short & sweet message to each bridesmaid engraved on the back or inside.

 

Custom designs

Create a custom-made jewelry set that represents your bridal squad. Get inspired by your wedding décor: create a design inspired by your floral arrangements, colors, fonts, and other motifs. You could even create a design representing your destination wedding, such as a conch shell for a tropical wedding or a cute branch bar necklace for a woodsy locale.

 

Beyond Bridal: Something Blue

Beyond Bridal: Something Blue

Everyone knows the saying: something old, something new, something borrowed…

It’s a tradition for many brides, but where does it actually originate?

It’s actually an Old English rhyme, first published in an 1894 edition of the Pennsylvanian newspaper The Warren Ledger, where it was listed as a “Puritan Marriage Custom”.

Something old,something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

The oddball dropped from the common saying—the “silver sixpence”—was a British coin in use during the 17th to the 20th centuries, and remains in the British version of the tradition.

Quite simply, the saying lists charms thought to bring good luck to the bride and the marriage. The items are quite often family heirlooms handed down for the wedding as a rite of passage, but many take the opportunity to create their own heirloom treasures. Each has its own particular sentiment:

Something old to represent continuity;

Something new to represent hope for the future;

Something borrowed, traditionally from another happy bride, to represent borrowed happiness;

And something blue to represent fidelity, love, and purity.

In British customs, the silver sixpence represents prosperity and future wealth.

Given sapphire’s long association with love and purity, we think there is no better gem to play the part of the bride’s “something blue”: whether it be a pair of sapphire earrings, a ring, or perhaps a bracelet or hair pin.

For the bride wanting a more subtle look, blue topaz or aquamarine offers a subtle breath of blue that pairs well with bright wedding whites.

Check out our selection of jewelry featuring blue gemstones - perfect to complete any wedding day look! 

Beyond Bridal: Wedding Bands

Beyond Bridal: Wedding Bands

You scoured the internet (read: Pinterest), flipped through hundreds of bridal magazines, sifted through scores of jewelers and diamond listings and finally found the one. They proposed. Now what? For many brides, the blinders are on for anything but the big day once the ring is on the finger. But between the day you get engaged to the day you say, “I do”, there are several other major jewelry decisions to make.

 

The Frosting to the Cake: The Wedding Bands

Don’t let your wedding band be an afterthought: consider what type of band works best for you while you’re choosing your engagement ring. You may decide you want to always wear them stacked; you may realize you’d like a band that can also stand alone for times when you’d rather leave your engagement ring at home. Either way, your band is just as personal of a choice as an engagement ring and you want to be sure that what you choose meshes well with your lifestyle.

Here’s a quick breakdown of common band styles for you to consider:

classic wedding band

Classic

Pros: Simple, timeless, and wears well with little maintenance. Comfortable and works well with solitaires.

Cons: Pairing this style with an elaborate or highly diamond-embellished engagement ring can look like an afterthought.

 

eternity diamond wedding band

Eternity

Pros: Sparkly and feminine, pairs beautifully with halos and styles with diamonds along the shank. Doesn’t have a “top” so it can spin freely on the finger.

Cons: Can be expensive since diamonds circle the entire band. Since diamonds are exposed on the palm side, there is slightly more risk of damaging stones. This style is extremely difficult to resize later.

 

half eternity wedding band

Half Eternity

Pros: The look of an eternity with half the stones. Smooth shank on the sides can be more comfortable for everyday wear. Easier to resize than a full eternity ring.

Cons: “Spinning” on the finger can reveal the ring’s diamondless side.

 

curved diamond wedding band

Curved Band

Pros: This style nestles nicely against a larger center stone or elaborate engagement ring, creating a more cohesive look and eliminating gaps.

Cons: Because the style is contoured, it can look out of place if you want to wear it without your engagement ring.

 

pave wedding band

Pave

Pros: Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. Rows of diamond make these rings more eye-catching and easy to wear as a standalone.

Cons: Generally these styles are wider in width. This, coupled with the larger look of diamonds, can sometimes overpower your engagement ring.

 

ring guard wedding band

“Butterfly” or “Ring Guard” Bands

Pros: These unusual rings are designed to fit around your engagement ring to create an embellished “triplet” look. The pieces essentially become one ring but can be separated for different looks.

Cons: Because the band has an empty center in which your engagement ring is supposed to fit, it looks very out of place to wear it alone.

 

color stone wedding band

Color Stone Bands

Pros: Brightening up a classic look with pops of color from stones like ruby or sapphire creates a unique and eyecatching look.

Cons: Bright colors can be tougher to coordinate with other jewelry, making this style better for fashion-forward women. 

 

custom wedding band design sketch

Custom Matching Bands

Pros: A set of bands with matching motifs—say, an engraving, shape, or finish—unifies the pieces in a romantic way. With both partners having an input on the final style, it’s like carrying a little part of them around with you wherever you go.

Cons: As much as you love them, you may not want your partner having style input on your ring’s look. Because of the custom designs and embellishments, these styles are also typically worn standalone or with very simple engagement rings.

 

Dos and Don’ts for Your Bands

DO: pick the same metal as your engagement ring. This isn’t simply a “fashion faux pas” piece of advice: metals wear differently. Platinum and white gold look the same when first purchased but will become very different (and very mismatched) over time.

DON’T: feel compelled to match rings. Maybe your partner really likes yellow gold and, well, you really don’t: it’s ok to pick a different metal or style that suits your taste. After all, do you and your partner regularly wear matching… anything? Make them a pair with mutual (albeit subtle) embellishments, like inner inscriptions.

DO: try on looks outside of your shortlist. You may love the look of a couple styles, but trying on a wide range of looks may change your mind. Take your time and investigate all your options.

DON’T: wait until the last minute to choose bands. Give yourself at least a few months before the big day to find your bands. Between research, shopping trips, and customizations such as ring sizing or inscriptions, you want to be sure your rings are ready for your wedding day.

DO: make sure your ring and band have something in common. A simple repeated motif—engraving, stone shape or color, and metal, for example—will help unify the pieces.