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​Reviving a Classic – Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings

Posted by Winona Richardson, G.G. on

As jewelry professional, the aspect I love most about what I do is the opportunity to build joyful moments. That precious and wonderful experience of helping people select a special gift or symbol of love - to be adorned and cherished for a lifetime. To be part of something that will evoke happy memories for years to come and be integral to the intimate legacy and heritage of a family.

When the person you are helping is someone you love – the experience is even more rich and exciting.

Thus it was when my older brother asked me to create an engagement ring for his sweetheart, Kerry.

I love Kerry – she’s the sister I never had – so I knew exactly what she wanted: a sapphire engagement ring! Classic and elegant – the center stone I chose was an emerald cut cerulean beauty. Paired with slightly smaller emerald cut diamond side stones, hand fabricated in platinum, it was a completely custom made ring designed to cradle each gem for a perfect result. When it was finished and ready I delivered it to my very anxious and elated sibling; I was as excited as he was for the pending proposal!

In a few weeks (which to me felt like forever!) I received an elated call from my soon-to-be sister-in-law! Needless to say – she absolutely adored her beautiful ring; it was perfect! She also had a very curious story to share…

When she showed off her new sapphire engagement ring to her family, her mother remarked:

“Why, it looks just like your Great Aunt’s ring! She had a sapphire engagement ring as well. It was her ‘signature piece’ and it was absolutely stunning! I wish you had known her – she had the most exceptional taste in jewelry, just like you!”

In falling in love with an “alternative engagement ring” – Kerry had actually revived a classic!

An Alternative to Convention – but not to Tradition.

While diamonds have been the dominant choice for engagement rings for most of the past century, beautiful colored gemstones have a much longer, more established, history. For millennia, colorful gems have been associated with particular benevolent qualities in myth and folklore. In many cultures, it is still customary for a gem-set ring to be given as a pledge of commitment – with the added intent of bestowing a stone’s positive and protective properties upon the wearer.

While increased availability of diamonds from the mid 19th to the early 20th century fueled their rise in betrothal jewelry, it was not uncommon for a bride to select a sapphire, ruby, or an emerald as her engagement ring of choice. For well-heeled and sophisticated brides of the Art Deco period, rare colored gemstones in exquisitely made settings were particularly appealing.

Colored Gemstone engagement rings are an anomaly in most jewelry stores but at Soho Gem they are our passion! Rare and beautiful sapphires in a breathtaking rainbow of colors, lush vivid emeralds, exquisite rubies and fine spinel – our infatuation with these exceptional gems knows no limits; and neither should you!

It’s time to break with convention and honor tradition. It’s time for YOUR one-of-a-kind sapphire engagement ring … or emerald…. or ruby…

It’s time to shine – in color!

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For the past 70 years the diamond was the stone of choice for couples looking to get engaged. Today, the modern consumer is excited to embrace the "nontraditional" engagement ring. Alternative bridal  means sapphire engagement rings, gemstone rings, and symbols that are as unique as the couple commissioning these stunning custom pieces. Irina Ferry, owner and designer [...]

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The Tucson Gem Show

[View of AGTA]The agenda for buying gemstones changes slightly every year for me. When I'm looking for particular stones and can't get them directly from the mines in Madagascar, I go to Tucson, the site of the largest gem and mineral show in the country. February is a great time to restock inventory after a [...]

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For many people, the concept of Mine to Market blends in with the numerous buzzwords that surround green living. But what does it really mean?To embrace the New Year, SOHO GEM highlights the Mine to Market philosophy, describing the process and giving you the knowledge to make informed investment decisions.This article features exclusive images from Madagascar [...]

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Soho Gem Fine Jewelry FEATURED in Twirl New York Magazine!

Recently, Twirl New York reached out to us about featuring some of our best engagement ring designs in the Winter 2016 Issue of their beautiful bridal magazine. We were delighted to contribute to such a gorgeous, diamond-studded spread! Check out the whole magazine here: Here are the featured engagement rings with details listed: Vintage Style Diamond Engagement Ring [...]

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Sapphire Engagement Rings: Color vs Clarity

Sapphires are magical gemstones steeped in history. They are complex and beautiful, and their rich colors combined with their hardness make them an excellent choice for an engagement ring. In New York's diamond and jewelry district we have access to a plethora of extraordinary gemstones from all over the world, but choosing the right stone does not follow the same [...]

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​Handmade vs Cast Engagement Rings

Finding the perfect engagement ring is an educational journey. From the GIA certified diamond quality to the style of the setting, there is a lot of information to glean. One of the very important elements of choosing a diamond ring is how the piece is constructed, and whether it comes from a casting or is [...]

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