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Entries in alternative engagement ring (4)

Gem Gossip Visits Laura Preshong in Boston, MA

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As you may know, this was my first time ever visiting Boston. I have to confess, I didn't know much about the city or neighborhoods until I landed and drove around. Boston's South End, including Tremont Street, was a favorite area of mine right away. In the heart of this fabulous area is Laura Preshong Ethical Fine Jewelry. The shop opened in May of 2005, where Laura soon found her niche of providing ethically sourced, handmade jewelry for the Boston area before anyone really even knew you could source things like diamonds, gemstones and gold responsibly. Being at the forefront of this "movement" has proven to be quite successful for Laura's business as well as helping to provide awareness of choosing eco-conscious jewelry in Boston and elsewhere. 

Nestled amongst some really great restaurants, Laura Preshong is situated on the bustling, busy street called Tremont. As soon as you enter through the front door (beneath their iconic "Laura Preshong" sign seen in their Instagram photos) you can see the nature-inspired jewelry cases, where the jewelry is displayed. Every piece is made by hand in small batches, purposefully giving the utmost attention to every detail. I spotted several unique gemstone pieces, like stacking rings, small stud earrings, and delicate necklaces, each set with gems like Iolite, Tanzanite, Topaz, Aquamarine, Tourmaline and many more. I love the daintiness of each piece and how perfect they are for everyday wear. 

Laura Preshong specializes in ethically sourced engagement rings that are trend, in style and flatter every finger. There are so many design choices, all which you can try on right there in person--like I did above! There's a fun secret behind these engagement rings: all the center stones are actually not diamonds! The center diamonds are sourced after choosing the style you want, and it can fit your budget and diamond wishes. Laura also adds, "One of the main reasons we do this is because every one of our engagement rings is custom made, one at a time, to fit the exact diamond, sapphire, or whichever stone that you choose. We make sure each ring design is perfectly proportionate to the center stone." Every diamond is ethically sourced from either Canada or Botswana, where origin is easily tracked and can be guaranteed conflict-free. Every piece of jewelry made by Laura Preshong that features diamond melee will contain certified Canadian conflict-free melee (smaller accent stones). The metals used to create the jewelry are also certified as recycled gold, platinum or silver. So every step of the process in creating your special engagement ring or jewelry will be eco-conscious.

As you can tell, I certainly enjoyed my visit--from meeting Laura and her team, to learning about her line of jewelry. Luckily you can shop all her pieces online if you can't make it to the store in Boston, so check out some of my favorites below:

 

Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong Laura Preshong

Laura Preshong

 

558 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02118

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*Need a Boston hotel recommendation? Loews Boston was where I stayed and I highly recommend it! Thanks for the discounted stay, Loews!

Ten Facts You Didn't Know About Engagement Rings

DiamondEngagementRings

History of Engagement Rings

1. The first diamond engagement ring in recorded history was presented by the Emperor Maximilian I of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. The ring was set with diamonds in the shape of the letter ‘M’.

2. A new trend for ‘acrostic’ engagement rings emerged during the Victorian period in Britain. These featured words spelled out by the first letters of the gemstones set in the ring. The word ‘regards’ was a favorite, spelled out using a ruby, followed by an emerald, then a garnet and so on.

3. The phrase “Diamonds are forever” has entered the vernacular and lent its name to Sean Connery’s final film as James Bond but did you know that it was originally an advertising slogan? It was coined by De Beers in 1947 to kickstart diamond sales after a lull caused by the Great Depression and World War II.

Diamond Rings

4. Natural diamonds are extremely old and take around a billion years to form in the Earth’s molten interior. Stones used in engagement rings can be anywhere from 900 million years old to an astounding 3.2 billion years old.

5. The ‘carat’ is the main measurement used to judge diamonds and refers to the weight and size of the stone. It is so called because originally carob seeds were used as counterweights for the scales used to weigh diamonds. A modern carat is a metric unit equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 7 thousandths of an ounce!

6. The color of a diamond is another of the major factors that determines how much it costs. Color is graded on a scale that judges how colorless the diamond is, with white stones being the most desirable and thus expensive.

7. Which isn’t to say that other colors of diamonds aren’t much sought after. ‘Fancy diamond’ is the term used to describe a stone when its color falls outside the normal color range. Fancy diamonds can be blue, green, red, yellow, pink and even purple or black. 

Alternative Engagement Rings

8. Every precious gem is rated for hardness using the Mohs scale. This is a measure of how resistant the stone is to being scratched. Diamonds top out at 10 on the Mohs scale and are one of the hardest naturally occurring materials in the world.

9. Gemstones with a Mohs rating of 8 or above are generally recommended for engagement rings, because they can stand up to the rigors of daily wear. Sapphires and rubies both score 9 on the Mohs scale while emeralds are only a 7.5 and opals ae just a 6.

10. In some countries, engagement rings don’t feature gemstones at all. The Claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring, has a motif depicting a pair of hands clasped around a heart and a crown, symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty. While some more modern variants incorporate a ruby or other precious stone, the original version does not have a gemstone set in it.

For dozens more fascinating engagement ring facts, a hundred in all, check out ROX’s guide to All Things Engagement Rings.

New One-of-a-Kind Collection from Sarah Swell Jewelry

Sarah Swell Jewelry | Gem Gossip

Sarah Swell One-Of-A-Kind Rings Edition 1 from sarah swell on Vimeo.

After years of wanting to create special one-of-a-kind rings, jewelry designer Sarah Swell decided to go for it and let her creativity flourish. The rings featured in the above tranquil video are the direct results of her desire to break up the monotony and do something different. This is the first edition batch of rings and she will be creating more editions which will build off from this grouping. All rings are 18k yellow or rose gold with various rose cut and full cut diamonds. Each one was entirely hand carved in wax and no mold was made, making them each unique and truly one of a kind. Sarah says, "I wanted them to retain the feel of a handmade piece, so while I kept the lines clean and sculptural, there is a decidedly hand crafted feel to them."

The entire nine-ring collection can be found here on her website.

 

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WANT MORE? Check out my Q&A with Sarah Swell

Top Ten Favorite Rings from Elisa Solomon Jewelry

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

I like to call Elisa Solomon's jewelry designs "collectible" jewels, as they are an up-and-coming category that is creating waves in the biggest way possible. What I mean by this is simple: certain designers whose creations look best worn in multiples, all together. There is something so enchanting about stacking and collecting her designs. Each one plays off the other and the bohemian vibe that her jewelry gives off is even stronger when more is worn. Elisa uses motifs like butterflies, flowers, peace signs, hearts and animals to convey her style, along with bright, vibrant colors using multi-hued sapphires, diamonds, and other gemstones. Elisa is definitely a color-wizard when it comes to creating the right color combos using gemstones. Many of her designs have an ombré pattern, where multiple gems and shades of color are used. She also has coined the term "tie dye" with some of her pieces featuring a tie dye effect with colored gemstones. Gems like turquoise, opals, Paraiba tourmaline, multi-colored sapphires and rose cut diamonds have been some of her latest favorites to work with.

I loved every moment I had playing with Elisa's ring designs. Choosing ten favorites was hard, but I narrowed it down to a few of her staples within her collection and added in a couple one-of-a-kind pieces. One thing I noticed right away was how happy her jewels made me feel.  As soon as I put on one of her pieces, I already had a smile on my face. I seriously don't think you could have a bad day wearing Elisa's jewelry!  The butterfly and flower rings were really cool. They were able to stack with others, but if you're looking for your first Elisa Solomon ring purchase, those are great contenders as they are bold enough to wear alone. Adding bands like the custom turquoise eternity or the disk cuff rings are perfect stackable pieces. If you love color, you will love her multi-gem pieces and the more color, the brighter and happier the stack got! 

Hope the above photos give you some stacking inspiration and goals. It would be an awesome tradition to add a piece of Elisa Solomon Jewelry to your collection each milestone or year to celebrate something special. Before you know it, you'll have an amazing collection of sparkling, bohemian jewels. Check out each piece below for more details:

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

1. The peace sign has been an iconic symbol since the late 50s. Elisa's version of the peace sign glitters in a rainbow of gems set in 18k yellow gold. Although small, it packs a powerful punch and stands for something great! It easily stacks or fits perfectly in between her cuff rings. I personally think it would make the coolest pinky ring! Price: $680

2. These cuff rings are one of Elisa's latest designs and they make creating a stack easier by being awesome fillers. Lots of rings are able to pair well with the cuff rings because the design has a void in the middle, ready to be filled by another ring. This one is done in 18k yellow gold and rose cut diamonds. Price: $1,720

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

3. If you know me, you know I have a thing for hearts. I LOVE this heart ring from Elisa Solomon! It is dainty yet bold, set with a bright blue turquoise and ombré colored pink sapphires. The combination of blue and pink is super cute! It could represent many things and can be a symbolic piece in you collection. Price: $780

4.This ring is called the Magic Flower ring for a reason! It is truly magical! It is one of those pieces that can go with everything--just add it atop of any stack, and it tops it off in the best way possible. Take a boring ring that you have in your collection and add this ring on top of it--automatic upgrade! The opals are mystical and the band is special because it is set with rose cut diamonds and aquamarine all the way around. Price: $1,210

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

5. Probably one of Elisa Solomon's most romantic rings--this rose cut diamond heart ring set in 18k yellow gold beckons for a love story. I can see the handcrafted elements of it, which makes it slightly rustic, for those bohemian brides out there. The ideal engagement ring for sure! Price: $2,940

6. This ring is all about flower power! The center starts with a Paraiba tourmaline in the purest blue color. Each petal is set with a multitude of colored gemstones, all unique and sparkly. Such a fun ring, definitely holds its own, so you can wear it alone without stacking--BUT it can happen. Love this for a pinky ring. Price: $1,350

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

7. I posted a video of this ring in my Instagram Story because it deserved to be spotlighted! With every turn, it gets better and better. The eternity style of it starts with a marquise cut turquoise set horizontally, but don't let the front fool you! The ring is asymmetrical, with different sized stones which make up the band. What makes it even more magical is how a combination of opals, diamonds and turquoise create the band. Price: $1,760

8. Pretty little rose cut diamonds make up this beautiful ring. Dainty and elegant is written all over this piece, done in 18k yellow gold. Best part is how easily it pairs with bands and rings, making it possible to find a wedding band with ease should you choose this as your engagement ring! Price: $2,420

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

9. Butterflies are the only insect I like--and one covered in gems is even better! Elisa's butterfly ring is set with an array of colorful gemstones in 18k yellow gold. It's such a sweet ring that easily fits into any jewelry wardrobe. Price: $950

10. Geometric shapes are quite popular and definitely trending--I love Elisa's take on a circular disc ring. She loaded up the color and gems to create this design. The ring is done in 18k yellow gold and stacks really well with her cuff rings. Can you imagine a row of four of these rings on one hand?! So cool! Price: $1,060

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Elisa Solomon Jewelry.

 

Elisa Solomon Jewelry

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