Jewelry at WP Shelton Jewelers
Last month, in Part 1, we went over some major factors that affect the cost of the ring…now it is time for the fun part…styles, fashions and trends of rings. We are going back in time to discuss all the decades’ most popular engagement ring trends and much more!
Before we begin, we must go over the history of engagement rings dating back to the ancient Egyptians. They have been found buried with metal wire around their third finger on their left hands. It is believed that this finger is directly connected to the heart by a vein.
The first use of a diamond ring to signify an engagement, most historians believe, was in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring with tiny diamonds in the shape of an "M.”
By the 1600s and 1700s engagement and wedding ring references were made in Shakespeare’s plays. Silver rings would be given to mark the engagement, and then a gold ring would replace it upon the wedding.
Before we can get into the twentieth century, and all its decades of fashions. There is one last era to discuss, the Victorian. Rare as it may have been at the time, Queen Victoria was very much in love with her husband Albert. The era was a very romantic time because of her love. The engagement rings of that time were referred to as the Victorian style, often featuring whimsical and romantic motifs, like hearts, bows, flowers and even snakes (at the time were seen as a symbol of eternity).
After a large deposit of diamonds were discovered in South Africa towards the end of the Victorian Era, the diamond engagement rings became more common.
During the Edwardian Era (1900-1910), fine jewelry was within reach of more people than ever before due to the Industrial Revolution bringing about an increase of prosperity and a growing middle class in Europe and America. The Edwardian style often featured diamonds in lacy and ornate platinum designs.
Now, onto the trends of the decades…beginning with the roaring 20’s and into the 30’s! The styles at this time reflected the geometric Art Deco aesthetic and the era’s love of all things modern. Often, they were accented with colorful precious gems such as sapphires and rubies. The settings that were most popular at the time were platinum and white gold.
In the 40’s the trend shifted back towards a more feminine style, featuring motifs such as ribbons, bows and flowers. Engagement rings were often big and bold despite the hardships of WWII. Gold was the choice of metal at the time since platinum was used for the war effort and scarce. Some budget-conscious couples turned to synthetic sapphires and rubies due to the prices of real diamonds.
We have Audrey Hepburn’s husband to thank for having kicked off the stackable ring trends in the 50s that are still going strong today. The reasoning for these rings? So that Audrey could switch them out to match her outfit (white gold, yellow gold and rose gold colors).
Post war, during the 60’s, platinum increased in popularity again. First lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s emerald cut diamond ring made this cut diamond an in-demand gemstone for many brides-to-be. Back during this era, Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor a ring featuring a 33-carat asscher-cut diamond, which makes Kim and Kayne’s 15-carat ring look small.
During the 70’s the era did away with many things from the past, and introduced new shapes like the very popular square princess and radiant cuts.
The wedding of the decade (and maybe even longer than that to some) was that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Her oval sapphire engagement ring set some major trends for decades to follow.
The one style that has been sought after since the beginning of the twenty-first century is the solitaire. Even with the internet playing a huge role in providing more information to couples, and styles rise and fall year by year, this simplistic style will always remain a popular one.
Coming into the 2010 decade, the halo style has made a name for itself. While the style is nothing "new,” the increased popularity and must have for this style has definitely been top of the selling charts. A halo of diamonds around the center stone is not only appealing to the eyes, but easier on the wallet. It allows for a larger look without spending more than you want.
While trends come and go just like the decades, the love that each engagement ring represents will last a lifetime. Allow us to be a part of your journey together, and we will find the perfect ring for you! We offer special financing to give you affordable monthly payments, custom ring designs, and much more!
Yes, it is true…an engagement ring can cost just as much as a European vacation. But what really affects the true cost of the ring? While there are several factors to consider, for the simplicity of this blog, we will be focusing on two topics: the 4 C’s, and real diamonds versus lab diamonds.
The 4 C’s
Say what? There are how many C’s to consider while choosing a diamond? Yep, four of them…Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat-Weight. Each of them affecting the cost of your overall engagement ring.
Cut: In reality, when we refer to the "cut” of the diamond we are talking more about the proportions of the diamond as opposed to its shape (round brilliant, marquise, pear, princess, emerald, etc.) The reason cut is so important is that it plays a huge role in how the diamond reflects light (aka how shinny it appears to the eye). If a diamond is cut to shallow or too deep, the light entering through the top of the diamond is allowed to escape through its bottom and does not allow the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized.
Color: The color of a diamond is graded from totally colorless (D) to light yellow (Z). The grades are:
Colorless (referred to as D, E, F)
Near Colorless (referred to as G, H, I, J)
Faint Yellow (referred to as K, L, M)
Very Light Yellow (referred to as N, O, P, Q, R)
Light Yellow (referred to as S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z)
The best color for a diamond? No color at all – as it allows light to pass through it easily, resulting in the light being dispersed as the color of the rainbow. The less color in the diamond – the more expensive a diamond becomes.
Clarity: The amount and location of flaws, and/or blemishes in the diamond is referred to its clarity. Generally speaking, the clarity ratings vary from Flawless to Imperfect 3 (I3). Take a look at the clarity chart below:
Very Very Slightly Included
Very Slightly Included
SI1, SI2, SI3
I1, I2, I3
An inclusion (birthmarks within diamond) can interfere with the light passing through the diamond. Most diamonds contain these very tiny blemishes. Obviously, the fewer the inclusions, the more beautiful the diamond appears – thus the more expensive a diamond becomes.
Carat-Weight: Diamonds are measured in carats. As the weight of the diamond increases, so does its price and rarity. Two diamonds can be of the same weight; however, their value can greatly differ due to the differences in their cut, color, and clarity.
Real Vs. Lab Diamonds
The difference between the two is quite obvious in explanation – but not always as obvious to the eye. A real diamond is formed one hundred miles below earth’s surface up to 3 billion years ago – making it unique and rare. They are like miracles of nature, as they undergo an extraordinary environmental circumstance – bursting towards the earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions.
Lab grown diamonds, while just as beautiful, is a stone that mimics the optical and chemical properties of a natural diamond. Lab diamonds are produced in a factory in a matter of weeks.
Like natural diamonds, lab diamonds have flaws / inclusions as well. They have metallic inclusions caused from the molten metal solutions from which they are created. They even have their own grading system, call the Synthetic Diamond Grading Report. It takes into consideration the color zoning, metallic inclusions, weak strain patterns, and colors of ultraviolet fluorescence to differentiate them from natural diamonds.
So, this brings us to a question most will ask, are they worth the same? To best explain the answer, first know that natural diamonds have an "inherent value.” While lab diamonds can be mass produced by man – which can cause the price to go down due to competition in production. Also, remember that selecting a natural diamond based off your 4 C’s, is more difficult to find than a lab made diamond that fits your request. Thus, making the natural diamond worth more because of its rarity.
Ending Tip: Want real diamonds, and a lower payment plan? View our Kim International Romance collection. It features clusters of diamonds as the center stone, helping to reduce the overall cost of the ring – without giving up the style you like. We also offer 0% APR for 60 months! Just give us a call today to set up an appointment (228-875-4842).
Fall is in full force; the temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling and fires are burning! Sweater weather means a whole new wardrobe for many, even if it is just pulling clothes from another closet.
With a new season, comes new colors in our style, so it’s time to enjoy all the fall shades of red, green, yellow, and brown! Now is the perfect time to add some new jewelry pieces to your cool weather attire, since we all know that summer jewelry can be completely different than winter jewelry, due to the cuts and designs of clothing.
Below, we have put together four styling tips for this fall/winter season. We hope you enjoy them!
#1 – Wear Your Confidence:
There is nothing sexier than a confident woman, right? Walking out the door, letting nothing stand in our way. Is it this new season that encourages us? Is it the new clothes, or clothes that we haven’t worn in a while? Is it that diamond bracelet or earrings our significant other bought us? Or is it the yellow diamond right hand ring we bought ourselves? Whichever it may be, let your confidence shine and be seen…on your hand, your wrist, your ears, and around your neck!
#2 – Play with the New Colors:
Each year November brings the beautiful autumn colors. So time to play off those browns, burnt oranges, deep reds, forest greens and mustard yellows. The mixing of metals really compliments the darker shades. Don’t be afraid to wear stacked rings in white gold, yellow gold and rose gold all together. With the cooler weather, majority of the shirts we wear become long sleeves, which means diamond and colored rings are a perfect way to shine throughout the day, and into the evening.
#3 – Enjoy Layering:
As the days go on throughout November and into December, the degrees start to drop. And so, we start to layer more with scarves, jackets, gloves, etc. Embrace and enjoy layering with short to long necklaces. Some styles go better with others, depending on the neckline of your blouse. Shorter necklaces go well with open necklines and skin showing at the top of your blouse. While longer necklaces go well with high collared tops.
#4 – Turn a Cold Day into One that Sparkles and Shines:
As we begin to bundle up, and wear our favorite turtleneck shirts and wedged boots, we need something to sparkle in the cool air as the sun shines down. Diamond or metal hoop earrings are the perfect element to really make a statement. They are not hidden by extra clothing or hats, which makes them just what we need to sparkle and shine throughout the cooler season.
Our must haves for the fall and winter:
- Diamond studs
- Hoop earrings
- Long layered necklaces
- Stacked rings
- Right hand rings
- Bracelets with mixed metals
We hope this inspires you to wear your confidence this fall and winter with jewelry that makes you shine and sparkle, no matter if it’s day or night!
Come by to start your Christmas Wish List, then send Santa in for some shopping!!~