Jewelry at WP Shelton Jewelers
A Guide to Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring
Some girls dream up a proposal when they are little. Thinking about the endless possibilities. Some girls have notebooks, binders or even slideshows of exactly what they want, and when and where they want it.
Others don’t think about it at all. They are ready for the surprise, being taken by the moment.
Discovering Your Jewelry Style
Discovering your true jewelry style does not have to be difficult. It is actually a lot of fun! Plus, you may have more than one style to your jewelry. Below we have four main categories most of us fall under. They range from one extreme to the other – the practical soccer mom, to the statement making glamour queen. Do you know which one, or ones you are? Let’s get started!
The Glamour Queen
She enjoys the social scene; it gives her a reason to wear those statement pieces. Large diamond hoop earrings, 2+ carat diamond rings, layered diamond bracelets, a simple – yet sparkling diamond necklace, etc. The list can go on for her. Diamonds really are her best friend. When shopping, the more jewelry grabs her attention, the more she needs it!
The Casual Woman
With her collection, she has subtle and timeless pieces. She is not worried about making a statement, rather than making sure her jewelry gives the same laid-back vibe she lives by. Matching jewelry sets are her best friend, since they require little thought when pairing with her casual lifestyle. Pearls, soft colored gemstones and simple metal jewelry are what she is pulled towards when shopping.
The Soccer Mom
Her daily jewelry routine is probably a lot like her make-up routine – quick, consistent and simple. She loves owning jewelry that can match with just about anything, because it is versatile. Her jewelry collection likely consists of diamond or pearl studs, her wedding bands and a pendant necklace. When she shops for new jewelry, she instantly thinks of all the many ways in which she will get her use out of it – she is practical!
The Trend Setter
From mixing and matching, to wearing the newest pieces we just received – this woman knows how to lead the trends. She is not afraid to wear something unique like art, nor is she afraid to pair different shades of stones. At times she wears large statement pieces, and other times she goes for a subtle yet unique shape. She is such the fashion setter; she can bring back outdated jewelry and make it chic again. No matter what, you can count on her to know and start the latest trends for jewelry.
Now that you know the four main jewelry categories, which one or ones do you fall under? Are you a Soccer Mom during the week, and a Trend Setter during the weekend? Or are you the Casual Woman who also loves being the Glamour Queen? It’s always fun to be a little of all, too! Don't be afraid to be yourself, that is what makes jewelry shopping and wearing fun!
The New Jewelry Generation
As the generations come and go, so do the trends, fashions and styles of jewelry. Why is this? With each new generation comes a new group of "influencers.” We have all heard the term used on social media (particularly Instagram). Millennials are the new jewelry generation impacting how and what jewelry designers create, and what jewelry stores sell. That is a no brainer, right? Millennials enjoy being the influencer, enjoy sharing their experiences with others, and enjoy expressing their individuality through clothing, jewelry, makeup, outings, etc. This is why the new trend, that millennials are driving, is custom designed jewelry. It allows them to be uniquely expressive.
Let’s take a look back into the 60s and 70s to see what similarities millennials have in common with those previous generations. The new jewelry generation today, is similar to the 60s and 70s in that there was and is a fresh creative freedom. A freedom to express oneself. Reflect hidden stories, social issues of their generation, and the origins of their gemstones. These qualities have become more important at times than the jewelry’s value. The way jewelry producers and stores advertise their products has changed and evolved because of "what” millennials value. Designers are creating edgy jewelry that is often amusing and always relevant to millennials’ generation and lifestyle.
The easiest way for millennials to express their true selves is through (fashion or fine) custom designed jewelry. Custom designed jewelry can mean a multitude of things. Some inherit family heirlooms, and are ready to bring it up to date with a few tweaks. While others gather ideas off the internet and social media, to create their very own design. According to InStore.com, custom jewelry design purchases have increased by 10% within the last decade. Why do millennials like custom designed jewelry so much, especially engagement rings? Because they are one-of-a-kind creations that reflect and express their values. Millennials look to align themselves with businesses and brands that reflect their values. They seek to express themselves through the brands’ identity versus the brands’ wealth.
There is also another important shift in jewelry sales to recognize. We now have more self-purchasing women. With today’s society, and the way women are working – it is no wonder women are starting to purchase more jewelry for themselves, without a second thought. Again, a feature of this self-expression that is very strong with millennials and beyond.
While trends and shifts like these may come and go, custom designed jewelry will always remain current. It allows for a change in the trends, a change in the design, and a change in what is important to the consumer. Custom designed jewelry allows for self-expression in any price range. It allows us to be as unique and original as we wish to be!
W. P. Shelton Jewelers delivers the best possible experience when shopping for jewelry, no matter your age, style, or generation. We provide custom jewelry designs, traditional and non-traditional options, real and lab grown diamonds, trendy styles, and so much more in order to exceed your expectations, and to express YOU and your values!
Engagement Ring Shopping Part 2: Styles, Fashions & Trends
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!
Is Forever Still…Real?
We have all heard the slogan "A Diamond is Forever.” But where did this phrase come from, what exactly does it mean and how long has it been around?
In the 21st century we are starting to experience new social attitudes with diamonds. The Diamond Producers Association took note of the decline in diamond sales with millennials, and started a new campaign titled "Real is Rare” in 2016.
Let us go back to when it all began, after World War II and the Great Depression. According to a New York Times article, back in 1947, Frances Gerety, a copywriter for the marketing agency N.W. Ayer, was tasked to produce a slogan for De Beers’ advertising campaign. Her goal was to boost the sales of diamonds which had fallen during the Great Depression.
Exhausted after a long day of finishing a series of ads, Gerety remembered she had to create a signature line. She quickly prayed "Dear God, send me a line.” And so that evening, she scribbled a sentence.
The next morning she woke up and read again what she had written, "A Diamond is Forever.” Thinking to herself how it was "just O.K.,” she went on to the agency’s meeting that day and according to her, "Nobody jumped.” Filled in a room with mostly men, they thought the word "Forever” was grammatically questionable.
Though it was unclear why the slogan was chosen, it was a decision that paved the way for the next 70 years of increased diamond sales for De Beers.
The slogan changed social attitudes forever. It created an association between their product and a psychology desiring an eternal romantic love and companionship. Gerety used it as the foundation of all their future advertisement. Grabbing the attention of men returning from war, a diamond ring was the perfect symbol of a new life and something to last a lifetime. It also discouraged something that would have potentially hurt the De Beers diamond market---reselling your diamond and exposing a lower cost of the stones themselves.
In the 1980s N.W. Ayer’s campaign went on to reset the norm for how much men should spend on these rings---two months’ salary. The ad said "Isn’t two months’ salary a small price to pay for something that lasts forever?” Yet again, changing the social attitude with one simple word, "Forever.”
In 1999, Advertising Age proclaimed Gerety’s slogan "The Slogan of the Century.”
Now-a-days, advertising agencies, companies, and associations like the Diamond Producers Association, focus on new concepts and audiences. For example, the "Real is Rare” campaign, developed in 2016, created a new emotional feeling: diamonds and your soulmate should be "Real.” The commercials are geared towards millennial couples and their "Wild” adventures together. Long are the days that diamonds mean marriage in this campaign. The slogan is recreating an old social norm with its emerging attitude that "Real” diamonds are the truest symbols of a deep emotional commitment between two young people. Forbes interviewed Chief Marketing Officer, Deborah Marquardt on the marketing goals for "Real is Rare.” ‘She stated that the goal is "to open the lens on how we view commitment, love and connection,” reflecting the target demographics’ more open-minded views about relationships.’
In conclusion, the slogan "A Diamond is Forever” has lasted for over a half century. But will it remain "Forever,” or will new phrases like "Real is Rare” take off with the many millennials of our time? Does a diamond represent marriage? Or does it represent the realness of the relationship? ...Is Forever Still Real?