Engagement Ring Shopping Part 2: Styles, Fashions & Trends

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!

6 Essential Jewelry Pieces Every Woman Needs in Her Life

6 Essential Jewelry Pieces Every Woman Needs in Her Life

Jewelry is one of the best ways to express ourselves and our signature style. But at times we get caught in situations where we are saying "I have nothing to wear, nothing matches and nothing looks right together!!” Well, this article shall be the solution to every woman’s jewelry dilemma. We put together the six most essential jewelry pieces every woman needs for her day-to-day jewelry collection.

 

The great part about the pieces we choose, they can easily be switched from day to night. You know those hoop earrings that you wore with your cute top and jeans today? Keep them on to be paired with your little black dress for date night. Your favorite simplistic rose gold necklace, that you forget you are wearing sometimes…can be just what you need to complete your look while out with girlfriends.

 

(All items below can be found inside our store).

 

The Everyday Essentials:

1 – Hoop earrings

These are so fabulous because they have a sexier flare as they hang down next to your neck. Hoop earrings can be worn with just about anything, jeans and a cute top, or with casual business attire. Add a little sass to your day time (and even night time) look with different sized hoop earrings.

 

2 – Two toned bracelet(s)

Who said you can’t have more than one? By stacking your two toned bracelets you can jazz up any look, and match all your other jewelry. It is a win-win for sure. Don’t be scared to mix and match them! That is the point!

 

3 – Long necklace

Your long necklace may be one strand, or may have the layered look. Either way, there is something about a long necklace that makes a women stand out with her style. You can pair it with your favorite dress or with your work blouse. They are so versatile!

 

4 – Right hand ring

A right hand ring can be a statement piece, something sentimental, a simple band or a collection of stackable diamond bands to bring your whole look together.

 

5 – Stud earrings

This selection is quite broad. Pearls, diamonds, birthstones, metals, etc. are all wonderful jewelry pieces to have in your everyday jewelry collection. However, choose the one you will wear most often. And if all else fails, buy them all!

 

6 – The Everyday Necklace

Whether it is a diamond pendant, arrow pendant, cross pendant, or small pearls spaced elegantly along a 14k white gold chain, every woman needs her go-to necklace that lays so gently around her neck.

 

 

Come by our store to start shopping for your jewelry essentials!

Give him the Anniversary Hint

Give him the Anniversary Hint

Gifts have traditionally been given for wedding anniversaries since medieval times. The first person to actually publish a list of suggested anniversary gifts was Emily Post. Published in 1922, her first etiquette guide contained suggestions for the first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth and fiftieth years of marriage. In 1957, Post’s book was reprinted with an expanded list that included suggestions for each of the first 15 years and for every five years after.

Speed up to today’s times, and this list has been broadened by authors to include gifts for every year’s anniversary, including years after the fiftieth anniversary, like the seventy-fifth and eightieth.

While there is no rule book to anniversary gifts, this article is meant to inspire you with jewelry gift ideas. Below you will find traditional gifts, along with alternates. This way when you go to "hint,” he has options!

1st Anniversary: Gold Jewelry (Alternate: Peridot)

5th Anniversary: Sapphire (Alternate: Pink Tourmaline)

10th Anniversary: Diamond Jewelry (Alternate: Blue Sapphire)

15th Anniversary: Ruby (Alternates: Rhodolite Garnet, Alexandrite)

20th Anniversary: Emerald (Alternate: Yellow or Golden Diamond)

25th Anniversary: Silver Jubilee (Alternates: Tsavorite, Green Garnet)

30th Anniversary: Pearl Jubilee

35th Anniversary: Emerald

40th Anniversary: Ruby

45th Anniversary: Sapphire (Alternate: Cat's Eye)

50th Anniversary: Golden Jubilee (Alternate: Imperial or Golden Topaz)

55th Anniversary: Alexandrite

60th Anniversary: Diamond Jubilee (Alternate: Star Ruby)

65th Anniversary: Blue Spinel

70th Anniversary: Sapphire Jubilee (Alternate: Smoky Quartz)

75th Anniversary: Diamond Jubilee

80th Anniversary: Ruby Jubilee

If his gift giving style is more modern, and he is not into following the traditional trends, here is a shortened list of modern inspirations for you both:

1st Anniversary: Solitaire pendants, stud earrings, and gold, rose gold or silver bracelet --- By selecting a classic design, it is sure to go with everything. Timeless pieces never go out of style and will last forever, just like your love for one another.

5th Anniversary: Colorful gemstones --- You cannot go wrong with a few colorful eternity rings that make a beautiful stackable collection. Or, if you are feeling creative, try selecting a uniquely designed cocktail ring with a nice big colorful gemstone accented with diamonds.

10th Anniversary: Birthstones --- By this anniversary you have probably started a family, and that is why birthstone charms are perfect options. Hopefully he has already given you a charm bracelet, so by your tenth anniversary, and going forward, you are adding different charms to your bracelet. Each charm can represent your spouse’s birth month, children’s birth months or other special family members’ birth months. It is a gift that tells a story and represents your family.

If all else fails, stick to diamonds. You really cannot go wrong with diamond jewelry as an anniversary gift. If earth diamonds are out of your price range, ask about moissanite diamonds. They shine just as bright, and have a much different price associated with them. If desired, they can be exchanged with real diamonds in the future. Just ask about our trade-in program.

He can always rely on us, W. P. Shelton Jewelers, to give him inspiration and ideas. Especially if you made a wish list inside our store! Hint, hint…!

Is Forever Still…Real?

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?

Halos, Emeralds and Solitaires, Oh My!

Halos, Emeralds and Solitaires, Oh My!

So it is time to start looking at engagement rings, but where do you begin? W. P. Shelton Jewelers’ guide provides six easy steps that will lead you in the right direction for choosing YOUR perfect engagement and wedding rings.

1. Explore styles.

There are numerous style quizzes online that you can use to define your ring style. Take a couple of those quizzes to see what they say about your personality, and your style likes or dislikes. We cannot forget about the abundant Pinterest pictures. Who can resist creating a Pinterest page with those beautiful shiny rings? Once you create a page (or two), you will start to notice either a single theme, or a couple of themes developing. After saving your favorites, the next best thing to do is categorize the style details you love. This will help when you make your first visit to the jewelry store. We suggest specifying the categories and details below:

  • Metal color: platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold
  • Stone shape: princess, round, square, emerald, heart, etc.
  • Ring setting: solitaire, halo, three diamonds, etc.
  • Overall style: vintage, traditional, elegant, elaborate, simple, ornate, etc.

If you plan to dress your ring up with a ring guard, be sure to choose a style that allows versatility to go from an everyday look, to a more formal one.

 

2. Educate yourself on the four C’s.

What are the four C’s? Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. There is a lot more that meets the eye when it comes to picking a stone. Do not get overwhelmed when you first start "looking” into the diamond. The four C’s directly affect pricing for the ring as a whole. This is the time to decide if you are leaning more towards weight vs. clarity, cut vs. weight, and so on. Meeting with your jeweler in person will clarify a lot more about the four C’s.

 

3. Choose your wedding band.

It is easy to forget about the wedding band when you are so focused on your future diamond ring. There are several ways to approach the wedding band style. First, ask yourself if you ever plan to wear the wedding band by itself. This will sway you in one direction over the other when it comes to the straight and curved bands. Next, determine if you like the flush look. Trying on samples at the store will help you decide. Lastly, engagement rings usually come with a specific wedding band style to compliment the ring. However, you can choose to mix and match styles. Remember, style is 100% up to you!

 

4. Set a budget.

Prepare ahead of time, with your special someone, what the total budget will be (including the wedding band). There are several stereotypical suggestions out there on how much should and should not be spent. However, by determining a monthly budget or an amount to save, you will know exactly what you are comfortable spending. Do not be afraid to share your budget with your jeweler. They will keep it confidential as they discuss financial options and guide you on this special purchase.

 

5. Pick a designer.

If you have the niche for design or know exactly what you are envisioning, creating your own engagement ring may be the best option. Or, maybe your heart has melted looking at the ring of your dreams online and in stores. Either way, you have plenty of options with W. P. Shelton Jewelers. They can hand design your dream ring, or order from your favorite designer.

 

6. Visit the jewelry store online or in person.

Making a visit to your jewelry store can come before or after the steps listed above. The experts at W. P. Shelton Jewelers will assist you with anything you may need, educate you on the four C’s, and show you all the beautiful styles and design options.

June 27, 2017 — Dianne Murray