The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Non-Traditional Engagement Rings: Are Diamonds Still Forever?

Apr 2, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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Emerald engagement ring by Michelle Jesmain

Emerald 14K Rose Gold Engagement Ring by Michelle Jesmain

Wedding season is almost upon us. And while diamonds are usually the darlings of the jeweler’s bench during this time of year, more and more couples are requesting an engagement ring with a little color in it, whether as an accent or at its center.

JCK, National Jeweler, and StyleList have all reported on the trend, which has been growing since 2012.

"While about 95 percent of people come in looking for classic diamonds, there is always that 5 percent that go for something different," Bob Swanson, owner of Swanson Jewelers in Arlington, Mass., told JCK. "Sapphires and rubies have been popular recently."

Celebrity couples have certainly had a hand in popularizing the trend. Mark Zuckerburg proposed to his wife with a ruby, Prince William gave Kate Middleton his mother’s sapphire, and the list goes on and on.

aquaandtopaz

Two non-traditional rings by Michelle Jesmain: Aquamarine and Diamond Engagement Ring and London Blue Topaz Engagement Ring

But we think there is more to it than the whims of celebrity style. With the rise of DIY weddings, more couples want their nuptials (and their rings) to represent their unique style. Signature cocktails, personalized ceremonies, and unique food stations are all on the rise at weddings, and custom-designed, non-traditional rings are one more way for couples to reflect their individuality.

Blue opal and 14K gold engagement ring by Orit Naar

Blue opal and 14K gold engagement ring by Orit Naar

 

The Knot surveyed more than 14,000 brides and 1,750 grooms for their 2013 Engagement and Jewelry study. Almost two-thirds of the brides they surveyed were involved in purchasing the ring in some way and 15 percent of couples opted for a custom designed engagement ring.

Kevin Whitmore, Rio Grande's gemstones product manager, recommends choosing a stone with a high rating on the Mohs scale of hardness when designing a non-traditional engagement ring.

"You want something that can hold up to being worn every day without being scratched or dented," he says. "Rubiessapphires, and topaz are all good choices."

We want to know what kind of engagement rings are on YOUR bench this season. What trends are you seeing? Which stones are popular? Let us know what you’re working on and if you’ve seen an increase in requests for colored stones in engagement rings.

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Spark Your Creativity: Five Jewelry Exhibits Not to Miss!

Feb 6, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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Today at The Studio we bring you a little fodder for your creative soul. Here at Rio Grande, one of our favorite places to go in search of inspiration and new ideas is museums. All that creative genius gathered in one place just makes us want to make something. Luckily for jewelers, there are a bevy of jewelry-focused exhibits this spring and fall. From the Medieval to the avant-garde to the diamond-studded, the exhibits offer a little creative rejuvenation in the dark days of winter.

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Pantone 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

Dec 12, 2013
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Heather Apodaca
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Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, intrigues the eye, sparks the imagination, and glows from within. Perfect for jewelry, accessories and fashion!

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Consumer Alert: Know the Facts About Undisclosed Synthetic Diamonds!

Nov 20, 2013
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Kevin Whitmore
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Reports of undisclosed synthetic diamonds being sent in to GIA and other grading labs indicates that some people are striving to get false documentation to perpetrate fraud on the public. The De Beers Group of Companies has published a booklet titled, “Undisclosed Synthetics,” that gives their clients the information they need to be vigilant in preventing any synthetic diamonds from passing through them into consumer’s hands. Check out today’s post to learn more about this important consumer alert.

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TorusRing™ Gemstones—Out of This World!

Mar 4, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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Self-taught gem carver and visionary jewelry artist Glenn Lehrer’s latest creation, the TorusRing™ gemstone explodes the familiar model of the “expected” gem cut. Inspired by the torus, one of nature’s most prevalent forms, this cut itself creates a torus. His gorgeous gemstones are available now, along with exclusive-to-Rio TorusRing™ mountings. Check out The Studio today to learn more!

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On the Road with Rio: The Gems and Minerals Collection at the Smithsonian

Jan 16, 2013
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Amy Dalness
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Come On the Road with Rio’s very own Amy Dalness who recently visited the Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.!

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Rio Grande’s Latest Addition: The 2013 Gems & Findings/Display & Packaging Catalog

Sep 5, 2012
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Amy Dalness
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Did the stork arrive at your doorstep yet? You know, the mythical bird bringing the bouncing bundle of joy that is the 2013 Gems & Findings/Display & Packaging catalog? Okay, perhaps the latest Rio catalog is not your baby, but it surely is ours. After seven months of production, thousands of man (and woman!) hours, and hundreds of pots of coffee, the 2013 G&F/D&P catalog came into the world (and hot off the press) on June 20, 2012.

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Verifying Our Gemstone Vendors

Aug 20, 2012
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Kevin Whitmore
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One question we’re often asked is where our gemstones come from, so I thought Rio Grande customers might like to know about an initiative we have been pursuing: buying gemstones from reputable firms and ensuring the production of those stones causes no human suffering. Here’s how we do it.

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ALERT: Undisclosed Synthetic Diamonds

May 28, 2012
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Kevin Whitmore
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On The Studio today: We recently read that a diamond-grading lab reported getting over 600 synthetic diamonds without disclosure. You may or may not have heard something about this yourself but, either way, I urge you to read about it now. Diamonds are the life-blood for many jewelers, and any threat that the diamonds for sale in a store might be “fakes” could be a huge problem for everyone, be they a jeweler or a customer.

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Diamonds: CURSED!

Apr 13, 2012
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Andy Sherwin
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Happy Friday the 13th! Are you a superstitious sort? If so, you may want to acquaint yourself with a little bit of history about three famously cursed diamonds. After all, you never know when a TAINTED jewel may find its way to your bench…

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