14 September

Wedding Wednesday: Gemstone Rings

While we will always love traditional diamonds (what girl doesn’t?), here at Gemvara we can’t resist the individuality and personality of colored gemstones. Each gem means something different and each ring tells its own story. We aren’t alone in our affections either. Here is a round-up of celebrities who celebrated their engagements a bit more colorfully.

The most well-known gemstone engagement ring, of course, is Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s 18-carat blue sapphire ring. Sapphires symbolize trust and loyalty, which make them especially meaningful. They are popular too: Penelope Cruz wears a romantic, three-carat sapphire engagement ring and Jenna Bush has an antique looking three-stone engagement ring with sapphires on the side. Another celebrity with a sapphire ring is Nicole Richie, but her ring is a unique pink sapphire.

Jackie Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor are famous for their emerald engagement rings. Both rings were very modern at the time they were received and are a true statement to both women’s iconic style. Emeralds have long symbolized love and rebirth. They are known for their youthful beauty and are the perfect choice for the fashion-forward woman.

A ruby, as seen on Jessica Simpson, is not for the faint of heart. A ruby symbolizes courage and emotion. It holds a fiery passion and represents burning desire. A ruby is the perfect gem to symbolize a deeply passionate love. It’s also July-born Jessica’s birthstone.

Tara Reid was very recently spotted wearing a 12-carat bezel-set, citrine engagement ring. This is a gem you don’t see every day, but its meaning makes it a perfect engagement ring. Citrine symbolizes happiness, joy, and optimism.

Diamonds can be more colorful too. Carmen Electra and TV character Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City both have black diamond engagement rings- an edgy, mysterious gem for the ultimate showstopper. Carrie Underwood got engaged with a five-plus carat, fancy yellow diamond to suit her sweet personality. Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez both received pink diamonds upon their engagements. Mariah’s 17-carat ring has an emerald cut, pink diamond surrounded by 58 intense pink diamonds with two half-moon diamonds on each side. Jennifer Lopez, who has been married three times, got her six carat pink diamond was from Ben Affleck, and a 8.5 carat blue diamond from Marc Anthony. What color will her next diamond be?

Photo Credit: Allen Berezovsky / PR Photos, Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos, Landmark / PR Photos, Janet Mayer / PR Photos, PRN / PR Photos

24 January

Top Celebrity Engagement Rings

Jaw-droppingly large, undeniably brilliant, and surprisingly colorful, it’s been a great year for celebrity engagement rings.  Here we count down the best of the best of the year’s celebrity engagement rings. (and show you how to get the look for less.)

1. Kate Middleton’s Royal Sapphire Engagement Ring

If only all hand-me-downs were this stunning!  Kate Middleton’s 18-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds is, of course, Princess Diana’s engagement ring. Enormously influential then, this ring is sure to once again make sapphire a popular choice for engagement rings again.  The ring itself looks as beautiful today as it was when Diana received it: a bewitching argument for choosing a classic style and beautiful gem that holds its appeal for generations.  Originally valued at $40,000 to $60,000 in 1981, it is now valued at about $500,000. If that’s a bit out of your price range, you’ll be happy to know that beautiful sapphire engagement rings are available for much less. Gemvara has a 2.45 carat Diana sapphire engagement ring is $6,700 in platinum.

2. Carrie Bradshaw’s Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Carrie Bradshaw may be only a fictional celebrity but when Big gave her that stunning five-carat black diamond ring in 2010′s Sex & the City 2, real brides around the world said yes to a black diamond ring. Sales of black diamonds have surged ever since. At Gemvara, since our customers are generally looking for something unique, we now sell more black diamond engagement rings than white diamond engagement rings! And a five-carat stunner that’s just like Carrie’s engagement ring is just $6,000.

3. Natalie Portman’s Brilliant Halo Engagement Ring

Delicate but bold, Natalie Portman’s engagement ring perfectly suits her. A four-carat round brilliant diamond with a delicate double halo around it on a pave band, the ring is classic but also of the moment. Halo engagement rings are very fashionable right now. It’s bound to get a lot of attention during the award season, with Portman winning acclaim for her performance in Black Swan.  This ring will look good with an Oscar, don’t you think?

4. LeAnn Rimes: Rose Gold Oval Engagement Ring

LeeAnn Rimes engagement ring is noteworthy for two reasons: first it’s set with a five-carat oval diamond, a classic but unusual choice. Second the band has rose gold fleur-de-lis accents. We love rose gold engagement rings, they are so romantic! And that oval gem makes her fingers look long and lovely.  The ring is valued at $85,000.

5. Katy Perry’s Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

KatyPerryEngagementRingKaty Perry and Russell Brand aren’t what you would call a conventional couple. So it’s not surprising that the singer and comedian didn’t pick a conventional engagement ring: Katy’s three-carat round diamond is set in an unusual wide yellow gold band with some side detailing. It’s feminine without being lacy or delicate. The Diamond Information Center estimates the ring is worth $120,000. To get the look for less, set the stone of your choice in an interesting yellow gold setting rather than the white-on-white look that is most common today. The Alhambra ring or the Ribbon Lace Ring from Gemvara would be just the right combination of bold but feminine and both are less than $5,000.

6. Carrie Underwood’s Fancy Yellow Engagement Ring

Carrie Underwood’s spectacular engagement ring from hockey star fiancé Mike Fisher is set with a five-plus carat flawless fancy yellow diamond.  The diamond is surrounded by a diamond pave halo that makes it even more dramatic. The Diamond Information Center estimates the ring is worth $150,000. To get the look for less, try a yellow sapphire engagement ring. The Raquel Ring from Gemvara is less than $3,000 set with yellow sapphire.  And the center stone of any engagement ring will be enhanced by a halo engagement ring setting like Carrie’s which surrounds the center gem with a circle of brilliance.

7. Jessica Simpson’s Romantic Ruby Engagement Ring

Jessica Simpson’s engagement ring stops traffic: the center of her ring is a spectacular ruby and diamond three-stone ring. The center gem is an oval-shaped five-carat ruby but the side stones are pretty significant too: two pear-cut diamonds that weigh in around five carats combined. The gems are set in yellow gold and the ring is reportedly worth $100,000. Not only is ruby a romantic choice for an engagement ring, Jessica was born in July so ruby is her birthstone too, making it a personal statement. While something that looks like Jessica Simpson’s engagement ring is more than $25,000, three stone ruby engagement rings start around $2,000.

8. Penelope Cruz’s Mysterious Sapphire Engagement Ring

Penelope Cruz hasn’t really talked about her recent marriage to Javier Bardem but she wears a stunning oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds on her ring finger that would make a very lovely engagement ring! The halo of diamonds around the center gem are surrounded by metal, giving the ring a lovely scalloped floral effect. With Kate’s ring also in the spotlight, blue sapphire engagement rings are having a major moment.

9. Chelsea Clinton’s Classic Engagement Ring

An American princess, Chelsea Clinton’s wedding was the event of the year.  Her ring is simple but sizable: a large Asscher-cut diamond with a plain platinum band. Never comfortable in the limelight, the bride has managed to avoid clear photos of the ring.  But it’s size and simplicity have enchanted brides looking for a timeless style that still catches the eye.

19 February

Carried Away?

Have you been sighing over Carrie Underwood’s spectacular new engagement ring from her hockey star fiancé Mike Fisher?  It’s pretty hard to miss! The Diamond Information Center estimates that this beautiful bauble is set with a five-plus carat flawless fancy yellow diamond.

If you love this look, how can you reproduce it for less than the $150,000 that the Diamond Information Center estimates is the price tag on Carrie’s ring?

From the angle in photos, it’s hard to say whether the diamond in Carrie’s ring is round or oval. The Diamond Information Center says round but to me it looks oval (and fancy-colored diamonds are much more likely to be an oval, since the round brilliant cut tends to lighten color.)

Whether round or oval, it’s clear that the center diamond of her ring is surrounded by a diamond pave halo that makes it look even more dramatic. This is worth considering even if your diamond will be slightly smaller than five carats.

An oval or round diamond of a more modest size will definitely look much larger with diamonds around it. These styles are called “halo” designs.  If you are restyling a family diamond or planning to choose a traditional one-carat round diamond, this setting style will give you a modern look that’s still classic.

If you can’t live without a large lemony gem for your ring, consider yellow sapphire which is a great choice for an engagement gem: precious and durable. It will have the color you crave at a fraction of the price of a similar shade of diamond.  You might even be able to up your carat count!

3 February

Five Engaging Trends


Although every gem is as unique as a fingerprint, it’s the setting that truly makes your engagement ring your own. Couples today are more adventurous than ever before, customizing every detail of the ring to express the uniqueness of their bond. Here are the top five trends in engagement rings today.

Halo Effect

To emphasize the center stone and make it look larger, many engagement ring designs today surround the center stone with a halo of small diamonds. It’s a great way to add sparkle to your ring while keeping the style simple.

Curves Ahead

Twists and turns give make these settings feminine but modern too. Some have a simple twist or braid in the shank, others a sweeping line that embraces the stone.

Showing Colors

For Carrie Underwood, it was a fancy yellow diamond. Other brides flank a white diamond with colored gemstones. Carmen Electra even chose a black diamond center. A shot of color is the quickest way to express your individuality in your ring.

Triple Play

If one diamond is brilliant, three is even better! Many couples today are choosing a center diamond flanked by two more diamonds. They love the “past, present, future” symbolism and also the extra dazzle. If you are looking to upgrade your ring for your fifth or tenth anniversary, this style lets you continue to wear your original stone as one of a pair of sidestones flanking a new larger center.

Putting on Air

The sleekest new styles use negative space to keep styles streamlined but delicate too. The ring splits into two before embracing the center stone, leaving space between the two halves. These styles are very light and comfortable to wear, even if the center stone is large.


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