19 October

Sapphire Showdown

There’s another spectacular sapphire on British soil these days, and dare we say it may be the rock to rival royalty.

Elizabeth Hurley, 46, got engaged on September 31st to professional cricketer, Shane Warne, 42, with a 9-carat blue sapphire that is estimated at $100,000. We are swooning.

In a recent interview with UsMagazine.com, jewelry expert, Michael O’Connor chatted about the fabulous ring:

“[It's a] platinum setting with an approximate 9-carat center blue sapphire and a 2-carat Trillion cut diamond on each side,” O’Connor says. “Shane made the right choice by setting the sapphire in platinum, since platinum doesn’t change color or fade – so it symbolizes a relationship that will endure.”

“Shane Warne is clearly a romantic,” O’Connor adds. “Since not only is blue sapphire a favorite of British royalty, but it’s also his birthstone!”

Wish this ring could be on your finger? Lucky for you, Gemvara has a very similar style. Our Pinnacle Ring features an emerald-cut center stone, set in any gemstone and metal you fancy. Gemvara also makes a ring just like Kate’s — the other British bombshell to wear the “royal” blue.

[poll id="31"]

Photo Credit: Getty Images

5 October

Taking Off The Ring

Her wedding was touted as the celebration of the year and calling her rock “enormous” may be an understatement. However, recently Kim Kardashian has been spotted sans enagement ring.

In case you forgot, back in May, Kris Humphries presented Kim with a 20.5-carat platinum engagement ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz worth an estimated $2 million. On her actual wedding day (which will be broadcast on E! this Sunday, October 9th) the bride and groom exchanged wedding bands, also designed by Lorraine, that cost a mere $200,000.

One would think that with diamonds like those on her finger she would never want to take them off! But, don’t jump to any conclusions. Kim and Kris are not on the rocks. Instead Kim explains to Women’s Wear Daily why she doesn’t always wear her ring:

“I don’t wear [any jewelry] to work out. I was leaving the gym yesterday and I didn’t have my ring on, and there [were] all these photographers taking pictures, and I said to my sister, ‘Just watch, Kourtney. You will see a story ‘Kim Without Her Ring. Trouble in Paradise.’”

Kim is not alone is her decision to not wear her engagement or wedding ring. Besides the obvious and the most worrisome explanation (“trouble in paradise”) it seems that comfort is the main reason women don’t wear their rings.

Although it is customary, many times wearing your engagement ring and your wedding band on the same finger can be uncomfortable. For this reason, many women opt to wear only their wedding band and save their engagement ring for special occasions.

On the other hand, it seems silly to not wear your engagement ring. After all, it is quite the investment piece and for a ring that is supposed to represent love and commitment, it could be considered counter intuitive to take it off. For celebrities or women with large rings, the threat of it being stolen or scratched is also a definite possibility.

What do you think? Should engagement rings be worn at all times or are there exceptions?

5 October

Insane Celebrity Engagement Rings

Never have we been more inundated with celebrity news, whether it’s who’s hooking up, breaking up, crying about perceived slights over Twitter, or getting arrested. However, it seems that lately, not a day goes by where there isn’t a brand-new celebrity engagement ring plastered all over TV, gossip sites, magazines, and our social networks. Here’s an infographic breakdown of the most insanely lavish celebrity engagement rings and what we could buy with all that cash.

Enjoy!

(Click image to enlarge)

Share this Infographic!
Embed this infographic on your site or within a blog post: (copy/paste this code)

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

1 September

The History of Engagement Rings

Ever wonder how the tradition of giving an engagement ring got started? Well, it wasn’t always diamonds and platinum. In fact, rubies, claddagh rings, and even thimbles (yep, you heard us) were popular choices at periods during the history of giving this ring.

Take a look at the infographic below and explore more about this tradition, including why it is custom to wear the ring on your fourth finger and who started that whole “2-months salary” myth anyway. Also, learn about the 4 C’s of picking a gem and marvel at the women who wore the most remarkable engagement rings in history.

(Click image to enlarge)

History of Engagement Rings.

Share this Infographic!
Embed this infographic on your site or within a blog post: (copy/paste this code)

11 August

J.Lo's Memorable Engagement Rings

Unfortunately for Jennifer Lopez it seems that the third time is not a charm. Jennifer and Marc Anthony have officially called it quits after seven years of marriage— a feat in Hollywood, but sad nonetheless. Jennifer, who has been married two times before, recently won America over (once again) with her endearing role as a judge on American Idol. It seemed that the public was truly rooting for her and her marriage to succeed and were shocked to hear of the split, especially since the couple has 3 yr. old twins.

Aside from the disheartening news, Jennifer still remains optimistic about love saying in an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair magazine, “Sometimes it doesn’t work—and that’s sad. But I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love.”

As onlookers we can only hope her next suitor is prepared to live up to her engagement ring standard. Jennifer owns two multi-million dollar rocks from her previous marriages. Her first ring from Ben Affleck was a 6 carat pink diamond weighing in at 3 million dollars. This stunner was unbelievable at the time, but Marc Anthony (not to be outdone) got Jennifer an even bigger 8.5 carat blue diamond setting him back over 4 million dollars.

Which of Jennifer’s rings do you like better—the pink or the blue? What do you suggest for her next ring? A fancy yellow diamond, perhaps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Bob Charlotte / PR Photos, Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic, Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

18 July

Angelina's Engagement Ring?

It’s official! Brangelina is finally tying the knot! After six long years of PDA-packed romance, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are set to exchange vows within the next few months. According to an article from Us Weekly, the ceremony will be “intimate and informal.” The couple, who we sometimes forget is not married, previously preached that they would not partake in a traditional marriage until it was legal for everyone (gay or straight), but have since changed their story thanks to pressure from their kids.

Way to go tots! Now the fun starts. With no engagement ring reported, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to design some jewels we think Angie might like. Since her style is exotic we chose two rings that match her mysterious personality: The Pave Lotus Ring and the Apex Ring.

The Pave Lotus Ring was our first pick. Symbolizing elegance and perfection, this three dimensional ring was designed by Jeet Palavwala to be an absolute showstopper. With pave all around the band and an inky, black diamond center, we feel this portrays the all the sultry, yet stunning qualities of Angelina.

Anything but ordinary or traditional, we also felt that Angelina wouldn’t settle for just any ring. Our second pick is the Apex Ring, an emerald-cut emerald platinum ring with diamonds. Although it is rare to wear an emerald as an engagement gem, Angelina has made her affection for emeralds quite clear (she has worn them to almost every red carpet event), so why not? Plus, green is definitely her color!

What do you think? Should Angelina go a more traditional route with a colorless diamond, or do you like our contemporary engagement ring picks?

27 June

Oh My Ruby!

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore my July birthstone, the regal ruby. And I’m not alone — this gem has been prized for centuries by royalty, Hollywood and the wealthy worldwide.

The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj,” which means “king of the gemstones.” Second only to diamonds in the Mohs hardness scale, rubies are durable and can be cleaned easily with a soft cloth and mild dish soap. Or vodka, if you prefer.

Rubies were widely used in royal insignias and crowns — St. Wenzel’s Crown holds a staggering 250-carat ruby. The 167-carat Edwardes Ruby was named for Major General Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes who turned back the tide of mutiny against British rule in India. It rests in the British Museum of Natural History in London, donated by John Ruskin in 1887. American crowds can gape at the 137-carat Rosser Reeves Ruby, on display at the Smithsonian.

In more modern times, rubies remain popular. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Singer and budding fashion tycoon Jessica Simpson also sports a ruby engagement ring, so similar to this Gemvara ring here, that we named it after her.

Right now, I’m obsessing over this stunning ruby pendant. Set in 14K yellow gold, this piece just exudes luxury. Eight marquis-cut rubies radiate from a round center stone. Play with color and develop your own unique piece! I added tanzanite accent gems for a spellbinding look. I love it. Maybe I’ll drop some hints to the fiancée. My birthday is in a few weeks after all…

I toyed with the idea of ruby engagement rings for awhile, particularly this one, with its lovely vintage beading, diamond halo, and side diamonds:

And the Natalie Ring, with a ruby in place of a center diamond, surrounded by a double halo of pavé diamonds, is just so hot! I can only imagine the jaws dropping.

If you could wear any piece of ruby jewelry, what would it be?

18 February

Brides Think Pink

The latest styles for bridal jewelry are pretty and pink. Rose gold and pink gems are adding a touch of romance and warm flattering color to engagement rings, wedding bands and wedding-day jewelry.

Rose gold has been popular with jewelry designers for several years now but it is just starting to become more popular in the traditional bridal category. The trend is part of an overall movement away from traditional white diamond in white gold styling toward more unique and individual ring styles that express the personality of the bride and groom. Many couples are choosing colored gemstone engagement rings.

Brides magazine features pink rings in its January 2011 issue.  Here are some Gemvara styles that may inspire you to think pink.

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.