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Gemvara Blog » Wedding Wednesday
18 January

Golden Globes Go Bridal

So technically it’s “Wedding Wednesday,” but, as with all award shows, we can’t help but carry our obsessions on throughout the course of the week (can you blame us?). So in true compromising fashion we are giving you a little bit of both. Here are the Golden Globe looks that we believe could easily translate into wedding style.

Would you try any of these bridal styles? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

30 November

Anne Hathaway Is Engaged!

Anne Hathaway may have played a princess on-screen, but her life off-screen isn’t much different. Anne has found her prince charming… and charming he is!

Boyfriend, Adam Shulman proposed to Anne over the weekend with a ring that he designed himself. Shulman (an actor, as well) began designing his own jewelry line and consequently played a key role in designing Anne’s ring. He worked closely with Kwiat jewelers to create something custom and unique. We’d say this guy’s a keeper!

Michael O’Connor commented to Us Weekly that the 6-carat ring in a platinum setting is likely to be worth $150,000. “After all that Anne’s been through in the past she knows the value of quality in everything, from her men to her engagement ring,” jewelry expert Michael O’Connor told Us Weekly. “Like a fine romance, this setting will embrace the diamond forever and never fade or change color.”

During the couple’s most recent outing in NYC many photos were taken of the ring, however, it’s shape and intricacy are hard to make out. Most of the photos appear to portray the ring as a round or halo diamond (see above), yet Martha Stewart Weddings wrote on their blog today that the ring is, in fact, an emerald-cut! We’re dying for a clear shot to eliminate the mystery, but for now we’re going to believe Martha. What do you think?

The Quotation Ring is an emerald-cut Gemvara engagement rings that may be similar to Anne’s. Here’s a look at some of other popular celebrity engagement rings.

Photo Credit: D Dipasupil / Getty Images, PopSugar

30 November

{Guest Post} Bridesmaid Gifts

Amy, from Belles on a Budget stops by to give her ideas on how to thank your girls without blowing the wedding budget.

Your bridesmaids contribute so much to your big day. They are there to shriek over the phone when you announced your engagement, help you find that dress of your dreams, and offer moral support along the way. Not to mention the amazing shower and bachelorette party they will be throwing for you! So of course you want to show your girls how much they are loved and appreciated. Even on a budget, you can give them gifts any bridesmaid would envy. Here are some of my favorite bridesmaid gifts and tips for scoring them without breaking the bank:

1. Get Personal

Personal gifts not only thank your girls but provide a meaningful memento to show them how important your relationship is to you. A photo book with your favorite memories of the two of you, a photo collage of fun pictures, or a framed print all show your girls how special it has been to have them involved in your wedding. To do this on the cheap — be on the lookout for photo book deals or free photo collage offers. The holiday season is an especially good time to snag inexpensive photo gifts: Snapfish recently featured a Buy 1 Get 2 Free photo book promotion and several sites have free photo print offers.

2. Provide Wedding Day Essentials

Gifts to keep your girls stylish and comfortable on your big day are always a hit! Think flip flops (or my new favorite- foldable flats) to keep your girls dancing the night away, a tote to carry all of those necessities for the day, or pashminas to keep the bridesmaids warm during a cool evening reception. And all of these are doable on a budget!  Pick up cheap flip flops on sale at the end of the summer or combine coupons and sales to score an absolute steal on bridesmaid totes!

Photo Credit: The Wedding Channel Store.

3. Make Them Sparkle With Jewelry

Whether a keepsake piece or some inexpensive bling, jewelry can complete the bridesmaids’ looks and give them new accessories they can wear later. Browse sale sections and use coupons to score jewelry on a budget. Daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Plum District can also be helpful here — keep your eyes peeled for discounted vouchers to use at your favorite jewelry stores. Or opt for affordable handmade creations or vintage pieces to match your wedding style.

4. Pamper Them!

Indulge your girls with something they rarely buy themselves: luxe bath and body products, a personalized robe, or a fun make-up set. Or give them an experience: A day at a local spa, a massage, or a manicure is enough to de-stress anyone! It is definitely possible to splurge on your girls without blowing your budget. Wait for a sale at Sephora or Philosophy, or be on the lookout for a deal on a personalized robe at a wedding shop. Daily deal sites can provide a great resource for discounted massage or spa gift certificates to treat your bridesmaids and stick to your budget!

Photo Credit: The Knot Wedding Shop.

5. Be Creative

Sometimes the best way to thank your girls is to give them something that is uniquely them and fits their personality and lifestyle. Shop around and think like a couponer for the best prices on these items. A designer clutch for your fashionista sister, for example, could become affordable by using an extra 30% off coupon at a nearby Coach outlet. Or you could score an inexpensive weekender bag and passport cover — the perfect gift for your jet setting friend — at a blowout sale at an online gift store.

No matter what your budget or wedding style, you can find the perfect way to say a big thank you to your bridesmaids– without breaking the bank!


Amy is the creator of Belles on a Budget — A how-to site for weddings on a budget. On the site, Amy combines her experience as an event planner for a non-profit with her love of weddings and scoring a fabulous deal to give brides tips, inspiration, and deals for having that dream wedding without spending their life savings.

16 November

Lucky Liberty

You may have noticed that recently we’ve been sharing some customer testimonial videos with you. A while back we asked a few of our customers if they’d like to send us a short clip of their experience with our company. We never, ever expected to receive such glowing submissions. The videos they sent us have truly gone above and beyond our expectations. And best of all, they express Gemvara’s greatest aspiration — to make jewelry that is all about you.

Here is the newest addition to our growing collection — Liberty and Paul’s engagement story. Since Wednesday is the day we usually dedicate to weddings (Wedding Wednesday) we are happy to share their romance with you.


What we like most about this story is that Liberty’s fiancé, Paul, was searching for something as unique as she is. This is a common theme among our customers and we believe it should be celebrated. Every woman is unique and therefore, her jewelry should be too. Jewelry is such a personal expression of oneself. Think about the jewelry you own. I’m sure you could find a special memory that surrounds each piece. Even your fashion or costume jewelry probably has some significance, if only as a piece you bought to match a birthday dress once.

Liberty’s story is a sweet example of how meaningful designing your own piece of jewelry can be. Liberty said she was searching for a ring that was timeless, unique, and her own version of traditional. We are thrilled that she found it in the Carrie Ring. Congratulations, Liberty and Paul! It is customers like you that inspire us every day. We wish you both the very best!

9 November

Is It OK To Keep The Ring?

If you feel like slamming your head on a table if one more person utters the name “Kardashian,” then we apologize in advance for this post. However, to be clear, this post is not really about her, per-se. We are merely using her actions as segue to discuss a touchy and somewhat controversial topic that we feel needs to be aired out: giving back the ring.

We’ve talked before about what it means to take off the ring (and we appreciate all your contributions to the topic), but now Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kris Humphries has brought up another subject. What happens after a marriage ends, long or short, and the two parties involved must divide the assets. One major piece in this puzzle is the engagement ring. In Kim’s case, a 20.5 carat diamond engagement ring — no pocket change.

Last Tuesday on her blog, Kim announced that she would donate all the money from her wedding gifts to the non-profit Dream Foundation. However, she made no mention of her intentions with the ring.

Shortly afterwards, on ABC’s Good Morning America, Kris Jenner, her mother and manager, was asked what motherly advice she had for Kim about the ring.

“I hate an Indian giver,” said Jenner. “It’s a gift. Keep your gift.”

While Kim may be satisfied with this advice, FOX Chicago News investigated the topic further by consulting an etiquette expert on the subject. Dan Post-Senning, the co-author of the latest edition of Emily’s Post’s Etiquette and great-grandson of Emily Post, said that it’s not so black and white.

Although Kardashian has the legal rights to the ring, the marriage only lasted 72 days, therefore the classy thing to do would be to give back the ring.

“When a marriage ends so shortly it’s an unfortunate thing and it’s perfectly natural for there to be confusion and mixed emotions and even some uncertainty about the best ways to behave in these situations,” Post-Senning told FOX. “As is always the case the true test of grace and poise is when you’re confronted with an awkward situation and in some ways this really is an opportunity for people to rise above.”

While we agree with Post-Senning about this particular situation, we want to know what you think. What is the case with a longer marriage? We believe that if both parties involved are cordial than it would be appropriate for the woman to keep the ring, but then again, we’re certain people have varying opinions. However, we’d love to hear them.

Is it OK to keep the ring? Tell us what you think!

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26 October

Buy Your Bands Sooner than Later

When you’re planning a wedding, your checklist is a mile (or twenty) long. (Trust me, I know — I’m engaged.) It’s easy to wait to buy your wedding bands until you’ve got all your deposits paid, the invitations sent, and the honeymoon booked, but… don’t. You’ll thank me later. Wait until the day is nigh, and you run the risk of not having your rings in time for the wedding! Of course, you can always send the best man out to get a few ring pops at the candy store, and make a cute display at the altar. While that’s a cute idea, do you really want to chance it?

Start looking at styles about six months before your wedding. You’d be surprised at how picky one of you can suddenly become: a man who has never worn jewelry may not like most styles he tries. My own groom can’t figure out if he wants yellow gold or a more silvery metal like palladium, platinum, or white gold. He’s taken his time trying on several styles and metals, but the paradox of choice has been confusing him. We’ve got it narrowed down to one style now, and he’s currently leaning toward yellow gold, as he compares it to “treasure”. Apparently, I’m marrying a pirate.

Unless you’re so carefree that you don’t mind walking into a jewelry store and buying whatever fits, try to order your wedding bands about two or even three months out. When you’re planning a wedding, Murphy’s Law tends to occur more often than not — anything that can go wrong, will. One of you may find out that you’re allergic to nickel, which is used in white gold alloys to give it that gleaming white tone. In that case, you’ll have to find a replacement ASAP. If you know that you’re allergic and still would rather go white, opt for palladium or platinum, which won’t bother your skin.

Let’s talk about ring sizes and time. If you get your ring and it’s too big or too small, you’ll have a bit of time to get the correct size if you have a buffer. Don’t be like Megan Fox — she lost her two-carat diamond engagement ring in the sand. Presumably, she didn’t feel it slip off, and it was never found. That’s a hefty amount of cash. (It wouldn’t hurt to insure your engagement ring and wedding bands, either.) If you’re on a weight-loss regimen of any type, it’s actually better to wait until you’re at your target weight to order your rings. If you lose quite a bit of weight, your finger, and therefore your ring size, will get smaller along with the rest of your body. After you order your ring, keep your weight steady, unless you don’t mind your ring slipping off and possibly disappearing for good.

Do you have any wedding ring tales or advice? How long did you wait until you ordered your rings?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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, 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.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

19 October

Girls’ Guide to Men’s Wedding Bands

A heroic amount of time and effort goes into finding the perfect engagement ring and bridal wedding band, but what about the groom’s wedding ring? Should it match your own ring, or would you rather he express his individuality?

A Perfect Match

Many brides often insist that the groom’s wedding band match the style of their own; this isn’t wrong, it’s simply traditional. These brides believe that by choosing matching wedding band styles, the couple presents a unified presence to the world

“I really like seeing our rings together. When I see the same style on his hand as on mine, it’s a warm reminder of our bond,” states Beth, a project manager who’s been married for five years.

Individuality is beautiful

More carefree brides believe in allowing their future husbands to pick whatever they like: since men aren’t usually involved in many aspects of the wedding, this is one area where he should freely give his opinion. The rules of marriage have softened over the years, and couples shouldn’t feel restricted to just one design.

“I think the groom should be able to choose his own ring. He has to wear the thing for the rest of his life, so he should like it. It also needs to fit comfortably,” says Nikki, an IT professional.

How candy can help

So what about metals? Ask if he has a preference. If, like most men, he’s never worn jewelry of any kind, it may be worth getting a few gumball machine rings. Ask him to humor you by wearing one silver ring on one hand and a gold one on the other. At the very least, it will help him decide if he prefers a white or yellow-toned metal.

Keep it in the family

We know that the strongest metals are best for holding diamonds and gemstones securely, which makes perfect sense for engagement rings. But does that mean you should buy him a platinum band? Is it wrong to get him gold if he spent so much on you?

Maria, a copywriter and newlywed, reasons: “I had my heart set on getting my fiancé a platinum band to match my platinum engagement ring. But research informed us that platinum is best for holding gems. We decided on a palladium band for him, because it’s in the same metal family and he didn’t want any stones in the band, anyway. Besides, it was cheaper!”

Special treasures for special days

While women tend to wear their engagement rings and wedding bands most often, some men have jobs that prevent them from wearing jewelry. If your husband-to-be works with machinery, you can count on him wearing a ring only on special occasions. If that’s the case, you may be tempted to buy him a silver wedding ring, and that’s your choice. However, buying something sturdier will assure that the ring he wears throughout the years will hold up well. Springing for a more precious metal will make him feel like the special guy he is, so why not step it up a little? (This is also another time where his opinion will be important; ask for it!)

Comfort is key

Everyone likes being comfortable, and jewelry is no exception. Consider the amount of time that ring will spend hugging his finger. He’s far less apt to take it off and play with it if he forgets he’s wearing it. A beveled or rounded edge on the inside of the band assures comfort. Some jewelers call this style of ring a “comfort fit”. If only clothes were labeled that way!

What are your favorite tips, tricks, and tales for men’s wedding band shopping? Comment below — we’d love to hear what you think!

12 October

Ten Years of Grand Gifts

Posted by in Guy's Guide | One Comment

If you make it ten years into a marriage, you truly have something to celebrate! Commemorate each year with a different piece of gemstone jewelry and depending if you’re the giver or the receiver, you’ll build up either an arsenal of gift-giving ideas or quite the jewelry wardrobe. 

Year One: The Greatness of Gold

The first anniversary gem isn’t a gem, but a classic choice of jewelry, yellow gold. Coveted throughout time, yellow gold jewelry has been regarded as a symbol of love; no wonder it’s an apt gift for this important milestone. Join the gold circle and consider renewing your love with a pretty gold Forget Me Knot Ring.

Year Two: Gorgeous Garnet

Treasured for thousands of years, the luscious gem representing the sophomore year of marriage is the garnet. Available in crimson-red garnet and raspberry-colored, rhodolite garnet, this gem looks wonderful in heart-shaped jewelry like the Spark My Heart Ring.

Year Three: Pick Your Pearls

Pearls give off a celestial glow for your third-year anniversary, and have been associated with the moon in many cultures. Stand out in Tahitian pearl, peach pearl, golden South Sea pearl, pink pearl, lavender pearl, or classic white pearl jewelry. Go for a modern twist on tried-and-true pearl earrings in lavender pearl drops suspended by swirls of sterling silver.

Year Four: Beloved Blue Topaz

As you approach year four, you may wonder what kind of anniversary gift is appropriate; it hasn’t quite been five years, nor are you still newlyweds. Blue topaz is quickly becoming a popular stand-in for more expensive aquamarine and sapphire jewelry. Blue topaz rings, like the Melissa Ring, pack a colorful punch.

Year Five: Sweet Sapphire

When we hear the word “sapphire”, we often think of blue, as in “true blue”, because the sapphire has a longstanding association with devotion and fidelity. Blue sapphire has long been favored by royalty, but sapphire comes in several different colors, like pink, yellow, and white. Love blue? Aspire to royalty in the Princess Kate Ring.

Year Six: Be Admired in Amethyst

Amethyst is the sixth-year anniversary gem and the gem of sobriety and peace. By year six, wear this lovely purple gem as a fantastic reminder to take everything slowly and reflect on life and love. However, this association doesn’t mean that wearing amethyst jewelry can’t be a celebration, like this amethyst Lotus Ring!

Year Seven: Opulent Onyx

Black as night, onyx jewelry works both at the office or for a black-tie event. Not only is onyx a chic gem, but it was once believed to help build confidence and protect its wearer against negativity. Show your elegantly darker side with a round onyx center gem set in the ornate Winter Palace Ring.

Year Eight: Tantalize in Tourmaline

Tourmaline is October’s birthstone in addition to the eighth-year anniversary gemstone. Gemvara offers several designs set with either pink tourmaline or green tourmaline. (Some customers even order both set in the same design!) Tourmaline is thought to inspire creativity and strengthen the nervous system. Get fabulous and rejoice your good health in a pair of pink tourmaline hoops!

Year Nine: Lovely Lapis

The opaque, deep blue hue of lapis lazuli is the ninth-year anniversary gemstone. It can occur in shades of light denim or intense cobalt, and can contain threads of pyrite (fool’s gold), sodalite, or white calcite. Lapis is among the most wanted of the opaque, semi-precious gemstones, and looks great in rings and drop earrings.

Year Ten: Definitely Diamonds

Diamonds are the tenth-year anniversary gemstone and the hardest natural substance on Earth. The Romans believed that diamonds fell from the stars, while the Greeks thought they were tears from the gods. Women love both white diamond and black diamond jewelry. Either way, there’s no denying that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, offering courage, strength, and the ever-popular bling factor. Jazz up your diamonds by mixing them with another gem for brilliant color and radiance, as shown here in the Sea Spray Band.

Still feeling stumped? Take a look at other popular anniversary jewelry gifts!

5 October

A Guy’s Guide to Anniversary Gifts

Buying your wife an anniversary gift doesn’t have to be a painful process. Of course, if you’ve never done it before, it can feel worrisome. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to walk the mall for hours, deal with store employees who would rather be elsewhere, and waste a ton of time. Besides, there’s no doubt your wife will be happy to get something other than flowers, which die within days. Read on for a few easy suggestions to wow and keep her happy. (We all know how important that is!)

Go for the Gold

The gold standard is a standard for a reason. Long ago, someone started a trend when he or she declared that the traditional first anniversary gift was yellow gold, a classic. This Love Notes gold necklace features an “awww”-inducing envelope that opens to reveal a tiny “note” on which you can engrave a special message. Engrave “Forever Yours” or something equally mushy and put it in the envelope. Be forewarned however; your male friends and family members just might get mad at you for showing them how great gift-giving is really done!

A Whiter Shade of Pale

While we can’t argue that gold is a fantastic choice, it’s not the only one out there. Take a close look at what your wife usually wears. Does she prefer white metals like white gold, sterling silver, palladium, and platinum? Many women wear some kind of white gold jewelry every day. If your wife is fashion-forward and loves interesting designs, she’ll adore these rock crystal and white gold earrings.


A Rosy Disposition

It could be that she’s even more unique and really loves rose gold, a metal that is often in short supply in local, brick and mortar jewelry stores. Gemvara offers a vast range of rose gold rings, earrings, and pendants, like the one here, which can be customized to showcase both of your birthstones.



Jewels Worthy of Royalty

Is your lady ultra-glamorous? You don’t have to have a palace-sized fortune to buy royal jewels. Unless your wife somehow doesn’t know who Kate Middleton is (in which case, you’re not likely reading this), she might love a royal pair of earrings just like these white gold and diamond stunners Kate wore on her wedding day.



Keys, Please

Still stumped? Several celebrities have been photographed wearing key necklaces in movies, on TV, and in their personal lives. These cool keys pendants are just as fashionable among your wife’s friends as they are onscreen. Don’t have a ton of cash? Treat your leading lady to a sterling silver key personalized with her initial dotted with her favorite gem or birthstone.


Classics: Hoops and Rings

Finally, want something really easy? Start a tradition by giving her one stackable ring like the cute Band of Hearts Ring for the next five years! It’s guaranteed to be her favorite tradition ever, and in her eyes, you’ll stand on a pedestal above everyone else. If she’s more into earrings, I don’t know one woman who doesn’t love hoop earrings. But keep in mind that if you’re buying an anniversary present, the hoops should be far more special than the regular silver hoops she probably wears three days a week. Go grand and pick up a pair of hoops studded with glittering black and white diamonds.

Good luck and happy anniversary!

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