How to Get the Engagement Ring You Want

 

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The world of engagement rings is vast. With so many incredible options, it can be hard to hone in on one design before being completely drawn into the next. Should you choose platinum or yellow gold? A modern setting or an organic design? Before launching my own jewelry collection, I spent my years working for goldsmiths and selling jewelry in galleries. I was romanced by one perfect ring after another. It seemed unfair to have to choose just one!

With the plethora of options in mind, let’s think of how difficult the challenge of choosing an engagement ring is from your partner’s perspective. There’s a lot of pressure on him to pick a ring that’s perfectly ‘you!’ and he wants nothing more than to get it right. His goals are to find a ring which is timeless, personal and beautiful, but unlike you he’s probably spent far less time daydreaming about what that ring could be. If you could give him a little guidance for his quest, would you do it?

If you’re in a relationship you can probably sense when you’re on the marriage track, even if you don’t know a proposal is drawing near. Some couples decide to shop for the ring together, but it is still very common for most couples to want the act, and the ring, to have an element of surprise. If this is you, I’d suggest starting a little research of your own. My to-do list below helps you consider your options and tells you how to pass along key information without ruining a surprise.

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10 Best Jewelry Boxes – 2016

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Your jewelry is a work of art. Shouldn’t the place you store it be beautiful too?

In addition to decorating your vanity, a jewelry box helps keep your collection safe when it’s not in use.  Organizing your jewelry reduces the likelihood of chains tangling and the mates to your earrings going missing. Proper storage also protects delicate gemstones from scratching against one another. You can achieve serious peace of mind knowing your jewelry is safely–and stylishly– tucked away in a safe place.

Today I’m sharing 10 of my favorite jewelry boxes available in 2016. Mother’s day is around the corner, and if you’re anything like me you’ve gifted a fair amount of jewelry to your Mom over the years. Perhaps this year you’ll find that a jewelry box is both a personal and practical gift. [and if you need help filling it, I’ve got you covered.]

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1. Tesora Jewelry Box, Sung Wook Park, Anthropologie, $48

Two beautifully crafted industrial materials merge in this container stack. It’s the perfect place to store a few pieces on a bathroom vanity or console.

 

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2. Stow It Jewelry Box, Sung Woo Park, Umbra – $60

Clean lines and clever drawers make this jewelry box as fun as it is functional. The felt lined pockets and ring slots make this a great place for your keepsakes.

 

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3. Liza Wooden Jewelry Box, Mele & Co , $90

If you find your zen by organizing things neatly, you’ll love the multitude of compartments in the Liza jewelry box. Each slot is perfect for keeping earring mates together and protecting softer stones like opals and pearls from scratching against neighboring gems.

 

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4. Grand Lacquer Jewelry Box, West Elm – $153

The center ring slots and deep swing-out drawers for bangles make this West Elm box a winner in my book.

 

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5. Antique Gold Jewelry Boxes, Pottery Barn – $129

Place your most artful pieces under a glass display. The engraved details along the golden frame add a touch of elegance.

 

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6. Selma Jewelry Box, Crate & Barrel – $149

Clean contemporary lines, plenty of slotted ring storage and a light linen interior make this jewelry box a home-run.

 

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7. SAIC Valet Jewelry Cabinet & Mirror, CB2 – $249

Reduce visual clutter by storing large statement necklaces behind this functional mirror for your vanity.

 

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8. Toulouse Jewelry Box, Jonathan Adler – $295

A wild speckled motif paired with the velvet lined interior (plus compartments! loads of compartments!) makes this jewelry box anything but ordinary.

 

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9. Hampton Bay Jewelry Armoire , Home Decorators Collection – $319

A full size jewelry armoire provides ample storage for your fine jewelry, watches, and fashionable baubles too.

 

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10. Hartford Jewelry Dresser , Dot & Bo – $829

A modern day replica of the George Nelson jewelry console at a more conservative price. Pair it with a modern mirror to complete your favorite dressing nook.


 

Quick tips for safe jewelry storage:

  • Slow the growth of tarnish on your silver jewelry by storing pieces in airtight ziplock bags.
  • Precious metal and gemstones [especially diamonds!] can scratch neighboring gems. Store soft pieces such as opals and pearls away from other items (try employing the ziplock method above)
  • Create an itemized list of your collection for reference in the event of loss or theft.

 

Rose Gold Bypass Ring with Sapphire and Diamond

Playful – check! √
Colorful – check! √
Sparkling – checkcheck! √√

Bypass rings, like this rose gold, sapphire and diamond piece created for a client at Gallery of Jewels, are a fun way to display a duo of gemstones that have a personal meaning. Perhaps they showcase the birthstones of your two beloved children. They could symbolize you and your partner in perfect harmony. Or maybe, you’re drawn to the playful open design and have two favorite gems you’d love to display. Any way you slice it, this freeform design is sure to start a conversation.

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Anniversary Wedding Set

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Here’s a long overdue look at an awesome set of custom rings.

Jen and her husband Shane were married for 9 years before we met to talk about their wedding rings. They had eloped years ago, and with their 10th anniversary around the corner they began to think about upgrading their wedding set. It’s a very long story… but without Jen I would have never met my husband (It’s thanks to her that he and I ended up in San Francisco at the same time years ago). As you can imagine, I was honored to have this chance to thank her with my time and art. I’m forever in her debt!

It was important to Jen and Shane that the new rings reflected their personality. Jen has an amazing eye for design and had created jewelry of her own years ago. We had fun hanging out in my studio, talking shop and gems and tools and deciding on the perfect style for their wedding set.

The engagement ring we designed was a yellow gold version of my fragment engagement ring using a stellar black rose cut diamond. To stack alongside it, we crafted a palladium Tioga Band and incorporated some of her family diamonds into the mix. Shane’s band is a Flat Diablo Band in palladium with brushed finish and comfort fit interior.

When the rings were complete, Jen and Shane whisked away to wine country to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I wish them all the love and happiness for the years ahead.

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Handmade Gifts

This year I skipped the gift of treats which I usually send to my galleries in favor of something a little more personal. My Dad and I made wood turned pens from bloodwood and zebrawood on my Grandfather’s lathe. It is a hobby my father picked up a year ago and knew I would also enjoy . Each one takes about an hour to create and is finished with gold plated findings. The founder of Makers Market took a moment to write about receiving her gift.

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MINI Reinvented

This November I had an incredible opportunity to team up with MINI USA for the MINI Reinvented campaign, a celebration of craftsmanship and a look at the all new MINI Clubman. I was one of eight San Francisco makers chosen to talk about the design and execution of my collection to their visitors, and of course, to show off a little jewelry. The pictures below were captured by their lovely photographers at the event. Visit the link above for even more!