Finding Inspiration: Custom Jewelry Made With Trims
Sparks of creativity can result in beautiful pieces of jewelry that customers will enjoy for years to come. But customized pieces do not have to be extravagant or sizable. Sometimes the most unique pieces are simply the tiniest displays of personalization. Have you thought of creating your own line of personalized jewelry made using trims? Let’s explore this concept in this month’s edition of Finding Inspiration.
Finding Inspiration is a campaign to inspire the inner designer in every jeweler and provide a spark of creativity in artisans throughout the jewelry industry. We are always amazed at the phenomenal work that Stuller customers do with our findings and want to share that creativity with our community. Let’s dive into the world of trims and how they can be used to craft a line of jewelry.
Trims: Variety Provides Options
These versatile findings provide many options when considering developing a line of jewelry. They can be soldered to various other findings — such as shanks, jump rings, bails, and posts — to create rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, and more! Stuller offers a wide variety of trims to give you options. Browse hundreds of our trims on Stuller.com and start creating today!
Members of our fine jewelry and findings teams often collaborate to develop new pieces to offer our customers.
“Findings is a never-ending puzzle,” says Emily Hargroder, Findings Product Manager. “It’s all about having the perfect connecting pieces to fill the gaps. Our team is always talking to customers and studying finished jewelry pieces to discover what findings are missing in our line. Our job is to create components that make designing as easy as possible for our jewelers.”
See how our teams came together to combine trims with other findings to create popular pieces of fine jewelry.
Custom Laser Cut Designs Program
Can’t find the trim you’re looking for in our product line? Create your own laser cut trims using our Custom Laser Cut Designs Program! This is a quick, consistent service that provides you with the perfect way to explore your creativity, create a line of jewelry unique to your store, or offer personalization. Get started designing today by emailing CustomLaserDesigns@Stuller.com or call 800-877-7777, ext. 3631.
Share Your Inspiration
Have you thought of a line of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, or rings you want to develop? Share it with us on social media! We are always looking to see great pieces of creativity made using our findings. If you want a chance to be featured in an upcoming edition of Finding Inspiration, post your piece(s) online using the hashtag #stullerfindings and tagging us @stullerinc.
Check out our recent Finding Inspiration blog posts for more design pieces with Stuller findings.
302® Fine Jewelry: The Latest in Fashion on Newsstands Now
If you pick up this month’s edition of Harper’s BAZAAR, you will find pieces from 302® Fine Jewelry that are simply glittering in gold. In our latest feature, experience a rush of gold that focuses on how 302 Fine Jewelry provides “something personal” that tells the wearer’s story.
Stuller’s Senior Director of Fine Jewelry Emily Graffagnino and her team have worked diligently with Harper’s BAZAAR to showcase items that consumers are looking for.
“All of the pieces chosen for the Harper’s BAZAAR feature are sure-to-sell items that are the perfect mix of classic, trend, and symbolic,” says Graffagnino. “The trendy baguette and pearl huggies are a jewelry box staple, the moon phase necklace and chain link ring are symbolic pieces that command attention and the petite dome ring is a modern update to the classic dome ring. Each of these pieces represent something personal and offer something for every woman.”
One of the benefits of being a 302 Fine Jewelry retail partner is having pieces advertised in national publications. Our retail partners receive benefits of widespread advertising as well as materials that help promote these features in their store and online.
Taylor Beadle, Fine Jewelry Product Manager on the 302 Fine Jewelry team, says the product line “was created by women for women to tell their story with jewelry. We created the seven collections with the intention of offering a variety of products that allow women to celebrate every chapter of their life with jewelry — whether it’s a promotion, new baby, friendship, or just because. What’s more personal than celebrating yourself?”
Provide on-trend fine jewelry that encourages women to express their true selves. For more information on 302 Fine Jewelry and how to become a retail partner, visit our website at Stuller.com/302FineJewelry.
As the crown jewel of this year’s adjusted award season, last night’s Academy Awards held up to the pandemic-era standard. Although the red carpet and attendee list was reduced for this year’s event, those who were in attendance made their presence count. If you’re looking to know exactly what the latest and greatest in fashion is, just look at this year’s star-studded celebrities attending the Oscars.
This year, Shelby and Taylor from Stuller’s fine jewelry team are giving their expert opinions on what styles topped of their lists. Follow along for all the fashion inspo you’ve been waiting for.
Shelby’s Take: Diamonds Shined Bright
Even though expectations might have been lowered for another socially distanced award show, Shelby was pleasantly surprised at the elegance that took the stage.
“Although this year’s show may have been scaled down in attendance, diamond fashion was definitely scaled all the way up,” she said. “Whether it’s Zendaya’s canary diamond suite or Isla Fisher’s stacked line necklaces, carat weight seemed to outweigh the 8.5 pound gold keepsakes across the board.”
Enjoy Shelby’s top trends from the evening.
Spring is in the air and that means everyone is looking for the perfect splash of color. Zendaya and Andra Day were seen making their own splash on the red carpet last night sporting beautiful pieces set with sunshine-inspired stones.
Canary yellow diamonds (DIAMOND-GEN:298100:G) are the perfect complement to any piece, such as earrings and rings. Try setting a square engagement ring mounting (122394:1581:P) or stunning teardrop earrings (84396:116:P) with diamonds that give you a spark of colorful inspiration.
Continuing on with the love of diamonds, Shelby noticed that diamond line necklaces were the real ultimate accessory of the evening. Vanessa Kirby, Isla Fisher, and Tiara Thomas were all seen sporting eye-catching diamond line necklaces. Simple in design, but truly stunning in effect. Another great fact about this trend is that is not isolated to just women. Daniel Kaluuya from “Judas and the Black Messiah” also grabbed Shelby’s attention with his own stunning line necklace. Everyone loves a versatile piece!
The beauty and elegance of this accessory cannot be emphasized enough. For a classic appeal, choose a white gold line necklace set with natural diamonds (68226:101:P). For a more progressive style, enjoy a stunning graduated line necklace set with lab-grown diamonds (653717:LG101:P).
Who doesn’t love a good stackable trend? Shelby certainly does and noticed that Regina King glowed with diamond ear climbers as she made her directing debut this season. Producer of the feature documentary “Collective” Bianca Oana also looked beautiful with floral-inspired ear climbers. Floral-inspired accessories in fashion are standing out and are more than just a seasonal favorite.
Finding floral-inspired climbers to add to an ear stack collection is an absolute necessity. Shelby’s top recommendations include two gorgeous earring climbers (86946:600:P and 81221:60000:P).
Taylor’s Take: The Award Goes to Layers
In Taylor’s opinion, the real Academy Award winner is a solid layered combination, particularly on the fingers and wrists.
“Celebrities were layering on the jewelry after their year-long break from the red carpet,” she said. “Chunky rings were having a moment on both men and women! Lots of stacks happening on the fingers and wrists. Why wear one ring when you can wear five?”
Honestly, we couldn’t agree more. Check out Taylor’s favorite looks from the evening.
Ring stacks are a prominent look among men and women with last night being no exception. Colman Domingo and Trish Summerville were perfect examples of having stunning ring stacks made with beautifully chunky rings.
Finding ring statements for both daily wear or formal occasions are all about expressing personal style. Choose from Stuller’s selection of dome rings that truly go with anything (124572, 72173, 52257, and 5206).
Rings weren’t the only chunky accessories that saw some love last night. Taylor had a keen eye and noticed some chain pieces capturing attention. Lakeith Stanfield featured chain both on his neck and wrist. He took a bold look to another level and really made us love this modern trend even more.
It’s no secret that we love the chain trend, so we are happy to take any opportunity to feature a favorite piece. Stanfield’s look reminded Taylor of a stunning accented curb bracelet (BRC822:601:P) in our collection that would look perfect for someone seeking to stand out.
Taylor agreed with Shelby that it was clear that a splash of color was a clear favorite last night. Angela Basset joined Zendaya and Andra Day in the world of color with jaw-droppingly gorgeous earrings that went perfectly with her vibrant red ensemble.
Colorful gemstones deserve their chance to grab attention as well! Pairing gemstones and diamonds together make a match made in heaven, as seen with these lab-grown ruby and diamond accented dangle earrings (86989:6020:P).
Award Show Beauty
Shout out to Shelby and Taylor for giving us their hot takes on this year’s fashion seen at the Oscars. As expected, the Academy Awards did not disappoint in the realm of fashion last night. Judging from Shelby and Taylor’s picks, styles that are bold and make a statement are where you should take inspiration. We can’t wait to see where these looks go throughout the year!
Every couple is different and so is their journey to “I do.” Sometimes a couple finds each other in the most unlikely of places and at a time when they least expect it. For tools & supplies technical specialist Paula, her perfect match was a coworker of more than 20 years, but it was quite the journey to get there. Follow along on a story that epitomizes the saying, “Love is patient.”
This is Paula and Keith’s ring story.
Paula began her career at Stuller in 1995 in the stone setting department as a specialist. Within her first few years at Stuller, she experienced personal ups and downs, which ended with a divorce after 16 years of marriage. While not an experience anyone would want to go through, she looked forward to a new beginning and focused on supporting her children.
At the time Paula had started at Stuller, Keith had already been with the company for three years and was a master stone setter. They worked together in the stone setting department for a few years and became friends. As time passed and their friendship grew, Keith decided to take things to the next level and asked Paula on a date. Having already been married and divorced, Paula was hesitant at first, but knew the Keith was a good man and decided to pursue the opportunity.
Paula’s Perfect Ring
As Paula would say, she loves “bling.” She told Keith that if she ever did get married again, she would want to “do it big.”
With his connections in Stuller’s CAD/CAM team, Keith took a yellow gold Stuller mounting (now discontinued) that featured baguette diamond accents. In addition to the baguette accent stones, he filled in areas between those stones with round diamond accents. Then, he added a platinum setting complete with a marquise diamond. Keith is a certified gemologist and was very picky about what stones he wanted in Paula’s rings. With a service we now call Special Orders, Keith was able to source the perfect marquise diamond in the clarity and quality he wanted.
Paula got Keith’s wedding ring and provided him with options. She chose three options from the catalog and told him to pick two. She wanted to make sure he would like the ring, but still wanted an element of surprise. He picked his two options, and she chose a simple two-tone band made with yellow and white gold to match the style of her ring. She also had their wedding date inscribed on the inside of the band.
Five years after they were married, Keith also had matching bands made for Paula to go on either side of her engagement ring. Paula is a fan of having two bands accompanying an engagement ring. With the help of some friends in CAD/CAM services, Keith was able to get Paula’s ring under the guise of they wanted to practice making an imprint with her ring. What actually happened was Keith soldered two bands onto the ring and gifted her the complete ring for Christmas that year with Paula’s children.
The Journey from “Yes” to “I Do”
A Holiday Proposal
As you can imagine, things progressed very well for Paula and Keith. While Paula was enjoying their time together as they became serious about their relationship, Keith is the type of man that knows what he wants and made his intentions clear. In 1999, Paula was under the impression she was getting a watch for Christmas from Keith. However, while opening gifts with his family, she opened a watch box to no watch.
She looked at him and whispered, “It’s empty.” He smiled and told her, “Look again real good.”
Paula removed the watch collar from the box and laying there was the beautiful ring Keith had designed and customized just for her. She excitedly accepted his proposal.
Patience is a Virtue
While she was incredibly happy to be engaged to Keith, she wasn’t quite ready to get married again and Keith was a patient man. Every six months after their engagement, Keith would ask her, “Are you ready to get married?” Each time she replied, “Not yet.” Unphased, Keith would accept that answer and prepare to ask again in another six months.
This six-month routine repeated itself for over three years. While many would be shocked to hear a story like this, Paula and Keith were not in a rush. They had each other and that was enough. That is, until Paula came to a personal realization.
A True, South Louisiana Wedding
In March 2003, Paula was at her bench in her new role in the modeling department. The thought came to her, “That’s a good man I have. He’s taken ‘no’ every six months and still treats me like a queen and puts me on a pedestal.”
On her break that day, she walked up to his office in stone setting. She told him that she knew it was not his usual check in time, but she was now ready to get married. He replied with a simple “okay” and went back to work. As she walked back to her bench from his office, she was a little confused at how nonchalantly he responded. In fact, she turned around and went back to his office to talk to him about how he felt about the wedding, but he was gone.
Confused and slightly anxious at Keith’s sudden departure from work, she went home at the end of the day wondering what he was up to. As she walked in the house, she saw Keith sitting in the living room and on a table was a marriage license ready for them to get married that upcoming weekend.
Within three days, Keith and their families were able to coordinate a wedding true to their southern Louisiana roots. Complete with their families, they celebrated the next stage of their lives with a crawfish boil at their home and the rest is history. Paula and Keith remain happily married to this day and still work at Stuller along with several members of their family.
A Stuller Happily Ever After
The beautiful thing about love is that it can be unexpected and find us when we least expect it. Paula and Keith’s story is one with a long winding journey, but also with the happy ending they both deserve. The fact that their Stuller family was able to be along for the ride the entire way made it all the better.
Fall in love with the other stories in our collection!
Something Old, Something New: Repurposing Stones for Engagement Rings
Everyone has heard of the adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” on a bride’s wedding day to bring good luck. Today we are going to focus on the first half of the saying so that your brides will feel special with a little something old and newly incorporated into their engagement ring. Let’s dive into the topic of repurposing stones.
Love That Lasts Generations
A bride will always make her wedding day her own and each bride is different. You will see personal touches in every detail from decorations to vows. They find a way to showcase the things that are most important to them, such as family.
One of the oldest traditions in the wedding industry is the act of passing meaningful family items down to the next generation. Jewelry pieces, such as engagement rings, travel through generations from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, aunt to niece, etc.
Due to their strength and value, jewelry set with diamonds are favored to be gifted to a younger family member because they can withstand generations of everyday jewelry wear and will always maintain their value. These pieces are certainly something that should be kept in the family.
While diamond rings are often passed on to younger family members, less often do you see the entire ring being used as an engagement ring. Setting style popularity changes over time and women in different generations have varied tastes. Enter the jeweler.
Solutions for Jewelers
As a jeweler, you are integral to making sure a repurposed stone is used in a new ring properly. While brides may have an idea of the kind of ring they want to use with their stone, it’s important they know whether or not the stone fits the style and shape of the mounting. Your expertise will help guide them to the perfect ring to honor a precious family heirloom.
Stuller provides several options to help you with this task. From making it easy to find semi-set mountings to custom design options, there is a solution for every jeweler and every ring.
ever&ever® Selling Solution
ever&ever® is a complete bridal program featuring high-quality, customizable prototype rings — each a flexible 3C design. While the primary function of ever&ever® is to provide your customers with an in-case customizable ring experience, some Stuller customers are using the selection a different way.
Because the ever&ever® system features some of our best on-trend bridal designs, it is a great place to start when finding a setting that your customer would love to pair with their stone! Every ever&ever® ring can be ordered semi-set so you can place the repurposed stone in yourself.
Provide your customer with the best style options for their stone size and make sure to use Stuller.com/everandever to help narrow down your options by inputting the stone size and shape.
Advanced Mountings Search
If you have the stone size and shape but want to narrow down your selection of mountings that fit, use our Advanced Mountings Search. You can find the Advanced Mounting Search by clicking the featured blue button at the top of our website or visit Stuller.com/SearchByStone.
Narrow down your options by selecting the stone shape, dimensions, the metal color you’d like, and product type (select rings). From there, you will only see options that fit the stone the bride is providing. Further organize your search by bestsellers, newness, and price to find the perfect mounting.
If you’d rather create a completely customized design option, our CAD/CAM Services is here to help. Submit a sketch, CAD design created with MatrixGold® or other CAD-based software, or even a wax or resin model. From there, our team will get to work crafting your unique piece to fit your customer’s stone. When it comes to repurposing stones, CAD/CAM Services provides the most flexible and custom solutions.
Not only is it important to find a mounting that fits the stone, but it’s also important for you to consider any accent or companion stones being incorporated into the piece. Stuller’s Matching Services for diamonds and gemstones is there to help you find the perfect stones to complement your customer’s diamond. To get started, contact our team at 800-877-7777, ext. 5.
Your Custom Jewelry Partner
A wedding is always an exciting occasion, and we want to be there for you as you help the happy couple. It’s important for you to know that when dealing with repurposing stones, you have many options available to you and Stuller wants to help. If you ever need to know what options available to you are best, feel free to contact us at 800-877-7777.
Finding Inspiration: A Custom Designed Mother’s Pendant
As jewelers, we have the opportunity to provide our customers with something completely unique and meaningful – something they will enjoy and cherish for a lifetime. Being with customers for great milestones and commemorative occasions is truly something special. Elizabeth Parker with Curt Parker Jewelers recently had the opportunity to share her experience of crafting a one-of-a-kind piece for a customer that takes those special moments and allows them to be with the customer forever.
Finding Inspiration is a campaign to inspire the inner designer within every jeweler and provide a spark of creativity for artisans throughout the jewelry industry. We are always in awe of what our customers are doing with Stuller findings and how they make unique pieces of jewelry. In this installation of Finding Inspiration, we take a look at the piece made by Curt Parker Jewelers and the story behind such a beautiful piece of art.
Curt Parker Jewelers: The Beginning
Elizabeth Parker and her husband Curt have been in the jewelry business together since 1976; however, this was not always their profession. When they got married, Curt was a design engineer and Elizabeth was a college professor. Shortly after their wedding, Curt decided he wanted to switch careers and become a trade jeweler. Elizabeth supported this decision, and it didn’t take long for her to join him in this new endeavor.
Although a teacher by trade at the time, Elizabeth was no stranger to jewelry design.
“I had started designing jewelry when I was 10 years old. I would make pieces and go door to door in my neighborhood selling them,” Elizabeth said.
Throughout her schooling, she had intentions to pursue an art degree when the time came to go to college. However, fear of not being able to support herself on a career in art pushed her to choose teaching. But as you can see, Elizabeth is an example of how our dreams sometimes have a way of coming back to us unexpectedly.
In the beginning, Curt and Elizabeth operated their jewelry business out of the basement of their home for 8 years before establishing their first brick and mortar location. After 20 years they moved into a larger free-standing location in St. Louis, Missouri, where they remain today.
“We have been doing almost all of our finding work with Stuller since our beginning,” Elizabeth added. “We do a lot of work with findings where we will take the basic pieces, like a basket setting, and create an unusual or different top that is unique to us.”
They have been Stuller customers for more than 35 years and are recipients of 13 national and international awards for jewelry design.
Close to a Mother’s Heart
For the specific piece we are highlighting, it all began with a custom request from a loving mother. In January of this year, a customer met with Elizabeth for her assistance in making a mother’s piece to commemorate the love she has for her family. She wanted the piece to include the birthstones of her husband, herself, her son, her daughter, and her daughter-in-law. Other than that detail, she left a large part of the design work up to Elizabeth.
From there, Elizabeth got to work. Because the customer is a gardener, she used a flower as inspiration for this piece. The final piece resembles a top-down view of a blooming flower in a pot where the stones are the petals.
The stones include 9x6mm oval-cut Aquamarine, Peridot, Amethyst, Rhodalite Garnet, and a 7mm Japanese Akoya Pearl. The stones are set on a 14K white gold pear-shaped setting with a scroll design (1904). The piece also included four setting strips (1061) set with 1.5 carats of diamonds. The bail (184) was added to connect the pendant to a chain. All metal was finished in rhodium plating solution (45-4142) to reduce tarnishing.
The findings used in this piece perfectly complemented the stones and design. For example, if you look closely at the settings used to hold the stone (1904), the scroll design resembles a flower. Even the tiniest details in the findings used in a piece can bring the whole piece together.
“We have developed our findings assortment over the years to include a wide variety of offerings so that jewelers and designers like Elizabeth are able to provide their customers with the piece of their dreams,” says Molly Kowalski, Stuller findings product manager. “In a custom piece, everything should feel cohesive in the design. The findings used set the foundation so make sure you have exactly what you need. Don’t forget that our team is here to help!”
Elizabeth’s Helping Hand
Elizabeth worked diligently to provide her customer with a piece to keep her family close to her heart. Along the way, Stuller was with her to help with any obstacles that came up.
“The biggest challenge was finding stones that fit a color palette,” she said.
Coordinating five gemstones of differing colors can be quite the challenge. However, Stuller’s Special Order Services worked with Elizabeth to hand-select stones in hues that complemented each other.
In the end, Elizabeth created a beautiful pendant her customer was thrilled with and is sure to wear with pride. Elizabeth was also careful to design the pendant with space to include future expansions to the family. Her customer’s family story is not yet complete, and Elizabeth will be there to assist her in telling that future tale.
Stories like Elizabeth’s is a large part of why Stuller continues our work today. A jeweler can provide a customer with something that truly touches the heart, and we want to be there every step of the way. From unique pieces to finished solutions, Stuller stands ready to assist jewelers at a moment’s notice however you may need us. Get started learning about the products and services we offer by visiting Stuller.com.
Share Your Inspiration
Did this month’s feature of Curt Parker Jewelers inspire you? Do you have a similar story you’d like to share with us? Join our community of artisans and jewelers using Stuller findings to craft unique pieces for their customers by posting pictures of your jewelry on social media using #stullerfindings and tagging us @stullerinc. Inspire others and share your creativity. Join us again next month for another installment of Finding Inspiration.
Check out more posts from our Finding Inspiration campaign.
Continuing our celebration of Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™, we are highlighting stunning engagement rings and the Stuller associates who wear them.
Behind every ring is a unique story. The spark, the first date, meeting family members, the first trip together, the proposal. Everything from the moment you meet to the moment you say “I do” builds on an epic story worth sharing. For Stuller graphic designer Marci, reminiscing on those moments with her husband Josh are particularly special now that they are about to embark on a new journey together as parents. More on that to come.
This is Marci and Josh’s ring story.
Setting the Scene
Marci and Josh had a unique start to their relationship. In the world of online dating, it’s sometimes hard to meet someone in person without some assistance. Friends of Marci, who also worked at Stuller, approached Marci about potentially setting her up with their friend Josh. Marci was not too eager to go on a blind date, but eventually agreed.
On their group bowling date, “it was as awkward as a group date can be and as blind as a blind date can be in the world of social media. I for sure looked him up online before showing up,” Marci said.
While Marci may have thought the first meeting to be awkward, she stayed on Josh’s mind following the date and he eventually worked up the courage to ask her out on a solo date.
The Perfect, Modern Trend
As you might have guessed, things progressed very well for Marci and Josh onward. For nearly two years, their relationship grew and then it became time to consider the next step.
Working in the marketing department at Stuller, Marci has studied thousands of engagement rings. So you can imagine that there was a list of features and styles that she liked. That is, until the day she found the one she loved. While assisting in a photo shoot, she found what would ultimately be THE one. Immediately, she took a picture of the ring and sent it to Josh along with an item number to make sure he got the hint.
“Noted,” he replied. With the help of public relations and social media manager Nichole Guillory, he began to create her dream ring.
While not particular about many of the details going into the ring, Marci provided some guidance to Josh. She was partial to a moissanite center stone and preferred yellow gold or rose gold.
In the end, Marci’s engagement ring was a simple, yet beautiful rose gold solitaire (122004) with a crown setting. The center stone is a 7.4mm round-shaped colorless Charles & Colvard Forever One® Moissanite. Josh wanted his band to match Marci’s so she got him a lightweight comfort fit half round band (IRL11) made in rose gold, a very trendy style for men’s bands.
As a special touch to his band, Marci worked with Stuller’s CAD/CAM Services to inscribe a little note on the inside of the band. “Love, Marci” accompanies their wedding date to serve as an eternal reminder of their new beginning.
Full Circle Moment
There is something else special about Marci’s wedding band that really touches the heart. To provide some background, Stuller was not Marci’s first job in the jewelry industry. She began her journey in jewelry at a local jewelry store in Opelousas, LA while in high school.
Mornhinveg & Castille has been a loyal Stuller customer for nearly 40 years. In fact, Marci was first introduced to Stuller while working as a holiday gift wrapper there at the age of 15. She was a part of the Mornhinveg & Castille family through high school and even during college. For her, it only made sense to honor where she came from.
When she went to visit the showroom, she was greeted by current owner and former Stuller associate, Eric Castro. He was able to give her a perfect buying experience and helped her find the perfect band. She found a beautiful rose gold diamond-set wedding band to match her ring and Josh bought it right out of the case.
This band now serves as a reminder to Marci that you never know where life will take you and how parts of your past can come back to make your future that much brighter.
With the rings in hand, all that was left to do was to seal the deal by popping the question. But it did not happen how Marci thought it would.
Part 1 – She Thought
There was a moment when Marci was sure that Josh was going to propose. They were traveling to a friend’s baby shower out of town when they decided to make a weekend out of it. What better way to spend a weekend getaway than at a charming bed and breakfast?
For an afternoon outing, they decided to visit the local state park. When they arrived, Josh pulled out a picnic basket Marci wasn’t expecting. They enjoy a picturesque walk followed by a magical picnic complete with wine and a cheese assortment. While they were eating a deer came out of the woods and Marci was sure this was a sign that this outing was something out of a movie.
She was so sure that he was going to use that moment to propose. But the moment did not come that weekend, much to her dismay. Although she will admit it was a wonderful weekend that she enjoyed spending with him.
Part 2 – The Real Deal
Keeping her anxiousness to herself, they returned home. But Marci didn’t realize her real surprise was soon coming. The following week, Josh asked Marci to join him for a trip to Avery Island’s Jungle Gardens – home of the Louisiana famous McIlhenny family’s Tobasco® hot sauce factory just south of Lafayette.
She felt a feeling of dejá vu as he brought along another picnic basket on their walk through the gardens. When they arrived at their picnic location, he opened the basket to reveal a dozen roses along with a letter. In the letter was a note to Marci that expressed how he felt about her and presented a very important question.
As she finished the letter and looked up, Josh was waiting on his knee with the ring in hand. After she gave an enthusiastic “YES!”, they joined their families who were waiting for them at a local brewery. They were all in on the plan.
Two Plus Two
Marci and Josh have a beautiful love story that is complemented by gorgeous rings that carry special meaning behind them. These rings tell their story – one as unique as their love. And now they prepare for that love to grow exponentially. After three happy years of marriage, Marci and Josh are expecting twin baby girls to be born next month!
We wish the ultimate happiness to the soon-to-be parents and are sure their love will last as long as their cherished rings that symbolize a lifetime of commitment, stories, and new beginnings.
Pick out your favorite Stuller ring story from the others featured on our blog.
In the United States, tradition has been that the man provides his fiancé with an engagement ring to symbolize their intent to be married to society. However, times change, and younger generations find new ways to evolve the wedding industry in exciting ways. The latest trend that is beginning to reach America from Europe is an engagement ring meant for men. Enter the “mengagement ring.”
Let’s dive into this trend and see how it has developed. Then, as your trusted jewelry resource, we will provide some insight so you can answer questions your customers have regarding picking out their own men’s engagement ring.
Mengagement Ring: New Trend or Newly Successful?
Believe it or not, the concept of men wearing engagement rings is not that new. Cultures around the world have integrated the men’s engagement ring over the ages into their own wedding traditions. For example, in Chile, both men and women wear engagement rings; however, they wear them on their right hand and move them to their left on their wedding day. In Argentina, couples exchange their rings at the engagement, not the wedding. In Sweden and other Nordic countries, both men and women exchange a simple gold or silver band at their engagement.
Fun Fact: Even in America, jewelers attempted to market engagement rings to men in the 1920s. While that sales strategy proved to be unsuccessful at that time, men eventually did adopt the wedding band a few decades later.
The trend of western civilization adopting an engagement ring for men was first seen in 2009 in the United Kingdom. A jeweler named H. Samuel introduced the “Tioro” – a wide band with a single small diamond meant specifically as an engagement ring for men. While this ring has been primarily used as a wedding ring, the trend has started to take hold over the last decade.
Fun Fact: According to Ritani in 2020, 1 in 20 women propose to their fiancés.
With the rise of many couples being more concerned with equality and men in America being more comfortable with wearing jewelry, both men and women have taken to wearing engagement rings to show their matching love and commitment. Prominent examples of men donning an engagement ring include Johnny Depp, David Otunga, Ed Sheeran, and Michael Buble.
Regardless of the reasons or motivations, that fact is that more men or their partners will be looking into engagement rings in the coming years. When the time comes, be prepared by knowing what questions to ask so you can be your customers’ guide at the start of their marriage journey.
The Initial Conversation
Because there is no set tradition for this trend, you may have the future groom discussing a ring he envisions for himself or you may have his future fiancé looking to surprise him. Either way, get to know his tastes and jewelry habits at the start so you know which styles to suggest.
The groom-to-be may want to stack an engagement ring and wedding band on one finger, they may wear the engagement ring on one finger and the wedding band on another, they may only choose to wear the one ring, etc. Knowing how he might plan on wearing his engagement ring will help make the following decisions.
Men’s bands tend to have a greater width. However, if they intend on having an engagement band and a wedding band on the same finger, it would be better to suggest a thinner ring. Wider bands are more typical for men, but it depends on what is most comfortable for him. Compare other rings he may wear to get an idea of what width he prefers.
While style preference is a major factor in choosing metal, also have a conversation on how physically active he is. Gold is a classic metal choice with many design options available; however, a man that needs a more durable ring for work and vigorous activity should look at platinum or a strong contemporary metal, such as cobalt or tantalum.
Just like women’s engagement rings, the style and design possibilities are endless. Men with simple or traditional tastes might prefer a classic gold band. Customize with a personalized engraving and make it the perfect ring to symbolize his love and commitment. Men looking for sleek and modern pieces have several options in terms of design, including artistic finishes, inlays, two-toned metals, and stones. Getting to know fashion preferences and activity levels will help you guide your customer to the right ring.
While there are countless men’s wedding band designs out there that work perfectly for a man’s engagement ring, this new jewelry trend might deserve a more tailored approach. Consider working with your customer on creating an engagement ring that is 100% unique to him. Design it yourself using our jewelry design software, MatrixGold® or CounterSketch®, then submit your design to our CAD/CAM Services team to make their dream a reality. We even create wax models so you can show your customer exactly what they are getting. This is a special moment in their life and you can make it a memorable one.
Are You Sold on Men’s Engagement Rings?
For many jewelers, this trend is definitely outside of the ordinary. However, it is important to stay on top of the industry’s trends so you can best serve your customers. Men will continue to be more comfortable going outside the box and wearing the jewelry they like. We know you will continue to provide the best service to your customers, and Stuller will continue to be your partner in business for all your jewelry needs.
For more resources on men’s jewelry fashion, check out these blog posts!
Golden Looks Featured at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards
The beginning of this year’s award season has begun with the 2021 Golden Globe Awards. As always, we were very excited to see this year’s winners, but held even more anticipation for the fashion statements the nominees and presenters would be wearing. Whether strutting the step and repeats in New York and Los Angeles or smiling for the webcam within their own homes, the stars of this year’s Golden Globes certainly grabbed our attention.
While every Golden Globe attendee looked stunning, we picked out certain looks that simply blew us away with how they showcased current trends. From stylish earring stacks to dazzling diamonds, here are our favorite looks to satisfy your fashion inspiration craving to kick off the week!
Kicking off our review of Golden Globe jewelry is the absolute legend, Jane Fonda. Fonda was the recipient of the Cecil B. deMille Award for her contributions to the industry – a well-deserved recognition. Her award show outfit featured an elegant, but simply designed pantsuit accompanied by matching gold jewelry. The most notable statement from her look were her gold earrings that lightly grazed her shoulders with a stone to match her ring. Everything about this look complemented the classic appeal and style of an iconic actress. Live your own golden dream with these gold earrings!
This Golden Globe recipient for her lead role in The Queen’s Gambit showed up to be seen and she was definitely seen. Wearing the most stunning emerald green evening gown, she is the very definition of couture and elegance with diamond jewelry to match. Her diamond drop earrings and Y necklace make for the perfect accessories to match the signature Golden Globe trophy. Live out your diamond fantasy with earrings and necklaces!
You seriously could not miss Cynthia Erivo’s neon green “scuba” dress. Her futuristic style was simply stunning and went well with her curated earring stack. It’s hard not to feel on top of the world when you have the perfect stack and her personality certainly shined last night.
Diamonds were absolutely this Emily in Paris star’s best friend last night as she donned the finest stones in high fashion jewelry. Ringing in a total of 540 diamonds between her earrings, ring, and bracelet, she was the epitome of elegance and luxury. We don’t know about you, but we could just stare at those beautiful pieces forever.
Stylish men’s jewelry also made an appearance last night with one of our favorites being the up-and-coming Dan Levy. This co-creator of the hit series Schitt’s Creek is absolutely becoming a fashion icon, but our favorite accessory that he pulls off so well is the watch. A staple in men’s fashion, selecting the right watch can really finish the perfect look for a man of any style. We will continue to obsess over this Golden Globe winner and look forward to seeing him again in the future on the red carpet.
You can find a piece of every bride in her ring as it reflects her style, personality, and beauty. For Stuller’s director of diamonds, Heather Fontenot, this statement rings true with the simple yet elegant solitaire ring her now-husband surprised her with.
This is Heather and Cody’s ring story.
“Very simple, very easy.”
From picking out the perfect diamond and mounting to crafting a unique wedding band solution, the experts at Stuller were happy to help and be a part of Heather and Cody’s journey to happily ever after.
When the time came for Cody to pop the question, he enlisted the help of Stanley Zale – Stuller’s vice president of diamond and gemstone procurement. While Heather did connect Cody and Stanley, she gave no directions to Cody as to what she wanted.
“I didn’t tell Cody anything, but I told Stanley that I like a high color. I didn’t care what shape, the mounting, the design – I wanted to be surprised.”
Stanley coordinated with Cody for him to visit the Stuller building during Bench Jeweler Workshop, when Heather would be preoccupied and not notice he was around. Stanley and another coworker assisted Cody in picking the diamond and ring without Heather being aware he was in the building.
Heather trusted Cody to know her and her tastes. She said, “I feel like he has always understood what I wanted.” In the end, he truly did.
Heather’s ring is a six-prong die-struck platinum solitaire with a 2.14-carat oval lab-grown diamond (VS1, F). Strong, simple, and classic – exactly what Heather wanted!
Custom Wedding Band Solution
While Heather’s engagement ring is simple and classic, her wedding bands required a unique solution to make it perfect. Heather’s vision was to have two wedding bands – one on each side of the ring – that rest flush against the ring without a contour around the ring. She found it difficult to find a wedding band that fit just right. With the six-prong setting, there was always either a gap between the bands or a contour around the ring.
She enlisted the help of Stuller’s CAD/CAM Services to assist her in creating a custom solution. In the end, Stuller’s designers were able to take two simple shanks and create a notch in each that allows the rings to fit flat on either side of the engagement ring. This unique solution allows Heather to stack any ring on her finger with these bands without them having to have a matching contour, letting her enjoy the simplicity of wearing just her bands with their one-of-a-kind features.
A Personal Touch from Heather
Cody’s wedding band was also made by the team at Stuller. Simple in style and made of platinum, it is the perfect complement to Heather’s custom rings.
But Cody’s ring has something unique and special about it as well: on the inside, Heather had a short note inscribed in her handwriting. It reads “Forever Yours” along with their wedding date, the perfect reminder that Cody has found his perfect match.
With all the planning done, it was finally time for Cody to ask Heather the ultimate question. He told her that they were going meet up with their friends for his birthday at their favorite restaurant – Tsunami in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They arrived early and enjoyed a glass of wine overlooking a picturesque Mississippi River sunset on the terrace.
He turned to Heather and said, “Do you remember how I said I got everything I wanted for my birthday? Well, there is just one more thing.” He got on one knee, and the rest is history. The excuse of meeting up with friends was a ruse. They enjoyed a dinner alone together before telling their families and the world the good news.
Make Dreams a Reality
There are stories like Heather and Cody’s every day. While you carry rings that will bring tears to a bride’s face, others will need your help designing a ring that exceeds their greatest dreams.
We are here to make you the hero and help you provide the happy ending that Heather and Cody received. Starting with one of our 3C designs, you can guide your customer through the process of customizing their ring. You also have the option to work with our CAD/CAM team or create your own design using CounterSketch® or MatrixGold®.
We have solutions to meet all your needs. Visit Stuller.com today and let us help you make your customers’ dreams come true.
Learn more about Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™ on our recent blog post!