A DIAMOND FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
A symbol and tangible token of the love, hope and promise between a happy couple, the engagement ring remains a longstanding and much-loved tradition among the newly affianced. Coming in all shapes, sizes, colours, and cuts, choosing the perfect engagement ring may seem like a daunting task for any potential ring bearer. With this in mind, Amelia Mansell seeks the wisdom and advice of Lexie Soklich, owner of Soklich & Co. Jewelers, to understand the ins and outs of choosing and designing the perfect engagement ring – one that captures your own unique style and relationship.
The origins of the engagement ring stretch back to centuries ago; from the Roman custom of a wife receiving a ring to hold the keys of the household, to receiving jewellery as part of a marriage settlement. Woven rings have been discovered in Egyptian burials, while gold wedding bands were initially found among the ruins of Pompeii. History and tradition have elevated the otherwise simple concept of a metal band into a treasured symbol all over the world, representing and embodying the commitment and love between a couple long after the proposal or wedding.
AN ENGAGING TIME
More than a simple band of metal, the choice of stone, metal, setting, and style of engagement rings brings an individuality and unique ownership to this symbolic tradition, allowing couples to express themselves and their tastes as they commit to a single accessory for their future together. Like all things, engagement rings are subject to the rise and fall of fashion. One of the current trends Soklich & Co. has noted is that couples are adjusting the classic styles, such as the solitaire or trilogy ring, to have a more modern aesthetic, adding their own “twist [or elements] to the final design to make the piece reflect their personal tastes”.
It is then unsurprising that the process of choosing an engagement ring is becoming a joint effort, rather than a heavy burden placed upon the already nerve-wracked prospective fiancés. “I believe that both partners whether it be the bride or the groom, are becoming more involved and vocal about what they really want to wear for the rest of their lives,” Soklich notes. After all, the last thing anyone wants to discuss post-proposal is that they don’t like the ring their loved one chose for them.
Another path of open conversation as you begin this exciting journey, Soklich recommends, is to have a conversation as a couple and settle on your budget and design before visiting your chosen jeweler. “Nothing ruins the perfect moment of choosing your future rings to symbolise your love for each other than to have the awkward conversation about budget in front of a total stranger,” she further affirms.
FOREVER HAS A NICE RING TO IT
Seeking the advice and wisdom of your trusted jeweler is always a wise course of action when choosing or designing your perfect engagement ring. Whether you come with a clear picture of the style or design you desire or not, jewelers can supply a wealth of experience that will ensure you leave with a ring you will not only love and cherish for years to come – but one that is also well-made, and with a beautiful clarity to its stone.
As you step into the dazzling design process, deciding on your centre stone first will create a solid foundation for the rest of your choices.
Moving from your chosen stone to the setting and band, jewelers will often encourage you to choose a material that “will enhance your centre stone, rather than detract from it”.
White diamonds, for example, are frequently paired with 18-carat white gold or platinum to perfectly offset this shimmering stone, and similar principals are applied to coloured diamonds or other gemstones. “The metal that your stones are set in needs to give you the longevity that you desire in an engagement ring,” Soklich explains. And remember, while it is always best to take the advice and recommendations of experienced jewellers – they are there to help after all! – if you have your heart set on a certain look or pairing, stick to it! At the end of the day, it is your ring!
For those that haven’t found the one ring to rule them all, never forget that customisation is a fantastic option for both the initial pre-proposal stage, or even later down the track. Experienced jewellery designers, such as those at Soklich & Co. Jewellers, are able to work with client’s design ideas, wrangling everything from loose imaginings to a more complete dream design and turn this into a functional piece that captures the client’s desires and can be worn proudly. This world of jewellery customisation can open the door to many ring designs, and in turn take the weight and stress of making the right choices for an item that you or your partner will wear for life. “People’s tastes naturally change as they mature and we will often redesign the rings they first fell in love with,” Soklich notes. While for others, the option of customisation might allow you to add your own unique style to an inherited or vintage ring – even engraving the date you and your partner met for a sentimental touch.
SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND
Glistening on its pedestal of high renown and tradition, the white diamond proudly holds centre stage as one of the most popular and traditional choices for engagement ring designs. This stunning and simple jewel has captured the hearts and minds of the world for eons, is celebrated for not only its dazzling beauty but its strength, too. “The reason why people often choose a diamond for an engagement ring is not just that they are traditional, but also, they are the hardest wearing stone on the market rated a ten out of ten on the Mohs scale,” Soklich explains. “[This makes] it not only a beautiful, but a very durable stone.”
If a colourful stone has your fancy, it is important to first consider your budget and also the fact that while every gemstone is delightfully precious and unique, they each have a different rating on the Mohs scale in terms of hardness and therefore durability. Sapphires and rubies have been popular choices in the past, rated nine on the scale. their durability making them prime choices for everyday wear, while others are perfect for those who are prepared to take special care of their ring or wear it less frequently. “I would advise that you have a chat with your trusted family jewellers about the pros and cons of choosing certain stones. It’s just good to be educated,” the jeweller affirms.
Smelting it down to its basic shape, the ring – a bare circle – is a symbol of beginnings and endings brought together, of something becoming whole. Dipped in tradition, and decorated to match the tastes and unique relationship of the affianced couple, the engagement ring is the perfect gift to represent the new promise between the happy couple, and with the guidance and skill of experienced jewellers such as Soklich & Co. Jewellers, you are sure to find the perfect design.
Photography by: Kevin McGinn Photographer