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Diamond Jewelry Collage

Our Favourite Diamond Jewelry Designs

When it comes to jewelry design, everyone is as unique and different as the diamonds they choose. As a fun exercise, I asked some of my friends and family to browse our diamond jewelry galleries so we can find out which designs make the cut. Below are some of the standout mentions in both the diamond engagement ring and diamond necklace categories.

Diamond Engagement Rings

From vintage to glamorous, to modern and minimalistic, and everything in between, here are a few of our favourite ring designs.

 

Vintage Engagement Ring

Vintage Engagement Ring

 

“The Kimberfire vintage engagement rings collection has captured my full attention because of the authentic design and artistry that is displayed in each custom diamond ring. This beautiful engagement ring offers simplicity and elegance. Not only is the diamond stunning, but the band has a gorgeous design.” – Laura, 26

“I would describe this ring as my own ‘piece de resistance’. It is gorgeous; not overstated and the simple detail in the band gives it a little something extra. This thinner band with the focus on one centre stone has definitely caught my eye.” – Amanda, 29

 

PLC64 Vintage Engagement Ring

Vintage Halo Engagement Ring

 

“This engagement ring expresses sophistication and a love for diamonds. This custom vintage engagement ring verifies that diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” – Laura, 25

 

PLC713 Three Stone Engagement Ring

Three Stone Engagement Ring

 

“This three stone ring is beautiful. I love that the side stones are offset rather than on the band.” – Amanda, 29

 

PLC739R Solitaire Engagement Ring

Bezel Set Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

“I love the modern look of this ring, particularly the pink gold. The combination of the sparkle with the practical inset diamond that can be worn without the bother of it catching on gloves (gardening or winter) appeals to me. I have always wanted a unique ring that would still be practical for sports and outdoor activities. I have often wished I had included an inset diamond in the design like this ring has.” – Rhea, 50

Diamond Necklaces

On another jewelry note, whether you desire a delicate necklace to complement or a statement piece to accentuate, below are two of our favourite Kimberfire necklaces. While a delicate necklace can complement your day-to-day look, a statement necklace can make all the difference to an outfit.

 

PLC15 Diamond Pendant

Heart Shape Diamond Pendant

 

“I chose the heart pendant because I love how dainty it is. I also really like hearts incorporated into jewelry. The diamonds are all so tiny and simple, not overstated. It’s perfect!” – Laura, 25

 

PLC20 Diamond Necklace

Diamond Necklace

 

“I selected this diamond necklace because of the cut and shape of the diamonds. I feel that this diamond necklace can be worn as an everyday accessory because of its simplicity and beauty. When I envision wearing this necklace, I see myself wearing this on my wedding day. It is a very elegant and stunning piece that would complement any wedding gown. It would be a lovely addition to any formal or special event.” – Adaline, 29

What Can Your Jewelry (and Jeweler) Do For You?

Jewelry is extremely personal and customizable. At Kimberfire we’re always excited to help our clients create any piece based on their individuality… and their style!

Engagement Ring Design Screenshot

Our Custom Engagement Ring Manufacturing Process

Every one of us has admired the flawless beauty of an engagement ring, whether lined up in rows in a glass case in a store, on the hand of a friend or family member, or maybe even on your very own finger. But while we are all familiar with the finished ring, not everyone knows what goes into making it. In fact one of the most asked questions I receive from friends is “how is the ring made?”. In this article I take you behind the scenes to follow a Kimberfire engagement ring from concept to creation.

What Do Engagement Rings and Computers Have in Common?

Our journey begins with the jewelry designer. Our designer works closely to the specifications for the client’s custom piece – taking all the features our sales team has discussed with the client and the details of the diamonds being set, our designer brings the vision to life. We exclusively use computer aided design (CAD) programs to create 3D models of our rings. Once the 3D rendering is approved by our client, we then create the model in wax using a 3D printer. The wax piece is an exact model of the ring that will be cast into metal. Before the invention of CAD programs a jeweller would either hand carve the ring out of a block of wax or fabricate the metal by hand. There are still jewellers today who use the traditional goldsmith techniques but they are becoming less common with the growth of technology.

Gold, Platinum… Whichever You Like!

Next we cast the wax model into metal. This is done by using a method called investment casting. The wax model is set up inside a watertight flask. The investment powder, which is a plaster which has been formulated to withstand very high temperatures, is mixed with water and poured into the flask to completely cover the wax model. A few hours later the investment has hardened into a solid plaster. This flask is then put into a kiln and heated to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which wax melts but investment doesn’t. There is now a perfect mold of the ring in the flask where the wax model used to be, and the flask is put into a centrifugal casting machine or a vacuum casting machine. These machines are necessary because they use force to make sure the metal will fill the entire mold. The metal to be used is then broken up into tiny pieces, placed in a crucible and heated with a torch until it becomes molten. The liquid metal is then poured into the flask and the casting machine quickly started. When the machine stops, the flask is removed and plunged into a bucket of water, which washes all the investment away, leaving only the metal ring. The ring still needs to be cleaned up as it is completely covered in a rough ‘casting skin’, which the goldsmith will remove to bring the metal to a high polish.

Time for Some Bling

Now the Ring is ready for its diamonds! Our gem setter collects the ring and any stones which are to be set into the metal. Our setter uses various techniques and styles to provide different looks. Most of our setting is done under a microscope, especially for the popular pave or micro pave styles which use very small diamonds, ensuring secure setting of centre stones and very close and fine setting of the small diamonds. Once all the stones are set and secure the ring goes back to the goldsmith for a final polish and cleaning.

Ready for Delivery

The ring is now complete, but not yet ready for game time! The ring is first sent to a third party appraiser who documents all the details of the ring and determines its market or replacement value. This appraisal is necessary if our client is planning on insuring their ring.

The rings journey concludes with being tucked into a little velvet box. The ring is now ready for its most important moment, when it is slipped onto a lucky someone’s finger as a symbol of love and commitment.

Engagement Ring Upgrade and Redesign Ideas

Upgrading or Redesigning Your Engagement Ring

Longing for Something New

A friend of mine recently spoke to me about upgrading her engagement ring for her ten year wedding anniversary. She and her husband had married quite young and didn’t have the money to spend on an expensive ring, so they ended up using an engagement ring passed on from his family. While she loves and cherishes the ring and the sentimental story behind it, she longs for something that would be just for her.

She is far from alone. Upgrading or redesigning engagement and wedding rings has become a huge trend in the jewelry industry. These ring upgrades are usually done for an anniversary between the 10 and 15 year mark. People have many different reasons for wanting to change their ring. Some, like my friend, find themselves in a new financial situation from when they first got engaged. Others didn’t really like the style of the ring they were given. Some just want a ring which is a more current design, or more reflective of their personal style.

Upgrading your engagement ring is not for everyone though. Many people are very emotionally invested in their ring and could never imagine changing it. Some people find it tacky to want a larger diamond than the one they were given. I however think that as long as the decision to upgrade is ok with both people in the marriage, and there are no hurt feelings from the one who gave the ring, then people should go ahead and get their dream ring.

Everyone’s New is Different

There are many options for upgrading, starting with the diamonds. The center stone can be changed to a larger or better quality diamond, or side stones can be added to create a three stone ring. For extra sparkle, pave diamonds on the metal band can create a more modern look for the ring. However if a much larger center stone is being added the setting will have to be altered to fit the new stone.

Many people want to put their original diamonds into a new style of setting. The halo style of setting is an extremely popular choice and will make the center stone look much bigger. Some people choose to change their yellow gold rings to either platinum or white gold which is a more contemporary look. Unfortunately if the original diamonds have some yellow in them, setting them in a white metal will only bring the yellow out more and is not recommended.

For those who don’t want to change the original ring there is always the option of getting a new style of wedding band, or adding a third ring to the wedding set as an anniversary ring. Stacking multiple rings on one finger is an extremely popular option these days.

What Are You Waiting For?

Upgrading your engagement ring doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the old stones or jewellery. A coloured gemstone could be set into the old setting and worn as a right hand ring. The original diamond could be made into a pendant or earrings, or held onto to give to your children once they reach a certain age.

While there will always be those who passionately love their original engagement ring and would never want to change it, there are many people who love the idea of upgrading their ring.

Are you interested in upgrading your engagement ring? We here at Kimberfire would love to help you create the ring you’ve always dreamt of!

Historic Rings

A History of Engagement and Wedding Rings

Nowadays when one thinks of a classic engagement ring, they usually picture a gold or platinum ring with a solitaire diamond, or perhaps with more than one diamond. Wedding bands are usually a thicker band ring, some quite simple, while others have intricate designs or stones included. Although these styles of rings are considered ‘traditional’ they have actually only been in fashion for about the past 100 years. Today we will take a look at the styles and symbolism of wedding rings throughout history.

Walk like an Egyptian (Ancient Egypt 3050BC-30AD)

The always fashionable Ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first to wear engagement rings, as the circle symbolized eternity. The rings were fashioned out of plant material or silver or gold wire. They wore the ring on the third finger of the left hand because they believed that finger had a vein in it which connected directly to the heart (romantic if not anatomically correct).

When in Rome (Ancient Rome 753BC-476AD)

Ancient Rome was a society that prized their military domination, so it is no wonder their engagement rings were made of iron, which signified strength. A woman’s acceptance of the ring formed a legally binding agreement of the husband’s ownership of her (not very romantic).

By the Book (Byzantine Empire 330-1453)

In this deeply religious society, wedding rings traditionally incorporated a scene depicting a man and woman facing each other with a central figure blessing their union.

Stuck in the Middle with You (Middle Ages 500-1400)

It was a custom in medieval times for Jewish grooms to give their wives wedding rings that had elaborately detailed temples or houses on the top. These rings were oversized and not intended to actually be worn in everyday life. In Anatolia (modern day Turkey) husbands often gave their wives puzzle rings; sets of complex interlocking metal bands that arranged to form a single ring. It was given as a test of monogamy as it was believed that if a woman took off the ring she would not be able to put it back together again and would thus be caught (talk about no trust!). Another trend of the time was the posy ring. These rings had poems or mottos inside the band and the inscriptions were written in French, the international language of love. It was also during this time period, in 1447, that the first recorded diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria (clearly ahead of his time).

Da Vinci a la Mode (Renaissance 1300-1600)

In the 1600’s the fashionable wedding ring was the Fede (faith) ring which showed two hands clasping. The Fede ring inspired the still popular Irish Claddagh ring, which has two hands clasping a heart topped with a crown. Another engagement ring which became in vogue during the renaissance was the Gimmel ring. This ring had two interlocking bands, one which the woman wore and one which the man wore during their betrothal. At the wedding ceremony they would take off their rings and lock them together to become one, which the woman would then wear.

All Work and No Play (Puritan New England 1630-1800)

The Puritans were definitely not the most fun group of people, in fact they went so far as to ban Christmas! So it’s not that surprising that they prohibited their members from wearing any jewellery due to its ‘moral worthlessness’. A common wedding gift from husband to wife was a practical thimble. However, after the wedding many women would remove the top of the thimble and wear it as a ring (when a woman wants jewellery she gets it!).

We are Not Amused (Victorian England 1837-1901)

Although Victorians are often portrayed as being uptight and stuffy they were actually quite sentimental, and Queen Victoria herself was very much in love with her husband Prince Albert. Rings during this era often had terms of endearment spelt out using the language of stones, which used the initials of gemstones. The word LOVE was often spelled out using lapis lazuli, opal, vermeil, and emerald. Another attractive engagement ring style was that of the serpent wrapping around the finger, often with rubies for eyes or an emerald for its head.

Diamonds are Forever (1867- Present)

In 1867 Diamonds were discovered in Africa, which opened up a huge supply of the precious gem. Before this time diamonds were very rare and only found in India and Brazil. In 1880 the DeBeers Mining Company was formed and within a decade they controlled 90% of the world diamond production. In 1886 Tiffany &Co. introduced the Tiffany setting, a 6 pronged ring designed to maximize the diamonds brilliance by raising it up from the band. In the 1900’s the princess ring with three to five large diamonds became a sought after engagement ring. The fashion in the 1920’s was to have one solitaire diamond set on a platinum band for durability. During WWII platinum was restricted for military use, and yellow gold rose to prominence. In 1947 DeBeers presented their brilliant marketing slogan “A diamond is forever” and since then the appetite for the strong and beautiful diamond has endured.

The Tradition Continues with Kimberfire

While the style, sentiment and symbolism of engagement and wedding rings has changed throughout history, the gesture of giving a permanent symbol of love and fidelity to ones beloved has remained. When deciding on a style for your special ring, whether it be a classic solitaire or something completely unique, Kimberfire can answer all your needs. We specialize in creating engagement and wedding rings which will endure and sparkle until the end of time.

 

(Photo Credit: Berganza)

christmas lights

Holidays that Glitter Around the World

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about holiday parties, gift giving and being mindful of what we are thankful for.

Just as no two diamonds are the same, holiday traditions are celebrated in many different ways around the world.

The holidays are a great time to create and revive traditions. Whether you spend the day singing Christmas carols, eating special holiday foods or watching your favourite holiday movie, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without them.

I’m Dreaming of a White Gold Christmas

December 25th 336AD is the first documented date of Christmas actually being celebrated. This was during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Then along came Pope Julius I, who officially declared that Christmas would be celebrated on the 25th of December to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

Don’t take the Pope’s word for it though, be sure to create and embrace your own customs. Christmas is many things to many people, and it is important to recognize and honour the various traditions.

While some people celebrate Advent, many of us traditionally celebrate Christmas on one specific day while others embrace all twelve days of Christmas. Great news! There are in fact twelve days of Christmas, just as the song says there is. So why not embrace a new tradition of showering your true love with gifts for twelve days in a row?

This Christmas season, while you can get a lot of mileage out of that little black dress, the right accessories can change your look from casual to Christmas party wear. Accessorize with statement necklaces, white gold earrings and simple yet elegant diamond bracelets.

White and Blue, Don’t Mind If I Do

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Syrians.

A Menorah is the centrepiece of the Hanukkah celebration. While the Menorah itself holds nine candles, eight of those candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed. The Shamash, the ninth candle, is used to light the others. While singing songs and reciting prayers, families begin by lighting one candle on the first day, two on the second day, and so on throughout the eight days of Hanukkah.

When the Syrians were in power, the Jews were forbidden to learn the Torah (Judaism’s most important text). Students would meet in secret in order to hold study sessions. If a Syrian soldier found them, however, the children would pretend to gamble with spinning tops, or dreidels, which are also a key part of the Hanukkah tradition.

The Hanukkah colors, white and light blue, represent a subtle message of celebration. We suggest choosing small accessories to accentuate your occasion appropriate outfit. If you’re feeling bold, add in a statement jewelry piece to complete the look.

And Kwanzaa Makes Three

While candle lighting is reminiscent of Hanukkah, and red and green colors suggest Christmas, Kwanzaa sets itself apart.

This week long celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in gift giving and the Karamu, or the Kwanzaa feast, on New Year’s Eve. It is a holiday celebrated by millions of African-Americans, encouraging them to remember their African heritage.

Kwanzaa colors are red, green and black. This Kwanzaa season, choose colorful accessories that highlight the culture being celebrated and jewelry that incorporates natural materials such as beads and wood. After all, the feast is a major part of the holiday celebration so you’ll want to have plenty of pieces to accessorize with.

Happy Holidays from Kimberfire

May the days leading up to your holiday be merry and bright, and may all your traditions be one of a kind.

Which traditions are memorable for you during the holiday season?

 

(Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano)