Posts

Personalized Engagement Ring

How to Personalize an Engagement Ring

An engagement ring is one of the most special and meaningful gifts a person will ever give or be given, so it goes without saying that it should be as personal as possible. Creating a custom engagement ring is one way to ensure the ring will be perfect for your special someone. There are so many different options to choose from when creating a custom ring, such as choice of metal, style of setting, diamonds or gemstones (or both!), how many stones and the style of the band. From these design elements come an infinite number of combinations that will result in your ideal ring. However, if you are looking to add a personal or sentimental element to the ring there are a number of ways to do that.

Inscriptions

Words are an easy way to add a personal touch to an engagement ring. This can be done with an engraving on the inside or outside of the ring. A romantic quote, a line from a poem or a lyric from a favourite song are all great ideas. If you are religious you can add an important verse from your faith. If your relationship is filled with jokes and laughter, you may want to engrave an inside joke that only the two of you will understand. With laser engraving you can even have your own handwriting engraved on the ring. The one thing to remember is that there is only a limited amount of space on the ring and you don’t want the writing to be so small that it is impossible to read. Keeping things short and sweet is the best way to get your message across.

Numbers

Incorporating significant numbers is another way many people choose to personalize their engagement ring. Having an important date engraved on the inside of the ring is one of the most popular requests. It may be the couple’s birth dates, the date they first met or the date of the proposal. Similarly people often get the date of their wedding day engraved inside their wedding bands. Location coordinates are another way to personalize with numbers, and these can be the locations of where you were both born, the place you met, or the place you now call home. The number of diamonds or gemstones used on the ring can also be personalized and meaningful. A two stone engagement ring celebrates friendship and love, while a three stone engagement ring symbolizes the past, present and future. Stones can even be used to represent the number of years you have been together, as in a five or seven stone ring, or in the number of small diamonds on the band.

Colours

People’s preference for certain colours is something that is totally unique to them which makes it a great choice for personalization. For jewellery, an easy way to add colour is by using coloured gemstones. The gemstone could be the main stone in a ring or used as the side stones in a three stone ring. Alternatively you could use small coloured stones to create a halo or accents along the band. If you prefer to be less conspicuous, the coloured stone can be set as a ‘surprise stone’, where it’s set underneath the main diamond and only visible when looking at the side of the ring. A very small gemstone can even be set inside the band and will not be seen at all when the ring is worn. Birthstones are a very popular option when adding a coloured stone to the design but you could also choose your partner’s favourite colour. The gem could also be chosen based on what the colour represents, such as green for nature or blue for the ocean. If you are adding a coloured gemstone it is important to ask your jeweller about the durability of the gem, as some stones are not hard enough to endure the everyday wear of an engagement ring.

Symbols

There are a few different ways that symbols or images can be added to an engagement ring, with one option being engraving. You could have your fingerprint engraved onto the ring to ensure that your partner will have an intimate one of a kind symbol of you. Or you can get your actual heartbeat engraved from an EKG reading, to show your partner that they will have your heart forever. If your partner is a nature lover you could have the ring decorated by a hand engraver who can carve scrolling vines and intricate leaves or flowers right on the outside of your ring. Another way to add details is with filigree, which is where very thin wires of metal are used to create decorative ornamentation. The filigree can be something abstract or used more literally to create letters, hearts, flowers, infinity symbols, love knots, Celtic crosses and the list goes on and on.

There are so many different options for making an engagement ring really personal, from gemstones, symbols and designs on the outside of the band to super private engravings and hidden gemstones on the inside of the band. When you have finally found a partner who you would like to spend the rest of your life with, it’s great to be able to gift them with an engagement ring that is as meaningful and significant as your commitment to one another.

If you’re already engaged or married, how did you personalize your engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below! And if you haven’t yet taken that step, we’re ready when you are – when the time is right learn more about Kimberfire and get in touch!

Engagement Ring Trends for 2019

Engagement Ring Trends for 2019

With the start of a new year come predictions of what will be popular in the months ahead. At Kimberfire we work every day to help couples create their perfect engagement ring, which gives us firsthand knowledge of emerging trends. In general, bridal trends move slower and last longer than fast fashion trends, and can last anywhere from a few years to over a decade. While traditional rings featuring a round brilliant cut diamond or a solitaire setting aren’t going anywhere, we believe the following engagement ring styles are going to be huge in 2019.

Three Stone Rings

We can thank the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, for this one. After all the hype around the royal wedding last year, the three stone engagement ring has become extremely popular. Prince Harry designed Meghan’s ring which features a cushion cut center stone from Botswana, a country meaningful to the couple, and two round side stones from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection. The sentimentality behind the ring is quite fitting, as the three stone ring has always been full of symbolism. In fact another name for the three stone ring is the trilogy ring as it represents the past, present and future. This type of ring can look very traditional using three diamonds of the same shape, or it can look completely modern by using fancy cut sides stones, such as trilliant cut or pear cut. With a variety of stone arrangements, and the meaning behind it, this is a trend we see sticking around for a long time.

Fancy Cut Diamonds

Although the round brilliant cut diamond will always be popular, a lot of people are now interested in rings with fancy shape diamonds. The oval cut has seen a huge surge in popularity, as it has a similar brilliance to the round cut but appears larger at the same weight. The pear cut is another shape in high demand, which could have something to do with celebrities like Ariana Grande and Cardi B receiving pear cut engagement rings (let’s not talk about the length of their engagements).The pear cut is an unexpected choice and looks great with a fitted wedding band. Two other fancy cuts we are seeing more of are the emerald and marquise cuts. The emerald cut has a clean streamlined shape and looks great in a horizontal east-west setting, while the marquise cut appears feminine and dainty, fitting perfectly with a thin band.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold has finally made a comeback since falling out of style to white gold and platinum in the early 1990s. They say everything will eventually come back in style, and yellow gold is no exception. What once seemed outdated now feels fresh and modern. The yellow gold trend started with minimalistic fashion jewelry but has since made its way over to bridal. The warm metal looks especially current when it is used in delicate and dainty designs, and the thin bands that have been in style for a while now. These styles really differ from the wide, bold yellow gold rings which were so popular in the 1980s.

Hidden Halo

When deciding on a engagement ring style, one of the big choices is between a solitaire setting or a halo setting. There is an option that can give you the best of both worlds, and that is a hidden halo. This type of ring looks like a solitaire when you are looking straight on it, but when the ring is tilted or looked at from the side there is a halo wrapping around the diamond. This option is great for someone who likes the classic look of a solitaire, but wants something a little different. The hidden halo is a delicate detail that gives the ring just a little more sparkle, which is why it is proving to be such a popular choice.

Double Bands

The double band ring is exactly what it sounds like, two bands on the ring instead of only one. This style of ring is unique and modern, which is exactly why so many people are drawn to it. These rings come in many variations, such as the two bands being far apart, close together, parallel to each other, angled or curved. The centre stone can be set between the two bands or on top of the two bands. A single stone, a halo set stone, or three stones can all look amazing in this style of ring. A double band ring uses negative space as a design element, and takes up more room on the finger, for those who want a ring that makes an impact.

Whether you’re looking for a more traditional ring or something unique and modern, these trends cover all the bases. If you are getting engaged in 2019, or know someone who is, then these are the styles you can expect to see a lot of this year.

Wedding Ring Finger Blog

The Ring Finger Through the Ages

Which finger is the ring finger? Which hand does the engagement ring and wedding band go on? At first glance these questions seem to have a very simple answer – wedding and engagement rings go on the fourth finger of the left hand. Easy right?!

Not so fast. Here in Canada as well as the US, Britain, France, Italy and many other countries, that is the traditional hand to wear your wedding rings, but this is by no means universal. The hand that you wear your engagement ring and wedding band on can be determined by culture, religion and geography. Let’s take a look at what has influenced current traditions.

The Vein of Love

Long before the engagement ring was the wedding ring, which has been traced back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians considered the circle to be a symbol of eternity, and the ring to symbolize eternal love. Various Roman sources claim that Ancient Egyptians wore their wedding rings on the fourth finger of their left hand, as they believed that finger has a vein that is directly connected to the heart. This vein is called the Vena Amoris (Vein of Love in Latin), and while it’s a lovely idea, it is not anatomically correct.

The Un-ROMAN-tics

The Romans continued the tradition of wearing their wedding rings on their left hand as they followed the Egyptian way. The Roman marriage was more of a business contract than a romance, with the ring signifying the transaction of the woman being passed from her father to her husband. This meant that the wedding ring was only worn by the woman and not the man. This pattern of only women wearing a ring continued for most of history, until around WWII when men also began to wear a ring.

The Right Side

As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, the wedding ring began to be worn by those of the Christian faith. There is evidence that Catholics wore their wedding rings on the right hand during the early middle ages. This came from the belief that the right hand was spiritually more significant, as God blesses with his right hand and it is also used to make the sign of the cross. In 1054 AD the Greek Orthodox Church broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, and to this day Orthodox Christians still wear their engagement rings and wedding bands on their right hand. The influence of the Orthodox Church in Russia and most Eastern European countries means they also wear their rings on the right hand. Jewish wedding ceremonies began including rings in the middle ages and they also wore them on the right hand, however during the ceremony the ring was placed on the index finger where it was easier for witnesses to see.

The Left Side

In the 16th century the Protestant Reformation saw the Church of England break away from the Catholic Church. King Edward VI declared that the wedding ring must be worn on the left hand and the new church wrote a prayer book laying out the placement of the ring during the ceremony. The Protestant church chose the left hand because it wanted to distinguish itself from the Catholic practise of wearing the ring on the right hand. Since then the majority, but not all, of Western European countries have worn their rings on the left hand. England’s vast colonization spread this tradition to many parts of the globe.

Rules of Engagement

The concept of the engagement ring didn’t occur until 1215 AD when Pope Innocent III declared that there must be a waiting period between the engagement and the wedding to test the devotion of the couple to each other. However, it was only the nobility who were able to afford both an engagement ring and a wedding band. When wearing an engagement ring and wedding band on the same hand, the wedding band traditionally goes on first and the engagement ring second. This originally stemmed from an old superstition that once the wedding band was put on it must never be taken off. These days the wedding band is put on first so that it is closer to the heart.

Rings for All

While the Western part of the world has a long tradition with the wedding ring, many other parts of the world didn’t wear one at all. Traditionally, in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism there was no ring included in the wedding ceremonies, although they had other symbols and/or jewellery they would wear. Today most cultures have added engagement and wedding rings to their rituals due to the influence of globalization. The hand these countries choose to wear their rings on often ties in to their traditional beliefs. In India they wear them on the right hand because that hand is considered auspicious and the left hand unclean. In China the woman wears her rings on her right hand and the man on his left, because the woman is the one who runs the household and the right hand exerts more influence.

And the Answer Is…

So to the question of which hand does your wedding ring go on, the answer is it depends on where in the world you live. As I live in Canada, everyone I know wears them on their left hand. But if I lived in Russia then they would most likely wear them on their right hand. Also, in most societies, both men and women wear a wedding ring, while engagement rings are still mainly worn by women. Despite these traditions, in today’s society there are no longer strict rules and if someone wants to wear their engagement ring or wedding ring on a different finger or hand, then they should do what feels right for them.

Photo credit: Jeremie Dupont

Engagement Ring Resizing

Engagement Ring Size and Resizing: What You Need to Know

You have found the one with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and are getting ready to pop the question. You research diamonds and ring designs and choose an engagement ring that will be just perfect for them. But wait, there is one thing you don’t know – their ring size! Unlike a necklace or earrings, rings are one piece of jewelry where size really does matter. But don’t let the fact that you don’t know the correct ring size derail your engagement plans – we are here to give you all the information you need to know about assessing ring size and resizing a ring.

Ring Sizes

In Canada and the United States ring sizes follow a numerical scale which is based on the inner circumference of the ring. They come in full sizes, half sizes and quarter sizes. The average size of a lady’s ring is in and around a size 6, and the average size of a men’s ring is between size 8 and 10. However lots of people fall outside these numbers, with smaller or larger sizes needed.

Figuring Out the Engagement Ring Size

Many people try to figure out their partner’s ring size before they buy a ring, and there are a few ways you can attempt to do this.

Asking friends or family members can be a good way to find out. If you can covertly borrow a ring your partner wears and bring it to a jeweler, then they can measure the ring on a mandrel (a conical metal sizing tool) to find the correct size. However, the ring you borrow will need to be worn on the correct finger and be a similar width, or else the sizing will be off.

If you and your partner have talked about getting engaged, you can always stop by a jewelry store at the mall together and get their size “for in the future”.

Many online sites suggest wrapping a piece of paper or string around their finger while your partner sleeps, but this is not reliable enough to get an accurate reading.

If you do not know your partner’s actual ring size though it is not a problem for an experienced jeweler. At Kimberfire we help our customers estimate the ring size and then after the proposal we resize the ring to be the perfect fit, at no charge.

Professional Ring Sizing

After your best efforts to figure out the ring size, the perfect ring may still not be the perfect fit. Don’t sweat the small stuff (or the too big stuff) because your jeweler is here to help. When you come to get your engagement ring sized we will check the size of the current ring and then place various sized ring sizers on the finger. The ring sizers come in full and half sizes, but the ring can be sized between the two sizes as well.

There are some things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding what size is the right fit:

  • A wider ring will fit tighter than a thinner ring.
  • Temperature will affect your ring size, as fingers often swell in summer heat and shrink in cold weather.
  • Your finger can fluctuate in size through the day depending on temperature and water retention.
  • Adding another ring beside the ring (like a wedding band) will make the rings feel tighter as they cover more surface area.
  • A ring should slide easily over the knuckle when going on, and there should be some pull when you take it off.
  • Ring sizing is not an exact science as it really depends on the finger shape and how the person likes the ring to feel on their finger.

Something else to consider is that some people have knuckles which are much wider than the base of their finger, and this can cause the ring to spin around when worn (this is especially true for larger stones and top heavy rings). To counteract the spinning a jeweler can add sizing beads inside the ring, which makes the ring feel a bit tighter but still makes it possible to fit the ring over the knuckle.

How the Jeweler Resizes the Ring

There are two ways to resize a ring. The first is by placing the ring on a metal ring stretcher or compressor and using force to either stretch or compress the size. This method usually only works for plain wedding bands and cannot be used for rings with diamonds or gemstones, or those with intricate details.

The second method involves cutting the ring. To make a ring larger the ring is cut at the very bottom, and the two sides are moved further apart from each other. A new piece of metal (the same type of metal the ring is made of) is then added and soldered into place. The jeweler then polishes the ring so that the new area is undetectable. To make a ring smaller, the ring is cut at the base in two places and a piece of metal is removed. Then the two sides of the ring are brought together, soldered and polished. Don’t be alarmed at the thought of your ring being cut and set on fire – ring sizing is a routine process and a professional jeweler should be able to resize the ring without affecting its durability and without anyone being able to detect that the ring was altered in any way.

Potential Ring Resizing Issues

If you need to resize a ring more than two full sizes, you may run into problems depending on the ring’s design. Rings with intricate wire work or filigree will probably be too fragile for a large size change. Rings with gemstones set in them have to be resized very carefully so that the angles don’t change to the point that the stones are misaligned or fall out. In general, too great of a size adjustment can destroy the structural integrity of the ring and leave it misshapen or vulnerable to breakage.

If a ring has been resized more than a couple times it may run into issues such as thinning of the shank, and of the prongs if there are diamonds on the shank. If this happens the ring may need to be remade in the correct size.

Eternity rings with diamonds or gemstones encircling the entire ring cannot be sized. It is not recommended to buy this style of ring without knowing the correct ring size.

Men’s rings that are made in titanium, tungsten, ceramic or stainless steel may be extremely difficult or impossible to size and again are not recommended to buy without knowing the right size.

If your ring has an engraving on the inside or outside of the ring shank, it is very possible that it will be destroyed during sizing, and will have to be removed and completely redone.

A reputable jeweler should explain all these possible issues with you before any resizing is attempted.

The Perfect Fit

Once you have found the perfect size for your ring, it should be comfortable and secure. You shouldn’t worry about it falling off your finger or not being able to come off when you want it to. You can now wear your ring with confidence and show that beauty off to the world.

Engagement Ring Styles

Solitaire, Two-Stone and Three-Stone Engagement Rings

When you are setting out to find the perfect engagement ring, there are so many different styles and designs to choose from. How do you know where to start looking? Do you want something simple or embellished? Traditional or modern? Solitaire or multi-stone? If you aren’t quite sure what styles you like, a bit of jewelry education can help make the task a bit easier. Today we look at three styles of engagement rings which have been popular throughout history – solitaire, two-stone and three-stone diamond rings.

One of a Kind: One-Stone, Solitaire Engagement Rings

The most classic of all engagement ring styles is the diamond solitaire. The solitaire ring is a band of metal set with a single diamond. This style of ring can be traced back to Ancient Rome, and was usually a gold band set with one uncut diamond. Some of these Roman rings still exist today, owned by museums or collectors. Diamond cutting was invented in the Early Middle Ages, and primitive diamond cuts such as the point and table cut, were held in place by gold bezels. As diamond cutting and goldsmith techniques improved, the bezels were often made in silver or gold and backed with silver foil to show off the diamond’s colour and sparkle better. Some antique designs used prongs to hold the diamond in place, but they differed from the styles of today in that the diamond was sunk deep into the metal to secure it. In the early 1800’s setting diamonds ‘a jour’ became popular, which was a style where the back of the setting was pierced open to allow more light to enter the diamond. In 1886 Tiffany and Co. debuted their ‘Tiffany’ setting, which was a 6-prong solitaire setting that held the diamond high above the band. This setting was revolutionary as it showed off every angle of the diamond and enhanced the stone’s brilliance. The Tiffany setting is still one of the most popular diamond settings in the world today. Modern settings can have 4, 5, 6 or more prongs holding the diamond in place. Like the Tiffany setting, most of today’s solitaires have the diamond raised up above the band. The solitaire setting may seem a simple choice, but in fact there is a lot of variation to choose from, like metal colour, diamond shape, the number of prongs, the style of the band and the design of the setting itself. The solitaire ring is the perfect choice for someone who wants their diamond to be the center of attention. This elegant and classic design ensures that this type of ring will never be a passing trend and will maintain its appeal for generations to come.

It Takes Two: Two-Stone Engagement Rings

The second type of engagement ring we are going to look at is the two-stone diamond engagement ring. This style of ring has gained popularity lately with many jewelry stores promoting these designs. The two stones can represent two people joining together in love, or one stone for friendship and the other for love. While the two-stone ring seems to be a rather new concept, rings with two central elements trace back to Roman times when wedding bands featured two hands shaking, representing the marriage contract. In the Middle Ages, a popular style of marital ring was the gimmel ring, named after the Latin word for twin. The gimmel ring consisted of two interlocking hoops that, when connected, formed one single ring. Each gimmel ring would have a gemstone set in a bezel setting, and when the two rings joined together the stones sat side by side. In 1776 Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais with a two-stone “Toi et Moi” ring (“you and me” in French). The ring featured a pear shaped blue sapphire and a pear shaped diamond set opposite each other. This ring become one of the most famous engagement rings in history and started the “Toi et Moi” trend. Victorian era rings often featured two pear shaped gems that were set beside each other to form a heart shape, usually topped with a crown or a bow. Rings from the Edwardian era and Art Deco periods featured two stones (usually diamonds) flanked by a curving band in a bypass setting. After the Art Deco style fell out of favour, two-stone rings weren’t commonly seen as engagement rings. But like all trends, what goes around comes around and the last few years have seen a rise in this style of ring again. The two-stone engagement ring is perfect for the person who is a romantic and likes to be a little bit different from the rest. It is also a great choice for someone who may not be able to afford one large diamond, but still wants something that looks significant on their finger.

Third Time’s a Charm: Three-Stone Engagement Rings

The three-stone ring is often called a trinity or trilogy ring and it first came into style during the Victorian times. This style of ring traditionally displayed three stones of the same shape and cut with the center stone being the largest, although they could all be the same size as well. The three stones are symbolic, although there are different opinions on what they represent. The most popular belief is that the three stones stand for past, present and future, with the “present” stone being the most important. This idea was heavily promoted by De Beers and lead to the three-stone diamond ring becoming a popular anniversary gift. Other meanings of the three stones have been “friendship, love and fidelity”, the words “I love You”, and “father, mother and child”. The last few decades have seen this style of ring become popular as an engagement ring. The three-stone ring is fantastic because it comes in a huge variety of designs. The style can look classic using three stones of the same cut, such as three round brilliants or three princess cut diamonds. Or it can look completely modern using different combinations of stones, such as an emerald cut diamond set with two trilliant cut stones, or an oval diamond being set with two pear cut stones. The options are literally endless, with variations in metal choices, graduated or non-graduated sized stones, setting styles, combinations of diamond cuts or adding coloured gems into the mix. The three-stone engagement ring is a great choice for someone who is sentimental and symbolic. The wide variety of options means the three-stone ring can appeal to both the traditional and the modern jewelry wearer.

Endless Possibilities

The types of engagement rings I have covered above only describe three options out of a limitless number of ring designs. There are, of course, the popular halo engagement rings, five-stone rings, eternity bands and the list goes on and on. If you are still trying to find the perfect engagement ring, a great place to look for inspiration is on Kimberfire’s Pinterest page where we have curated a fantastic collection of images.