Pack some personality into your engagement or wedding ring with irresistible clusters of rubies, sapphires or diamonds
From bold, statement stones and colourful multi-stone designs to wow-worthy marquise cut stones, the influence of social media has fed a trend for engagement rings that stand out amidst proposal picture-filled Instagram feeds. And couples seeking to stamp their wedding or engagement rings with character – and a sparkly splash of colour – have an extensive and exquisite range of designs to choose from here in Cornwall.
Hand-picked gemstones are key to the work of Cornwall’s talented designer-makers, many of whom draw on the beauty of their natural environment to inspire their sublime engagement and wedding ring designs.
“Gemstone rings are a signature of Emily’s design portfolio,” says Chloe Wild at Emily Nixon (emilynixon.com
). “Crafted around the seaweed settings she invented, her rings follow an undulating natural form, the irregular handmade settings calling for an equally unusual array of gemstones.”
With her studio located a stone’s throw from the water, interesting combinations of gemstones reflective of her surrounding landscape feature heavily in Emily’s work. “An extension of Emily’s artful designs, the gemstones Emily sources are hand-picked to work in her distinctive earth and ocean palette,” explains Chloe. “Sapphires and diamonds make up the majority of stones Emily sources for her designs although she does occasionally use rubies, emeralds and topaz. The natural hues in sapphires, ranging from azure ocean blue to dusky earth rose, suit the natural palette Emily favours.”
The colour of the metal and the way it sets off the hues of the gemstones is also a key consideration. “The cooler combination of stone white 18ct gold with aqua blue ocean sapphires is a favourite,” says Chloe. “Also, Emily’s combination of rose gold with rock pool green hues stands out as unusual.”
The sea is also a central inspiration for St Ives’ based jewellery designer Stephanie Stevens (stephaniestevensjewellery.co.uk
). “My clients tend to choose blue gemstones such as aquamarines, sapphires and topaz because it reminds them of the sea,” says Stephanie. “They usually come to me because of my Cornish location, so it adds that extra part of the sea into the ring.”
Incorporating gemstones in creative and captivating ways can also be seen at Justin Duance (justind.co.uk
). “Stones are a great way of adding character to your wedding ring,” says Jamila Hirtenstein at Justin Duance. “We have been using lots of reclaimed diamonds that we set in a scatter around our extra texture sandcast rings; the result is a really interesting organic piece with little diamonds peeping out of the gold as if they have grown there.”
On a practical note, she adds: “Diamonds and sapphires are definitely our preferred stones as they are so strong, which makes them perfect for wedding rings.”
The beauty of choosing one of Cornwall’s brilliant designer-makers to craft your engagement or wedding ring is that the design can be tailored to your vision. From sapphires artfully floating amongst fronds of diamond-tipped gold and shimmering aquamarine echoing oceanic allure to dainty diamonds glinting amidst sandcast gold, you can look forward to a stone-studded symbol of your love that’s timelessly beautiful and perfectly ‘you.’
words Hannah May