Alternative Finishes

Aug 01, 2014

The New Tradition in Bridal Jewelry? Have No Tradition at All

author photo


A few years ago, we noticed that our brides and grooms were bypassing the traditional in favor of something a little less mainstream. And these days, there’s no such thing as “normal” anymore: Some brides wear one ring instead of two. Many have no idea what their engagement rings will look like, while others are heavily involved in the design from the very beginning. Sometimes grooms foot the bill for the jewelry, other times it’s the bride. It’s a mixed bag.
  But one area where we’re seeing the most dramatic change is in the design of engagement rings and wedding bands. Brides and grooms are pushing the envelope even more, choosing pieces that not only speak to them but also represent who they are. Considering that we customize everything from our ringtones to our running shoes, it only makes sense that people want the same level of personalization with their bridal jewelry.

One way modern couples are making the rings their own is by playing around with alternative finishes. One perennial customer favorite is hammered metal, though matte and textured finishes are also popular right now. (Think faux bois and rough-hewn, where you can see the sanding marks so it looks a bit unfinished and rustic.)
Alternative Gemstones
Birthstone Engagement Rings: amethyst in a
Harmony Treble Clef and topaz in a Mokume Solitaire
Stones are another area that’s being rethought. Where once a white diamond sat supreme, now there are alternative gemstones front and center -- the more unusual, the better. Rose-cut and colored diamonds are showing up, as well as birthstones.  Engagement rings with tourmaline, garnets, pearls, opals and lab-created stones like Moissanite are no longer unusual. But word to the wise: While you should always choose the stone you love, know that softer stones will show signs of wear and tear over time, and the glue that’s holding the stone to the band (in the case of pearls and opals) will degrade. The trade-off is that the softer stone is usually much cheaper than a durable diamond or sapphire and won’t cost nearly as much to replace down the line.
Monogram Sketch
A wedding band we made with
a client's monogram sketch
Will all this customization cost you more? Yes, but remember that these are pieces you’ll wear forever. They should feel and look exactly like you want. When working with a jewelry designer, don’t be shy about voicing your opinions and spelling out exactly what you have in mind. Bring photos or sketches of things you like (or don’t like!) -- the more information we have, the better. And remember: our goal is to make your vision of the perfect bridal jewelry a reality.
Get the process started at
Krikawa. Where your dream ring comes true.
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