‘THE fashion at the moment is to go against the fashion.’
Article featured in the Jersey Evening Post, Wedding Supplement, September 2020.
While these words may sound contradictory, they sum up a trend which, according to one local jewellery designer, is prevalent among couples choosing their wedding and engagement rings.
‘We are seeing a strong level of demand at the moment for bespoke rings, as couples want something a little bit different,’ explained Rivoli Jewellers’ Deb Macklin. ‘While there is a fashion for stones to be oval, marquis or emerald cut instead of the traditional round, we are sitting down with more and more people who do not want an on off-the-shelf ring.’
And, with originality leading the way when it comes to engagement rings, this means that many wedding bands are also now being custom-made to accommodate the more elaborate stones and settings of the engagement piece.
‘When it comes to designing a ring, imagination is really the only limit,’ said Deb. ‘We always start by telling the couple that anything is possible, which usually leads to a flow of ideas. With engagement rings, we usually start with the stone. Diamond is still the number-one choice, although this is now closely followed by coloured stones, with sapphires being particularly popular.
‘As we talk through a couple’s ideas with them, I produce some hand-drawn sketches and soon the concepts start taking shape. With the wedding ring, a woman’s choice will be led by her engagement ring, as the wedding band and engagement ring should look like a match made in heaven when worn together.
‘We have lots of sample rings of different shapes and widths so couples try these on to see what looks and feels right, and then we build from there. Gold and platinum – the two most popular metals – are both very malleable so the options are endless.’
And, according to Deb, the days of plain gold bands are disappearing as men and women are keen to have a ring which reflects their personality.
‘It is very rare that we make a plain wedding ring for a lady; their rings are nearly always diamond-set,’ she explained, ‘while gents are also much more ambitious with their choices now. We are getting lots of requests for textures, patterns, colours and different materials such as black rhodium and platinum.’
With white metals favoured over yellow and rose gold, Deb said that platinum – which is currently cheaper than gold – was in particular demand.
‘In August, gold reached its highest-ever recorded price and, while that is dropping slowly, platinum is now actually at a lower price than gold which is amazing, as its features actually outweigh those of white gold. Platinum is naturally bright and white, and is also resistant to scratching. I would definitely recommend this for anybody wanting white metal for their rings,’ she added.
Having worked in the jewellery industry for 25 years, Deb entered the world of precious metals and stones after studying craft design.
‘All of my designs and projects naturally developed in metal, which led me to the jewellery industry,’ she explained. ‘I started on the bench and spent many years getting my hands dirty before I moved on to designing my own collections. That was an anxious time, waiting to see what the response to my pieces would be, but happily they all sold and I have never looked back.’
Having joined Rivoli five years ago, Deb has designed the jeweller’s Rivoli Love Heart Collection – a range of solitaire engagement rings in which a hidden heart cradles the single diamond – as well as creating countless bespoke pieces for couples. Her creativity, combined with the team’s expertise and customer service, saw Rivoli crowned Bridal Jeweller of the Year at the 2019 Retail Jeweller Awards.
And the personal touches do not stop with the selection of the stone and design of the ring.
‘Engraving is another very popular way to add more bespoke touches to your wedding jewellery, and we offer complimentary engraving on all our wedding bands,’ she said. ‘We have also found that finger-print engraving is a lovely way to create a truly unique piece and we take his-and-hers finger prints which are then engraved locally.’
Photo: JEP photograher takes Deb's photo for the 2020 Wedding Supplement
While Deb has, on occasion, made a wedding ring within a couple of days, she recommends that couples allow a minimum of ten weeks for the process.
‘This gives time to settle on a design, have it produced and then undertake any resizing and engraving,’ she added.
Rivoli Jewellers will be at the wedding fayre at The Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 11th October and will be hosting their in-house wedding week from Monday 12th to Saturday 17th September 2020.
For more information, or to arrange an appointment, telephone 01534 601930 email [email protected]