Ring Riot

Posted by Jeff Prine on Mar 22, 2013 4:30:58 AM

Italian jeweler Damiani creates a true flight of fancy. Diamond and gemstone butterflies seem ready to take flight in this ring/bracelet combination. The 18K white gold bracelet is connected to a ring. Each piece can be separated and worn alone—or make a real red carpet statement by wearing them all together.

Jewelry trends tend to go in cycles: emphasis goes from the core of the body, such as in necklaces, back to the extremities, especially earrings and bracelets. One type of jewelry though has become somewhat of a perennial favorite: rings.

Although a wedding band, three-stone diamond ring or an engagement ring are the most common types of rings women wear, there’s an entire wardrobe of ring styles developing that deserve and command attention.

They used to be called “cocktail” rings but that term is really a misnomer. The dainty and sometimes gaudy cocktail rings of the 1950s and ‘60s are a far cry from the fashion-forward, statement rings available today. If there’s one category that designers around the world are sure to include in their collections, it’s rings. At this year’s BaselWorld, designers continued that trend, making bold statements in gemstones and sometimes diamonds.

Ask designers “why rings?” and you’ll get a myriad of reasons.

For one, rings are one of the few pieces of jewelry that the wearer can actually see while she’s wearing it. She may be able to feel the weight of a diamond and gemstone necklace, but she cannot see how she looks wearing it. By virtue of human nature, she gestures, using her hands for emphasis and to make a point, hence rings tends to glisten and reflect the light more than most jewelry.

Pearls are always the focus at Italian brand Utopia, but usually in highly distinctive settings. These Concerto rings are a perfect example. While they all are the same design, each looks completely different depending upon which South Sea pearl is in the center. There’s the all white look, another with gemstones and a Tahitian pearl version set in black rhodium-plated 18K.

Another reason for the rising popularity of fashion fine rings is as a statement, a piece that defines its wearer much like an engagement ring or wedding band does. A bold gemstone ring says something about its wearer: she’s strong, confident and self-assured. In many cases these days, the bolder the better.

Designers also have a fondness for designing rings because they are so personal. They must fit tightly and securely on the wearer, yet be comfortable and balanced. They also make a great way to show off a particularly brilliant gemstone. Many one-of-a-kind, spectacular gemstones are set as rings, giving the wearer a prime gaze into a specimen stone.

Rings present a challenge to the jewelry designer. Not only do they have to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to wear, they must be set so that the stones receive the maximum light both from the table to the top of the stone. For something so seemingly simple, rings are amazingly complex.

Which is all the more reason why there are such a variety of looks these days; from bold statement gemstone rings to more delicate, open work styles that seem large but are lightweight.

Here are some statement pieces from leading jewelry designers:




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Topics: Jewelry, Editorial, Rodney Rayner, featured, Damiani, BaselWorld, rings, Roberto Coin, Laura Bicego, Baccarat

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