Diamonds for Christmas Gifts

Posted November 21, 2014


Christmas is the time for reflection, time to spend with families and those we love, and here in the UK it is also the time for many couples to make that vow of commitment –  to tie the knot, to get married.   This is the moment choose an engagement ring.

Traditionally, the engagement ring  – and the ring of choice for many brides to be – is the solitaire.  The simplicity of the single diamond set in a band of gold or platinum has captured the imagination for over 500 years and a recent survey by Vogue magazine revealed that the favoured celebrity engagement ring was indeed a classic solitaire!

The first recorded moment of a man giving a gemset ring to his future bride was in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a beautiful diamond-set, gold ring to Mary of Burgundy to celebrate his betrothal – and a union of considerable political importance but also a gift of love.  Until this moment, gem-set rings were worn only by men but the power and symbolism of this union was the catalyst for change and by the end of the 15th century diamond betrothal rings had become the acceptable.  Diamonds were used in there rough, unpolished state – an 8 sided octahedron shaped crystal, set – often very imaginatively – in gold and frequently embellished with engravings and intricate designs such as fleur-de-lys, rosettes and symbols of the virgin.

As Christmas approaches, our 21st century young couples looking for their first engagement ring will probably also look for a solitaire, just as their mothers and grandmothers had done before them.  Maybe they will walk around the jewellery shops trying to understand how to grade a diamond or what we mean by cut.  So, before trawling around the shops, why not look at our Hatton Garden Buyers Guide and research some of the stores on our Hatton Garden web site so that you know what questions to ask, what styles you like and what you can afford to spend before going.

Illustrated here is a classic diamond solitaire ring but with a fancy-cut diamond instead of the traditional brilliant-cut, designed and created in Hatton Garden by the team from the Diamonds for Today collection.  The diamonds are Royal Asscher cut, square cut with relatively few facets so that the look is much softer and perhaps more contemporary.  To see more, click on : http://www.hattongarden.com/product-category/retailers/engagement-rings-retailers/ and look at the retailers in Hatton Garden.

Royal Asscher engagement rings: www.diamondsfortoday.co.uk
Photography by Paul Hartley: www.hartleystudios.com.