When it comes to engagement rings, some may be reluctant to stray from the traditional classic white diamond driven to popularity by De Beers throughout the 20th century. While diamonds are still a staple, they now share the spotlight with emeralds, sapphires, black diamonds and other unique gem choices in unusual and one-of-a-kind clusters and shapes. It's becoming more and more common for couples to choose rings that suit their own personalities and stories, and engagement rings are no longer fit in a single mould.
Below, the most unique and interesting engagement ring designers.
Baby Anything, @babyanything
Lucy Ferguson at Baby Anything has proved time and time again that her designs are unique, timeless and truly unique. Creating a line of engagement rings and offering bespoke opportunities, Lucy's creations are feminine and fine. Lucy's talents in engagement ring design were put on display after she designed sister Elle Ferguson's ring alongside her partner Elle Ferguson.
“I set one Aquamarine stone in the centre at the bottom among the diamonds as that is our mother’s birthstone and I wanted to make sure she was with Elle on the special day and throughout her life,” Lucy told Daily Mail. “The Aquamarine was the colour of our mum’s eyes and also the water at Wategos Beach where Joel proposed, so it all tied in beautifully.”
Fairina Cheng, @fairinachengjewellery
A Sydney label creating unique jewellery, alternative engagement rings and custom designs for rule breakers and story makers. "Gone are the days of traditional solitaires and buying the biggest, blingiest diamond your budget can handle," Fairina tells marie claire. "Instead, I design pieces that don’t have to follow the rules, often with untraditional diamonds, bright coloured sapphires and secret stories."
"Instead, couples want something delightfully bold and intensely personal. Their engagement ring might incorporate a subtle symbol of the place they first met or a cheeky reference to an in-joke that brought the couple together."
Natalie Marie Jewellery, @nataliemariejewellery
Natalie Marie Jewellery was born out of a passion for "beautiful objects, a natural appreciation for the handcrafted, and a desire to create." With a background in fashion and fine arts, goldsmith Natalie has created a label which has at its heart an ethos based on connection, sentiment and originality. In recent years, Natalie’s work has developed further into bespoke bridal work including engagement and wedding rings.
“Jewellery is always an emotional purchase, an investment,” Marie told Smart Company.
HLSK’s founder and creative director Hannah Stewart was 18 when she first started making jewellery. Working for her father, who taught her the skilful trade. HLSK came from humble beginnings, starting in Hannah’s parent’s garage in 2013. With a lot of determination and strong business acumen, the company began to flourish shortly after and became known for its truly unique designs.
Hannah’s unique style and stunning stone clusters have garnered attention at home and internationally, with a celebrity fan base including Miley Cyrus, Candice Swanepoel and Kylie Jenner. “Each piece is specifically designed to suit each stone, and the metal work should always enhance the stone’s beauty. For me, this is the key to designing something truly unique and beautiful,” says Stewart.
James & Irisa, @jamesandirisajewellery
Partners in both business and life, James Feng and Irisa Jang launched their eponymous label in 2016 with ranges inspired by the beauty of the natural Australian opal. Each piece is hand crafted by the small team in Melbourne. Alongside opals it also uses small diamonds, elevating the milky palette of the opal to a brilliant effect.
“Opal is no doubt the best candidate to express our design concept because of its mystique,” says Feng. “It was this passion for the precious gem that became the final catalyst in launching a label that presented the opal in a different and more modern light.”
Toni May, @tonimay
Jewellery label Toni May is the brainchild of Bachelor star Laura Byrne. Inspired by her lust for travel Laura procures gemstones from all over the world to create her unique line of modern bohemian accessories. Based out of her new studio in Sydney's Surry Hills, Laura's unique design aesthetic is synonymous with a wanderlust spirit. The creations offer soulful designs that incorporate semiprecious stones and luxe sterling silver.
Jennifer Meyer, @jenmeyerjewelry
Founded on the idea that jewellery could be more than an accessory, the Jennifer Meyer collection is designed to become an extension of the woman wearing it. More than a business endeavour, making jewellery has been a part of Jen's life since learning to make pieces from enamel at the age of six from her grandmother, California artist Edith Meyer. As an adult, Jen made pieces to mark important milestones in her life; to celebrate friends, and remember family. The brand started as a way for Jen to not only reconnect to her roots but also pay homage to the women who inspired her along the way.
Jennifer counts Jennifer Aniston and Ashley Graham as some of her clients.
Sarah & Sebastian, @sarahandsebastianjewellery
Cult jewellery brand SARAH & SEBASTIAN was founded on the principals of understated luxury and innovation. Proudly Australian owned, the brand's archetypal silhouettes are informed by nature and reveal an organic interpretation of visual art. Unique details and balanced design are anchored in multi-disciplinary processes to intrigue discerning women and men alike. Designed and handcrafted in Sydney, each piece of SARAH & SEBASTIAN jewellery is created using the highest-quality materials adorned with ethically-sourced precious stones. The refined details of their designs strike a personal note for the wearer, with each piece becoming a sentimental one for years to come.
Most recently, the brand introduced Co-Creation, an immersive online experience, constructed from elements cherry-picked by SARAH & SEBASTIAN designers.
SIT & WONDER, @sitandwonderjewellery
For the layer lover! SIT & WONDER jewellery, created in 2016 by Sydney based designer Emily Ko, is crafted in precious metals and speaks to the jewellery lover looking for quality designs that can be worn as an everyday luxury. The SIT & WONDER customer has a strong sense of style, appreciation for minimalism and views jewellery as a carefully considered curation of her style. The jewels are designed to be layered and stacked, to tell a unique story that is timeless, effortless and versatile.
SIT & WONDER is also committed to improving their processes to support sustainable and ethical manufacturing, with Emily's values shining through in her label. Recycled metals are regularly used throughout the design process and scrap metal is refined and re-used. In Emily's words, ”I hope you feel inspired, when you catch yourself playing with your jewels, as you sit and wonder… ”
Alighieri is a collection of jewellery inspired by Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’; each piece corresponds to one of the poet’s 100 poems. As the pilgrim journeys through the realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, he encounters mythical creatures, scraggy landscapes, and terrifying demons. London-based, Rosh Mahtani studied French and Italian at Oxford University. Upon graduating in 2012, she was inspired to create modern heirlooms, born from the literature she had studied: Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy,” in particular. She spent two years working with stylists and in e-commerce, all the while, dreaming of her collection, and creating it by night. With no formal training and a vehement obsession with the idea of melancholy and imperfection, Alighieri was officially launched in 2014.
Just like Dante’s subjects, each piece of jewellery is battered, imperfect, and a little bit melancholy. Every piece tells a story, embodying a modern heirloom, that will travel with you on your own adventures.
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