- 2012’s Celebrity Engagement Bling: The Rings Everyone’s Talking About
- A Tokyo Tree that Really Glows: Gold Christmas Tree Available for Over $4 Million
- Breathtaking Blue Diamond Sold for Record Breaking Price
- The Sale of the Archduke Joseph Diamond: A Nearly-Priceless Piece of Ice Finds a New Home
- Diamond Source Warranty Protocol: A Step in the Right Direction for Human Rights
- Jennifer Aniston’s Engagement Ring: A Bit of Bling or a Gaudy Accessory?
- Engagement Ring Styles She is Sure to Love
Ring Buyer Guide Blog
Celebrities are often seen as trendsetters when it comes to fashion. We want to know what they are wearing, especially when it is the most significant piece of jewelry a person receives in their lifetime. If you’re looking for something fancy or fashionable for your engagement, then why not find inspiration by checking out the rocks on famous fingers? Here are three rings that created a lot of buzz in 2012.
Drew Barrymore and Her Ring
Everyone’s favorite girl-next-door Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman announced their engagement this year. Her dazzling ring features a rather simple setting with a nearly four carat radiant cut diamond. The band is just as breathtaking thanks to a covering of smaller stones. This piece was created by Graff Diamonds and is estimated at around $80,000.
Halle Berry Sports a Unique Design
The sparkling band Halle Berry received from fiance Olivier Martinez features a completely different look in yellow gold. The setting includes subtle etchings around the outside with a fabulous emerald perched at the center. Her piece is estimated at around $20,000 more than Barrymore’s ring.
A New Love for Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston hasn’t always had the best luck when it comes to love, but maybe this time is different. She and Justin Theroux verified that they are engaged last August. It took a while for the enormous stone to make appearances, but now many photos exist of the stunning design. Experts estimate the diamond at around 10 carats or more with an oval or cushion cut. The value of this giant bridal accessory is estimated at a mindboggling $1 million.
When most people think of a golden Christmas tree, they picture a lush green pine covered in sparkling gold tinsel, matching lights and assorted ornaments. While this scene may be beautiful, it is nothing compared to the Disney-themed foliage found on a special tree in Tokyo. Constructed of pure gold, this towering decoration gives off a luxurious light that features more shine than just about any holiday accessory ever made.
The solid gold Christmas tree was the product of a collaborative project between Japan’s Walt Disney company and a jewelry store named Ginza Tanaka. The shop maintains several branches, with its headquarters located in Tokyo which is where the tree currently resides. The exquisite gold tree was created to commemorate Walt Disney’s 110th anniversary. It is also recognized as the most expensive Walt Disney Japan-licensed item made available to the public for purchase.
What Makes a Gold Tree Grow?
This unique piece is more than a stationary decoration. It revolves so that passersby can view the playful Disney characters positioned around each side, which include familiar shapes featuring Tinkerbell, Cinderella and the company’s easily-recognizable trademark mouse. The entire unit stands around eight feet tall with a three foot width. A total of 88 lbs. of gold was used to create the finished product.
Anyone who is interested in adding this extravagant piece to their holiday collection can expect to pay $350 million yen, which is equal to $4.2 million in U.S. currency. In case anyone prefers to bargain shop, Ginza Tanaka has also made available smaller 10” models of the fabulous tree which can be bought for $243,000 each.
Diamonds are known for their crystal clear appearance, but there are actually many versions of the stone that are favored because of their intense coloration. A recent purchase of a stunning blue diamond has created quite a stir because of its record breaking price. Stones with a pink or blue hue can actually command lofty bids when the right characteristics are present.
A perfect example is the famous Hope Diamond, which is a gorgeous blue diamond that has earned recognition throughout the world. The gem that was sold may be dwarfed by the Hope’s generous 45.52 carat size, but it is still a piece with enormous beauty and value.
A Breathtaking Diamond at an Equally Breathtaking Price
The blue diamond that was sold on November 14th, 2012 measured 10.48 carats and featured a drop shape. The piece was made desirable because of its intense deep blue hue and flawless appearance. Before the sale, the stone was estimated to go for between 3.2 and 4.2 million francs. Many in attendance at the auction were anxious to have a chance at owning the blue beauty. After a tense bidding match, the stone was officially sold for an amazing 10.27 million Swiss francs, which is the equivalent to $10.86 million U.S. dollars.
Not only did this rare specimen earn a high sale price, it also broke international records. The purchase makes this blue diamond the most expensive ever sold of its kind in the world. The winning bidder, London jeweler Laurence Graff, will likely go down in history with his azure prize for being the man who paid out more than $1 million a carat for the stone.
The average person would probably choke a bit at the prospect of spending thousands on a single jewel. Imagine picking up the tab for the sale of the famous Archduke Joseph diamond. This exciting gem recently went to market and sold for a mind boggling $21.5 million.
A Diamond with a Rich History
It’s very rare to come across a glittering beauty quite like the Archduke’s diamond. It weighs in at 76.02 carats and is completely colorless. The name comes from the stone’s previous owner, Archduke Joseph August of Austria who was a Hungarian prince. The nobleman kept the prize piece in a Hungarian General Credit Bank vault starting in 1933 where it remained for three years.
The diamond later made its way to the hands of a European banker who chose to store it in a safe deposit box in France. Perhaps it is a stroke of good luck that the precious stone stayed hidden during the turmoil of World War II. It reappeared in 1961 and was sold in 1993 for 9.7 million francs which would have been equivalent to approximately $6.5 million U.S. dollars. Not only is this gorgeous diamond breathtaking to look at, but it comes with a bit of history to go with it.
Selling the Archduke’s Diamond
Prior estimates placed the sale at around $15 million, however, the diamond sold for well over that price with the exact cost coming to $21,474,525.00 plus commission. If you’re wondering who paid out for the jewel, you may be out of luck. The seller was Alfredo J. Molina who is chairman of Black, Starr and Frost, a jeweler located in California. Molina stated that there were two serious buyers who were bidding, however, the winning bidder requested to remain anonymous. He did share the name of the losing bidder, which was international dealer Fred Mouawad.
We may never know who made the actual purchase, but thankfully the Archduke Joseph diamond will be given a proper storage space. The buyer claimed that they plan to share the stone with a museum where it will be kept safe and sound for the benefit of all. Rahul Kadakia of Christie’s stated that the “Archduke Joseph Diamond is the finest and largest perfect Golconda diamond ever to appear at auction.”
The concept of the “blood diamond” has been circulating for quite some time. There has been an ongoing issue that many people across the globe were not aware of until recently. While searching for ways to finance violence, warlords and insurgents in some countries found that they can unethically mine diamonds in war zones and sell them to generate income. Many countries were impacted by this practice however the overall number has begun to dwindle. Blood diamonds currently make up approximately 0.1% of the world’s overall production based on statistics produced by the United Nations and the Kimberley Process.
Before the Diamond Source Warranty Protocol
A May 2000 meeting of diamond producing states in South Africa held in Kimberley, Northern Cape was intended to create ways to stop the illegal trade of blood diamonds. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was unanimously adopted in 2003. Unfortunately the KP was not as effective as much of the world had wanted it to be. Even after reform efforts, the process had shortcomings that could not be remedied without dramatic changes.
Much Needed Improvement Arrives
Launched in October of 2012, the Diamond Source Warranty Protocol (you may also want to take a look at the Protocol’s Question & Answer page) sought to make the diamond trade more transparent in an effort to work towards what the Kimberley Process was meant to accomplish. This new protocol was established by the Jewelers of America (JA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA). In a nutshell, the protocol is essentially a system that suppliers and sellers can use to make sure that diamonds were not obtained through unscrupulous sources. This applies to both polished and rough gems. This effort will hopefully gain momentum and stop the illegal buying and selling of diamonds obtained through tragic means.
Fans know that finding love hasn’t been easy for Jennifer Aniston. The hugely popular star really began to shine during the 1990s, with roles in films and television shows. Some of her most widely recognized successes include her part as Rachel Green on the hit NBC sitcom Friends and her work in Bruce Almighty, Along Came Polly, The Object of My Affection and Office Space.
While her on screen romances sometimes work out, much to the appeasement of audiences, the same can’t be said for her real life relationships, which included flings with Charlie Schlatter and Counting Crows’ front man Adam Duritz. She married actor Brad Pitt in 2000 but the marriage eventually fell apart and the two were separated by 2005. Aniston said yes to actor Justin Theroux this past August and only recently began showing off the glittering engagement ring he gave her.
A Closer Look at Aniston’s Rock
There is no denying the sparkle of Jennifer Aniston’s engagement ring. The piece features an estimated eight carat emerald cut diamond and has been compared to the size of a decorative cocktail ring rather than something intended to represent a loving bond between two people. Some critics have labeled the ring as gaudy and believe that it is too big and flashy to serve its intended purpose well.
Other critics have noted that the ring doesn’t seem quite classy and sophisticated enough to fit Aniston’s appearance and demeanor. The simple layout and enormous size appears more for show than meaning, which cheapens the overall look. Aniston was quoted as stating she loves the ring and felt it was very beautiful.
Defining the Ideal Engagement Ring
Many fans back up the ring choice, stating that it’s really up to Aniston to determine if it is the appropriate size and style. In reality, the average person can select whatever engagement jewelry they want without undergoing such scrutiny (except for the keen eye of a mother or mother-in-law, perhaps). While the rock on Aniston’s finger may dwarf traditional expectations, does that mean it is no less significant to her and her husband-to-be? Every piece is created with a unique size, arrangement and value, but at the end of the day it is up to the person wearing it to determine just how fitting the engagement ring really is.
Marilyn Monroe said it best when she sang, “Square-cut or pear-shape; these rocks don’t lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” When it comes to selecting an engagement ring there are many styles she is sure to love. Before popping the question, educate yourself about the many types of styles that are available that will not only wow her when you propose, but also reflect her individual style and personality. While there are dozens of classic styles like round cut, emerald cut, princess cut, and marquis cut; 2012 is showing many new and unique diamond dazzlers that really raise the bar to the traditional cuts.
After the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middletown, colorful engagement rings are more popular than ever! Sapphires and Rubies seem to be the go to stones when it comes to colorful carats. Jessica Simpson recently received a 5 carat Neil Lane ring with a large sparkly ruby as the center stone and Elizabeth Hurley also has a beautiful blue stunner. While not everyone may be able to afford rings of this color, cut, and clarity; many local jewelers and retailers offer a similar style ring for a fraction of the price. Designer Beverly K boasts a custom designed tourmaline ring with diamond accents and is not only stylish but reflective of the year’s color trend.
Sculpted and Sparkling
This decorative trend has been around for some time but seems to hold its ground when it comes to a sculpted and sparkling engagement ring. Intricately designed with flowing details and a sculptured appeal (in which every aspect to the ring has been well thought and planned out), these rings come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. World renowned jeweler Tacori boasts a large selection of sculpted and sparkling rings. Their sculpted pieces consist of diamonds adjacent to a center stone and diamond accents encased in the side of the band; giving it a sparkling and visually appealing width complete with a fully engraved band which has a vintage look and feel.
Hail to the Halo
The Halo style engagement ring was popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s but has made a huge come back and it’s easy to see why. It creates the illusion of a large stone, when in fact it is multi-faceted. The Halo cut maximizes the brilliance of the stones, creating one giant sparkle. It also has an art-deco appeal to it so it mixes older elegance with new age design. It is mainly and most popularly shown in a square or round cut diamond, but is also shown in cushion cut or emerald cut styles as well.
Anything But Traditional
This category is growing in popularity due to green lifestyles and environmentally friendly choices. Gold and silver metals are being recycled and then handcrafted into interesting and simple shapes – like slices of diamonds, organically outlined gemstones and even raw diamonds. There are a number of jewelers who are embracing this trend and creating resources on their sites to customize and design an anything-but-traditional ring. Gemvara, Aroc Urtu, and Todd Reid are among the few pioneers to embrace this growing in popularity trend.
Making the decision to ask for your love’s hand in marriage is a big step. When ready, propose in confidence because you know you took the time to select a style of engagement ring she is sure to love.