Vintage Wedding Rings – A Classic Symbol of your Unity

Why should you choose to invest in vintage wedding rings? After all, what makes them so much more special than any other ordinary set of wedding rings? To answer these questions, let’s step back for a moment and think about what wedding rings symbolize. When you choose to spend your life with your beloved, you are forging a bond that will last through the ages, a bond that is full of love, happiness, and is impenetrable to outside forces. Your wedding ring is a symbol of this eternal, beautiful unity, so why would you choose to represent this unity with a bland, factory-made piece of metal? It is probably not difficult for you to agree with us when we say that representing your timeless bond is far better suited to a handcrafted, unique wedding ring that distinctly encapsulates your special vow. At Knox Jewelers, we are artisans who take great pride in producing only the finest and most extraordinary wedding rings that have the power to capture and express the true meaning of your marriage.

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There is no typical vintage wedding ring in our studios. All of our handcrafted, unique wedding rings have specific properties and attributes which imbue them with an individual character, very much unlike ordinary, industrial-fabricated bands. A few of the techniques and flourishes we painstakingly use in crafting these works of vintage art include hand engraving, hand formed filigree and milgrain, and the use of high quality gold and diamonds in perfect harmony. What truly gives our wedding bands a timeless, vintage quality is the delicate interplay of all of their constituent elements – the dance of gold and diamond, the handcrafted filigree and engraving, and the holistic attention to detail that our artisans pay to each and every one of our unique bands. Speaking of gold, white gold is a modern trend, and using yellow gold is a great way of adding a vintage feel to your ring. Rose gold, though also a modern trend, is just as effective in creating the vintage look-and-feel. Capturing the vintage aesthetic is the ultimate goal of our expert artisans, and we think that you will agree upon browsing our fine selection that we have overwhelmingly succeeded in this mission.

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All of our vintage wedding rings are made by hand by our brilliant and talented artists and metal smiths, in house. There is a world of difference between the quality work of our craftsmanship and the lifeless kind that comes from a factory. By having complete control over the design and crafting of our unique wedding rings, we can control the creation process down to each individual element, thus giving us the ability to craft a wedding band which perfectly explicates the true meaning of your marriage. The generic products produced by industrial machines cannot keep up with our artists. The machines and industrial processes employed by other jewelry companies simply do not have the artistic minds required to produce wedding rings which have their own unique, innate, and individual characters. Factories will consistently produce substandard results because at the end of the day nothing can replace our talented artists and their exquisite craftsmanship.

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These types of vintage wedding rings have a timeless, eternal appeal, and for good reason, too. These styles stand the test of time and have traveled through countless generations with no fall in popularity across the ages. Why? The answer, again, lies in the symbolism and rich meaning connoted by a handcrafted vintage, unique wedding ring. Many of your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents likely had rings which had many of the attributes and elements that our own vintage rings possess – think of our rings as a way of connecting with your past and ancestry. We expertly craft all our rings with the tender loving care they deserve, and their resulting elegance, intricacy, and beauty are unmatched.

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Ultimately, a vintage wedding ring is a symbol of your love for your spouse and a future heirloom for your family. Timelessness, rich meaning, and beauty – these are just a few of the qualities of our handcrafted vintage wedding rings, and we know you will love browsing our selection. At Knox Jewelers, we can provide custom, handcrafted design services to turn your ideas into reality, and we look forward to working together with you to design a vintage wedding ring which will stand the test of time and be a symbol of your marriage.

Oval Engagement Rings – A Timeless Statement Of Your Love

Oval engagement rings have become a popular choice in 2014. Not only is this style of engagement ring exquisitely beautiful, it also has the added benefit of making one’s finger look more slender. There are many designs of oval engagement rings to choose from. Here are five of the most popular designs at Knox Jewelers:

Flare Oval
This elegant engagement ring is stunning with the oval cut diamond center stone positioned to run east-west (lengthwise) across the finger. It also features a flared band which is set with a series of diamonds that graduate in size. The center oval diamond is surrounded by a beautiful micro pave halo and the sides of the band are polished to a perfect shiny finish.

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The center diamond rests gracefully along the length of the ring finger in this charming oval engagement ring. From the side, this ring gives the silhouette of an ornate cathedral where the band raises to meet the edges of the halo. Both the thin band and the halo surrounding the center stone are detailed with dazzling micro pave in hand-cut settings.

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The design of this two-toned oval engagement ring really stands out with the juxtaposition of the sparkling white diamonds against the rose gold halo surrounding the large 1.25 carat oval shaped diamond in the center. This would be the perfect engagement ring for someone who wants their ring to really stand out with color while still having all white diamond stones.

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Something Blue
This exquisite oval engagement ring is reminiscent of antique signet rings. It features a beautiful extra wide band with an intricate relief-engraved filigree pattern along the sides. The width of this band leaves a lot of room for engraving a special message on the inside of the band. The background of the band is hand-stippled and the raised vines surround beautiful blue ceylon sapphires that sparkle as much as the oval diamond in the center.

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Rachel Lily
The 1.50 carat oval shaped diamond in this engagement ring is featured with a bezel setting and an intriguing knife edge band. On each side of the center diamond, there are three additional complimentary diamonds. The tapers down away from the center and flows into the double milgrain edge which smooths the knife edge of the band. There is so much attention to detail in the design of this ring that it has to be seen up close to fully appreciate it. This includes the custom engraving on the sides of the band and the hand formed filigree curls. Of all the oval engagement rings, this vintage inspired design is perfect for someone who appreciates fine detail work.

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For hundreds of years oval shaped rings have been made out of many gem stones. Some of the most notable have been jade, rubies, and emeralds. Until more recently in history diamonds were not on this list of beautiful oval cut gems, however now they are definitely one of the most popular stone shapes. Oval cut diamonds look great in contemporary and antique inspired designs, which lets you combine the best of both worlds by choosing the exact details you love. Creating a custom design is perfect for couples intent on combining their different styles and tastes into one. If you are shopping for oval engagement rings, be sure to check out Knox Jewelers as an interesting and alluring option.

How Diamond Cut Grade Affects Fire, Sparkle, Scintillation

Have you ever looked at a diamond and wondered why some diamonds are more attractive than others? While some are bright and flash with a rainbow of colors, others look dark and lifeless? These differences are all based on the cut and shape of a diamond. Cut grade fuels a diamond’s overall visual appeal in fire, sparkle and scintillation.

The light behavior within a diamond directly correlates to how well a diamond is cut. GIA recognized this relationship of a diamond’s cut and the quality of fire and the return of white light. Developing a grading system that quantifies specific measurements, angles, and percentages GIA was able to determine parameters that embody the best qualities in the cut of a diamond.

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GIA's Diamond Cut Grade: Example of a Round Brilliant Excellent Cut and Poor Cut

GIA began their 15 year study on the round brilliant by creating a computer model to examine light behavior within a diamond. Developing proportion-based metrics from this model they were able to predict a diamond’s performance on fire and brilliance. However, research proved that computer-based results could not be the only determining factor in judging a diamond’s overall brightness. After surveying industry leaders and general consumers, GIA created a foundation for the round brilliant cut grade.

When a cut grade is given, it is the component of brightness, fire, scintillation, polish, and symmetry, as well as durability and weight concerns. These are all an integral part that make up the GIA diamond cut grade system. With many different proportion combinations possible, GIA was able to determine the relationship of a stone’s interaction with light.

The reflection of light internally and externally in a diamond is called it’s brilliance. Fire is the dispersion of spectrum colors you see when light hits the diamond. The pattern of light and dark areas and the flash of light that emits when a diamond is moved is called scintillation. A well cut diamond will attribute to these three desired qualities because it directs more light through the top of the stone. A poor cut will appear dark because light is exiting through the bottom of the stone if it is too deep or too shallow.

Diamond cut is often confused with its shape. Round, used in most diamond jewelery, is the shape of a stone. All other shapes are classified under fancy shapes. Evaluated only on polish and symmetry, fancy shapes do not receive a cut grade like the round brilliant. These grades are valued ranging from Excellent to Poor.

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GIA's Diamond Shape: Round Brilliant and Fancy Shapes

Polish is rated on the overall surface condition of a diamond’s facets. It is the result of the polishing process and blemishes created after cutting. These grades are given to a diamond when viewed under 10X magnification. An Excellent or Very Good may have minute or minor features that can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. Anything Good or lower can affect the appearance of a diamond and may be seen by the naked eye.

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GIA's Diamond Cut Grade: Example of Poor Polish

Symmetry is the exactness of shape and placement of the facets. It is subdivided into two types of features, proportion-related and facet-related. These grades are also performed under 10X magnification for its initial face-up impression and profile view. Both angles are evaluated because of the three dimensional nature of a diamond; one symmetry feature can be linked to others. Similar to polish, grades given Good or lower can have symmetry features that are noticeable to the unaided eye.

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GIA's Diamond Cut Grade: Example of Poor Symmetry

Understanding GIA parameters for each grade and the specific guidelines they represent, Knox Jewelers recommends fancy shapes to be Good or Better. With almost 30 years of industry experience, we have found that the beauty of a diamond is greatly reduced when selecting polish or symmetry below this standard. A diamond that contains Good or Better qualities enhances the elegance of a handmade Knox custom design.

The care and craftsmanship that goes into each ring is harmonious to the quality of diamond a customer chooses. As the focal point, a diamond captivates the attention with its radiance of sparkle and luster. Selecting a well cut stone to compliment a Knox diamond engagement ring is a timeless expression of love, forever evoking a sense of glamor and romance.

Ring Styles from The Great Gatsby: Daisy Buchanan Engagement Ring Inspirations 

Did you happen to spot the stunning diamond ring poised elegantly on Daisy Buchanan’s ring finger in The Great Gatsby? The beautiful cushion cut center surrounded in a halo of diamonds has certainly captured the attention of many. The influential attributes of the roaring twenties was portrayed in a lavish display of platinum and diamonds in Daisy’s engagement ring.

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Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby follows a cast of characters during the summer of 1922 in a prosperous town located on Long Island. The setting of the story was at the cusp of the Art Deco period where society embraced symmetry and bold geometric shapes. This portrayal of the American Dream depicts the transformational shift in culture of economic prosperity and exuberance.

Daisy’s glamorous ring showcases a cushion cut diamond which captures the timelessness of an old mine cut and the sophistication of a modern round brilliant. An old mine cut has an unmistakable vintage appeal with individual hand cut facets and a proportionate shape to its original rough form. The modified square shape of a cushion cut combines the essence of a bygone era with the sophistication of modern technology. The cushion cut is a contemporary diamond shape that embraces the romantic allure in one of the first diamond cuts in history.

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A Beautiful 2.20 ct Cushion Cut Diamond

The Great Gatsby story paints a picture of an American ideal where freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and social mobility. Luxurious parties, expensive cars and platinum jewelry were a symbol of wealth and success. Daisy’s elegant platinum band was a statement of high societal standing.

This classic look was featured in a beautiful U-cut style setting. U-cut is hand created pave where each prong is cut out by hand and the metal area around the prong. The U-shape pattern is formed when a jeweler carves the metal where the diamond is placed. This design technique allows diamonds to be set closer together, giving the ring more sparkle.

The U-cut method can only be crafted in platinum due to the metals superior strength. With platinum’s durability, less metal is needed to give the appearance of an endless row of diamonds. With less metal covering the diamonds, Daisy’s ring glimmers from across the room a t every angle.

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Knox Jeweler's Sarah Ann: Platinum U-Cut

To complete the historical look, Daisy wore a matching U-cut wedding band with micro-pave diamonds. Pave, is a French word meaning ‘paving a street.’ Her ring was paved with smaller diamonds to showcase her cushion cut diamond.

Another way to display a cushion cut diamond in platinum is a V-cut pattern. In this approach, the jeweler forms an angle on each side of the metal where it meets at a point, forming a V-shape. Like the U-cut, this technique can only be custom created in platinum. Showing less metal from the prongs and more of the micro-pave diamonds will maximize the radiance of the ring.

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Knox Jeweler's Venita: Platinum V-Cut

The Art Deco ring by Knox Jewelers represents The Great Gatsby period stylistically with bold geometric shapes. Clipped corners of a rectangular halo compliment the sharp, symmetrical lines of the emerald cut center diamond. To portray the fashion of the Great Gatsby era, two raised rectangular accents are parallel to the center halo.

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Knox Jeweler's Art Deco: Emerald Cut Diamond

Another common jewelry style for the era, the combination of diamonds and sapphires. Sapphires add a rich blue color to emphasize the beauty of the center diamond. This velvety blue fashion statement is a chic way to enhance the white luster of platinum.

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A Knox Jeweler's Minneapolis Custom Design

At Knox, we carry an entire collection of antique inspired styles in platinum or gold. As a custom design jeweler located in Minneapolis, we can create a design with or without a halo. Add surprise diamonds around the crown of the center diamond or build a halo around the diamond shape of your choice including cushion, round, oval or princess. Wear a Great Gatsby inspired ring of a timeless era, crafted with a contemporary appeal.

Understanding the 5th “C” in Diamond Grading: Certification

Could you imagine going into a car dealership purchasing what you thought was a 6 cylinder luxury performance car, only to discover it was actually a 4 cylinder engine with the body of a sports car. This misrepresentation would never occur in the auto industry. However falsely identified diamonds are common in the jewelry industry. The idea that all diamond laboratories are created equal is not the case; while most labs use the GIA diamond grading scale, not all have the same level standards to adhere to it.

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GIA's 4C's of Diamond Quality

Many industry leaders have tested this known truth of variable diamond grading standards by sending the same diamond to different labs and getting very different results. Rapaport, an international network that provides an overview of the diamond market, recently preformed one of these studies using 10 diamonds. The diamonds were sent to different grading labs in the US and abroad. The outcome proved that some diamonds could differ as much as three color grades when graded at multiple labs.

The biggest difference in these grading reports were American labs verses international. Surveys found grading labs in the US, including GIA, IGI, and EGL USA were fairly close in their grading standards. However, EGL USA generally graded the diamonds much more lenient than the other two labs.

Another discrepancy in the diamond reports were the laboratories overseas, including EGL Israel and EGL Hong Kong. This is when they found some diamonds two to three color grades off when compared to diamond reports from the US. Antwerp’s HRD lab was slightly softer in grading when analyzed to GIA standards.

So many labs are speaking the same diamond language but each with varying interpretations. How is a consumer to know they are truly purchasing an “E” color diamond and not an “H?” The biggest safeguard for a consumer is to be educated on diamond quality.

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GIA Diamond Color Scale

At Knox, educating our customers on the 4C’s and showing how to identify differences in quality is how we maintain consumer confidence. Once you can detect a colorless diamond from a near colorless diamond, you will gain the security of knowing how to select diamond color. Knox Jewelers will spend time with you, going over internal features of clarity characteristics using a microscope or loupe; helping to understand the clarity scale and what that represents in a diamond. During a diamond consultation we express the importance of a well cut diamond and how that relates to the overall beauty of a stone. At that time, we emphasize how to select a diamond size based on its dimensions and not by carat weight alone.

By knowing what diamond characteristics to look for, customers have the knowledge in determining the true nature of a diamond and if the lab certification is accurately supported. Most diamonds are laser inscribed on the girdle of the stone, this is the outer edge that separates the top and bottom portion of a diamond. This inscription is a sequence of numbers and letters that identifies the diamond with the laboratory’s certification report. If this inscribed code coordinates with the lab report number, customers can be confident the information being presented is genuine.

When evaluating the authenticity of a diamond report, it is important to understand who is certifying the stone. GIA was the pioneer in establishing the grading scale and providing third party verification on diamonds. Their strict grading procedures is well respected in the jewelry industry. With this reputation, high quality diamonds are sent to GIA for certification. While diamonds of lower value are sent to labs with soft grading practices in an effort to achieve higher diamond grades than GIA would evaluate the diamond at.

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A GIA Diamond Grader Evaluates Diamond Quality

With this understanding, Knox Jewelers prefers the highly recognized, honest services provided by GIA. We choose not to sell diamonds that are overly generous in their diamond evaluations. As a small, locally owned business located in Minnesota we wholeheartedly believe in the integrity of our family jewelery store. GIA is the world’s most trusted name in diamond grading. In line with Knox Jewelers higher level of standards, GIA ensures the integrity and accuracy of every report it issues with objectivity and expertise. To display the very best of diamond attributes, choose a GIA graded diamond for your Knox ring.