Today, we are thrilled to have Ashley Kersh filling in on the blog! Ashley is a New York City based fine jewelry designer with an insider’s view on everything from the engagement ring to wedding day baubles. There are some great tips for you fellas looking for the perfect engagement ring. And don’t worry ladies, there’s something for you, too! Everything you need to know about accessorizing your wedding day look. Read on!
by Ashley Kersh
Gentlemen — You have paced back and forth reciting the perfect proposal, and have been searching high and low for the perfect location to propose. Now you must ask yourself: What are the key things to look for when you are choosing a custom diamond engagement ring?
There are a few important aspects to consider. First, make an informed purchase. Never buy out of pressure, anxiety, or adrenaline. Next, decide on a budget. Most of the investment will be in the center stone, so focus on that piece first. Never buy a center stone that is already set in a mounting unless it has a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificate. What is a GIA certificate? There are many types of diamond certifications that are used to gauge the quality of a stone, but GIA is the most highly regarded in the industry for its stringent test criteria. I recommend never buying a stone that isn’t GIA certified. Also important to note is that when comparing stones, always make sure you are comparing a GIA stone to another GIA stone. A different certification could be one to two grades lower than the GIA certification and will not be a comparable benchmark.
If you decide to choose a diamond for a center stone, you will need to evaluate the various characteristics of the diamond: size, color, clarity, and carat. I suggest picking two that are the most important to you and run with those … you will drive yourself crazy trying to juggle all four variables. It is also very important to understand the dimensions of the stone. You need to be sure you’re not buying a bottom heavy stone. It is very possible to buy a 3 carat stone with too much of the weight underneath and have it appear to be more like a 2 carat.
When it comes to the setting, always go custom if possible. It will be created with much more craftsmanship, less metal, and will be more finely forged. Many jewelers will push towards a prefabricated setting they have in stock, which is why it is beneficial to find a jeweler who is prideful in his or her craft.
Ladies — Congratulations on finding the man of your dreams. I imagine you’re now planning that perfect wedding — the one you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little girl. If you’re like me, you’ll want to sparkle in jewels that set you apart from any other bride — unique, one of a kind pieces.
For bridal jewels — whether you choose statement earrings, a necklace, a tiara, a bracelet, or even all of the above — I work with each bride to make the details of each piece come to life. It’s important to consider the wearability of your jewelry. What do you have in your current collection? I always try to add at least one function where the piece could be worn in a different way. For example, you could make a simple diamond stud earring for the wedding, and for the anniversary add a removable emerald pear shape drop. Add an additional closure to your drop, and you could wear it as a pendant around your neck.
The inspiration for your wedding day pieces can come from a color, a special piece of fabric, or even a memory of a place that you have shared with your betrothed. From this initial spark, I make my sketches, and finally, after the twisting of metals and the setting of stones, your special pieces are crafted. It’s not only about creating something for that special day, but also creating an heirloom for your children and children’s children. My hope is that every piece of jewelry I make now for a bride will be the next generation’s “something old,” continuing to inspire young both brides and grooms for years to come.
Good Luck to you both!
About the Author:
In 2011, Ashley Kersh launched her New York City based company creating one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients. Ashley’s socially-responsible custom creations include rare and fine stones sourced globally and paired with world-renowned craftsmanship. Implementing different precious metals and finishes, Ashley’s designs harness elements such as diamond slices, vintage ivory, emeralds, and many others. Because Ashley believes in the versatility of fine jewelry, she designs with the idea that your favorite fine jewelry pieces do not need to be saved for special occasions anymore. With this mantra in mind, Ashley Kersh designs allow a ring to transform into a brooch or a pendant. Look for Ashley’s work in recent and upcoming media issues.
Visit Ashley Kersh on the web.
To view the current collection or private client appointments, email email@example.com.