History of the Diamond Engagement Ring

A diamond ring has become the ultimate expression of a promise – a universally recognized symbol of unbreakable love.

The word diamond stems from the ancient Greek word ‘adámas’, which means ‘unbreakable’. This beautiful gemstone is one of the hardest natural materials known to man, resistant to fire and stronger than steel – so it is fitting that diamond rings have become synonymous with everlasting love and commitment.

A ring made of silver, and later of gold, has been a symbol of betrothal since Roman times, and possibly even as far back as Egyptian times. But it was not until 1477 that the gifting of a diamond ring to seal an engagement was first recorded. When Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, he established a tradition that would define enduring love for hundreds of years to come.

Diamond engagement rings gained in popularity in the 19th century, a time of great wealth, when diamonds became more widely available. New cutting and polishing techniques allowed diamonds to sparkle with a fresh brilliance in solitaire engagement rings. In the 20th century, the tradition became firmly established. By the 1940s, diamond engagement rings had become the most popular line of jewelry in department stores; by 1965, 80 percent of American women had one.

It is a tradition that endures today, with couples around the world choosing to celebrate their promise to each other with a diamond engagement ring. And with new innovations, including Forevermark’s signature setting, which is designed to show off the full beauty of the unbreakable diamond at its heart, it is a tradition that shines brighter than ever.

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Did you know that Marisa Perry Atelier is now an exclusive site holder for Forevermark diamonds? All of our diamond jewelry can now be set with stones bearing the Forevermark promise. Click here to read more about the Forevermark Promise: The Promise

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* this article was sourced from the Forevermark website

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Proposing with Grace

Jim and Grace are engaged!!!
Over this past Thanksgiving, Jim took Grace to his family’s house outside of Chicago.
Little did she know what was in store for her!
Jim first took her to the Aviary Cocktail Lounge for cocktails.
He then surprised her with a hotel room at the Peninsula so that they would not have to drive home that evening. Of course like every girl, she said, “I didn’t pack anything!”
No need – Jim sneakily packed a suitcase for her! Good thinking Jim!
He guided her to the hotel to check in before dinner. Once they were in the room, he got down on one knee, and said, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
 Grace was wondering if he was just being very romantic, or actually proposing. Then he took out the ring – and what a ring it is!!
She started to cry and was so overwhelmed, she was literally speechless!  Any of you who have every been proposed to know exactly how she felt! Then he proceeded to put on her hand, a gorgeous Marisa Perry cushion cut diamond ring, set in a platinum with pink micro-pave diamonds! Yay!!
Jim whisked her away to the James Beard award winning restaurant North Pond , where they had a romantic dinner by the fireplace!  He then proceeded to tell her the stories of how he created her ring with Bob, and how he chose the light fancy pink diamonds around the setting.  Designing an engagement ring  is a novel experience for most anyone, but especially for Jim who, I have been told, usually does all of his shopping online!
Grace told me that Jim said “Bob and I are now buddies”!
The following day, Jim and Grace went back to celebrate their engagement with Jim’s family, and hopefully to showed off the ring a little bit!!!
Much love to you both for an endless number of years….

Engagement Photos: Ninja Style

Liz here.  I was actually involved in the business of engagements long before I became Mom and Dad’s (yes, that would be Marisa and Douglas) faithful minion.   One of my (and my husbands) earliest photography jobs was an engagement shoot.  I don’t mean the posed, smiling “we just got engaged, look at my ring” photos…that would have been too easy!  Our challenge was to literally stalk a couple on their journey through central park taking photos without the fiancée-to-be knowing.

 This involved a lot of sneaking around, pretending to look casual, and of course, hiding in the bushes.  After shooting/stalking them in the lower end of Central Park (Tavern on the Green, Bethesda Fountain, etc), we had to hop in a taxi behind theirs and head uptown to the Conservatory Garden for the actual proposal.  I can’t deny it was fun to rush into the taxi and dramatically yell, “follow that cab!”

 Upon arrival, we split up to catch different angles of the proposal.  There was an awkward moment when fiancée-to-be caught a glimpse of me trying to casually lounge on a bench.  What?  No, that wasn’t me skulking around you in a completely different area of town less than 30 minutes ago, what are you talking about?  I did get a weird look from her, but luckily it passed quickly.

Onto the proposal!  There I was, at a perfect angle as the gentleman got down on one knee.  Of course a giant family group had to pick that moment to pass right next to me and yell, “OH MY GOD IS HE PROPOSING???” and burst into ear-shattering cheers. I managed to click the shutter a few times before diving down into the bushes, scratching my arms on the way down.  Lousy thorns!

Overall that day was a lot of fun despite the blisters, sunburn, and scratches.  Sadly, I no longer have the images from that day.  It was exciting immortalize such a special time in a couple’s life on film.   I also learned that the CIA would probably not be recruiting me any time soon…

Have you ever witnessed a public proposal?

Romantic Occasion: Engagement Photos

Hi, Romantics – Liz here.  When it comes to engagement portraits, Kate and William had it right.  Of course, we all can’t book Mario Testino, but there are a few things to keep in mind for yours:

1. Keep your outfits simple, and somewhat coordinated.  This is not a good time to break out the orange and purple Hawaiian shirt while the other wears blue and white nautical stripes!  I’d recommend black, white, and solid colors, with basic lines.  Ruffles and busy collars will detract from your overall look!  Remember, this is about you two (and, ahem, your ring).

2. When it comes to makeup, I’d recommend going with a professional makeup artist.  They know how to compensate for things like flashes and outdoor lighting.  If you want to do it yourself, put on a bit more than you normally would, once again keeping colors simple.  Bright orange bleeding outside your lip line?  No!

3. Posing!  I know it can feel awkward, but have some fun with it!  No need to be a contortionist at this point.  Practice in the mirror beforehand to see which way to turn your head.  Or, practice with the phone on your camera (gotta love technology).  Tip:  don’t tilt your head too far back or the camera will shoot straight up your nose… not pretty on anyone!  Keep your shoulders straight.  A good way to show off your new ring is to gently hug your new fiancée and rest your hand softly on their arm.

4. If you want to shoot your portrait outside, don’t do it between 10am and to 2pm.  The sun will be overhead, creating raccoon shadows on your eyes.  Cloudy days can sometimes be a good thing, be cause the clouds naturally diffuse the light.

5. Browse images online and send ones you love to the photographer so you can be on the same page before the shoot.  Communicate well!

6. Have fun and don’t stress.  If a photo is bad, it will get deleted and never see the light of day, so don’t worry about it.  Move on and get your money shot!

Until next time…

Romantic Sparkle: What is Micro Pave?

Good afternoon Romantics… Liz here.

What IS this micro pave stuff anyway?  You hear us go on and on about it on our website and Facebook page :::cough, shameless plug, cough::: so I’m here to clear it up for you!

Pave [pav-ey; Fr. pa-vey] is the art of moving metal around stones. (think, “paved” with diamonds!) Micro pave is creating a surface of diamonds – like traditional pave – but set under a microscope for absolute precision.   Simply put, micro pave is the tiny diamonds that go around the big diamond (or gemstone) as pictured here. Our designer, Douglas Elliott‘s skull ring is entirely covered in micro pave, including under the eye sockets!

Why do we take such pride in ours?  Our micro pave settings are made completely by hand, not from a mold.  Our platinum is hand rolled, and holes are hand drilled for each tiny diamond. It’s very labor intensive work that few can do well.  Come visit us and we’ll break out the magnifiers to show you…ours is flawless!

I’m personally smitten with micro pave around colored stones, like this pear shaped emerald.  Marisa doesn’t know it yet but someday she will buy me an emerald cut green sapphire in a micro pave setting 😉

Until next time…