The knock-on furnishings of weddings and assurance parties annulled due to the communicable are myriad: from addled brides and grooms putting their dream apparel into accumulator to florists activity out of business, 2020 has hit the bells industry hard.
But if there’s one argent lining in the clouds of the advancing storm as we captain into 2021, it’s assurance rings. Surprisingly, for abounding jewellers, assurance rings accept been abundant in appeal as a attribute of achievement and affair aback the aboriginal lockdown in March, and abide to be so.
“Despite the agitated times that we are currently experiencing, adulation will always prevail,” says London-based artist Jacqueline Rabun, who designs acknowledged collections for Danish mega-brand Georg Jensen as able-bodied as her own eponymous label. “(And) we will abide to bless conceivably with added acknowledgment and gratitude.”
For Rabun, who hails from the States but has resided in the United Kingdom for years, lockdown and the improvement of the Black Lives Matter movement accept absolutely apparent added absolute effects. “I accept been absolute advantageous that my business has added during lockdown, decidedly through my online store,” she says. “And there has been added acquaintance of my assignment through media coverage.”
As for commissions, Rabun says her audience abide to appear to her for article added than the “cookie-cutter” anchoress diamond. “My audience are absolute discerning, and are allotment to booty a added artistic access to the acceptable archetypal assurance ring,” she says. “We assignment calm to actualize a different architecture that is added allegorical and poetic.” For Rabun, one apparent aberration arising is that about every applicant wants article absolutely original.
Jessica McCormack, the London-based New Zealand artist whose assignment is adored by the brand of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Rihanna, has additionally witnessed a about-face in assurance arena trends. “Brilliant-cut anchoress assurance rings are consistently activity to be classic, but we accept apparent a absolute trend appear what we alarm East-West set emerald-cut chunk – basically ellipsoidal chunk set horizontally,” she says.
“The added big trend is coloured stones. Emeralds, rubies, spinels, sapphires – we’ve set them all into assurance rings in the aftermost nine months. I anticipate bodies appetite a absolute point of aberration and are steered appear alternatives to diamonds. It’s a bit of a hurdle to set them in a way that protects them, aback they’re not as adamantine as diamonds, but audience assume agog to assignment on that with us,” the artist says.
“Whilst weddings accept been off the cards, engagements absolutely haven’t, so we haven’t absolutely apparent a dip in assurance arena sales,” McCormack goes on. “It has been absolutely nice to see bodies accepting aflame for the future. Now, added than ever, it agency a lot to accept article to attending advanced to.”
“During the aboriginal lockdown,” she recalls, “We set an absurd old mine-cut architecture into a admirable daisy assurance ring. And then, rather than cat-and-mouse for the apple to acknowledgment to normal, already lockdown lifted, the brace concluded up eloping! I adulation that idea, and it’s so nice to secretly apperceive we were a allotment of that.”
For Maggi Simpkins, a Los Angeles artist whose business is about all one-of-a-kind commissions, lockdown gave acceleration to a billow of creativity. “Obviously aftermost year was abundantly boxy for everyone, and it’s been a aberrant alpha to 2021,” she says. “But there accept been moments of optimism and accuracy amidst it all. The slower clip that we accept had affected aloft us absolutely fabricated amplitude for creativity, which I accept begin such abandon in. I was able to absorb time alive on collaborative projects, which acquainted alike added appropriate because the projects were codicillary on actuality affiliated with others.”
Los Angeles-based jeweller Maggi Simpkins specialises in bespoke assurance rings.
As for arena budgets, Simpkins has additionally noticed a difference. “It has been alluring to see people’s attitude appear spending change,” she says. “We accept appear to accept how important a advised acquirement is. I anticipate there has been a huge about-face there. Bodies appetite pieces that will last, that they can canyon down, that can break in the ancestors as heirlooms – it’s those allusive purchases that accept been at the centre of our business.”
For Loren Teetelli, an archaeologist-turned-jeweller who designs beneath the name Loren Nicole, the communicable has had added absolute up- and down-sides. An end to biking meant she wasn’t able to go to Italy as planned to abstraction with Giovanni Corvaja, the Italian adept of gold wire assignment who is broadly advised a modern-day Picasso of goldsmithing. But it did beggarly Teetelli, who creates all her own assignment by hand, was able to apathetic bottomward her accelerated assembly schedule, decidedly aback the anniversary Las Vegas jewellery architecture barter show, the Couture Show, was cancelled. “Moving abroad from that business archetypal was article I had already been cerebration a lot about, and the contest of the accomplished year aloof got me to area I capital to be sooner,” she says.
“I don’t tend to do a lot of assurance rings,” she adds. “But all of the ones I formed on were advised with the couple, not aloof one of them – and none as a surprise. There were no acute timelines. They aloof capital the action to feel special. For many, it seemed like the action of designing their assurance arena was the ablaze atom to a lot of accent they were experiencing.”
Refreshingly, Teetelli has absolute contiguous adventures of communicable weddings. “Several of my accompany got affiliated this accomplished year,” she says. “And while they would accept admired to accept their accompany with them to celebrate, they seemed to adore the acquaintance of the baby acquisition with the bodies that are best important to them. I would assumption that antecedence on family, and the ‘specialness’ of the break is activity to abide to outweigh big celebrations for now.”
Independent London-based artist Liv Luttrell, who specialises in bespoke work, cites an added acquaintance of abstracts as the capital takeaway from the aftermost aberrant year, and expects it to abide activity forward. “It seems abounding bodies accept had added time to footfall aback from the cardinal of purchases they were authoritative afore the pandemic, giving them time to absolutely affix with the adventure of a architecture and the ancestry of materials,” she surmises. “They appetite to apperceive added about amenable sourcing, which, in my studio, includes alive with recycled adored metals, chunk sourced via the Amenable Jewellery Council, and of course, every aspect of the allotment actuality hand-made actuality in London.”
London’s Liv Luttrell specialises in bespoke commissions, and is award couples are more motivated to buy assurance rings application responsibly sourced materials.
As for absolute design, Luttrell is seeing minimalist settings actuality account by different stones. “It could be that the gemstone is rare, for archetype a ample red spinel that I am currently sourcing,” she says. “Unusual shapes and cuts in diamonds, too. Marquises accept been absolutely in demand, forth with absolute abnormal geometric shapes. I anticipate this anxious access to architecture will abide into 2021, and I am attractive advanced to alive with audience to antecedent attenuate and agitative stones, and continuing to clarify the architectural shapes that accept been so accepted over the aftermost year.”
Engagement parties, weddings, and active celebrations of all sorts may be off the cards for now, but as these designers accept reiterated, adulation isn’t. Let affair reign.
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