Monday, August 22, 2011

Rings and Things

Today's entry is from guest writer, my most excellent friend, (who you may recognize) and fashion confidant, Kimberly. As she mentions below, Kim is in the process of starting up her own business which will showcase some pretty exceptional pieces of vintage jewelry. I really want her to get up and running soon, but I am also pretty concerned about those repercussions on my pocketbook. I may have a little problem. 


I am dropping in on Something New to chat about some of the amazing options out there for engagement rings and jewelry for your big day. First, I need to give a shout out to Refinery 29 who did this amazing post on unique engagement rings. I love that they covered a lot of different price points since pretty does not always need to cost more than your car. This ring, for example, from Charm and Chain that is a steal at $70.00, but feminine and drool worthy too.

Hello, Beautiful! 
Since this blog focuses on sustainability in the bridal industry, I'll also mention this incredible gorgeous conflict-free diamond from Barney’s New York. It's a little on the pricey side but has a wonderfully unique and earthy look.

Yes please!
My favorite ring from this post actually is worth more than my car…. thank goodness I am already married so I can keep my drool-face to a minimum. But now you will have to decide which is more important: the mortgage payment or this sexy ring right here. I am not even going to post an image for fear you may run off and spend your life savings this very instant. I can’t have that on my conscience…follow the link at your financial peril!

A very good sustainable option for many couples is to buy vintage or antique jewelry. You can find some really unique and beautiful pieces that both of you will love at a price that helps you get that open bar you were hoping for. One site with a great selection, whether you are looking for a diamond or not, is Can you believe that all of the rings below are under $1,000? True story. 

Get a closer look at these sexy rings here, here, and here, oh… and here.

That doesn’t just go for engagement rings, either. If you want to do affordable vintage on your wedding day (or Tuesday) costume jewelry is the way to go. It is unique, timeless, and sparkles. Who doesn't love that? This may be clichĂ© but one of the best places I have found to find good vintage pieces is on, that's right, E-bay. There are a lot of sellers, a wide selection, and the inventory is always changing. If you are looking for pretty things that will not break the bank, Coro is a brand that was in business from 1901-1979 that is reliably gorgeous. Also, if you are looking for a matching set, try adding the phrases “Parure” (matching set with several pieces), or “Demi Parure” (small matching set) to your search. Below are just example sets that I found today… who knows what baubles will be there when you search (Can you tell that I love silver and blue?).

My other favorite brand is Schiaparelli, as in Elsa Schiaparelli, from the 1940’s-1970’s. She was a fashion designer with a bold and innovative look. The jewelry is on the pricier side, but each piece is a show stopper. And the jewelry was built to stand the test of time; you will rarely find one that is nicked or missing a stone, which also makes them great investments. Below are some of my faves.

Look at those watermelon stones. Yum!

And this one belongs on a Greek Goddess… or me. You know, whatever.

There are too many great designers and companies to get to in one post but I encourage you to explore! Look for things that you like and sellers with positive ratings and you can find some really great pieces. A lot of vintage is also unsigned, where the company or designer has left no stamp or identifying mark, which makes them less valuable in the market but it also brings the price down for those of us with champagne tastes and PBR budgets.

Lastly, my personal opinion, is that the most meaningful (not to mention free) vintage you can wear on your wedding day is something borrowed from a loved one. When my Mom was pregnant, her brother passed away, and my Dad gave her a gold and diamond cross to remember him by. She wears it every day and she gave it to me to wear for my wedding. It was amazing because it so personal, and although it was not a 1940’s Schiaparelli, it was more beautiful because it meant so much. And that, my friends, is why I love vintage jewelry. Almost all jewelry tells a story about love, whether it was given out of love, purchased to wear on a date, or passed down from generation to generation. 

Ok, enough with the mushy stuff! Look for more updates on happenings in jewelry in the next few months as I launch, To Vivian, With Love, a small business for curating and sharing the love of vintage jewelry! 


Kim, did you really use PBR in a metaphor??  That is why I love you. Tik tok, girlfriend.

Updates from Kimberly at To Vivian with Love will be available as soon as I can get my hands on them!


  1. I proposed to my wife with what I thought was a vintage ring from As it turns out, it was a reproduction. That bummed me out, because I was looking for the most sustainable ring I could find. My question is this: Are all vintage rings, by definition, conflict free? Obviously they may not have been back when they were mined, but how, if at all, does being resold impact their conflict status?

  2. Dear Archie,

    Can I call you Archie? That is a great question and one that is raised in many different areas of fashion and jewelry (think diamonds, leather, and fur to name just a few).

    After thinking about this long and hard, (and after reading a somewhat related article just today: I am going to say yes. Yes, an item being vintage, by nature, if nothing else drastically reduces its environmental impact. The reality that the world will soon be home to seven billion people and we will eventually, if we keep on our current trajectory, RUN OUT OF RESOURCES. I have often given the fashion advice that the best spot for your hippest eco-clothing is at your local Goodwill. I also encourage my brides to seriously consider donating their dress after the wedding day which ensures that the lovely garment (which had a lot of love and work go into it, I assure you!) will get to be enjoyed more than once. Many donated dresses are sold at lower prices than when they were originally purchased, helping to give everyone opportunity for a beautiful wedding day (

    I am wary to say that every piece of vintage jewelry is 100% conflict free. If I found a vintage pair of baby seal boots, I probably wouldn't buy them.