by Tabitha Sukhai
Here at Dana Walden Jewelry, we take the sourcing of conflict-free diamonds very seriously. But we’ve noticed a trend: Socially-conscious brides are rethinking diamond engagement jewelry and exploring sapphires as an alternative.
At the forefront of timeless-yet-distinctive bridal jewelry design, Dana Walden released THE AURA OF SAPPHIRES, a popular line of ready-to-ship, handmade sapphire engagement rings designed to appeal to the artistic and discerning bride.
Fact is, there’s much more to sapphires than just the deep, blue hues you may be used to seeing. It turns out that sapphires (rated 2nd to diamonds on the Mohs Scale of Hardness) come in an astounding array of shades that are infinitely wearable, and no less luxurious or rare than their diamond counterparts.
For example, shown above are ATHENA and TILLARY. ATHENA is a champagne sapphire set in yellow gold and TILLARY is a deep blue sapphire set in rose gold. You can see how the Dana Walden setting slightly changes to accommodate the shape of each individual gemstone; this is the case for every single piece we make, as every ring is handmade and tailored to the gem being used. As such, every ring by Dana Walden is truly one of a kind.
Some Sapphire Facts
Courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
- Sapphires are in the mineral family Corundum.
- Sapphires can be mined in every color but red (a red stone in the Corundum family is classified as a ruby).
- Non-blue sapphires like the ones featured in our AURA OF SAPPHIRES line of engagement rings are known as “fancy sapphires.”
- Sapphires have a Mohs Scale rating of 9, making them the second hardest gemstone on the scale. Diamonds are the first.
- Sapphires are so durable that synthetic sapphire is often used to construct the windows of spacecraft.
Symbolism & Lore
Blue sapphires are widely known as the birthstone for the month of September. Historically, sapphires have symbolized faithfulness and nobility. Despite the fate of their relationship, the most well-known use of the blue sapphire as a symbol of nobility and romance would probably have to be the oval sapphire engagement ring that Lady Diana Spencer chose to wear when she was engaged to Charles, Prince of Wales in 1981.
At the time, the 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in white gold with a white-diamond halo was considered extremely nontraditional for a royal engagement ring, mostly because the design was widely available for retail purchase to anyone who could afford to buy it. The ring was not a family heirloom or custom commission and so many thought the ring to be an inappropriate selection for the occasion. Needless to say, the ring has gone on to become iconic thanks to the popularity of its much-beloved wearer. It seemed that Lady Diana herself truly loved the ring; she continued to wear it even after her divorce. Years later, Prince William would famously propose to now-Princess Kate Middleton with the same ring as a way of keeping his late mother close during wedding festivities and beyond.
Certainly the design has captivated jewelry lovers all over the world and one Dana Walden client even commissioned a modified version of the famous design. LONDON was the result of that project.
Shown: LONDON is the Dana Walden take on the classic and famous “Princess Diana” engagement ring now worn by Kate Middleton. It is priced at $15,000 but a version can be created with a lab-created sapphire for about $6,000. Inquire for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sapphires in 2021: New Classics for a New Generation of Brides
Known for their expertise in handcrafting fine jewelry with responsibly-sourced sapphires of every color, Dana Walden Jewelry is at the forefront of catering to the bride who is seeking a responsibly-sourced ring she can feel good about wearing every single day, as a symbol of her love. Diamonds are engagement ring staples, and that cannot be denied. But many young couples seek a modern, non-diamond alternative.
Enter Dana and Rad Chin of Dana Walden Jewelry, and a breathtaking parcel of fancy sapphires that would become fodder for a new line of timeless-yet-distinctive engagement rings. Fact is, most people want to believe in love and commitment and most people are fine with having talismans and symbols of that love.
Nontraditional brides don’t have to veer all the way over to an overstated cocktail ring when choosing the piece of jewelry they’ll be wearing every day as an engagement ring. Pale sapphires can be a durable and versatile alternative to diamonds.
Imagine with us for a moment, any of these beautifully curated bridal “sets” on your hand. The Pietra Pale Pink Sapphire Ring paired with a Noel rose gold wedding band is a textured and detail-rich pair that is sure to get noticed.
Shown: Pietra Pale Pink Sapphire Ring
Or, consider the pristine and modern Remi Peach-Pink Sapphire paired with a scrolling vine wedding band (the band pictured above is custom). The Zinnia Lilac-Pink Sapphire ring paired with the Arden Eternity Band is all at once lively and colorful while being timeless. And the pale champagne center stone of Athena paired with an altogether classic “plain gold ring” wedding band (Eldridge) juxtaposes details inspired by global design alongside a timeless, American symbol of eternal love.