Jewel Journal

TOP 10 UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS PICKS TO MAKE YOUR HEART FLUTTER

One sunny Sunday in Santa Monica, a cheery couple by the names of Sarah and Bryan walked into the showroom to do some engagement ring browsing. They had not done much shopping but Sarah knew she wanted a 1-1.5ct round or oval solitaire and was curious what options we had for her. As she slid on a few rings that fit her criteria, she sighed a few hmm’s and ahh’s of approval. It wasn’t until Sarah tried on the Melina, a sparkling 1.62ct Marquise Brilliant Cut, that her eyes lit up and the energy in the room turned luminous. “This is the RING!” she exclaimed!

We must admit that this exact story is, in fact, fictional but many versions of this story play out quite often here at SKFJ. The truth is, you might think you choose your engagement ring but oftentimes, it chooses you. And it’s usually the moment that your heart does an immediate flutter that you just know.

Engagement ring shopping should be fun and magical, so we’re here to drop all the technical stuff for just a minute (although knowing your 4 C’s is important!) and show you our top 10 engagement rings that make our heart absolutely FLUTTER (and we think they’ll make yours flutter too)! All of these styles are available now or able to be made again, with your own bespoke twist.

diamond engagement rings

GENEVIEVE – DECO DECADENCE CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING – $8,690

Inspired by the delicate details found in vintage designs, this stunning engagement ring juxtaposes touches of modern simplicity to create a piece that is nothing short of pure decadence! Set in rich 18K matte yellow gold, this ring features an antique Marquise Cut champagne diamond center 1.18ct, and 0.16ctw of accent diamonds in its double halo. She not only has a few sisters but an entire Bridal Collection that you can find here!

old european cut diamond engagement rings

COCO ENGAGEMENT RING – $8,000

Full of antique charm and unbridled sparkle, our Coco Solitaire is perhaps our favorite new engagement ring design! Inspired by a vintage ring in Sofia’s own collection, the triple prongs and scalloped base imbue this design with loads of intricate details. Tiny diamonds along the base are a hidden surprise to the wearer and further romance us with the attention to detail. The look is not complete without the mosaic-like pattern of this stunning Old European cut diamond center. This particular diamond has an ample surface area and shallow profile, making it our pick for a comfortable everyday piece that still packs a major shine punch. Word on the street is she also has some very sparkly studs in her family as well…

marquise diamond engagement rings

BAD ROMANCE-MARQUISE ENGAGEMENT RING – $17,160

The rock star of engagement rings, Bad Romance steals the show with uncompromising boldness, sparkle and edgy details. Starting with its unusual center, a 2.31ct antique Marquise Cut diamond with a light greenish grey tint, this ring is replete with personality. A platinum setting with six eagle-claw prongs secure the center stone, and a row of tiny micro-pave white diamonds encircle the mounting with razor-sharp precision. Add an 18K yellow gold band, and black rhodium accents and you have a ring so dangerously cool, she may cause a sensation wherever she goes.

We have a few loose diamonds that are under consideration to make the next Bad Romance with… what do you think about Marilyn?!

emerald diamond engagement rings

MELINA – EMERALD CUT ENGAGEMENT RING – $10,200

Oh baby… we are having a hard time getting over this one. One of a kind and drop dead gorgeous, meet the Melina. This stunning engagement ring style features a leggy 1.74ct Emerald Cut diamond of the most beautiful cinnamon hue. The stone’s elongated shape and shallow depth allow it to sit lowly to the finger making it comfortable for everyday wear. A mixture of  Brilliant Cut pear shape and round diamonds sit delicately on either side of the center stone for the perfect feminine touch. A square band set in 18K matte yellow gold completes the modern sophisticated look.

The original Melina was made with a Marquise Brilliant Cut… find her here!

halo salt and pepper diamond engagement ring

BELLINI – ROSE CUT SALT AND PEPPER DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING – $6,490

We love the combination of elements that come together in this one-of-a-kind engagement ring! A central Salt and Pepper Rose Cut diamond is surrounded with a row of diamonds boasting one single black diamond, for a touch of flare, of course. The contrast of the 14K yellow gold, paired with the rustic edge of the center stone give this ring true originality. Rightfully dubbed the “The Bellini Ring” because it truly calls for a toast.

double halo diamond engagement ring

ATHENA HALO II – PEAR SHAPE DIAMOND RING – $14,850

Channel your inner Greek Goddess with this unique engagement ring. A central 1.32ct Champagne Rose Cut Diamond is framed by a sculpted leafy halo and a second surround of tiny twinkling diamonds. This Pear Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring offers both a low profile and large finger coverage without losing the ability to stack with your favorite nesting bands and shines a golden glow that any boho bride would be proud to rock.

We loved her so much that we had to do her in multiple shapes – duh! You can find the latest round Athena here. Beware – you might want them both!

cluster diamond engagement ring

CAMILLA RING – MIXED DIAMOND CLUSTER ENGAGEMENT RING – $14,650

Not for the faint of heart, the Camilla ring has us swooning over her resplendent shine, vintage charm, and incomparable finger coverage! Modeled after some of our favorite Victorian cluster styles, this one-of-a-kind engagement ring features a unique mix of diamond cuts and colors.

A central, high-domed champagne rose cut diamond is framed with 10 twinkling, antique Old Mine cut diamonds, creating a golden mosaic of sparkly goodness! This beauty would make a dazzling engagement ring for the Vintage Romantic who prefers a touch more durability that one tends to find in an antique ring.

lab grown emerald cut diamond engagement ring

SIMPLE SOLITAIRE – EMERALD CUT LAB GROWN DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING – $6,650

As cool as it is classic, this 14K yellow gold solitaire, Emerald Cut engagement ring was designed with understated simplicity in mind. One, Lab Grown Emerald Cut diamond from Diamond Foundry is elegantly set on a on a smooth round band with four eagle claw prongs.

This unique engagement ring was created for the City Sophisticate bride who appreciates a twist on tradition and is in search of a natural diamond alternative.

three stone diamond engagement ring

CLAUDETTE 3 STONE BAND – $7,680

Meghan Markle would most definitely approve of this stunning three stone engagement ring! Meet Claudette, one of the most special, unique engagement rings we’ve crafted yet. Three delicious Old Mine Cut diamonds sit in 18K yellow gold and are truly drool-worthy. The beautiful antique diamond center stone hails from the Victorian era circa 1880 and was repurposed from a pair of antique earrings!

salt and pepper hexagon diamond engagement ring

STARDUST RING WITH HEXAGON SALT AND PEPPER DIAMOND – $5,800

Inspired by the beauty and mystery of a shooting star, our hexagon salt and pepper diamond engagement ring reminds us of the wishful magic we attribute to these amazing streaks of light that shoot across the night sky. Two baguette diamonds are inverted set, creating a prismatic effect that is not only ultrachic, but recalls the allure of a raw crystal form. The center of the ring features a truly unique, natural salt and pepper diamond (1.32ct), faceted in a hexagonal Rose cut.

This unique engagement ring would make a great non-conventional three-stone engagement ring for boho goddesses and rockers everywhere. Wear this unique stacking ring as a part of your coolest ring stack, or on its own as a perfect way to electrify any outfit. Ziggy would approve!

See, wasn’t that fun? All of these rings are available now or able to be remade with your own bespoke touch! We also do complete bespoke work and you can read about our process here and get in touch with us here.

OLIVIA + MARK’S STORY

This week’s Love Story begins in a land far, far away… Singapore! Introducing Olivia and Mark, a down-to-earth couple that has a lust for life, adventure and their pup, Zorro. Mark first came into the showroom when he was in town in 2019, and after a few different visits (with his sweet mother by his side!) and a bit of back-and-forth on a narrowed down selection, he decided to merge two rings together that both had elements that Mark saw as Olivia’s perfect ring. A few months later – voila! We were ecstatic to see them engaged and are so happy to be sharing their love story this week.

Names: Mark Saavedra and Liv Blanchette

Current Location: Washington, D.C.

Meeting Date + Location: July, 2014 in Singapore

Wedding Date + Location: January, 2021 in Antigua, Guatemala!

How did you meet? We met in Singapore, where I was interning for the summer and Mark had just started a new assignment. We connected so well that we kept in touch after I returned to the States. We found a common taste in music and for a few months our relationship was solely sharing music back and forth over email! We officially started dating when I moved to Shanghai, about six months later.

The proposal – please tell us the story! Mark and I both love road-trips and the outdoors, so for the long Columbus Day weekend this past October, we packed up our dog and went on something of a spontaneous road trip south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There was one hike that I had really wanted to do because of the fall foliage, so on our last day before turning back north, we drove out to it and hiked up.  While we were enjoying the view of the waterfall at the peak all by ourselves, Mark hugged me and said I was his favorite person. Then he reached in his pocket and while I was asking him what he was doing and he was replying “nothing,” he knelt down and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I was completely surprised – so much so that I was a little upset that he hadn’t even made me shower that morning! After enjoying our happiest of moments together, the intimacy broke when a small crowd cheered – hooray! – from another viewpoint across the gorge who we had no idea were bearing witness to the start of our lifelong commitment.

When did you know that your significant other was the one?

Liv: I knew after I spent Christmas with Mark’s family in the Philippines after about six months of dating. His family is so wonderful and welcoming, they made me feel completely at home. Months earlier, on one of our first dates in Hong Kong, I had lost my high school ring, which was devastating. I went to an all-girls high school that is big on quirky traditions, of which getting your ring is one of the biggest. We spent hours retracing our steps all over Hong Kong searching, but never found it. Mark didn’t just work with my high school to replace the ring and the original engraving as a gift for Christmas, but he also contacted my family, friends, and teachers from high school to recreate some of the traditions from when I got it AND made a video of it all for me. It still makes me cry to think about it! It was hands-down the most romantic and all-around wonderful thing anyone has ever done for me. I knew then that I wanted to celebrate all of our future Christmases together.

Mark:  I sensed early on in our relationship that Liv was special but knew after one of our first trips together to Cambodia and Vietnam that she was truly one of a kind.  In Cambodia, we supported the Water for Life project volunteering to construct and install bio-sand water filters in village households to provide convenient access to clean drinking water, reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases and improve hygiene and sanitation conditions.  Afterwards, we traveled throughout Vietnam on buses, trains, motorcycles, tuk-tuks and boats, learned about Vietnamese history, culture and traditions, and made lots of stops to soak in its natural beauty and enjoy the delicious cuisine.  Despite the challenges, including transportation mishaps, lost luggage and having her purse stolen, she maintained her high-spirited nature (mostly) throughout the trip.  I realized then that her thirst for adventure was equal to mine and that I wanted to create memorable experiences with her all over the world.

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

Liv: How he handles tough situations- not only is he unwaveringly calm, but no matter how angry, frustrated, or sad I am, he can always, without fail, make me laugh, even if I don’t want to. That he takes his time doing everything (also one of my least favorite things about him, depending on the situation). And, of course, his taste in music and his love for adventure- the two things that brought us together!

Mark: A few of my favorite things about Liv are characteristics we share in common, including her insatiable wanderlust and love for nature, plants and animals – especially our beloved pup “Zorro.”  I am always impressed by her empathy towards others and willingness to sacrifice.  Liv’s compassion and altruistic intentions are contagious and I am a better person for it.  Her fondness of simple pleasures and devotion to her friends and family are also reasons why she is my favorite person 🙂

Mark, what made you choose this ring?

After I visited SKFJ, I found a few rings that caught my attention.  All were beautiful and elegant in their own way and I left thinking that any one of them would be great.  I knew Liv would love any ring that I chose for her, but I really wanted it to be special.  I had a good sense of what would be most meaningful but also consulted Liv’s mom and brought my mom to SKFJ for emotional support (kidding).  When I returned a couple months later, I was relieved to see that my favorite two rings were still available.  I really drawn to the unique octagonal cut diamond on one ring and the natural earthiness of the twig branch band on another.  I had the idea of combining the two element together and fortunately Sofia was on site that day who agreed this was a great concept and worked with me forge the perfect ring for Liv (thanks Sofia!).

Do you have any notable stories that have stood out over the years – hilarious, sentimental, anything!

We always joke about opening a breakfast restaurant called “the flying wekka” because of something that happened to us while backpacking in New Zealand, where they have these duck-sized flightless birds called “wekkas.” One night a giant wekka crawled under the flap of our tent and got caught under the rain-fly, practically on top of us. We panicked and of course at the last moment before Mark was able to pop the fly to release the Wekka, it took a massive poop that seeped into the tent, getting all over our sleeping bags. “The Flying Wekka” would commemorate how badly we wanted to punt that wekka and make it “fly.”

How is wedding planning going? Do you have any advice for planning a wedding?

Wedding planning has been way tougher than we expected, but we’re getting more and more excited every day. Our advice would be to not ask for other people’s opinions until you’re ready for them. Oh, and I have a few favorite wedding planning podcasts that I would definitely recommend!

What are you most excited about for your wedding?

While we would love to celebrate in Nicaragua where we lived together for two years, we decided to have the wedding in Antigua, Guatemala, which is one of our favorite places in Central America. We are super excited to share one of our favorite little corners of the world with all our family and friends!

Are you going to honeymoon? Our wedding is kind of like a honeymoon that we’re sharing with all our guests, so probably not!

If you could add any piece to your SKFJ collection, which one would it be?

Liv: I love some of the petite boulder opal pieces, like the drip earrings and the ring- so stunning.

Alright – so what’s next for the two of you?!

I work in international environmental conservation and Mark is diplomat in the Foreign Service.  We will be in Washington, DC for another year and a half then off to wherever in the world this adventure called life takes us!

Do you have an engaging story to share of how you met your love? Stop by here and share for your chance to be the next featured Love Story!