Summer, as everyone knows, is wedding season. Not surprisingly, this summer has been chock-full of ring orders for us. So many people in love… with our earthy, organic vineyard rings especially. We get all kinds of requests for customizations, too:
Can you add another couple “nodes” to the vine on my ring?
I like lots of texture, but my partner likes it more satiny-smooth.
I wish you had a coordinating set for men!
I’ve inherited an heirloom diamond from my family. Can you use my stone in your setting?
I love the look of the silver, but I want my wedding ring to wear really well since it’s “forever”. Can you make it in white gold instead?
In most cases, we can accommodate these special requests with no problem. We can alter the twig style a bit to add the particular features and character that you prefer, like additional “nodes” (those little bits off the side that would burst into leaf if the vine continued growing) or a specific texture. We love using heirloom diamonds to make that ring extra-special just for you. We’re even working on rings for men (coming soon!) and some new designs for women as well. We also have worked really hard to satisfy our customer’s requests for white gold, because it’s nearly impossible to use this metal and maintain our commitment to Green jewelry-making practices. (To get the desirable white color, pieces must be rhodium plated, which is not only highly toxic but also wears over time.) We’re excited to provide an alternative that we think is actually an improvement.
Palladium is a precious metal in the platinum family that is durable, lightweight and gorgeous. It’s also remarkably affordable. Raw materials costs are actually less than gold, with somewhat more complicated labor costs, so the price for a palladium ring ends up about the same as our 18K version. No plating or surface treatment is necessary, because the lovely color is the same throughout the piece. To top it all off, it’s even hypoallergenic, which is often not the case with white gold that is frequently alloyed with nickel.
So, why haven’t more people heard of palladium? Platinum was discovered in the 18th century and became widely used in luxury jewelry at the beginning of the 20th, but it wasn’t until 1939 that palladium was recognized as a precious metal with similar potential for jewelry-making. Difficulty in casting made it less commonly-used until recently, when manufacturing improvements and a large-scale marketing campaign have increased public awareness.
We’ve done some really wonderful custom rings this summer in palladium, set with vintage diamonds or a russet-red almandite garnet or even a peachy-orange sapphire. So, when are you ordering yours?