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What to Expect at a Engagement or Wedding Ring Consultation June 11 2019

If you are interested in seeing our rings in person or over video chat, then our consultations are the perfect pressure-free opportunity to come in, try on samples and get your questions answered. 

Meet the Aide-mémoire Jewelry Team May 09 2019

Minimal Solitaire Engagement Ring, Three Stone Engagement Ring, Moissanite Solitaire Ring, Moissanite Engagement Ring

 

Aide-mémoire Jewelry is an all-inclusive, queer woman-owned small business in Seattle, Washington. Meet our team!

Aran Galligan of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

Aran – owner, designer, photographer, shipping manager, CEO, web designer...

If you've purchased a piece from Aide-mémoire, Aran has had a hand in process, whether that be in the design, production, shipping, or another of her many roles as the business owner.

What does a normal workday look like for you?

Aran: As soon as I wake up in the morning, I make a cup of tea and start working from home. Sometimes that means photographing finished pieces, editing photographs, answering emails, ordering materials. Usually around noon, I run errands then go into the studio. Once there, I meet with Alaina and June to talk about what's going on. Then I work on designs, meet with customers, meet with vendors, and do all the million and one random things that are part of running a business. Some days I'll work as late as 11:00pm, and some days I'll stop as early as 3:00pm. It just depends on my to do list and if I'm feeling inspired. If I'm feeling inspired, I love working late after everyone is gone.

What do you listen to while you work?

Depends on my mood. I go through NPR phases, audiobook phases, music phases, and podcast phases. I also like to play the beginning of Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show and Seth Meyers every day. It's usually on in the background, then I typically turn it off when they get to the guests. I just like to hear them make fun of the news.

Favorite snack while you work?

Chocolate for sure! Then I like to have a banana with almond butter at 4:00pm (aka banana break).

What got you interested in working with jewelry?

I started in metals making larger scale functional work and sculptural work. But it's always been my dream to make a living selling things I create. When I was doing the Core Fellowship Program at Penland School of Crafts I realized that jewelry was easier to sell than lamps and belt buckles. Plus I love collecting jewelry and really appreciate the way that jewelry becomes imbued with meaning and memories, so I transitioned from big metal to small metal.

Do you have a personal favorite piece of jewelry?

Oh my gosh, so many. Too many to pick just one. I have a large collection of unique earrings that I buy from different artists when I travel, or I'm at a jewelry show, or craft school. I go through phases where I'll wear one pair everyday for a while then switch it up. No, I guess I'm too mercurial to have a favorite piece.

Do you have a particular favorite Aide-mémoire project that you’ve worked on?

I think all the ones where we get to work with family heirloom diamonds are my favorite. I just love hearing the stories about where the diamonds came from, checking them out under the microscope to see their unique cuts and characteristics, then giving them new life so that they will be worn everyday again. That's why I love making wedding bands – they are worn every day.

What do you like most about working for/owning a small business?

I love the flexibility and the ability to be self-directed. I'm a very driven person, and I always struggled in jobs where I wasn't given enough freedom to utilize my abilities. I like how each day is a little different and I can follow my passions. I'm also not a morning person, which is why I don't usually leave the house until noon-ish. 12-8pm is when I'm at my peak. I need mornings to myself. I will start working earlier, but I just need alone time while my brain to gets up to speed.  

White gold wedding band set by Aide-mémoire Jewelry Yellow Gold Textured Wedding Band set — Aide-mémoire Jewelry

Alaina of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

Alaina – customer service & studio coordinator

If you call or email the shop, there's a good chance it's Alaina you're talking with. Alaina is the studio coordinator, our customer service super star, and occasional hand model.

What does a normal workday look like for you?

Alaina: A big cup of coffee to start my day once I get in to the studio while I sort through the emails that have come in. Depending on what my inbox looks like, after that I’ll work on projects, put together estimates, do some photography, ship orders… Every day is a different combination of activities, and I really like that.

What do you listen to while you work?

It depends on my mood and what I’m doing! I don’t listen to anything if I’m writing emails (can’t focus), but if I’m working on photography or shipping orders, I’ll listen to music or sometimes a podcast (though I put earbuds in and forget to turn any music on a lot of the time).

Favorite snack while you work?

Pretzels and/or a cup of mint-y green tea in the afternoon. I’m so terrible about starting a cup of tea and promptly forgetting it in the kitchen that June got me a tea-timer as a holiday gift last year. I still forget my tea, just a little bit less frequently.

What got you interested in working with jewelry?

I took a material science class in high school where we spent two weeks carving our own wax model for a ring, which was then cast and finished. Several years later, I melted that piece down and recast it as something else, but I've been crazy about the process ever since then. There's something about creating an object, an actual thing with my hands that is so insanely gratifying to me.

I also love and really appreciate the heirloom aspect of jewelry, that it’s something that’s worn and cared for and passed down, and all of the sentimentality behind it. I don't own any pieces of heirloom jewelry, but it's something I hope to be able to pass on someday.

Do you have a personal favorite piece of jewelry?

I’m quite partial to my engagement ring, but, besides that, I think that my favorite piece changes on a regular basis. Right now, my favorite piece that I wear daily is my 2mm Bump Ring, which has a little champagne diamond set in it.

Do you have a particular favorite Aide-mémoire project that you’ve worked on?

There’s so many that I could never choose—I think part of it, for me, is that some of my favorite projects/pieces are also tied up in remembering just how lovely the couple or customer was to work with—but a couple of standouts are this customized Ancient Band, a project we did back in 2017 where we re-set a number of heirloom diamonds from a customer's mother's wedding band set into eleven new pieces of jewelry (!!) to pass on to her family members, and this sapphire engagement ring.

What do you like most about working for a small business?

I love how closely I get to work with our customers! It makes my day—everyone’s day, really—to receive an email from a customer with pictures of them wearing their ring and to know that I had a hand in making that happen. 

Hammer Texture Mens Wedding Band by Aide-mémoire Jewelry Montana Sapphire Solitaire Engagement Ring by Aide-mémoire Jewelry 

June of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

June – bench jeweler

If you order a piece of jewelry from us, it’s likely that June will work on it.

What does a normal workday look like for you?

June: First thing is a giant cup of decaf coffee! Then looking through and sorting my projects for the day. Some days I work on wedding bands all day, but the exciting days are when there’s lots of stone setting for me to do!

What do you listen to while you work?

Lots and lots of podcasts, audiobooks and music.

Favorite snack while you work?

Decaf in the morning and cup after cup of genmaicha tea in the afternoon!

What got you interested in working with jewelry?

The permanence of it, I think. I got really interested in rings and their meanings and values, and I love how something so small and so convenient can be treasured and passed down through generations. Since I’d been thinking so much about rings, I took a beginning ring making class and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Do you have a personal favorite piece of jewelry?

I’d have to say my grandmothers wedding band. A rose gold ring that said in relief all the way around “from Nat to Muriel 1934”. I believe the set (his said “from Muriel to Nat 1934” cost them only $13. I’ve been bugging my mom for years to lend it to me so I could have it molded and cast one for myself, but she recently lost it before I could. Still getting over that one.  

Do you have a particular favorite Aide-mémoire project that you’ve worked on?

Still thinking about that salt and pepper rose cut diamond in the 6 prong setting, that giant pink sapphire from a few weeks ago (droooooool). Oh, and that red wine colored sapphire was so beautiful, and of course the customer owned green/yellow/blue oval sapphire that I set this week. I’ll never forget that one. I keep videos of them all on my phone so I can re-visit. Also that three stone prong setting with the 3 blue sapphires!

What do you like most about working for a small business?

I love that everything Aide-Memoire makes is ethically sourced and eco friendly. I love that it’s woman owned and goes out of its way to cater to a diverse customer base. And of course the relaxed non corporate vibe.

See some pictures of June in action below!

 June of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

June at work behind the bench.

June of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

Soldering our Small Padlock Pendant.

June of Aide-mémoire Jewelry

Stone setting work a customized Basket Solitaire Engagement Ring.


The Dandelion Pendant April 10 2019

Dandelion Pendant

The dandelion is a symbol of healing, survival and overcoming emotional hardship.

As someone who has battled depression over the years, I know that I am not alone in this, but at times it sure can feel that way. That is why I created the Dandelion Pendant. I wanted to make a piece of jewelry that you could give to someone who has been going through a hard time. Something they could wear everyday to remind them that they are loved and they are not alone.

Dandelion Pendant

And because the dandelion can survive through rough conditions, I felt it was also the perfect symbol for someone who has come out of the other side of hardship. This necklace can be a celebration of your overcoming challenges, and a reminder of your strength and perseverance.  

Dandelion Pendant

Also, 10% of the proceeds from the Dandelion Pendant go to the Black Women's Health Imperative and Black Mamas Matter Alliance (5% each). “Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. [They] center Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.” and the Black Women’s Health Imperative has, “been the only national organization dedicated solely to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls – physically, emotionally and financially.”

Dandelion Pendant

Dandelion Pendant

I chose these two organizations in part to help raise awareness about the black maternal health crisis that is happening in the United States. As Sister’s Keeper reports on the CDC’s findings, “Nationally, Black babies die at over 2 times the rate of white babies, and Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than white women. In places like New York City, Black women are 12 times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy related causes. These trends are present across class lines.” And from this in depth article in the NYTimes, “a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.”

As reported by the Root, “The potential causes are numerous, including lack of access to health care and attention and prenatal resources to disenfranchised and disproportionately of color communities, a lack of attention given to health concerns expressed by black women, and even psychological stress and PTSD caused by racism.”

Please consider donating to an organization working to address this issue or other issues affecting BIPOC. Below are a few suggestions, but before giving money to any organization, I encourage you to do your own research.

Black Women's Health Imperative

Black Mamas Matter Alliance

National Birth Equity Collaborative

Sister’s Keeper Collective

Birthmark Doulas

Mother Health International


Brides for a Cause October 05 2018

We recently had the honor of participating in a beautiful styled shoot at Ray's Boathouse, organized by event and wedding planners The Eventists, and wanted to highlight one of the cool businesses we got to work with!

Styled Shoot by The Eventists with dress by Brides for a Cause

Brides for a Cause is a nonprofit organization that collects and re-sells wedding dresses, donating the funds among various local and national women-focused charities, which allows them to have a greater impact on a wide variety of charities and causes (rather than being tied to just one!).

Their gowns are donated by high-end designers, boutiques, and generous brides all over the country and are available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and designers. Select discounted accessories—like veils, slips, and headpieces—as well as bridesmaid and flower girl dress are also available.

While they have permanent locations in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, Brides for a Cause also offers road shows in select cities to offer brides the opportunity to shop their stock. Their permanent locations are open seven days a week on a walk-in basis—no appointment needed!

If you're not looking for a wedding dress, consider donating yours to give it a new life and to help out a really cool, charitable organization!

Styled Shoot at Ray's Boathouse by the Eventists and dress by Brides for a Cause

Syled Shoot Details:
Florals: Juniper Rose Studio  
Jewelry: Aide-memoire Jewelry  
Photographer: Emma Lee Photography   
Calligraphy: My Lovely Letters
Planning, Design, Coordination: The Eventists

September - The Month of My Favorite Gemstone September 06 2018

Every time someone orders a piece of jewelry with a sapphire in it, we do a little happy dance in the studio. That's because sapphires are my favorite stone to work with. They come in an enormous range of colors, from pale peach to vibrant blue, and everything in between. And being a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale they are durable enough for everyday wear. Even better, the sapphires that we work with are mine to market Fair-trade. Fair trade stones are closely tracked from mine to market following strict protocols – including environmental protection, fair labor practices, and health and safety standards. 

Here is a round-up of some recent sapphire rings that we created. 

Portuguese Cut Malawi Fair-trade Sapphire Engagement Ring

Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

Dark Blue Fair-trade Sapphire Engagement Ring

Peach Padparadscha Sapphire Solitaire Engagement Ring

Teal Montana Sapphire Solitaire Engagement Ring in yellow gold

Green Montana Sapphire Solitaire Engagement Ring

And we just got in this gorgeous mine to market fair-trade Australian sapphire, just waiting to be set in our Oval Solitaire Engagement Ring. Or to see some of the other sapphires available, jump over to our gemstones page

7x5mm Oval Mine to Market Fair-trade Australian Sapphire


Happy Pride Month — How You Can Help Effect Change June 01 2018

Happy Pride Month - His & His Wedding Band Set

“How long have you been together?” I asked David and Patrick who were in for a wedding ring consultation. “About 22 years,” David responded, and I felt my eyes water hearing this. It was 2012, the year that same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington. That year I met with so many couples who had been together for decades and were finally able to marry the person who they loved and wanted to spend their life with. During each of these consultations that year, I was touched by their stories. It meant so much seeing the joy and excitement in their faces, and imagining what those rings meant to them. But, legalizing same-sex marriage was just one step. We still have a ways to go towards equal rights for LGBTQ people. 

Hers & Hers Wedding Band Set with Family Heirloom Diamond

His And His Minimalist Flat Wedding Band Set Gay Marriage

Right now, in 31 states, it is legal to deny someone housing or employment, or even fire someone from their job, because of their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is still not a protected class under federal anti-discrimination laws. Many states have sexual orientation as part of their anti-discrimination laws, but the majority do not. 

His and His Concrete Men's Wedding Band Set

His & His Faceted Men's Wedding Band Set

But—You Can Help Effect Change !

  • Give to non-profits that are working to secure equal rights for LGBTQ people, like Lambda Legal and Freedom for all Americans.
  • If you live in a state that does not have LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, contact your senator and representatives to let them know that this is an important issue to you. Find out if you live in one of those states here, and find out who to contact here & here.
  • Patronize businesses that support full rights for LGBTQ people. Check out Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index to find out which business support LGBTQ equality.
  • Get to your nearest pride parade. If you’re not queer, you can still go and be a straight ally. Last year, riding in the Seattle Pride Parade, I was touched seeing so many straight allies in the crowds. I can't tell you how much it means just to feel accepted.

Hers & Hers Three Stone Ring Set

Hers and Hers Wedding Band Set with Rustic Texture in White Gold

Hers & Hers Mismatched Wedding Band Set

I don’t normally use this space to get this political or personal, but I believe so strongly in equal rights for everyone. This is a concern and a driving force for me every day of the year.

Thank you for reading this.
-Aran

 


Tips & Tricks for Stacking Your Rings May 22 2018

We love the recent trend of stackable jewelry, which is why we’ve been adding so many new stacking ring styles to our collection. You can wear them as an über minimal engagement ring option, a delicate wedding band, stacked with your favorite piece—the choice is yours! 

Stacking rings, conflict free recycled diamonds and recycled gold - Aide-memoire Jewelry

We have a wide range of stacking ring styles that can be made in a number of metals and textures, and many of these rings can be also made in very small sizes that can be worn a midi-style rings.

By the way—stumped on gift ideas? Stacking rings, like most other jewelry, make a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and Mother’s Day, as well as for commemorative events.

A couple of tips…

Several delicate, thin bands stacked on one hand have a more minimal look, whereas several wider or chunkier bands will be more attention-grabbing. To avoid having the rings be too matchy-matchy, play with proportions, size, and shape. Mix a couple of thinner bands with a wider band or a more eye-catching style with something more minimal.

Yellow gold stacking rings on hand - Aide-memoire Jewelry White metal stacking rings, on hand - Aide-memoire Jewelry

Maybe you want to keep the colors of your rings more streamlined, so you can play around with a little bit of additional sparkle or texture, like above, although a case can definitely be made for mixed metals, like below.  Feel free to mix textures and finishes to provide contrast as well.

Negative space can also help achieve a more balanced look for the whole hand—try to keep at least one finger bare.

Stacking rings, yellow and rose gold stacking rings, diamonds - Aide-memoire Jewelry

Stacking all your rings on one finger has a cleaner, more simple look, whereas many rings on different fingers can have a more eclectic vibe.

Your rings don’t need to fit together perfectly! Sometimes, a little bit of negative space in between your bands, like above and below, can help to add visual interest. We especially like our V Contour Band and Diamond V Contour Band styles for this.

Diamond V Contour Band & 4mm Oblique Square Solitaire on hand, yellow gold, diamonds, moissanite

Stacking rings styled shoot, recycled metal, eco-friendly engagement rings - Aide-memoire Jewelry

So how do you start?

Consider starting with one bold, attention-getting band and working from there, adding narrower bands and rings with a little bit of sparkle and visual interest. Alternatively, start small, with two rings that you like, and working your way up to more bands as you grow more comfortable wearing them.

Yellow gold stacking rings, recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds - Aide-memoire Jewelry

Yellow gold stacking rings, recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds - Aide-memoire Jewelry

PS—need more inspiration? Take a peek at the stacking rings photo shoot we did with Seattle Met Bride & Groom!

Have any questions? Feel free to email us!


7 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts That We Love February 08 2018

Is it really already February? If you're feeling crunched for Valentine's Day gift ideas like we are, we've put together a short list of fun gift ideas that aren't chocolates and flowers—although those are great, too!

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Hatch Notebook for Makers & Entrepreneurs / Creative project planner, idea journal, business planner, and sketchbook / Gifts for designers — by TwoTmbleweeds

Hatch Notebook for Makers & Entrepreneurs / Creative project planner, idea journal, business planner, and sketchbook / Gifts for designers — by TwoTmbleweeds

Retails for $25, ready to ship in 1 business day.

This handy notebook is a great gift for someone creative! Printed on acid-free paper that's sourced from sustainably-managed American forests, this notebook helps the maker or entrepreneur in your life to organize their ideas, from brainstorm to reality (and all of the steps in between). 

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Mixology Dice Tumbler / Laser engraved wood dice to inspire craft cocktails / Bartender gift, gift for boyfriend, men, him, Valentine's Day - by TwoTmbleweeds

Mixology Dice Tumbler / Laser engraved wood dice to inspire craft cocktails / Bartender gift, gift for boyfriend, men, him, Valentine's Day - by TwoTmbleweeds

 Retails for $34. Ready to ship in 1 business day.

Bring your bartending to the next level with this laser engraved wood dice set. Sure to be the hit of your next get-together, this set includes eight dice, packaged in a reclaimed wine bottle tumbler.

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Diamond Round Faceted Dangle Earrings, made from recycled gold and conflict free diamonds, eco-friendly and ethical - Aide-memoire Jewelry

Retails for $380 in pictured combination (14k yellow gold with diamonds). In-stock items ship within 1-3 business days.

The faceted dangle earrings are a studio favorite! We love the way that the facets (and the tiny flush set diamonds) catch the light. Check out the necklace version, too!

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Valentines day gift for her, Anniversary gifts for men, Wedding gift for husband, Romantic gifts for him, Husband gift Anniversary gift - by MessyBedStudio

Valentines day gift for her, Anniversary gifts for men, Wedding gift for husband, Romantic gifts for him, Husband gift Anniversary gift - by MessyBedStudio

Retails for $35. Ready to ship with 1-3 business days.

Say everything you want to this year with a minimal, petite painting. Perfect for weddings and anniversaries as well.  

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Ceramic mug set, Black and White Mug, Valentines Day Mug, Espresso, Foodie Gift, Espresso Set, Husband Gift, Matching mug set - by roselinepottery

Set of two retails for $30. Ready to ship in 1-3 business days.

We're fans of a gift that the giver also gets to enjoy, which is why we love this minimal matched mug set. Perfect for sharing your morning cup of coffee (or tea!) and some quality time with your partner.

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 Wine Bottle Wall Vase SETS of 2, 3, 4 – Perfect for Valentine's Day, Home Decor - by ShopMerakiDesigns Wine Bottle Wall Vase SETS of 2, 3, 4 – Perfect for Valentine's Day, Home Decor - by ShopMerakiDesigns

Prices range from $49.95 to 59.95 for a set of three. Ready to ship in 1-3 business days.

This wall-mounted vase set has a charming, rustic quality, making it ideal for the your kitchen or entryway. This gift would be perfect paired with a bouquet of flowers with which to decorate your walls.

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White Structured Votives - by ConvivialProduction

Prices range from $28 to $38 for single votives, with sets available. Ready to ship in 1-2 business days.

We're crazy about how versatile these ceramic candle holders are—they can be used, as intended, to hold candles, as well as to decorate your shelves and as a planter.  


12 Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone in Your Life: Handmade in Seattle November 17 2017

With the holiday season fast approaching, planning gifts for all the important people in your life can get stressful—and it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled this list of the things we’re giving this year (and some of the gifts we’re hoping to receive). All of these gifts, by the way, are handmade by Seattle small businesses. Score!

Gift Ideas

Hemleva's Orb Mini Himmeli Air Plant Holder, handmade in Seattle
Photo credit to Hemleva.

What: Hemleva’s brass himmeli air plant holders—plants not included (but for sale!)

Where to Buy: Online, from Hemleva’s website, or in-person, at one of several Seattle-area holiday markets

How Much: Prices start at less than $10, for some of the smaller himmeli, and range upwards for the large mobile pieces.

For Whom: Your friend who just moved to a new apartment; your coworker who loves air plants (true story: Aran got two of these for Christmas last year!); someone who’s looking to decorate a baby’s room (or their own)… maybe grab a couple for yourself while you’re at it!

Why: Not just for plants, these sculptural ornaments are inspired by traditional Finnish mobile decorations. Hemleva’s open, geometric air plant holders, wall sconces, and mobiles (limited edition or otherwise, both are equally stunning) are the perfect mix of form and function.

Hardmill's Grocery Tote in charcoal waxed cotton canvas, handmade in Seattle
Photo credit to Hardmill.

What: Hardmill’s Grocery Tote in charcoal waxed canvas

Where to Buy: On their website!

How Much: $110

For Whom: Everyone—honestly!

Why: This reusable tote is great for transporting groceries (and just about any else!) wherever you need to go. As a bonus, the waxed canvas bag is both heavy-duty and water-resistant, with an inner leather base, making it super useful on rainy Seattle days.


Aide-memoire Jewelry's Small Smooth Bead Set Pendant Necklace, in 14k yellow gold with a diamond, handmade in Seattle

More necklace styles available here.

What: Our Small Smooth Bead Set Pendant, pictured above in 14k yellow gold with a recycled diamond

Where to Buy: Right here!

How Much: $230-280 in the combination pictured above (but very customizable!).

For Whom: Your partner/girlfriend/wife/fiancee; your mother, grandmother daughter… The list goes on! PS—planning a wedding? This necklace makes an awesome gift for your maid-of-honor and bridesmaids!

Why: There’s nothing costume-y or flashy about this sweet, delicate necklace (one of our own!). In both the small and large sizes, this minimal, matte gold pendant looks great with both the coziest of sweaters and businesswear. Made in your choice of 14k yellow or white gold with a recycled diamond or fair trade black spinel center stone, this pendant offers a range of options for even your loved ones who don’t like wearing jewelry.

 

Tuesday Shop's raw silk blanket scarf in indigo, handmade in Seattle

Photo credit to Tuesday Shop.

What: Tuesday Shop’s raw silk blanket scarf in indigo

Where to Buy: Online, or in-person at their Seattle shop

How Much: $48

For Whom: Your mom; your sister; your friend/coworker/partner who is always cold; someone who loves a good bright color (this goldenrod scarf is also awesome)

Why: These colorful and cozy blanket scarves are dyed by hand, which gives each scarf a one of a kind uniqueness. Both functional (silk is a great insulator!) and beautiful (you can see these colors, right?), these scarves are perfectly suited for mountains and sidewalks alike.


Design by SML's Topographic Coat Hanger in maple, medium size - handmade in Seattle

Photo credit to Design by SML.

What: Design by SML’s Topographic Coat Hangers, pictured above in maple—although we’re also big fans of their wall-mounted bottle openers

Where to Buy: Online

How Much: $90 for the medium size coat hanger style with two coat hooks, $140 for the large size with three coat hooks

For Whom: Your parents; your friend who never has room in their coat closet for more coats when you visit...

Why: We love a gift that looks nice and serves a purpose! These coat racks are handmade in Seattle with upcycled scrap materials from SML’s larger design projects, and each one features a laser etched topography of Mount Rainier. Bonus: each coat rack comes with the hardware needed to install it!


Decicio Glass' hand-blown whiskey glasses in antique greyDecicio Glass' hand-blown whiskey glasses in antique grey
Photo credit to Decicio Glass

What: Decicio Glass’s hand blown whiskey glasses in antique grey

Where to Buy: Online

How Much: $48 for a set of two or $88 for a set of four

For Whom: Your friend whose taste in alcohol almost rivals their taste in friends

Why: These hand blown glasses have a nice, solid weight to them and a smoky color. Bonus: they’re dishwasher safe, and double as stemless wine glasses. Have a friend you meet at a bar for drinks on a regular basis? Start making it a comfort night in, with these unique glasses (not just for whiskey!). For the full effect, we’d recommend pairing this gift with a bottle of their favorite spirits for sharing purposes.


Aide-memoire Jewelry's Hexagon Stud Earrings, in 14k yellow gold with fair trade black spinel

More earring styles available here.

What: Our Hexagon Stud Earrings, pictured here in 14k yellow gold with a fair trade black spinel

Where to Buy: Right here!

How Much: Pricing ranges between $230-315 depending the combination you choose

For Whom: Your sister/friend/partner/mother; someone who wants to wear more jewelry, but doesn’t know where to start

Why: These tiny, geometric studs are just about as minimal as it gets! With a recycled diamond or fair trade black spinel center stone, you can feel good about what these earrings say and their impact on the environment. Handmade-to-order in Seattle, with a two week lead time.


Raw Parcel's Macro Tray, in red oak and peach - handmade in Seattle

Photo credit to Raw Parcel.

What: Raw Parcel’s Macro Tray in red oak/peach—but there are tons of other color combination options

Where to Buy: Online

How Much: $52

For Whom: Your friend who always has, at minimum, three different varieties of cheese in their fridge at any given moment (or maybe that’s you!); your sister, who could always use more help organizing their extensive jewelry collection

Why: Handmade to order (in Seattle!) and one of a kind, we think these trays would be equally suited for both food and jewelry displaying purposes. Don’t see a color combo you like? Not to worry—Chelsea can work with you to customize a tray exactly as you want it. If you’re in the Seattle area, we’d recommend pairing this gift with a variety of cheeses from Kurt Farm Shop in Capitol Hill! Prefer a non-dairy alternative? Try Fauxmage!

 

Minter Goods' cork business card cases, handmade in Seattle

Photo credit to Minter Goods.

What: Minter Goods’ cork business card cases, available in a wide range of colors

Where to Buy: From their Etsy shop!

How Much: $15

For Whom: Your friend who’s getting their own business started, or your friend who already owns a small business

Why: With its sleek, minimal shape, these business card holders are something you’d be excited to pull out at a networking event to share your cards. Made from a durable and eco-friendly cork fabric, this card holder is both easy to clean and a great vegan alternative to a fully leather product.


Improper Goods' Whiskey Ginger Smash Cocktail Kit, handmade in Seattle

Photo credit to Improper Goods LLC.

What: One of Improper Goods’ cocktail kits—we think that the Smokey Old Fashioned and Whiskey Ginger Smash Kits sounds stellar!

Where to Buy: Online

How Much: $25 for a kit, but all of the components are also available for purchase separately on their website

For Whom: Your friend who’s into mixology, who always ends up as the party’s informal bartender anyways; your cool neighbor friends who make a mean cocktail (or want to!); yourself, to bring along to a small holiday gathering

Why: Sometimes your go-to needs a little bit of updating for the season, and these cocktail kits are great for that! Each kit contains a 50ml bottle of bitters and 100ml bottle of syrup, perfect for a small party (or to keep to yourself—each kit makes 6-7 drinks!). Paired with Decicio Glass's whiskey glasses, we think this kit would pack the just the right punch for anyone on your list this year.


Bean Box's Coffee Sampler Subscription Box, roasted in Seattle

Photo credit to Bean Box.

What: Bean Box’s subscription coffee box sampler

Where to Buy: Online!

How Much: $24 for one month, $68 for three months, $129 for six months, or $244 for twelve months

For Whom: That family member who’s very picky about their coffee preferences; an out-of-town friend/family member/in-law you need a little bit of java-related help to convince to come visit

Why: Bean Box’s coffee samplers feature four hand-picked roasts from independent Seattle roasters every month, delivered directly to your door! Each box ships with 48 hours of roasting (so fresh!) and includes a roaster profile, tasting notes, and a guide to brewing. Not seeing quite what you want? Check out the other coffee gifts on their website!


Capitol Hill Candle Company’s Vanilla Pine soy blend candle, hand-poured and -made in Seattle, WA

Photo credit to Capitol Hill Candle Company.

What: Capitol Hill Candle Company’s Vanilla Pine soy blend candle

Where to Buy: Online, or at one of their many Seattle area stockists

How Much: $20

For Whom: Your mother/sister/grandmother/partner who needs to take some time to relax; someone who’s feeling homesick for the smell of the Washington’s forests; anyone else on your list who’d appreciate something nice smelling

Why: These candles are hand-poured in Seattle, using only natural and local supplies. This candle smells like Mount Rainer National Forest! Not so much into a pine scent? Consider the Campfire Toddy soy candle! 10% of the proceeds from the sale of every candle go directly to the IslandWood organization, which improves access to nature-based learning experiences for children in the region.

 

What if someone on your list already has everything they need? Consider making a donation to the ACLU or All Hands Volunteers in their name! You can donate as much as you want—everything helps to make a difference.

Seattle Holiday Markets

Great news: you can find many of the vendors mentioned here selling their goods at a number of the Seattle-area holiday markets. We’ve listed some of the ones we'll be visiting below!

  • Seattle Made Market: on Saturday, November 25th, at the Broadway Market in Capitol Hill (401 Broadway E) from 10a-3p
  • The Seattle Collective Market: on Sunday, November 26th, at the Melrose Market Studios (1532 Minor Ave) from 11a-5p
  • Urban Craft Uprising: on Saturday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 3rd, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (301 Mercer St) from 10a-5p each day

Think of a market we missed? Let us know!


3 Conflict-free & Ethical Alternatives to Black and Salt & Pepper Diamonds October 17 2017

We love black diamonds, raw diamonds, and salt and pepper diamonds as much as the next person looking for a unique, alternative engagement ring. But unfortunately, the majority of those diamonds aren’t truly conflict-free (because at Aide-mémoire Jewelry, we know that relying on the Kimberly Process alone does not actually mean that a diamond is conflict-free)—so what’s a person to do? Well, we’ve tracked down a few great ethical, eco-friendly and conflict-free alternatives.

Black Spinel

.50ct Solitaire Octagon Engagement Ring with Black Diamond Alternative Ethical Black Spinel

Our 5mm Octagon Engagement Ring in matte 14k yellow gold, with a fair trade black spinel center stone.

We're excited to be able to offer black spinel as an ethical gemstone alternative to black diamonds! Black spinels look similar to a black diamonds, but are much less expensive. They are a deep, opaque black color, and are an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. These black spinel are a fair trade level one, meaning that they can be traced back to the mine in Tasmania Australia, where our fair trade stone supplier have a significant impact on the mining itself. Black spinel is softer than a sapphire, but generally wears well and is more durable than topaz. 

Grey​ ​Moissanite

5mm Gray Salt & Pepper Moissanite Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring in Rose Gold

Our 5mm Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring, pictured in matte 14k rose gold with a grey moissanite.

Looking for an ethical and eco-friendly option for salt & pepper diamonds? Grey moissanite has a similar speckled appearance, making them a great (and ethical) alternative. Moissanite is about a 9.25 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which makes them well suited for daily wear. These grey moissanites were part of a limited edition run by Charles & Colvard. We have several in stock in a range of sizes/shapes/colors. However, because they were limited edition, once they're gone, they’re gone.

For more information on moissanite, check out our blog posts here and here.

Dark​ ​Blue​ ​Australian ​Sapphires

Blue Black Sapphire Crown Solitaire Engagement Ring in Palladium

Our classic 5mm Crown Solitaire in matte 950 palladium, with a deep blue Australian sapphire center stone.

These deep blue/black Australian sapphires are a unique alternative to black diamonds. They have a fascinating depth to them, appearing mostly black, but flash with subtle hints of blue under direct light. Sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, so are suited for daily wear, and we have a limited number of these beautiful stones in stock in 5mm round.

Send us a message to get started customizing your engagement ring with one of these gorgeous stones!


Real Aide-memoire Weddings: Erica & Beks October 04 2017

We're so excited to share this next couple in our Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings blog series, Erica & Beks. We loved being a part of your engagement and wedding day! 

Erica & Beks' Aide-memoire Jewelry Rings, Real Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

Names: Erica & Beks

Location: Vashon Island, WA
Date: August 12, 2017

What was the most memorable and/or favorite part of your day?

We both really loved our ceremony! We hadn't planned it as far in advance as a lot of other elements of the wedding, like our photographer and the food, so we didn't have much time to think about what it would be like on the day. But it was so beautiful and felt so personal to our relationship. Beks' mom and aunt are pastors and officiated the ceremony, and Erica's mom lead a blessing of the rings.

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

Any advice for other couples who are currently planning their weddings?

Erica: There's a lot of advice online about how to decide what is most important to you at your wedding and how to prioritize that during planning but remember to keep in mind what the experience will be like for your guests. Think about things like parking, keeping everyone fed, music for all generations, etc. Also, remember to keep the kids happy! Happy kids are super cute and that will keep the adults entertained, too.

Beks: No matter how hard you try to be "chill," it's going to be stressful to plan a wedding and there will be some strain on your relationship. Try to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and expectations before you get upset with your fiance. I think you can avoid a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts if you realize that, even though you know the person you're marrying very well, you can't always predict the expectations they'll have or what will be really important to them and why.

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

Erica: I would eat more. Haha, I'm still thinking about the appetizers I didn't try and how delicious the food I did eat was.

Beks: No, I loved it!

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

What surprised you the most about your wedding day?

Erica: I was honestly surprised by how easy everything felt. Even the little things that ended up not going according to plan actually made the day better since we wanted a very relaxed feel to the day. You plan all these details for so long, it's nerve-wracking to finally see everything come together, but I loved every minute!

Beks: I knew that our family and friends would be helpful, but was surprised by just how incredibly happy and willing people were to do anything to make the wedding and reception go well. It made a huge difference and we got to enjoy the day so much more because people were taking care of the inevitable hiccups.

Why was choosing an eco-friendly jeweler important to you?

Erica: My engagement ring first caught my eye because I am a scientist and was looking for a ring that wouldn't poke through lab gloves or anything. When I learned the ring was made locally in Seattle, I was so excited! We'd been looking for ways to tie hometowns, Atlanta and Seattle, into the wedding. Supporting small businesses was important to us throughout the whole wedding and knowing that our rings were made individually and responsibly made them feel like the perfect fit!

Beks: Growing up there was a lot of emphasis on recycling, driving less, and using less electricity as a way to live an eco-friendly life. It's been eye opening to learn the high environmental costs of less obvious things, like clothing. We try to be thoughtful about where we buy clothes, increasing the lifespan of things we have, and reducing food waste. With something as meaningful as wedding rings, we wanted to pay close attention in making an ethical choice.

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

Erica & Beks' Real Aide-memoire Weddings - Photography by Lenaig Delisle

Photography by Lenaig Delisle, more photos here.

Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings: Bridget & Cornelius August 23 2017

We're happy to introduce another couple in our Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings blog series. Thank you, Bridget and Cornelius, for making us a part of your special day!

Names: Bridget & Cornelius
Location: American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN   
Date: March 26, 2017

What was the most memorable and/or favorite part of your day?

CorneliusI remember being alone and quiet for 5 minutes, away from all of the craziness, right before I went up to the ceremony. I got to reflect on everything. And a few minutes after that, I remember the moment Bridget turned the corner and I saw her walking towards me, about to become my wife. And maybe I teared up a little. Or a lot.

BridgetReading our vows. I was really nervous because, I don't know. I didn't want to be so mushy, pouring my heart out in front of everybody. But it was worth it. Even though I cried a whole bunch, I'm glad we wrote our own vows instead of reciting traditional ones.

Any advice for other couples who are currently planning their weddings?

CorneliusOn the day of, things will go wrong, not everything will unfold perfectly and according to plan. Don't worry about that. No matter what happens, no matter what little things go wrong, you're going to be married to the love of your life at the end of the day.

BridgetDon't be afraid to keep it small. I'm so glad that we just invited people close to us, because it made it special when each one of them was there, instead of inviting everyone only for the sake of having a huge fancy wedding.

Men's Classic Simple Wedding Band and Women's Princess Cut Engagement Ring in Yellow Gold by Aide-memoire Jewelry

The couple's rings: our 5mm Classic Simple Band1mm Smooth Square Band, and Square Solitaire Engagement Ring, all in 14k yellow gold with a matte finish.

Why was choosing an ethical and eco-friendly jeweler important to you?

We loved the idea that a single person, the same person, was carefully making our rings by hand. Everything matched perfectly: the colors, the shapes, the metals. We really liked the idea of supporting a small business instead of a giant brand.

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

CorneliusI would've leaned even more on others to help out during the day itself. We had a tremendous amount of help from our family and friends - it literally wouldn't have happened without all of them - but I still found myself running around taking care of small things instead of just enjoying the night.

BridgetI wouldn't get a naked wedding cake. It was beautiful but the lack of anything (frosting, fondant, etc) on the outside of it made it really dry. Looked great in pictures, though.

What was your wedding song?

Our first dance was to "That's All" by Nat King Cole. It's such a sweet song.

What surprised you the most about your wedding day?

CorneliusThe sheer amount of love that we were surrounded by. Of course you know everyone's there to celebrate with you, but it's another thing experiencing it, being completely enveloped by love and good wishes and kindness from everyone, all at once.

BridgetI knew it was going to be a really emotional day, but I had no idea it would be that emotional. I basically started tearing up the moment I took my first step down the stairs towards the altar. And all of our friends and family were so happy and overjoyed and emotional, too. It was a big love fest.

Photography by Angela Doheny Photography


New Earring & Necklace Styles Now Available! June 14 2017

We're so excited to share our latest project—we now have a wider selection of earrings and necklaces available with only a four week lead time! All styles are available in matte 14k yellow gold, with conflict-free diamonds or fair trade black spinel.

3mm Diamond Ancient Earrings

Square Stud Earrings Hexagon Stud Earrings

Diamond Scatter Ancient Pendant

Large Padlock Earrings Small Padlock Necklace

Diamond Half Hoop Earrings

You can find the necklaces here and the earrings here.


How to Care For & Clean Your Jewelry May 01 2017

Some of the questions we're asked most frequently, both via email and during in-person consultations, are how to take care of your new jewelry, be it wedding bands or an engagement ring. There are two ways you can go about doing this. You can try to keep the ring as pristine as possible, taking care not to scratch it, and having it regularly re-finished—or you can wear your ring and consider the scratches and dings as evidence of your years of marriage. 

Bead Set Hand-carved Classic Wedding Band in Yellow Gold and Tiny Rustic Bead Set Band

Top and bottom: Nine Stone Rustic Stacking Ring and 3mm Bead-set Hand-carved Classic Band, both in 10k yellow gold with diamonds

Ring Finishes

Because finishes are just a surface treatment, they will change with continued wear. A matte finish becomes shinier as the metal is burnished, and a shiny finish becomes more matte as larger scratches begin to show up. This happens faster with precious metals than it does with industrial metals, but all finishes on rings will change over time.

 

From left to right: 8mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold, 3mm Slim Classic Simple Band in shiny 14k Rose Gold

The matte finish on your ring can be touched up from time to time with the scrubby side of a (clean) sponge, or with a new, unused Scotch-Brite pad. Similarly, as a shiny finish becomes more matte with wear, it can be re-polished. However, this removes material from the surface of the ring and can make your ring thinner over time (becoming less durable), so we don't suggest doing so too often.

Many commercial white gold rings have been rhodium plated, or "dipped." Similar to the finish on your ring, plating is just a thin coating of another metal on the surface of the base metal, and it does wear away with time. If your ring has a rhodium plating, it will need to be re-plated once a year in order to maintain the look. Because rhodium plating is a very toxic process and bad for the environment, we do not plate any of our wedding bands. We also believe that white gold is a really lovely color that doesn't need to be covered up. 

For additional information on ring finishes, check out this blog post.

Cleaning Your Ring

Wedding Bands

To clean your wedding band, simply soaking your ring in a solution of warm water and mild soap (a shallow bowl or glass works best), rinsing it and drying off with a soft cotton cloth is often enough to remove and oil and dirt that may have built up on the surface. If your band has a deeper texture with hard to reach areas, it may also benefit from a gentle cleaning with a new toothbrush.

From left to right: 4mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium, 2mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium

Because toothpaste (and its residue) is fairly abrasive and can scratch both the surface of your ring and any stones, the toothbrush you use should be new and used solely for the purpose of cleaning your jewelry.

Engagement Rings

As you wear your engagement ring, you might notice the stone(s) becoming less sparklywhat gives? Through your daily activities, things like lotion, oil, and dirt become trapped on the underside of the stone and inside the stone setting, which can dull the appearance of the stone as they build up. The longer the build up remains on there the harder it is to remove, so regular cleaning is important. 

  

From left to right: 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium with a flush set Australian sapphire, 5mm Classic Engagement Ring in shiny 14k White Gold with an Australian champagne diamond, 5mm Crown Solitaire in matte 950 Palladium with a Montana sapphire

The easiest way to remove the build up at home is by using a brand-new, clean toothbrush with mild dish soap (Dawn is great for this). Very gently clean the underside of the setting, rinse with water and use a soft cotton cloth to dry the ring. If the stone setting has prongs, be careful that none of the bristles become stuck. Always close the drain in your sink when rinsing your ring, as metal can become slippery when wet.

While doing so can often feel tedious, keeping your rings clean also ensures that you're aware if something is wrong.

Ring Care

While it's common to want to wear your new ring 24/7 after receiving it, we recommend taking it off while you sleep, as it allows your skin to breathe. Not doing so traps moisture underneath the ring (similar to wearing a band-aid) which can eventually lead to skin irritation. This is different than an allergic reaction to the metal, but can look similar.

Another reason to take your ring off every night is so that it doesn't become stuck on your finger. Because your fingers tend to swell quite a bit while you sleep, wearing a ring while you sleep can cut off circulation. Additionally, if you take your ring off every night, you will notice if your finger size is increasing. That way you can get your ring re-sized before it gets too tight.

When you do remove your ring, take care to store it somewhere that it won't bump into or be jostled by other jewelry items, as they can scratch and dent one another. 

 

Ring storage idea: try one of our walnut ring boxes--they’re handmade from sustainable wood!

While there’s no need to remove your ring when you wash your hands, we do strongly suggest removing your ring before working with bleach-based cleaners and chemicals, or before swimming in chlorinated water (swimming pools, hot tubs, etc) or in the ocean. Both chlorine and salt water can damage gold jewelry and cause it to become brittle, which can lead to discoloration, cracking, and lost stones. Hot tubs are even worse, as the increased chlorine concentrations and the heat speed up the chemical reactions that damage your jewelry.

Additionally, never wear your ring during high-impact activities like rock-climbing, weight lifting, and moving furniture, as they pose a risk for damaging (denting, scratching, etc) your ring. In some cases, you also run the risk of seriously injuring your finger if your ring gets caught on something. The easiest way to prevent this is to use your best judgement, take your ring off, and keep it somewhere safe so that you don’t lose it while you're doing these things--the pouch or ring box you receive your ring in are both great options.

  

Last year, a customer reached out to us to let us know that his ring had gotten caught on a piece of equipment while at work and had been damaged. While he was fortunate that his hand hadn't been injured and that the damage to the ring was reparable, the outcome could have very easily been different. The takeaway: remove your ring before high impact activities.

With silver, palladium, platinum, and gold bands, it is important to remember that it is fine jewelry. If you do not want your ring to bend, scratch, or gouge, it should be treated with care for it to last. Anything (metal, stone, metal twist caps on bottles, etc.) harder than your ring can leave a mark.

However, oftentimes what people think are scratches on the surface of their new ring are actually scuff marks, similar to how a pair of shoes will show scuff marks when worn. Unlike scratches, scuff marks can be seen but not felt and they can be made by hard leather, wood, and plastic (such as purses, briefcases, dishes, steering wheels, etc), and are part of the burnishing process. This will be less evident with more textured bands, as the marks can "blend in" to the texture and make them less obvious.

 

From left to right: 7x1.5mm Flat Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold, 7mm Wood Texture Flat Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold

That said, visible wear on your wedding band is inevitable. Some metals, regardless of how diligent your care for them, are softer and will begin to show wear more quickly than other, more durable metal alloysWide, flat, smooth surfaces will show wear more quickly than textured surfaces and narrow bands.

Looking for more information on metal durability? Check out this blog post!

Still have questions? Send us a message!

 

 


Fair Trade Montana and Australian Sapphires April 19 2017

While diamonds and moissanite remain popular choices for a more traditional engagement ring, a lot of customers are interested in the array of fair trade sapphires we have to offer. From light sky blues to deep blue greens (and just about everything in between—honestly!), we have the have the perfect stone with which to customize your engagement ring.

Sapphires are considered one of the most durable colored gemstones and are great for everyday wear, making them well-suited for engagement rings. Our fair trade sapphires are closely tracked from mine to market following strict protocols—including environmental protection, fair labor practices, and health and safety standards—which makes them the perfect choice for an ethical engagement ring. 

5mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

Above: 5mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

5mm Rustic Classic Engagement Ring, 14k White, Teal Blue Sapphire Square Solitaire crown solitaire

Left to right: 5mm Classic Engagement Ring with Rustic Texture, 14k White Gold, Teal Blue Montana SapphireSquare Solitaire Engagement Ring, 950 Palladium, Denim Blue Australian Sapphire5mm Crown Solitaire with diamond side stones, 14k White Gold, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

3mm Australian Sapphire, Princess Cut 

Left to right: 3mm Princess Cut Denim Blue Australian Sapphire; 3mm Princess Cut Green Australian Sapphires

5mm Crown Solitaire, 950 Palladium, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

Above: 5mm Crown Solitaire, 950 Palladium, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

 

Left to right: 5mm Light Olive Green Montana Sapphire, 5mm Green Montana Sapphire

4mm Rustic Solitaire, 14k White Gold, Light Green Sapphire 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band, 950 Palladium, Flush Set Australian Sapphire Three Stone Ring, 14k White Gold, Australian Sapphires

Left to right: 4mm Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring, 14k White Gold, Pale Green Australian Sapphire; 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band, 950 Palladium, Australian Blue SapphireThree Stone Engagement Ring, 14k White Gold, Australian Sapphires

Above: 6mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

Not sure if our fair trade sapphires are right for you? Still interested in our customized rings? Have a look at some more of our customized items or check out our blog post on Chatham Padparadscha Sapphires and Grey Moissanite! 

**Please note that stone coloring may vary depending on lighting conditions, your own monitor screen, and stone settings. If you'd like to see additional images of any particular stone, please send us a message


Compare + Contrast: Hand-carved Classic Band & Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band April 17 2017

Let's be honest—even with great photography, it can be difficult to tell differences between things online, let alone being able to see the minor differences between something as small as a wedding band. One of the most common questions we get, both online and in-person, is about the differences between our Hand-carved Classic Bands and our Comfort Fit Classic Simple Bands.

 

From above: 6mm Hand-carved Classic Band (left) in 14k Yellow Gold, 6mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right) in 14k White Gold

Both bands have a rounded, comfort fit interior and a "classic" rounded exterior band shape. On hand, they appear very similar, although they feel very different (which is due, in great part, to the thickness of either band). The Hand-carved Classic Band is approximately 1.7mm thick, whereas the Simple Band style is a little bit thicker (approximately 2.2mm thick) and, thus, feels a little bit heavier/heftier because there's slightly more material between your fingers.


In both images: Hand-carved Classic (left) and Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right) 

Our Hand-carved Classic Band styles are made, as the name suggests, by hand with an initial wax model. This process translates to the finished product yielding a softer, more organically shaped ring with more of a handmade look and feel, whereas the Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band is made on a computer-operated lathe. This gives the band a much more perfect, uniform look and feel. 

4mm Hand-carved Classic (left), 5mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right)

While both bands have a similarly shallow exterior curve, the edges of each band differ. The Hand-carved Classic Band's edges taper to a more gradual, rounded shape, while the Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band has a more distinct walled edge on either side.

The last difference is each band's lead time, which is the amount of time that it takes after an order is placed for us to be able to make and ship an order. While both rings are made-to-order with recycled metals in your choice of metal/width/ring size, the Simple Band styles on our website are made for us by another company. This means that they can ship within one to three weeks of ordering, versus five weeks for the Hand-carved Classic Bands.

4mm Hand-carved Classic (left), 5mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right)

Like this post? Have an unanswered question? Send us a message!


Handmade & Sustainable Walnut Ring Boxes: Now Available! December 20 2016

Looking to make your ring gift extra special? We're very excited to offer these new handmade walnut ring boxes! These boxes are handmade in small batches in New Zealand with wood sourced from sustainable, managed forests, and they make a beautiful keepsake for both weddings and proposals.

Available for purchase here.

Handmade & Eco-friendly Walnut Ring Box Handmade & Eco-friendly Walnut Ring BoxHandmade & Eco-friendly Walnut Ring Box
Handmade & Eco-friendly Walnut Ring Box

Customize Your Ring with Colored Gemstones July 29 2016

You know you want a unique ring and you're pretty sure that you're interested in a colored gemstone--but where do you go from there? What are your ethical options?

We have a wide range of ethical gemstones to select from, with two newly available options!

Chatham Padaradscha Sapphires

Pink stones have been increasing in popularity in recent years, but many available options aren't hard enough to hold up to daily or near daily wear in a ring setting. We have a wide range of Padparadscha sapphires available to us, ranging from light pinks and peachs to more vivid pinks and fiery orange reds, in a wide range of cuts and sizes to fit our Engagement Ring settings.

4mm Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire Crown Solitaire Engagement Ring

Peach Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire Cushion

5mm Rustic Cushion Engagement Ring, 14k Rose, Light Peach Padparadscha Sapphire

padparadscha sapphires

5mm Rustic Cushion Engagement Ring, 14k White, Light Pink Padparadscha Sapphire

chatham padparadscha and chatham morganite

Can you tell the difference?

We get a lot questions asking about creating custom engagement rings with morganite, which has a tendency to chip over the course of its lifetime, making less than ideal for setting in a ring. That's why we had Chatham color match a Padparadscha sapphire for us! The stone on the right is Chatham Morganite and the left is our color-matched Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire! It has the same color and look as the Morganite option, but with a resistance to chip and scratching, so there's no need to worry about damaging your ring!

Don't see the color you're looking for? Our Chatham Sapphires are also available in a wide range of colors, shades, and cuts--send us a message or check out more of our available options here! Looking for a natural, ethical sapphire? Take a look at our Montana and Australia round cut options!

Grey Moissanite

These limited edition stones have a very unique look and color! Because of the way that moissanite is grown, its inclusions present as needle-like, which give the grey moissanite a cloudiness similar to black and raw diamonds, making them a great (and ethical) alternative.

As these are a limited edition product, our supply is also limited. Please contact us for availability or for an estimate.

grey moissanite cushions, 5mm

grey moissanite, 5mm round

Not quite sure what you're looking for, but interested in doing some more research? Read about 4 Ways to Choose an Ethical Diamond and Lab-Grown Gemstones!


Rustic French and Fern Wedding March 15 2016

Looking for some wedding inspiration? Take a look at this beautiful styled shoot by B. Jones Photography, inspired by the lush foliage and fern found along a springtime French countryside path and romantic French lace. Thank you B. Jones Photography for including us in this beautiful photo shoot!

Women's Rustic Textured Round Ring, Five Stone Ring,
5mm Crown Solitaire, Narrow Classic Contour Shadow Band

Venue: Dairyland http://www.woodlandmeadowfarms.com/
Photography: B. Jones www.bjonesphotos.com
Gown: MeaMarie Bridal Atelier www.meamarie.com
Florals & Design: Gather www.gatherwestcoast.com/
Baked Goods: Flour Dusted Countertops https://www.facebook.com/Flourdustedcountertops/
Decor & Rentals: Snohomish Rental Co. www.snohomishrentalco.com
Jewelry: Aide-mémoire Jewelry http://aidememoirejewelry.com
Cake: Delicately Sweet Confections http://delicatelysweetconfections.blogspot.com
Makeup: KaylaKollection Artistry www.KaylaKollection.com
Hair: Saige Jacobs https://www.facebook.com/Hair-design-by-Saige-Jacobs
Etched Wood Decor: Lasered Design www.lasereddesign.com
Bridal Stylist: Rachelle's Bridal Blog. http://www.rachellesbridalblog.com/
Models: Miriah Howard & Sage Chiniquy


Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings: Ashley and Pat February 04 2016

Desirée Gardner, a photographer in Florida, recently wrote a blog post about the beautiful destination wedding she photographed for Ashley and Pat. Thank you Desirée for mentioning us in the blog post and for whisking us away to Cape San Blas through your gorgeous photos. Here some highlights from the blog post.

Groom’s ring – Aide-mémorie Jewelry
Bride’s ring – designed by groom at Pav & Broome Diamond Jewelers

Photos by Desirée Gardner Photography
View Desirée's full blog post here

 


Bohemiah Frost January 28 2016

We had the pleasure to have some of our rings featured in the styled photo shoot by juliet + lou event planning and design, and photographer Dorothy Huyhn. Here are some of the highlights from the styled shoot, inspired by a bohemian winter. Thank you juliet + lou and Dorothy Huyhn for including us in these beautiful photos!


Oblique Square Solitaire Engagement Ring,
Chevron Contour Band, 7mm Faceted Wedding Band

 

 

 

 

 

Photography: Dorothy Huyhn Photography // @_dorothyhuynh // www.dorothyhuynh.com
Planning and Design: juliet + lou // @julietandlou // www.julietandlou.com
Dress: La Belle Reve Bridal // @labellerevebridal // www.labellereve.com
Makeup: Nick Eberle // @nickeberle88
Cake: Hillcrest Bakery // www.hillcrestbakery.com
Lettering: Elizabeth Rolf // @elizabethrolfshop // www.elizabethrolf.com

New Minimal Stud Earring Styles Available November 24 2015

Exciting news here at Aide-mémoire Jewelry! We now have a limited selection of earrings available with only a 3 week lead time! These earrings come in 14k Yellow Gold or 14k White Gold settings, and Moissanites or Diamonds. You can find the earrings here.

 


Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings: Catherine & Christian October 08 2015

We are so excited to introduce another couple in our Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings blog series. Thank you, Catherine and Christian, for sharing your special day with us!

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

 

Names: Catherine and Christian
Location: Josephine Butler Parks Center, Washington, DC    
Date: August 15, 2015    

What was the most memorable and/or favorite part of your day?
The most memorable/favorite part of the day was our exchange of vows. We have been in a long distance relationship for almost two years, and one major way that we have stayed connected during that time is by writing letters and emails to each other. Our vows were a culmination of those letters. They were the most important letters that we could write to each other. We hadn't shared them with each other prior to the wedding, so when we read them aloud for the first time at the ceremony, it felt very special, exciting, and intimate. Even though we were in a room full of family and friends, it felt like we were the only two people in the world. We will never forget that feeling.  

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

Any advice for other couples who are currently planning their weddings?
A very dear and wise friend gave us the following five pieces of advice, which we found super useful:

  1. Whenever you get flustered or caught up in the minutiae, call your partner and remind yourselves of your joint priorities and then toss anything on your list of stressors that doesn't directly speak to the priorities. Basically, don't be afraid to step back and refocus.
  2. After the ceremony, go sit with one another for 15 minutes. Drink a glass of something, have a small snack, and take in each other's company.
  3. During the reception hold each other's hands. It's really easy to be separated for the whole thing. If you don't want to be, holding hands reminds you (and the family and friends pulling you in different directions) that you are allowed to hang as a couple.
  4. Try to not set expectations of friends or relatives because a small handful will do crazy, selfish, or thoughtless things that will stick in your craw. If you are unsurprised by it, you won't let it drive you nuts or detract from what is most important.
  5. On the day before the wedding festivities, anything that isn't finished can get tossed out. It's not important. No one will miss it but you. And you won't care about it after you are married. 

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?
Catherine completely forgot to hug her Dad after he walked her down the aisle. (Sorry, Dad!) If she could do it again, she would give him a big hug!

What was your wedding song?
"Tonight You Belong to Me" by Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

What surprised you the most about your wedding day?
The number of unexpected issues that popped up. Despite all our planning, there were a lot of unplanned events in the hours before the wedding — Catherine's sash got stained, our table numbers were attracting ants, we were about a half hour behind schedule, etc. Just goes to show that no matter how much planning you do, there will be surprises, and the best thing to do is roll with it, be present, and enjoy the day!

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

Why was choosing an ethical and eco-friendly jeweler important to you?
We wanted our rings to symbolize our love for and commitment to each other but also to represent our values. We love that Aide-mémoire’s jewelry is made from all recycled materials and that it donates money to causes that we support. And, of course, we love the simplicity and elegance of your designs.

Catherine & Christian Wedding - Photos By One Summer Day

Photos courtesy One Summer Day


Human Rights Campaign National Dinner Auction 2015 September 04 2015

These beautiful Silver and Alexandrite engagement rings will be included in the silent auction at the nineteenth annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, DC. These rings are our interpretation of the rainbow, as the alexandrite changes colors from bluish-green in daylight to purplish-red in artificial light.

 "The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. It is organized and will be operated for the promotion of the social welfare of the LGBT community. By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all."