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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!


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


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!


New Work Studio & Parlor, Now Accepting Appointments June 18 2015

Aide-Mémoire Jewelry has recently moved studio locations, and we are delighted to present our new work studio and parlor in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. The parlor is now open to clients who are interested in a unique and charming experience while shopping for the perfect piece of sustainable, eco-friendly jewelry.

Our quiet space is perfect to sit and view samples, discuss options and work on finding the perfect piece for you--whether it be a wedding band, an engagement ring or the perfect stone. The parlor space has a timeless feel, filled with interesting antiques and vintage decor, plus a window where you can peek into the workshop! A nod to Seattle, a simple red "A" from the old Paramount Theater marquee hangs on a robin's egg blue wall.

If you are in the Seattle area and would like to look at rings in person you can now make an appointment online to visit our Wallingford parlor! Book a free half-hour consultation appointment here or at http://www.bookeo.com/aidememoire

View a few photos of our new space below:

Not near Seattle? Don't fret! You can book a Skype session to discuss options at http://www.bookeo.com/aidememoire. We also have a library of brass samples for many of our rings, which can be shipped to you with a deposit and shipping fee. Contact us for details if you are interested in borrowing some of our brass sample rings.

 


Wedding Ring Profiles / Cross Section April 06 2015

What is a ring profile anyways? A ring profile is also known as a cross section. Here's one way to think about it – imagine that you put a ring on a cutting board, chopped it in half, then looked at the exposed edge. That would be the profile. To make it easier to visualize, we've made these drawings of some common ring profiles. 

The comfort fit classic band has a rounded exterior, with a rounded inner edge for a comfort fit. A classic band has a rounded exterior and a flat interior. Classic bands are also sometimes referred to as half-round and low-dome. A comfort fit flat band has a flat exterior and a rounded inner edge. The flat band is flat on the interior and exterior. Flat bands are also sometimes referred to as pipe cut. 

Some profiles that Aran uses in her designs that are not as common. Here are some examples of those. 

The trapezoid band is the profile used in our 5mm and 6mm cushion cut engagement rings. The low-dome band is used in the Three Stone Engagement Ring and the Octagon Engagement Ring, and is available as a plain band. The exterior of our low-dome band is not as curved as the classic band, and has straight sides. The Edgeless Band has a comfort fit interior and rounded outer edges. The Concrete Bands and the Hand-carved Classic Bands have a similar profile. They have a low-dome exterior and a comfort fit interior, but with a rounded outer edge, so that they have no hard edges. 

 

And here is an illustration explaining the dimensions of a band.

 


4 Ways to Choose an Ethical Diamond January 12 2015

You know that you want an ethically and environmentally conscious diamond. That’s great! But if you are like many people out there, knowing precisely what that means is an entirely different story. What exactly is a conflict-free diamond? How is a diamond gemstone related to environmental risk? Here is a guide designed to explain the separate characteristics and benefits of the four types of diamonds that we offer. We’ve very carefully chosen these diamonds to work with because they have minimal environmental impact and high labor standards – we only select sources where workers are treated well and paid fairly.

Octagon Ring with Recycled DiamondsOctagon Ring with Recycled Diamonds

Recycled Diamonds

A “recycled” or second-hand diamond is our standard conflict-free diamond option. It is one that has already been previously mined. These classic beauties are meticulously graded, re-polished and buffed to their original sheen and luster to be placed in new settings. A recycled diamond is, on average, significantly less expensive than a new one. By choosing a recycled diamond, you are not contributing to the more than 150 million carats of new diamonds that are mined from the earth each year. Unlike lab-grown diamonds, second-hand diamonds also have greater availability. But, perhaps one of the best features of recycled diamonds is the allure of time; these gemstones have the aura of having seen different decades and periods in history. It is rare, but some recycled gemstones are so old that they were cut by hand directly at a mine more than a hundred years ago!

Classic Band with Lab-grown Flush-set DiamondClassic Band with Lab-grown Flush-set Diamond

Lab-grown diamonds have several great features that make them another ideal choice for socially and environmentally conscious brides and grooms to be. They are typically twenty to thirty percent less expensive than newly mined diamonds, have extensive options for customization in size, cut, clarity, and color, while still maintaining the exact same chemical composition of a natural diamond. New diamonds from heavily sourced, conflict-zone locations further pollute the surrounding environment and often place mineworkers in danger for shockingly low wages. In contrast, the lab-grown diamonds we work with are created in the Netherlands. No water or air pollution result from their production and only a modest amount of energy is consumed. For this process, they primarily use renewable resources.

Three Stone Ring with Champagne DiamondsThree Stone Ring with Austrlian Champagne Diamonds

If a newly-mined natural diamond is your choice, then choosing a mine that ethically sources diamonds is key. We only work with two diamond dealers for newly-mined diamonds who have proven that they adhere to the highest labor and environmental standards with mine to market traceability. They go far beyond the requirements of the Kimberly Process, which aims to prevent any “conflict” diamonds from entering the marketplace, but relying on the Kimberly Process alone is not enough to insure that a diamond is conflict-free. 

Newly-Mined Canadian Diamonds

Newly-mined diamonds from the Canadian Arctic must adhere to strict standards outlined by the Canadian Code of Conduct and other government authorities. They are all certified as conflict-free and must be cut and polished responsibly. Employees in the industry are paid fair wages, and efforts are made to reduce negative environmental impact as much as possible.

Newly-Mined Australian Diamonds

Similar to Canadian-mined diamonds, newly-mined Australian diamonds are also subject to closely monitored standards that value socially ethical and environmentally responsible practices. One of the more unique aspects of Australian-mined diamonds is the array of natural colors available. They range from translucent yellows, soft chocolate browns, and other earth-tone varieties.

Square Solitaire Engagement Ring with Recycled DiamondSquare Solitaire Engagement Ring with Recycled Diamond

Availability

In our efforts to provide the very best ethically and environmentally conscious diamond options to our customers, we adhere to the strictest standards of traceability that sometimes limit the availability of certain gemstone cuts. Raw diamonds and black diamonds are typically hard to secure as they very often can be traced back to conflict-zones. However, we are more than happy to work with you in your search for the perfect diamond regardless of your varied needs.

3mm Classic Engagement Ring with Recycled Diamond3mm Classic Engagement Ring with Recycled Diamond

Grading

Diamonds larger than .23 carats, which is approximately 4mm in diameter, typically come with a certificate outlining the stone’s grading for cut, color, clarity, carat weight, and origin. Diamonds smaller than this carat weight are considered “melee” and are traditionally loosely graded and will not be paired with an accompanying certificate.

If you would like a diamond other than our standard recycled diamond option, or have any questions regarding specific aspects concerning carat weight and other factors, please feel free to contact us! We will work one-on-one with you to determine your best available options. We can either work with information you supply us, or we can do all the hard “sleuthing” and come up with an ethically and socially responsible diamond we know you will love forever.

 

 


An Eco-Friendly Choice: Lab-Grown Gemstones October 02 2014

Here at Aide-Mémoire Jewelry, we meet a lot of new clients who are perfect examples of what makes the Pacific Northwest so special: they value the environment, and love living in an area where the ocean meets the mountains meets the forest meets the city. They are nature-lovers through and through! This is what makes us the perfect team.

Image courtesy Andie Powers. Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

Most couples who value nature and the environment want to wear a piece of nature: a natural stone. The term “lab-grown” makes them feel uncomfortable and as if they are choosing something unnatural. However, one of the best things that eco-friends can do for the environment is invest in a lab-grown, synthetic or cultured stone.  

Does that mean that a lab-grown gemstone is not a real gemstone? No! The only thing that differentiates a lab-grown stone from a mined gemstone is its point of origin. Here are some benefits to a synthetic or cultured stone:

• They are REAL gemstones in every sense: chemically, physically, atomically and optically.  
• Lab-grown gemstones have a significantly lower impact on the environment.
• They are typically created by skilled laborers that receive fair wages and benefits, unlike most foreign mining practices.
• Lab-grown diamonds are rated with the same rating system as mined diamonds--the Four C’s--which are Clarity, Cut, Color and Carat Weight, and are available in different colors. 
• The primary lab-grown stones that Aide-mémoire offers are lab-grown diamonds (by request) and Chatham created gemstones (an option for many of our engagement rings).


Another type of gemstone is a simulant (not to be confused with a synthetic gemstone). Some common simulants are diamond simulants--stones that resemble diamonds--such as cubic zirconia, Moissanite, white sapphire, and lead crystal. These stones are usually much less expensive than mined or synthetic diamonds.

  

5mm Moissanite Rustic Cushion Cut Engagement Ring
5mm Moissanite Rustic Cushion Cut Engagement Ring. Choose from Moissanite, Forever Brilliant Moissanite, or a Chatham Sapphire.

Moissanite is another type of gemstone to consider if you want to minimize your eco-footprint--and one of our favorites! This is a jewel created from silicon carbide (SiC), based on naturally-occuring Moissanite (very rare--and originally found in meteorite particles). These are very hard and durable gemstones, second only to diamonds, but are much more brilliant!  

If you’ve really got your heart set on a non-synthetic or non-cultured stone, a recycled diamond may be another option for you. These are diamonds that are naturally occurring in nature and were previously set in jewelry which has since been removed, re-polished, then sold as loose diamonds. 

Questions about lab-grown or synthetic gemstones? Send us an email! We'd be happy to talk you through your options.