For much of human history, cultures around the world have made use of bodily decoration either for personal taste or marking office or status of all kinds. Even primitive cultures made use of decorations such as necklaces of sea shells or beads woven into their hair, from Polynesia to African societies to Native American tribes and more. Meanwhile, precious metals and gems have often been used as a mark of nobility, status, or royalty, and gems such as diamonds, amethysts, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires have been used alongside gold and silver. In recent times, jewelry has expanded to be more commercially available, no longer restricted to the elite classes. Now, people around the world buy their own jewelry or purchase jewelry as gifts for someone they care about, and jewelry repair is also possible. Options for jewelry repair include having scratches removed or a gem set back into a ring, and some shops that offer jewelry repair may also offer watch repair on some cases.
Wedding rings are a staple for many married people in many parts of the world, and these items are no ordinary fashion jewelry; rather, rings for marriage and engagement are bound by tradition for the most part. Americans and Europeans are familiar with the classic diamond on a gold ring, a concept that dates back to the 1400s in Europe. This classic model is still popular today and many men get them for their girlfriends for a marriage proposal, but bridal jewelry and engagement rings may expand beyond that. Today, many young adults are interested in unique personal expression in many aspects of their lives, and that includes jewelry too. While diamond rings are still the standard, many men are ordering custom jewelry for their girlfriends.
An engagement ring is ultimately a gem set in a precious metal ring, and there are many combinations beyond simple diamonds and gold. A customer at a jewelry store may opt to have custom features and accents on their engagement ring, and in some cases, brides-to-be like to come along when ordering an engagement ring. This does not always happen, but some women like to have an active role in what their engagement ring looks like, if they so choose. In other cases, a man will order this ring alone and then surprise his girlfriend with it. And in the case of same-sex couples, it’s mainly a matter of personal taste and discretion who buys what for whom, as most engagement and wedding traditions are based on man-woman couples.
In any case, a customer looking to have a custom engagement ring may visit a jeweler in person and describe what they want the ring to look like, and they may browse catalogs and other references to figure out the exact details. The jeweler will note all of these details and may offer a colored sketch, to confirm with the customer that all details are correct. The jeweler will then need some time, maybe a few weeks, to finish that custom ring, then notify the customer for pickup and payment. The ring may swap out a diamond for an emerald, ruby, or anything else desired, and the ring may be made of gold, silver, white gold, or platinum. The gem’s pattern cut may be customized, and the metal may have patterns or sentimental messages or a date carved into it.
Other Jewelry Ideas
A person may also visit a jeweler for buying conventional decorative jewelry, either for themselves or for a loved one. Such jewelry is typical for wedding anniversary gifts, birthday gifts, Christmas or Hanukkah presents, and the like. In other cases, a person may take in their ring, earrings, necklace, or brooch for jewelry repair, since it’s possible for gems to fall out or get scratched, or for the metal to get dented or scratched. In this case, expert craftsmen will perform jewelry repair as needed, such as readjusting the gem’s brackets to keep it secure or removing scratches or blemishes from jewels. A jeweler may use a microscope to spot these imperfections. Finally, some women opt to buy sea glass jewelry; that is, gems made of glass shards ground up and polished in the ocean’s waters and then washed ashore. Sea glass is attractive and thematic for a beachside wedding.