Today I have a bit of a different post for you. I have an exclusive guest post interview / Q&A session with man-in-the-know, David Rhode from luxury jewellers Ingle and Rhode. David’s story began in 2006, when he was looking for an engagement ring but couldn’t find a jeweller who could tell him where their diamonds had come from, or the conditions under which their jewellery was produced. The more he looked into the industry, the more compromises he discovered he was being asked to make – from blood diamonds, to dirty gold, to sweatshops and child labour. Then in 2007 together David and his friend Tim Ingle launched Ingle & Rhode to offer an ethical alternative to the traditional luxury brands.
I’m a complete magpie when it comes to jewellery, and should probably admit that I own way more that my fair share! So I thought I’d take this opportunity to pick David’s brains on a few things…
1. What are your favourite jewellery trends right now?
‘Stacking sets are popular at the moment; they offer great versatility as you can swap rings in and out of the stack depending on your mood. Also, you can add to the stack on special occasions over the years, so each ring might have different memories associated with it. On a wider level, bespoke commissions continue to thrive. Nearly one in every five engagement rings is made to order – it’s great that so many people have the confidence and the opportunity to create something really unique.’
2. And what jewellery trends do you predict we’ll be seeing for AW15?
‘Rose gold has been popular for the last year or so, and increasingly we’re seeing this matched with fancy coloured sapphires – pinks and padparascha (orange/pinks) can work really well. It will be really interesting to see what other coloured gemstones people will try combining it with.’
3. Which one jewellery item do you think everyone should have?
‘A cocktail ring. It’s completely extravagant, a ring that’s impractical on a day to day basis – but lots of fun on a special occasion. It’s a great opportunity to use options outside of the ‘Big Four’ traditional engagement ring stones (diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald). It should be possible to create a really impressive ring without breaking the bank.’
4. When choosing gemstones, what should I look for?
‘The specifics will vary depending on what type of stone it is, but in general it will break down into colour, clarity, and treatment. You should judge colour on hue, intensity, and light/dark. So a blue sapphire might have a hint of violet or green about it, that’s it’s hue. The colour might be rich and strong, or the opposite – that’s its intensity. And obviously gemstones vary in terms of how light and dark they are, we generally want to avoid stones that are too far to one extreme or the other.’
‘With clarity, it’s important to compare apples with apples. You are totally justified in expecting your diamond to be free of visible inclusions or blemishes, but that isn’t the case with all coloured stones. Emeralds for example are very rarely totally clean, and it’s not fair to judge them by the same standards. You need to know what is a reasonable expectation for the stone you are choosing.’
5. Which celebrities do you find inspirational in terms of the jewellery they wear?
‘A lot of celebrities just assume that ‘bigger equals better’, and are keen to show off their huge diamonds. It’s always good to see pieces that a show a little more thought . Zoe Soldana’s emerald engagement ring was a really interesting choice, so was Scarlett Johansson’s Art Deco style ring.’
Thanks so much to David for your answers! I think I need to get myself a cocktail ring now!
I’d love to hear about your favourite jewellery item? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx
This is a collaboration post with Ingle & Rhode.