Blog Archive: Marriage Equality

New BNStories and Custom Rings

By Constance on June 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Celebrating our favorite couples and custom rings go hand in hand, so this week we introduce our latest roundup with a pair that inspires tons of pride. Created for the lovely Kim and Meghan, (pictured below), these two custom rings couldn’t be more different. But like every great couple, each complements the other in a way that creates a perfect pairing.

 

Kim and Meghan made incredible custom rings

“The fun thing about that picture – we had only known each other for like 6 weeks, that was taken at the wedding of Meghan’s cousin and friend. When I saw it I was like – that looks like an engagement photo.” Photo Credit: KRA ImageDesigns Photography

 

Both Meghan and Kim were able to create completely original looks that are both bespoke to the wearer and unlike anything on the market with the help of our knowledgeable staff of designers and gemstone experts. What ties them together is the bonding experience of creating your dream rings as a couple and the one-of-kind center stones each chose to anchor the designs.

 

“Our personalities came through [so well that] people who don’t know us can pick up on it.”

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Kim’s Custom Emerald, Black and White Diamond Ring.

 

Right off the bat, both knew they didn’t want something mass-produced that would celebrate their marriage without hurting someone in the process. Kim’s choice of a crazy-unique, vintage emerald, complemented by ethical white and black diamonds, formed a design that fits her personality and style perfectly. In fact, when she came to pick it up, our Customer Service Associate instinctively knew it was Kim’s, without even having met her.

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Meghan’s gorgeous Grey Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring.

 

Like Kim’s unusual emerald, Meghan’s choice of a one-of-a-kind, grey rose cut diamond speaks to the wearer’s originality and a non-traditional approach. The stone fuses a re-emerging antique cut with the modern style of embracing a gem that is an alternative to the typical perfect “rock” most want to achieve.  The ethically-sourced, imaginatively matched and placed sidestones in various cuts and hues, complement the color and vibe of the non-traditional diamond perfectly.

 

Though the above pair may seem like a tough act to follow, the next ring in our round-up has been described about the BN studio as “The most beautiful ring I have ever seen.” ‘Nuff said, just gaze…

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

We are all in love with this Rose Cut, Custom-shaped Diamond Cluster Ring.

 

The next two custom rings are actually “Personalizations” ie. changes clients make to pieces already in our collections, but they were too great not to show off.  Notice how a small customization, like adding an opal or a gemstone, can take a design to a new level of perfect match for your personality.

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Our Andalusite Cluster and Linear Diamond Rings Personalized with Ethiopian Opals and Sri-lankan Sapphires.

 

Last on our list is another special BNstory:  A custom “Twist Tie” Diamond Band designed in 18kt. gold in collaboration with a couple to commemorate their proposal.

 

“A month ago, I was laid off due to budget cuts and my fiance was driving me home and helping me cope with the second most crap-tastic day of my life. When we pulled into our driveway, he fished around the car, found a twist-tie, twisted it up into a ring, and put it on my finger. So I’d like to design a ring that looks like a twist-tie with a diamonds in it. He’s not suspecting that sort of thing and he’s perhaps the most romantic man alive and it would make him super thrilled. We’re both so happy with it.”

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

This Custom “Twist Tie” Diamond Band makes the mundane memorable by recreating a couple’s romantic engagement.

 

Need more inspiration? See more of our latest batch of Custom and Personalized rings, then fill out a Custom Design Questionnaire when the time comes to start creating your own.

 

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Bling in the New Year with Alternative Engagement Rings

By Constance on December 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm

The Baguette Solitaire Ring, a little bling goes a long way

A little bling goes a long way with the understated Baguette Solitaire Ring.

 

This New Year, we celebrate all that glitters AND all that is gold, all for under a $3K price tag. This round-up of some of our favorite alternative engagement rings include tons of sparkle for those of you that love your bling, but still want to say “Yes” with a little more personality (and sustainability) than your average bride. From the industry’s first ethical baguette diamond (see above!) to alternative gemstones, like sapphires and quartz, we love to create rings that satisfy the non-traditional side, but remain as timeless as your love.

 

 

The Rose Cut Filigree ring has vintage appeal.

Our Rose Cut Filigree ring has timeless appeal and sparkle for days.

 

This contemporary version of an antique filigree ring features a bezel set, pink, rose cut sapphire for the offbeat bride with vintage elegance on her mind.

 

The Herkimer Ring is pure magic.

The Herkimer Ring: pure quartz magic for a crystalline union.

The Herkimer Ring is reserved for the most badass of betrothed. A low-set solitaire ring, featuring a double-terminated quartz, also known as a Herkimer diamond, mined in upstate New York. It also starts at just $750.

 

Sapphire Half Moon in Rose Gold, an alternative engagement ring

The Sapphire Half-Moon Ring is an alternative engagement ring that needs no diamond to shine.

Sparkle abounds in this alt-bride’s dream ring. It conjures Gatsby-era, custom-cuts, with a distinctly modern approach, featuring 100% sustainable white sapphires from Sri Lanka. This the newest of our engagement ring designs on the list, creating a new gold standard for gemstone and diamond-alternative engagement rings.

 

The Linear Diamond Ring: packing maximum bling for the buck.

 

Last on our list is our top seller of 2015, the Linear Diamond Ring. This ring says forever without the trappings of tradition. Modern brides know that a diamond doesn’t have to be a whopper to have impact, favoring instead to have a comfortable, low-set array of stones in various cuts and sizes. Further proof that diamonds can also be “alternative” by remaining low-key, sustainable and affordable– the Linear Diamond Ring starts at just $2,420.

Thanks for reading and following us as we share our news, successes and milestones, including the landmark legalization of same-sex marriage. Cheers to another year of creating beauty through new traditions!

 

LoveWins our BNstory Photo Contest

By Constance on October 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

grand prize Broad street proposal

LoveWins! A giant congrats to our Grand Prize winner of the ‪#‎BNstory‬ Photo Contest, Ashley Gyuriska

“It was important for us to find a jeweler and rings that were in line with our values and ethics. We heard of Bario Neal through the community and we fell in love with their jewelry. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage. It was on that day that Monica decided to propose to me with the Knottedrush ring. For my proposal to Monica, I decided it would be on August 21 at Broad and Walnut. A year ago on that day, I knew this was the perfect spot as we walked through the crowds at Dîner en Blanc. It was at that moment that I knew I had to spend the rest of my life with her. This picture captures that proposal, as I slipped the Baguette solitaire Ring onto her finger, passersby cheered us on, cars honked in celebration, and strangers congratulated us. We are so incredibly happy and cannot wait to get married in June 2017. We are absolutely getting our wedding rings from Bario Neal!”


We are feeling so much love and pride over here. Thanks again to everyone who participated, we are really honored you chose to share your incredible moments with us and our followers. Our BNstory page is coming soon to the Bario Neal website, in the meantime
 see the rest of the winners and featured stories on the #BNstory Pinterest Board. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about sales, contests and special offers.

Same Sex Marriage Legalized Nationwide

By Alyssa on June 26, 2015 at 11:18 am

Supreme-Court-gay-rights-gay-marriage-Defense-of-Marraige-act-June-2013_094231

We are thrilled by the news this morning that the Supreme Court has declared same sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.

Read more on this breaking story here:

NPR

Washington Post

Boston Herald

Wall Street Journal

Image From Freedom to Marry, the incredible campaign.

Transgender Rights Move into the Spotlight

By Alyssa on February 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

In 2014, and so far in 2015, there have been several legal, social media, and entertainment-related successes for the transgender community, proving what many of us have thought all along, Transgender rights matter. These successes were not without some wake up calls too, alerting us to the fact that as a nation we have a lot of self-educating to do, even within the LGBT community. Before I started writing this, I checked out GLAAD’s media reference page for transgender-related issues, which I found helpful in clarifying certain definitions and uses of terms–making sure you know what you’re talking about, and in the right ways, can only help increase your level of respect, especially as terms and definitions evolve.

 

While progress is being made in accepting, understanding, and supporting transgender people, and explicitly granting them their legal rights, they continue to experience severe disadvantages. Transgender people are disproportionately affected by hate crimes, especially transgender women, and face high levels of discrimination and poverty. The American Medical Association states that treatment for gender dysphoria is medically necessary, but insurance companies treat transition-related medical care as cosmetic. And while the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, it only applied to lesbian, gay, and bisexual personnel, so transgender people are still prohibited from serving in the military.

(Read More »)

Alabama Has (Pretty Much) Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

By Alyssa on February 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm

same-sex-marriage-coming-to-alabama

As of February 9th, 2015, same-sex marriage is legal in Alabama. But the legalization came with some struggle and confusion, including conflicting orders from federal and state courts.

Here’s the breakdown: On January 23rd federal Judge Callie Granade ruled in Searcy v. Strange that Alabama’s Marriage Protection Act is unconstitutional (read more about it here). Her ruling went into effect on February 9th.

In response, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore issued an order telling probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The legalities of his order were dubious, and the repercussions for judges who disregarded it were unclear. So, some judges issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples anyway (and were not punished), some judges complied with Judge Moore, while still others stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether, creating a huge headache for many.

(Read More »)

A Marriage Equality Victory

By admin on October 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

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Another marriage equality victory to celebrate that could potentially expand same-sex marriage to 30 states, up from 19.

Supreme Court Delivers Tacit Win to Gay Marriage, via the New York Times.

The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, which came without explanation in a series of brief orders, will have an enormous practical effect and may indicate a point of no return for the Supreme Court.
Most immediately, the Supreme Court’s move increased the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19. Within weeks legal ripples from the decision could expand same-sex marriage to 30 states.

Reading: The Death of Satao, The Ivory Trade and NY’s Ivory Ban, Silenced on Fracking, and One Year Since DOMA

By admin on July 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

Recently, Satao, Kenya’s largest elephant with tusks that reached the ground, was slaughtered at the hands of poachers involved with the ivory trade. Kenya has only less than a dozen Tuskers left.  This is sad, gruesome news, especially for the conservationists keeping a watchful eye on the last of this megafauna.

New York recently banned the sale of ivory and rhino horn:

The Wildlife Conservation Society, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Humane Society of the United States praised the New York State Legislature today for passing landmark legislation that bans the sale and purchase of elephant ivory and rhino horn. It now goes to Governor Cuomo where it is anticipated he will sign it into law.

The legislation amends the state’s environmental law to ban elephant ivory sales with only a few exceptions for antiques with small amounts of ivory, certain instruments made before 1975, and transfers for educational and scientific purposes or through the distribution of estates.

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Via NPR, Former State Health Employees Say They Were Silenced on Drilling.

This is disturbing coming from our home state of Pennsylvania. State health employees were not allowed to respond to residents’ concerns about natural gas drilling and their health. There are a number of illnesses that may have been linked to fracking including nausea, nosebleeds, rashes, as well as other complaints.

 For drilling-related calls, Stuck said she and her fellow employees were told just to take the caller’s name and number and forward the information to a supervisor.

“And somebody was supposed to call them back and address their concerns,” she said, adding that she never knew whether these callbacks occurred.

Sometimes, Stuck said, people would call again, angry they had not heard back from anyone from the department.

Stuck did not usually answer the phone at the Uniontown office. But on the few occasions when she did pick up and the caller was making a drilling-related complaint, she never found out what happened after she passed the information on to her supervisor.

Stuck said she has spoken to employees working in other state health centers who received the same list of buzzwords and the same instructions on how to deal with drilling-related calls.

“People were saying: Where’s the Department of Health on all this?” Stuck said. “The bottom line was we weren’t allowed to say anything. It’s not that we weren’t interested.”

Marshall Deasy worked in the Bureau of Epidemiology in Harrisburg for more than 20 years, retiring last June. Deasy was a primary investigator of food- and waterborne outbreaks and his work put him in contact with community health nurses across the state, such as Tammi Stuck.

He said some nurses told him they were not allowed to respond to complaints about gas drilling.

In his office in Harrisburg, Deasy said the subject of natural gas development was considered “taboo” and was not openly discussed among fellow employees.

However, he was aware that a colleague in the Bureau of Epidemiology was maintaining a list of drilling-related calls. When reached by StateImpact Pennsylvania, that person declined to comment.

In lighter news, it has been more than a year since the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act was struck down!! Since then, many states have struck down their gay marriage bans, including mostly recently, Kentucky. I know I say this often, and the fight for equality in America still has a long way to go, but luckily, we are on the right path towards marriage equality in the US.

Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in our state of PA, and Wisconsin’s ban is lifted!

By admin on June 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Finally, on May 20th, the ban on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania was overturned by Federal Judge John Jones. We’re elated to find out our friends, family, and customers can now officially get married in their home state of PA and receive the rights that they’re entitled to as couples (via The Washington Post)!!!

Wisconsin has also overturned their band on same-sex marriage,  while North Dakota’s ban is being challenged.

10 Years of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts

By admin on May 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Massachusetts Legislature blocks same-sex marriage ban

via Freedom to Marry

10 years ago on May 17th, Massachusetts became the first state in the US to make same-sex marriage legal. Since then, 16 more states have deemed the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and other states are beginning to follow. Even though the fight for marriage equality has progressed significantly, there is still work to be done, as 33 states still have same-sex marriage bans in effect. This story of Ralph and Paul, one of the first gay couples to get married in Massachusetts, is touching and we thought we’d share.