How a Small Ethical Jewelry Label Designs Rings - Bario Neal

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How a Small, Women-Owned Jewelry Label Designs Rings of Lasting Value

Bario Neal’s very first jewelry collection, launched after designers Anna Bario and Page Neal started their label 10 years ago, set an aesthetic foundation of cleanly modern yet classic, with subtle asymmetry. We’ve created many ethical jewelry collections (as well as countless custom designed rings for clients around the world) over the last decade. We continue to be a small, women-owned business focused on handcrafting beautiful jewelry of lasting value that connects with our clients in a meaningful way.

Here, Page Neal shares what inspires her designs, what role our ethical sourcing of gemstones and metals plays, hints about new Bario Neal rings coming soon, and more. If you’re looking for engagement or wedding rings or special jewelry and want a shopping experience that’s welcoming and personalized -- and fits many budgets – contact us today to make an appointment.

How many months does it typically take at Bario Neal to go from a brand-new design idea to having a new piece in the jewelry collection available to clients?

The sourcing, design, and the quality of our craft is what distinguishes us from many other jewelry lines. We never realize a design until we feel confident in the origin of the materials and can ensure that the design will withstand the test of time.

For example, it took us years to source the emeralds for our Ray and Sol Emerald Rings that aligned with our ethical standards. It was such a gratifying moment when we finally found our emerald mine and were able to release the collection into the world.

Ray & Sol Emerald Rings

Have you ever put aside an idea because the timing wasn’t right but later come back to it and it worked?

Absolutely. I have so many ideas that I put on the back burner for a variety of reasons such as us having too much going on at the shop, or the design not fitting in with what we are working on at the moment, and so on. I have one ring that we are releasing this fall that I have been holding onto for over a year. It’s going to be good. Here’s a hint--it has sunrise in the title.

Can you describe the design process?  

One of the reasons Anna and I tend to collaborate well together and what can make it difficult too (!) is that we often both engage in unrealistic expectations. But that is fun. We throw out a lot of ideas, and maybe some of them work.

The Sway Cluster Morganite Ring is an example of a design that went through many evolutions. Originally it started with a blue sapphire center stone surrounded by an ombre of similar tonal stones, but then we decided we wanted to go into a warmer, more vibrant palette. After many iterations, we arrived on what I think of as an explosion of blush and fuchsia.

What steps in the Bario Neal design process make the company different from other fine jewelers?  

I think one word that describes our work is “thoughtful.” We take such care in our design process to ensure that we are building ethically sourced jewelry that will last.

We ask a lot of questions during the design process to ensure that our work is not generic. Like, “Is this the right prong setting for this very specific ring?” or “How can we make this so that it does not look like all the other jewelry out there?”

How do you feel the moment a new collection is officially released into the world?

I love the iterative and collaborative process of introducing a new idea into the world. It’s then such an equally incredible and  different feeling when you see a client enjoying an object that once was just a concept.

How has the design process changed over the years?

Your eye gets so trained to look at jewelry when you're doing it every day. I go back to some of the work we made in the early days, and  think, “Why did we ever make that proportion like that?” When I look at much of the jewelry that's in the market, I am often disappointed by the lack of nuance in the design. To me, the art is in the details.

What’s the newest collection from Bario Neal and what inspired it?

Two of my favorite new series are the Lash Cluster Dyad and the Lash Cluster Triad collections. We wanted to work within the constraints of simple linear forms to explore balancing geometries and color palettes.

Lash Cluster Dyad Champagne Diamond Ring + Channel Diamond Narrow Band +
Lash Cluster Triad Andalusite Marquise Ring

What is one piece from a collection that you think exemplifies what Bario Neal design is about?

The Avens Round Diamond Ring is such a simple classic ring that is iconic to Bario Neal. It was our first engagement ring we ever made. Conceptually we wanted to take a traditional ring model, and make it our own. I think we were able to do this through the delicacy and handmade quality of the form. 

What are your sources of design inspiration?

I find inspiration from so many different sources such as architecture, industrial design, natural elements, neon color palettes, 70's fashion magazines, and the list could go on …

Can you give us a hint about what Bario Neal collection designs you’re working on for the future? 

Here’s some insider information—we recently bought a building in Philadelphia and I have been spending much of the year designing the interior as well as the new cases and furniture. I’ve always gravitated towards interior and industrial design so this has been such a fun and creative diversion for me.

We are also about to release a new solitaire collection filled with an array of new rich palettes and cuts. Looking forward to getting these beauties out into the world.