Get 50% off Boutique Jewelry when You Support Philadelphia’s Picasso Project

By Sarah on November 30, 2018 at 10:43 am


We’re proud to support the Picasso Project this year with our in-store Holiday charity sale. When children have access to arts in school, they become creative thinkers and better students. Since its inception in 2002, the Picasso Project provided over 40,750 children access to innovative arts projects by providing mini-grants to their Philadelphia schools.

 

Bring your donation to our Philadelphia location to receive 50% total off your in-stock boutique purchase:

  • A minimum of 3 pieces from the list of supplies below
  • A minimum gift card donation of $20 (to AC Moore, Blick, or Artist & Craftman Supply)

Supply List:

-Paint brushes, assorted (student-quality)
-Paints: tempera, acrylic, watercolor (student-quality)
-Packs of assorted canvasses and canvas panels
-Packs of Construction paper- small (9×12″) & large (12×18″)
-Washable markers (thick & thin)
-Colored pencils
-Oil pastels (Cray-Pas or similar)
-Student scissors
-White glue and/or glue sticks
-Air-dry clay
-Tissue paper packs
-Colored felt packs

 

We invite you to visit our Philadelphia Flagship at 700 S 6th Street, put your donations under the tree, and pick out an ethically-sourced and handmade gift for the the Holidays. We have lots of Queen Village neighbors for shopping, celebrating, and enjoying the magic of the Season.

 

Hours:
Wednesday & Thursday 1-7pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11-6pm

Extended Holiday Hours:
Wednesday December 19th –  Sunday December 23rd 12 – 7pm
*Closed December 24th, 25th.

Terms: All jewelry purchased under this promotion is FINAL SALE – no returns or exchanges.
This promotion is available only in-store at our Philadelphia location, and ends Dec 30th, 2018.

 

Heirloom Gemstones Tell a Story in These Personalized Rings

By Jamera McNeil on November 20, 2018 at 10:32 am

 

Heirloom Gemstones Tell A Story

Custom designing with heirloom gemstones is a meaningful way to create an engagement ring that honors the past and stays true to the modern you. Bario Neal has worked with clients around the world to handcraft rings (not only for weddings!) using diamonds, sapphires, garnets, and more sourced from grandma’s jewelry box and beyond. Not all jewelers use heirloom stones in custom designs, but the Bario Neal team loves the chance to create with storied gems. Heirloom stones mean affordability too, which makes a truly unique custom designed ring more accessible to more of our clients.

“I love looking at older pieces of jewelry and finding out the story behind them,” says Ariel Yaroslawitz, Bario Neal sales director. “Who did it belong to? Why does our customer have it now? There’s an emotional attachment to antique jewelry. I love it.”

Besides continuing to write a family legend, when you create a new ring with old jewelry that has been passed down to you, you up the ethical/sustainable factor. No new mining is required. 

If you’re thinking about creating a personalized ring with generations-old gemstones, there are a few things you should know before starting. Thanks to creative (and sentimental) Bario Neal customers, there’s also plenty of design inspiration below.

7 Tips for Using Heirloom Gemstones

  1. Make Sure You’re Ready for a New Jewelry Design

Rings from other eras can often be resized and worn as today’s engagement rings. “A lot of people come in with heirloom jewelry that’s really unique,” Ariel says. “One of our first questions is: ‘Are you sure you want to change this piece?’ We never push people to make something new.”

If you are certain about wanting a jewelry update, custom heirloom design can bring in the modern while still remaining timeless in a way that wouldn’t make your forebears roll their eyes. And sometimes sequels are better than the original. This Custom Heirloom Diamond & Melee Cluster Ring is like your gran’s favorite dessert recipe and the best old B&W family photo, all rolled up in one. The diamonds are from multiple heirloom jewelry pieces, so the ring combines two families as did the now-married customers. “They wanted to create a modern cluster combining all of their stones,” Ariel says. “The older rings were dated, and we worked to modernize and combine all the stones into one artistic setting. It was so interesting to watch the progression from where it started to where it ended.”

  1. That Heirloom Jewelry Is Not Your Style. Now What?

You love the garnets in your great aunt’s pair of earrings or your grandfather’s ruby signet ring. You’re not so enamored with the design. It’s dated, stuffy, or – truth like only family can tell it –  gaudy. No worries. Custom heirloom design is a way you can keep things ancestral and modern.

If you have jewelry with multiple stones, first decide which stones you want to use. This Custom Heirloom 8.26mm Cushion Cut Spessartite Bouquet Cluster Ring proves the more the merrier! Every stone in this cocktail ring is heirloom, including a cushion cut spessartite, several orange sapphires and peridots, and a princess cut garnet. We’d say that’s the best kind of family reunion.

When working with the Bario Neal team on your new personalized ring design, it will help if you can describe what you don’t like about the old piece. The prongs? The metals? Those details will help in creating a new piece that fits you.

  1. Get Your Heirloom Jewelry Appraised.

An appraisal will give you a value for insurance – and help you decide whether to use the old stones. Some family jewelry has great sentimental worth but not high monetary value.

The Bario Neal team uses a Presidium Gemstone Tester, an electronic gadget that has a pen and a gauge. When you put the wire tip of the pen to a colored gemstone, the gauge gives a reading on whether something is a semiprecious (jade, for example) or precious stone – or plastic or glass.

“Sometimes people bring in heirloom jewelry that has glass or something that isn’t identifiable or recognizable,” Ariel says. “We’ll do our best to test the stone on our end. Often the tester confirms what we suspect. Most of the time, customers are educated or have even obtained an appraisal and know what they have to work with.”

Heirloom Gemstones Tell A Story - Bario Neal

With any diamond or precious gemstone over one-quarter carat, once stones are removed from settings, Bario Neal staff gets them appraised if a client hasn’t already, for insurance purposes.

“You can also find out things about, say, a diamond during an appraisal process that you might not have known, like the strength of the stone,” Ariel notes.

Diamond durability means Bario Neal has often worked with this stone in heirloom form to build new family homes. This Custom Heirloom Oval Diamond Cluster Ring with Champagne and White Diamonds Pavé Shank, says Ariel, “was a cool heirloom project where the client used some of their heirloom stones and then we added some stones.” The citrine, tourmaline, and champagne diamonds add colorful presence to heirloom white diamonds in a setting that merges old and new effortlessly.

  1. Different Old Gemstones Mean Different Design Possibilities.

Bario Neal handles all heirloom jewelry with care. Occasionally, even hard diamonds might present a challenge. If the sales team isn’t sure gemstones can be safely extracted and re-set into a new personalized ring for you, they’ll get the opinion of the stone setter. Badly damaged gemstones might crack or chip when pulled out of old jewelry, but the Bario Neal team is up for most custom heirloom work.

“We can pretty much work with any stone,” Ariel says. “There will be, depending on stone type, limitations on how we need to build the setting or how we can design with heirloom gemstones. For example, we can’t do certain things with heirloom opals because opals are soft and more porous.” 

Bario Neal’s openness to working with heirloom stones means the opportunity to see unique gems and create new pieces that are like a strong blended family. The Custom Star Sapphire Ray Ring is a customer-inspired takeoff from a Bario Neal collection ring (the Ray Emerald Ring). “The vintage oval star sapphire was a very unique stone,” Ariel says. “We get requests for this ring all the time!”

Bario Neal works with gemstone setting specialists who can help if stone removal proves to be very tricky. Some jewelers may be more knowledgeable about a certain setting style and how to properly retrieve the stones without harm.

  1. Don’t Change That Heirloom Stone.

As a general rule, avoid trying to cut old stones. “You end up wasting a lot of the material, if you try to re-cut it,” Ariel explains. “If the stone is badly abraded, if there’s some scuffs from age, and the customer really wants to use it, we can polish it. But we prefer not to cut the stones, and if a stone is in poor shape, we prefer to not use it.”

This advice doesn’t have to limit your creativity or your ability to have a meaningful new piece of jewelry at all. The proof: This Custom Cut Granite Cluster Ring with Custom Heirloom Diamond Open Lash Ring. There are two awwww-inspiring touches in this highly personalized version of the Cluster Opal Ring from the Bario Neal collection. There’s the beautiful heirloom diamond. Then that flash of history is topped by a piece of granite that the client found that had meaning to him and his partner.

  1. You Can Design With Loose Gemstones.

While Bario Neal mostly custom designs rings with heirloom gemstones that arrive to the workshop set in old jewelry (some stones have even been re-set more than once through the generations), some customers have loose heirloom stones.

Ariel recalls a customer who had a loose diamond that his grandfather purchased in the early 20th century. “It was something that his grandfather had never set,” Ariel says. “He had the original bill of sale and an appraisal for the diamond. We set it in a solitaire engagement ring.”

  1. You Don’t Need to Live in Philly or NYC to Get a Bario Neal Heirloom Ring.

Bario Neal works with clients all over the world through email and phone to handcraft personalized rings. Contact the team for details about the process. You’ll start by having the heirloom stones that you want to use removed from old pieces by a trusted jeweler where you live. You’ll also need to get an appraisal and insure the stones before shipping them to Bario Neal.

If you have heirloom jewelry you’re curious about – or you have a piece with gemstones you love but a setting you don’t, make an appointment at Bario Neal’s Philadelphia or New York City showrooms today. Fill out the Custom Design Questionnaire and get started by phone or email too. Ariel and everyone else at Bario Neal can’t wait to hear your heirloom jewelry story – and help you write the next page.

Here’s What to Expect at a Bario Neal Engagement Ring Appointment

By Jamera McNeil on November 6, 2018 at 10:00 am

Collage of Bario Neal rings - What to Expect

Bario Neal™’s engagement ring and wedding band appointments happen in many ways: in our Philadelphia or New York City showrooms, on the phone, and over email or Skype. Yes, you might have to make big decisions. But we can promise it will be fun, whichever way you work with our team. Here’s what to expect at an appointment with us.

  • We make everyone who shops with us feel at home.

We don’t have any rules about what an engagement ring “should” look like. We don’t subscribe to gendered jewelry. Visit our showrooms solo because you’re planning a surprise, or bring a friend or someone from your family. Many couples shop for engagement rings together, and the stop at Bario Neal is just one hour of a magical day.

  • Making an appointment is really easy.

We ask that clients who want to talk about engagement rings make an appointment. That way, you get our fullest attention (not in a high-pressure sales way). We can take our time and focus on helping you search for your perfect ring. We don’t like waiting on hold either, so we’ve made scheduling an appointment online simple. View what openings we have, choose the best time on our calendar for you, and get an email in seconds confirming your appointment with details about the when, where, and how.

  • We want to get to know a bit about you.

If you’re up for a little pre-appointment homework and you want to keep things focused, start by completing our Custom Design Questionnaire before you visit. Whether you’re up for that or not, expect an inspiring and fun 60 minutes with us.

We want to hear about your wedding plans and dream honeymoon destination, but we also want to know the day-to-day you. Do you use your hands a lot in your work? Do you have a job where some jewelry might not be a fit? Are you an avid rock climber? Based on your answers, we can give you details about gemstones, metals, and settings to help in your decision about which engagement ring is right for your lifestyle.

Getting engaged isn’t a business deal, and we don’t think selling engagement rings and wedding bands has to be cold or transactional. The more we find out about what you like (or don’t) about jewelry design, the better prepared we are to help guide you to the perfect wedding ring. (Or rings “” because like us, you might love to mix and match and want to stack two, three, or four rings.) If you want to use gemstones from your heirloom jewelry, let us know at the start. You can bring family pieces that you hope to incorporate to your first appointment. We’d love to take a look and hear the stories behind them.

  • We’ll tell you about us.

Like the perfect first date, this getting-to-know-you stage isn’t one-way. We’ll tell you all about Bario Neal too. About how our founders Anna Bario and Page Neal started the company with the firm belief that jewelry should be handcrafted with care to last and done so in a way that doesn’t harm people (like communities where gemstone mining happens) or the planet.

If you visit our Philly location, you’ll get to see the workshop where our talented jewelers (this is the part of the appointment where you’re most likely to hear the phrase “kickass”) create engagement rings, wedding bands, and more.

We’ll happily answer all your questions about ethical sourcing of gemstones and the steps we take to make sure we’re a sustainable jeweler.

“People are often impressed with the quality of our recycled metals,” says Claire Lemétais, who manages Bario Neal’s New York City showroom on the Lower East Side. “I want clients to know they found the right jeweler, and that they can be confident in not only the design but also the quality and sourcing of gemstones and metals.”

  • We don’t have to talk about money. (But we can.)

If you and your partner are ready to talk budget, great. We’ll show you pieces from our collection that fit your price range. (You can get an idea about cost in advance on our website. Click on “Build Ring” to get a personalized engagement ring estimate.) If you’re making an appointment to visit with your partner and want to keep your spouse-to-be out of the purchase details, make a note in your online booking. If customers don’t mention anything to us in advance, we bring up budget in a low-key way and take cues from there.

  • We’ll figure out your ring size.

You might have a ring size or have been sized before, but every jeweler uses different sizing tools. We like to size your engagement ring finger (you choose!) so we have a number to refer to across our production, from order to delivery. (If you’re visiting alone and want to surprise your partner, check out our tips for engagement ring shopping for advice on sizing.)

 

Photograph of stack of rings from Bario Neal - What to Expect

  • You’ll get to see a lot of engagement rings (aka: Most Fun).

“I always start by asking clients about their ideas and inspiration,” says Ariel Yaroslawitz, Bario Neal Sales Director in Philadelphia. “I also like to find out if someone is set on a white diamond or if they’re thinking about a colored stone. Then I can start pulling rings from our case that are more specific to their style and vibe.”

Our collection is on display at both showrooms so you can see all that we’re able to do, from a more traditional diamond engagement ring to whimsical or bursting with color. While many of our rings fit into a classic engagement ring style, the whole case is yours to roam. You might prefer a textured band, like our Dais Narrow Band, or a few stackable rings instead of one ring with a single gemstone at the center.

“I don’t “˜label’ any of our rings,” Claire says. “Certain bands with diamonds, like our Bend Diamond Ring for example, can be an engagement ring or a wedding band.”

Claire says she loves to show clients looking for a classic solitaire diamond engagement ring the delicate Avens Ring, which can be made with diamonds of different shapes. See how diamond shape can change a design by comparing the Avens Round Diamond Ring to the Avens Raw Diamond Ring. For customers who prefer a bezel setting to prongs, Claire suggests the Allium Round Diamond Ring.

If a solitaire white diamond (or an accessibly priced twin like a white sapphire or lab-grown moissanite) doesn’t make your heart beat faster, you might pass on the 4Cs of diamonds and ask our sales team about the very modern 2Cs: colors and clusters. Two cluster rings that have tons of fans, especially when it comes to cluster engagement rings, are the Radial Cluster Blue Hex Sapphire Ring and Burst Cluster Diamond Ring.

“The Hex Sapphire is one of our most popular cluster rings,” Claire says. “Clients might personalize their engagement ring and change some of the stones for different color gemstones, but most of our cluster personalizations start with that. There’s also a beautiful matching band that goes with it, the Radial Cluster Blue Sapphire Ombré Band.”

Pro tip from Claire: Take your own photos with different engagement rings on your hand during your appointment. The pics will help you remember what you thought was the best fit and why.

  • You’ll get a quick lesson on diamonds and other gemstones.

We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of diamond facts that might be useful as you think about your budget. You can even look at loose stones (a novel experience for most customers, who typically only see gems already set in rings, earrings, and necklaces). We’ll show you diamonds at four sizes so you can see the difference between a half carat and 1.5 carats. “I encourage customers to hold them up to their hand because you get a sense of proportion and how a certain size carat looks on your finger,” Claire says.

  • You’re allowed to change the picture of your perfect engagement ring.

You might think your mind’s made up and that you and your partner are set on a princess cut diamond with a simple prong setting. Then you see Bario Neal’s Soma Rose Cut Diamond with Champagne Halo Ring. Or the Lash Solitaire Blue Sapphire Ring. That happens.

Loving many rings in our showroom shouldn’t stress you out at all. If you start to feel overwhelmed by the decision, our sales team will likely pick up on that and help refocus the appointment by zeroing in on what exactly you like about certain rings in our collection. Do the interesting shapes of the Lash Cluster Dyad Ring catch your eye? Do you prefer yellow gold or white gold? Are you a fan of symmetry or asymmetry?

You might just need time. That’s OK too. We’re not in a hurry, and we know this isn’t a decision that can be rushed.

“I’ve been working with a customer over the last year who was originally set on an all sapphire ring, with white and blue sapphires,” Ariel says. “Now we’re talking about an all-white sapphire cluster.”

You definitely don’t need to make up your mind by the end of the hour. There’s no pressure to buy. (If you are ready to order, put 50% down and we’ll get started!) You can make a follow-up appointment (you’ll be an old pro!) or continue with us over email or phone.

  • We’ll talk timeline on ring delivery.

Talk to us about when you’re thinking of proposing or getting engaged. We’re good with deadlines, and the delivery estimate we give you will be accurate. We handcraft all engagement rings to order, and rings from our collection take four to six weeks to make. A custom piece takes eight weeks minimum, and turnaround really depends on the design. Finding the right gemstones and making changes based on customer feedback can add days, weeks, or more to a project. That’s why we approach all custom work with an open timeline and don’t give a firm deadline while we design the just-right ring.

Good news for last-minute proposals: If you want to pop the question (surprise holiday engagement anyone?) and the personalized engagement ring you ordered from us won’t be ready in time, we have pretty, simple rings in stock that you can get in a week or less to use as a placeholder for the proposal. Our Ready Ring can be picked up from our Philadelphia location same day, or ordered online with shipping in two days. You can even return the Ready Ring with zero restocking fees when your personalized ring is complete.

  • You’ll receive a detailed post-appointment email.

Soon after your appointment, we’ll send you helpful follow-up notes about everything we discussed and discovered during your visit. This email has the basics like your ring size and details like links to our website of the rings you liked the most. We keep this on file so you can email or call us any time after your initial appointment and we can pull that up to keep the process going smoothly. You might not always deal with the same salesperson, but everyone on our team will be able to help you with your order.

“There’s so much information in an appointment. You don’t have to remember it all,” Ariel says. “The follow-up email is also helpful if you can’t decide between two or three rings, or you’re thinking more about what you want.”

  • Don’t see exactly what you want? We can work with you to get there.

All of our collection rings can be personalized with different gemstones and metals. We love working with clients to custom design rings from scratch (starts at $1,500).

We’re committed to ethical sourcing, and that means that on occasion we can’t get the exact color, shape, and size in a gemstone that a customer wants. If you’re as committed to buying an ethical engagement ring as we are to making them, we can work with you to figure out an alternative. “We have so many stones in stock that often we can come up with something else that you’re going to love,” Ariel says.

Image of hand wearing multiple rings - What to Expect

  • You order an engagement ring. What’s next?

When you purchase a collection ring you see on our website or in our showroom cases, that’s the ring you’ll get – made to order in the size and color of your choice. Place your order and, unless you have specific questions, we’ll email you when your engagement ring is ready.

Our custom designed engagement ring process requires more back and forth, though much of it can happen by phone or email. We’ll show you full-color computer drawings (CAD renderings) from several angles. You can make small changes and ask questions.

We’re also happy to see you in person again. “We can get two to three different options of a diamond or colored gemstone that fit what you’re looking for in terms of budget,” Ariel says. “If you’re local, it’s nice to come back and see the stone you are getting and have a hand in choosing it. Everyone’s eye is different.” We can send video and photos to remote clients.

  • You can do a long-distance appointment.

You don’t have to visit our Philadelphia or New York City showrooms. As much as we relish face-to-face time with our clients, we’re super easy to work with by Skype, email, and phone. Get started by filling out our online Custom Design Questionnaire.

Whether you’re doing some early browsing, or you have a million questions about engagement rings, a visit to Bario Neal is the best way to get started. Make an engagement ring shopping appointment with us in Philadelphia or New York City today.

“I want customers to know that this ring, which is going to be on their hand forever, is the right one for them,” Ariel says. “Even if you just want to come in to get your ring size and find out about different metal options, start with an appointment.”

These 7 Larger-than-Life Rings Make a Bold Impression

By Jamera McNeil on October 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

If you’re looking for a big, stop-in-your-tracks engagement ring or special occasion ring but you don’t want garish or overdone, we’ve got seven larger-than-life ring designs that bring the flash, but not the flash in the pan. They’re a perfect exclamation point””but not an ALL-CAPS TEXT. When it comes to high impact, we’ve introduced a new colorful halo opal ring that we know will be an instant hit. Plus, we’re updating several popular ring designs with new color combinations to amp up the excitement.

  1. Dez Halo Opal with Rainbow Melee Ring

“The new halo opal is wow,” says Tessa Kennedy, Design and Production Director at Bario Neal. She puts it that simply because our newest halo ring speaks for itself. In this design, “rainbow” doesn’t mean the Lucky Charms you had as a kid. “If you Google ‘rainbow,’ you’ll get the most primary, bright picture,” Tessa says with a laugh. “So for us, it was really exciting to take the many months we spent on colors for this sophisticated design, to really get it right. You rarely see something that considered in jewelry design.” The result: A muted yellow sapphire, green tourmaline, London blue topaz, Rhodolite garnet, and more, are all invited to a party that you’ll never want to end. (Our color streak didn’t stop there. We’ve released a striking Half Eternity Wide Rainbow Gemstone Band too.)

  1. Halo Aquamarine Ring

This classic halo ring was born with a round carat-plus aquamarine stone and 22 white melee diamonds. That pale blue is an inviting ocean to dive into, but the ring is so popular that we’re giving two new stones a chance to feel the love. The Stellium Morganite with Diamond Halo Ring will add on-trend pale pink into the mix. With the Stellium Diamond Halo Ring, you’ll get an engagement ring that fully embraces traditional and unforgettable at the same time.

Collage of Bario Neal's Larger-than-life Rings
L to R: Senna Blue Sapphire With White Enamel Halo Ring, Senna Diamond with Black Enamel Halo Ring, Senna Blue Sapphire with Black Enamel Halo Ring
  1. Senna Halo Black Enamel & Diamond Halo Ring

Our striking Senna Diamond Halo Ring stands out not just for its conflict free diamond but its black enamel digs. Many contemporary jewelers don’t use enamel, but the Bario Neal team has been working this colorful coating into ring designs for years. (The science-meets-art process of making enamel for our rings is fascinating.) A splash of new primary colors means this halo ring will get even more look-at-me wattage. Picture our Senna Blue Sapphire with White Enamel Halo Ring or our Senna Blue Sapphire with Black Enamel Halo Ring. Daily wear can be tough on soft enamel, but with this halo ring design the enamel is safely recessed.

  1. Cluster Hex Sapphire Ring

“Popular” doesn’t quite cover it for this cluster ring fave that proves you don’t need a diamond at the center to be the center of attention. “Everyone is bonkers for it,” Tessa says. She’s certain that devotion will extend to the four new variations and matching bands Bario Neal has designed that will be released next month. 

  1. Quince Diamond Ring

Diamonds for days. Scratch that. Make it weeks. Add an appointment to your calendar so you can sit and stare at the gorgeousness. This is a modern take on a halo ring. The round diamond in the middle gets dressed up with round diamonds pavéd in the halo. We’ll admit the addition of diamonds in the band too (every last one ethically sourced) takes us into giddy territory. If you want to turn up the volume even higher, the low-profile Quince stacks well with other rings. Our new design updates on this ring add mystery and lean less traditional by putting a blue sapphire or an emerald into a bold embrace of black melee diamonds.

 

Collage of Bario Neal's Larger-than-life Rings
L to R: Quince Blue Sapphire with Black Diamond Halo Ring and Quince Emerald with Black Diamond Halo Ring
  1. Cluster Fringe Diamond Ring

If you want to max out with a cluster ring, this one’s at the top of our “yes” list. “This is the ring that clients try on and instantly crave,” Tessa says, “and then they say, “˜Oh, I really shouldn’t.’ To which we reply, “˜Yeah you should!'”

  1. Avens Asymmetrical Raw Diamond Ring

Want to mix softer and more natural looking with a bit of forward cluster fun? The 1.15 carat rough diamond in our impression-making Avens Asymmetrical Raw Diamond Ring keeps things buzzing with apricot and yellow sapphires. (Our Avens Asymmetrical Ring and a new Avens Asymmetrical Cushion Cut Diamond and Champagne Ring design has an update too, with a big deep blue round sapphire found in the new Avens Symmetrical Round Blue Sapphire Ombre Ring.)

5 Tips About Our Larger-than-life Rings

At Bario Neal, we don’t just insert a flashy gemstone for wow factor and call it a day. Gorgeous bold designs with big gemstones and ethical sourcing can come all in one ring, and we’re passionate about maintaining that balance. And it’s not only about carats. Sometimes a different design or enamel or a unique color mix makes the standout difference. Shop our halo rings and cluster rings today to find show-stopping expression””in the most elegant way.

Bario Neal Marks 10 Years of Handmade Jewelry, Ethical Engagement Rings

By Jamera McNeil on October 3, 2018 at 9:00 am
Anna Bario and Page Neal 10 years ago
Page Neal and Anna Bario, 2008

Designers Anna Bario and Page Neal didn’t set out to craft the new Dez Opal with Rainbow Halo Ring and Dez Half Eternity Round Rainbow Band for the 10-year anniversary of their jewelry company, Bario Neal. They simply put pencil to paper and started their usual creative process “” one that’s intentional, honest, and can’t be rushed. Yet the new rings are so vibrant, joyful, and unreservedly unique that they can’t help but symbolize what Anna and Page have accomplished in the 10 years since they launched their jewelry design label.

With showrooms in Philadelphia and New York City, Bario Neal has evolved “” Page and Anna wouldn’t want it any other way “” since its start in 2008. But as the co-founders designed collection after collection and worked with countless clients (in person and long distance around the world) on custom personalized rings, they’ve grown without ever straying from a core belief that it’s possible to create beautiful jewelry of lasting value that is also ethical and environmentally friendly.

“The Dez Opal with Rainbow Halo Ring and Dez Half Eternity Round Rainbow Band are so exciting,” Page says. “They reflect our optimism as a company. We’ve earned the space to play, to have fun.”

Creating a Jewelry Company to Last

From the start, Anna and Page have never hurried jewelry design. Make Page pick just one word to describe their jewelry, and she says “thoughtful.” They ask a ton of questions when they’re creating new rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. They endlessly ponder proportion. They search for sources of gemstones that benefit miners and their communities. They dissect shapes. Not one prong setting escapes attention.

“We work hard to be what we present ourselves to be,” Anna says, “and we come to everything we do with strong intentions.”

Page thinks that’s one way Bario Neal stands apart from many in the jewelry industry. “We take a lot of care in our design process to ensure we are building jewelry to last,” says Page.

Designs from Bario Neal’s very first collection, like the Avens Asymmetrical Ring, show that from the start, Anna and Page were laying a design foundation of cleanly modern yet classic, along with subtle asymmetry.

“The Reticulated One Diamond Band is another ring that represents the sculptural space from which many of our designs develop,” Anna says. “The Avens and the Reticulated One Band might not exemplify what our design aesthetic is in 2018, but it’s amazing how some of the first pieces that Page and I designed together really carry through into today’s collections. Yes, we’ve created more signature settings and identifiable “˜Bario Neal touches’ over the last decade, but even in our earliest collaborations you can see the elements coming together.”

In the beginning, being new to jewelry making gave Anna and Page a fresh design perspective “” and a freedom from rules. (That rule-breaking has become something of a theme for Bario Neal. See 12 Reasons We Love Breaking the Old “˜Rules’ About Wedding Rings.”

“In the beginning we were coming from a more artistic and less technical background,” Anna says. “We didn’t have preconceived ideas about “˜this is how you do this.’ Then, and continuing today, we love to make unrealistic plans. We’ve always had ideas larger than the framework of a small design label.”

The pieces that Anna and Page each wear give a peek at their inspirations “” architectural elements, industrial design, lettering, sculpture, even shoes “” as well as their design aesthetics. Gold Circ Hoops are a go-to for Page. She loves that the earrings with their shapely wave are “playful and vibrant, but also classic,” and she appreciates the balance of structure and fluidity. Anna regularly reaches for her Sapphire Slice Studs. “There are other pieces of ours that are more statement,” she says, “but the sapphire studs are unusual and the marbling of the material is really interesting.”

Page and Anna don’t just love designing stackable rings at Bario Neal “” they are big fans of wearing stackable rings too. Page likes to stack an Eternity Diamond Band on top of her white enamel wedding band, combining a traditional classic with a throwback vibe she dubs “’70s sundress.” Anna mixes her plain gold wedding band (Bario Neal has shoppers for simple gold wedding bands well covered) with an Aldine Thin Band and a Half Eternity Narrow Diamond Band.

“I also wear a lot of pieces that are custom or that we made as models during our design process,” Anna says. “I have a custom enamel hexagon ring that I really love. And a half-octahedron rough diamond ring that’s a middle finger ring I always wear.” (Bario Neal doesn’t have these exact rings today, but talk to us about designing your own custom ring and we’ll tell you all about raw diamonds, shaped-to-fit-you gemstone cluster rings, and more.)  

Page’s Senna Round Ring with black enamel is a good example of what Bario Neal is all about, she says. “It’s simple, it’s classic but it’s also modern and uses the skilled technique of enameling,” she explains. “When I look at jewelry that’s out there in the world, I am often disappointed by the lack of nuance in the design. We’re about being intentional, taking our time, and understanding how the negotiation of small measurements and techniques can make or break a design.”

Anna Bario and Page Neal 10 years ago
Anna Bario and Page Neal, 2008 and 2010
Building an Ethical Jewelry Business

There’s a reason that Bario Neal’s rings are in so many pretty online photo roundups about ethical engagement rings and sustainable jewelry.

“One of the primary inspirations for starting the company was that we had deep questions about the origins of the materials that we were working with and the people and places they passed through,” Anna explains.

Anna and Page launched Bario Neal in 2008, but they started working on becoming ethical jewelry designers a few years before that. They did research and went to conferences to figure out as much as they could before officially opening their doors. They’ve been glad to see increasing awareness in the last decade of how a lot of gemstone mining hurts miners and their communities. And they continue to focus on ensuring that all Bario Neal jewelry is made with ethical, sustainable materials.

“We’ve been very involved in the last few years in the annual Jewelry Industry Summit,” Anna says. “It was one of the first industry-wide conversations recognizing all the challenges that we face and all the opportunities we have to create benefits beyond just our companies and our clients, to all supply chains that we work with.”

They are both proud that, after collaborating with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Bario Neal was part of the consortium that negotiated the first import of Fairmined gold into the U.S. Anna even had a chance to visit Fairmined-certified mines in Colombia. Anna’s engagement ring even owes something to their pursuit of ethical sourcing. The yellow-peach citrine in her ring came from the Tanzania Women Miners Association, a group that works to make sure their community is helped, not hurt, by mining.

With human rights central to the mission, the right for every person to love who they choose has also been something Bario Neal has stood for from the start. Looking back on the changes in the last 10 years, Page says one of the most exciting moments was when same sex marriage was legalized in the U.S.

For Page and Anna, ethical and sustainable aren’t trends or marketing ploys. As they look ahead to the next decade of Bario Neal, these principles will remain at the center of their jewelry design. “There are many more ways we can directly and tangibly support initiatives connected to the environment and human rights,” Anna says. “I’d like to devote even more time to that.”

Designing Bario Neal Engagement Rings

When Anna and Page first launched Bario Neal, they weren’t focused on engagement rings, but when they did decide to design wedding jewelry, they started with the simple, classic Avens Round Diamond Ring. That was just the beginning. Since then, hundreds of happy couples have worked with Bario Neal to create personalized rings for marriage proposals and wedding bands.

“Anna and I both got married in the past 10 years,” Page says. (Her rough diamond engagement ring is matte gold with a simple prong setting.) “So we were also at a time in our lives when a lot of our friends got married. Having our work be part of other people’s ceremonies is very powerful. The rings that we make are a significant part of people’s lives and to me that is incredibly inspiring.“

Anna, Page, and many on the Bario Neal team have even been lucky enough to see some proposals over the years.

“At our New York shop, we see so many clients celebrating with City Hall weddings, and there’s real romance to that,” Anna says. “We had a couple who needed rings fast, and they had ordered an engagement ring and bands. So it wasn’t a surprise, but they hadn’t really done any ceremony around the proposal. When they saw the rings, they said, “˜Can you excuse us for just a minute?’ And they went out in the hallway and came back with tears in their eyes. It was truly sweet.”

Many couples decide to pass on a complete surprise proposal and instead come into Bario Neal together to pick out an engagement ring or talk about custom designing a ring or wedding band. That doesn’t mean the process can’t have as much meaning and emotion. Lots of couples plan a whole fun day around their appointments. (We’ve got tips on planning a memorable engagement ring shopping appointment!)

Jewelry is, of course, part of the special life moments for Page and Anna too. Page got a new pinky ring that matches her Eternity Diamond Band to celebrate the birth of her daughter. Bario Neal’s new-this-year Keepsake Collection, engravable heirloom bangles for babies and children, echoes that family feeling. Anna and her husband add engravings to their wedding rings every couple years. She says her husband’s Milla Shoulder Hammered Wide Band is his most prized possession.

 

Bario Neal 10 Years Halo Release

Going for Another Decade of Ethical Jewelry Design

Bario Neal fans should expect to watch their favorite jeweler keep breaking the rules and pushing jewelry design.

“We’ve worked hard to build a strong foundation,” Page says. “We have a fantastic staff right now. I am excited to see the business thrive and continue to grow with other people.”

Page and Anna want to keep collaborating with other artists, like they did recently when they teamed up with Xavier Schipani on a print to raise awareness about LGBTQIA issues in the wedding industry, and commissioned K-Fai to illustrate tips on jewelry care.

“It’s interesting to see other people interpret your work, to see it reflected through their eyes,” Anna says. “It shifts your perspective and that’s fascinating.”

As they’ve come up on this 10-year anniversary, Anna and Page have been exchanging old emails they sent to each other when they were starting the company “” and laughing over their abbreviations and silly codes. Yes, there was some stress, they admit, but that was a motivator. At the end of the day, they say, they each had a perfect business partner.

“Anna is amazing at remaining calm and grounded and positive,” Page says.

“Page is so good at keeping us moving forward, reminding us when something seems really challenging, that all we have to do is try,” Anna says.

All You Need to Know About Pulling Off a Holiday Proposal

By Jamera McNeil on September 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Photograph of a man holding a jewelry box with an engagement ring inside

 

Marriage proposals can make even the most stiff-upper-lipped among us get a little teary any time of year. The holiday proposal is special because December’s a time when many families gather and celebrate with traditions. After Australians’ historic vote last year to legalize gay marriage, the prime minister set an “enact before Christmas!” deadline. Plus, who can resist twinkling lights, sugar cookies, and a Cluster Diamond Ring? There are a few things to know about shopping for an engagement ring and popping the question at that time of the year, but with our holiday proposal guide, you’ll be able to come through on one of the eight days of Hanukkah or secure a permanent spot on Santa’s Nice List.

  1. Finding the Right Engagement Ring

If you’ve been talking marriage, your partner has probably dropped a few hints about favorite ring designs or shared preferences with someone close to you both. (Check out our   advice on buying a perfect engagement ring without your partner knowing.) Ask around””or just ask your partner directly. That’s totally fine! The proposal itself can still be a meaningful surprise if you’d like.

Before you visit a Bario Neal showroom, try to get a sense of what ring styles and metal and gemstones your partner likes. Many clients fall in love with our classic solitaire Avens Princess Diamond Ring, but not everyone dreams of a white diamond engagement ring. Ask your partner about ring size so you’ll be able to slip the engagement ring on with the “Will you marry me?”””and keep it there. The closer you get to a perfect fit, the better. If you do need a resize, it will take a couple weeks (and sizing down more than one size may    require extra time). Certain rings can’t be resized; see our lists here and here or ask us during your appointment.

  1. Proposing With THE Engagement Ring

If you have a good idea of what your partner wants in an engagement ring and want to pull off a holiday proposal, get in touch with us ASAP. We can work with you to make it special and advise you on lead times and planning. The run-up to the December holidays is one of our busiest times of year, and Bario Neal engagement rings are handcrafted to order. Typical turnaround times for our collection rings are on our website. Go to a specific ring, and click on “Lead Time & Returns” for details. Our Nikko Diamond Ring, for example, takes about six weeks. Custom rings, like this Custom 1 carat Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, take a minimum of eight weeks, and have no set lead time as we craft a one-of-a-kind ring just for your love. Rush orders are possible on collection items, for an additional fee, but if you’re custom-designing a one-of-a-kind engagement ring with us and won’t hit your   deadline, you can always propose with a temporary ring! Read on for how to make that work in No. 3 below.

Photograph of a man placing an engagement ring on a woman's finger

  1. Proposing Without THE Engagement Ring

If you’ve worked with us to sketch out the perfect personalized engagement ring””but you didn’t leave enough time before the holidays for your custom order, that doesn’t mean coal in your stocking. We have pretty, simple in-stock rings you can get in a week or less to use as a placeholder for the proposal. Our Ready Ring can be picked up from our Philadelphia location same day, or ordered online with shipping in two days. You can even return the Ready Ring with zero fees when your personalized ring is complete. The romantic Knottedrush Ring and delicate Milla Ultra Thin Band have very short lead times too, and can work as stand in’s while we finish your final ring.

  1. Planning a Romantic Surprise Engagement Ring Appointment

If you’re thinking, “Buying an engagement ring is a huge decision so why wouldn’t I want my partner there with me?” you aren’t alone. Many of our clients choose to go engagement ring shopping together. Teamwork is romantic. There are still plenty of ways to elevate the outing above a Saturday to-do list and make the day extra special. Plan a day (here are tons of suggestions if you’re visiting our Philadelphia showroom) with a great meal before or after an appointment. For a surprise: Get your partner to our neighborhood in NYC or Philly, and then pop the question outside of our showroom””and let them know now’s the time for engagement ring shopping. We’ll be ready inside to make the visit fun and memorable for you both, just give us a heads up when you make the appointment!

  1. Wrapping an Engagement Ring

Even if you don’t plan to get down on one knee and slowly open a box for a big engagement ring reveal, Bario Neal’s handcrafted porcelain jewelry boxes are a beautiful way to make a holiday proposal more special. We designed these exclusive boxes ourselves, and they are hand cast by a small studio in Portland, Oregon. You’ll get extra credit for giving your partner a pretty place to store the engagement ring when necessary in the future. Remember: If you’re a planner who gets the ring well before the proposal, you’ll have to find a good, safe hiding place if you’re going for surprise.

Whatever the date on your calendar, if you’re thinking proposal, get in touch with us today to get all the details about our engagement rings. We’re happy to talk about lead times and guide you through what you’ll need to know, particularly for planning a holiday proposal. Advance planners and last-minute shoppers alike can make the upcoming (really, it’s right around the corner!) season extra romantic this year.

Photo of couple of hands embracing in the background with a porcelain ring box in the foreground

8 Ways to Simplify Engagement Ring Shopping

By Jamera McNeil on September 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

Photograph of two hands holding with one hand wearing a diamond engagement ring

You don’t need to be an Inception-style hypnotist or master of the subtle hint to get an engagement ring you love. If you and your partner have decided to get married, or you’ve had enough conversations to know a proposal is coming soon, there are some easy next steps when it comes to picking out and buying a ring. Whether you’re after a did-not-see-that-coming shriek or you plan to low-key team up for a visit to the jewelry store, these eight engagement ring shopping tips will help make that big moment anxiety-free and unforgettable.

  1.   For a Total Surprise Proposal, Enlist an Engagement Ring Ally

If you or your partner are really hoping for a total surprise in the future, then tell a friend or relative all your preferences. We’ve had clients visit our showrooms with moms, dads, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, cousins, and best friends. Hint: Your partner really wants to get this right. By clueing in someone close for “when the time comes,” you can lend your support in a roundabout way. Read on for the what/how on sharing details.

Photograph of hands, rings, and cellphones

  1. Make a Pinterest Board of Engagement Rings

When you think perfect solitaire engagement ring, does our Avens Radiant Diamond Ring come to mind? Then Pin It! It’s totally OK and normal to talk to your partner about the ring you might want, but sharing in this way can be a helpful way to jump into the process. Add pictures and links of ring designs that speak to you or capture you and your partner’s love. Inspiration will take shape. A Pinterest board is useful if you’re trying to work out what you like too. It’s totally OK if you don’t have a detailed pictured in your head of a dream engagement ring.

If you don’t want to be on hand for engagement ring choosing, email your Pinterest board to your partner””or to the Bario Neal team directly. We’ll tap into your behind-the-scenes help and find an engagement ring from our collections, or custom design one, that fits your style.  

  1. Email Subject Line: Engagement Rings

If you’re not into pinning, no worries. Share your ring ideas over an email to your partner (think of it as a kind of modern-day love letter), or someone your partner might turn to when planning an engagement ring surprise. All engagement rings on our site have a button that allows you to send an email link easily. Even if you decide you’ll pick out your engagement ring together, browse rings on our website before visiting and share your favorites with the Bario Neal team so we can narrow down the choices at appointment time.

Photograph of two pairs of hands pointing at engagement rings

  1. Take an Engagement Ring Scouting Trip

The internet’s a great place to start when you’re looking for an engagement ring, but there’s a big difference between buying our Kalmia Raw Diamond Ring and adding a pair of kicks to your Zappos cart. We believe that seeing rings up close and even slipping a few on, while talking to the Bario Neal team is super useful. (It’s also fun!) Make an appointment to visit one of our showrooms, in New York or Philadelphia. Come solo, or with your partner, a friend, or a relative. (Plan a whole day out with this guide to our Philadelphia neighborhood.)  

  • If you can’t visit our Philadelphia or NYC showrooms: If you love Bario Neal’s jewelry designs but aren’t able to visit us, we’ll make long-distance engagement ring shopping feel really personalized. We successfully work with clients around the country (and world!), and they’re constantly expressing surprise at just how easy it is to get exactly what they want without ever stepping foot in our showrooms. We can model engagement rings and take photos and videos to share with remote clients upon request.  
  • About shopping for an engagement ring with your partner: There’s varying degrees of surprise when it comes to marriage proposals. Some couples pick out or custom design an engagement ring together, but the actual question-popping is a surprise. Finding this special piece of jewelry as a couple can be quite romantic. Go with your instincts. We love how this Cosmopolitan writer put it: “Picking out and buying a ring together made me feel like a partner in a practice that has historically been a little sexist and one-sided. Having gone through it the way we did, there’s no other way I could have imagined it.” Plus, her husband-to-be still pulled off a totally unexpected proposal. At the end of your appointment, we’ll ask who we should include in email communications – and this is your opportunity to let us know if only one partner should be involved in the next steps!

Photograph of a Bario Neal card and notepad with a client's ring size

  1. Write Down Your Ring Size

Most rings can be resized, but if you know you’re not going to want to part with your engagement ring after the proposal and your partner is headed to the jeweler without you, make sure your ring size is public knowledge. Ask a jeweler to size your ring finger on a scouting trip (see No. 3 on this list), or DIY. There are several ways to figure out your ring size at home, but our favorite is using a ring you already wear. You can also buy inexpensive ring sizers on Amazon. Keep in mind that most folks do change their ring size at least once, so if you do need to change it up later, that’s totally normal.

  1. Share Specific Engagement Ring Preferences

Some of us are choosier than others. If you aren’t a generalist when it comes to jewelry, make sure to get into the nitty-gritty details when creating your Pinterest board, emailing links, or giving the lowdown to a friend who’ll be your partner’s guide.

  • Metal color and finish: You’re probably a jumble of mixed signals if you go by what has collected in your jewelry box over the years. Your partner might not know rose gold from platinum, or matte from polish anyway. If you pin or email a link to a platinum ring because you like the gemstone setting, but you really want it in 14k yellow gold, make a note!
  • Gemstone type and shape: You might love lots of gemstone shapes, but when it comes to an engagement ring that you’ll wear every day, you probably have a more exacting look in mind. A helpful graphic on our Custom Design Questionnaire will help you (and your partner) sort princess from round from cushion. Pass along gemstone wishes too. Your partner can be forgiven if he assumes you want a white diamond because so much wedding ring marketing is about diamonds. If you most definitely are into color, like our Lash Solitaire Blue Sapphire Ring, make sure to telegraph that. Now’s also a good time to talk to family about or mention to your partner heirloom gemstones you’ve dreamed of incorporating into an engagement ring. We’ve crafted many personalized rings, like this Custom Heirloom Emerald and Morganite Cluster Ring, using gemstones passed down through generations.
  • Jeweler: Love Bario Neal’s aesthetic? If you’re drawn to a small studio that designs and handcrafts jewelry like we do, that’s a great hint to drop. That way, you’re more likely to get a design that matches your taste and make the process easier for a partner shopping solo. If you care about ethical and sustainable metal and gemstone sourcing, that’s an important tip to be clear about too.  

Photograph of two hands trying different ring designs

  1. Have That Budget Talk

Not only is it totally OK to talk about your ring designs with your partner, take this chance to talk money too. If you already have joint bank accounts and share your finances, this might even be necessary, because you’ll see the purchase. You’ll do your partner a favor by confirming that the cost of the ring is not what’s important. You don’t want your partner feeling societal pressure to spend a certain amount of money when the engagement ring that will make you happiest is our Aira Mini Diamond Ring. If you want a big standout gemstone but you think lab-grown moissanite, like the ones in our Custom Moissanite Linear Cluster Ring, is just as pretty as a diamond, that’s advice that will lead to your partner spending significantly less. Some couples share the cost of an engagement ring. Your budget is personal, and we work with budgets of all sizes! Whether your partner visits us without you or you’re fully part of the process, having a budget in mind will help keep a ring shopping appointment on track. We’re happy to talk budget and have no expectations. Those jewelry stores that give off the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” vibe? That’s so not us.

  1. Ask Your Partner: Hey, Do YOU Want an Engagement Ring?

There’s an icebreaker! One of the whole reasons Bario Neal exists is to challenge the heteronormative stereotypes around jewelry and that definitely includes engagement rings. However you and your partner identify in terms of gender and sexuality, if you’re excited about finding and wearing wedding jewelry, feminine or masculine, we’re thrilled to be a small part of your story. We don’t have a strict definition about what makes an engagement ring””or who might wear one. So before you load up that Pinterest board and start dropping hints about your ring size, ask your partner about wearing an engagement ring. Who knows? You might end up surprising each other.

Your proposal story, that first time you look at that engagement ring together, is personal and you write the rules. It doesn’t have to match a scene from a movie. Hopefully it will be one you’ll want to share with people you love. The most important thing: You and your partner get there without a lot of stress or outside expectations. And you end up with an engagement ring that’s meaningful and that you love.

9 Creative Ways to Stack Our New Vibrant Collection Rings

By Sarah on September 5, 2018 at 10:16 am

While we’d never turn down a slice of layer cake, our favorite way to layer, no surprise, is stackable rings. In a simple pair or a tower of four, stacking rings shows off your style and personality. And with Bario Neal’s new Vibrant Collection, there are even more ways to mix and match gemstones and metals in a ring stack for any finger (all fingers?). To create these sapphire rings, we took already loved designs of many of our ethical rings and added new gemstones: blue sapphire, fuchsia sapphire, apricot sapphire, and yellow sapphire. (We had to work in white diamonds too.) Here, nine ideas for creatively piling them up.

Stackable Rings Idea #1

Bario Neal's Vibrant Collection Stackable Rings

The Bend Fuchsia Sapphire Ring and a Reticulated Two Band (on index finger) make a strong duo. With just one special gemstone among them, there’s enough flair to make this a perfectly stackable wedding set. Organic and natural, this couple is like a favorite TV twosome who we never want to break up.

Stackable Rings Idea #2

Bring primary color vibes to your stackable rings with Aira Mini Blue Sapphire Ring and Reticulated One Yellow Sapphire Band (on ring finger). These delicate thin stacking rings prove that doubling up doesn’t have to mean a heavy look. Total alignment isn’t necessary in a ring stack. We love the openings created by pairing these shapely sapphire rings.

 

Stackable Rings Idea #3  

Fuschia Stackable Rings from Bario Neal's Vibrant Collection

The Vibrant Collection means more looks for this classic Bario Neal jewelry coupling: the Open Lash Ring and Ray Fringe Ring. Fuchsia is sometimes referred to as “magic pink,” and we definitely see something enchanting about layering these vivid fuchsia sapphire rings.

 

Stackable Rings Idea #4 and Stackable Rings Idea #5  

VIBRANT_ON FIG_DSC0347 copy1

Triple your sophistication with stackable bands in a single color like this set of Channel Narrow Blue Sapphire Band, Eternity Narrow Blue Sapphire Band, and Half Eternity Blue Sapphire Band. Although fully tracing melee stones (the smaller gemstones used in eternity bands) is atypical in the jewelry industry, Bario Neal works with trusted suppliers on sourcing to make sure we’re creating ethical rings for you. If a modern spin on “something blue” doesn’t grab you, this Vibrant Collection mix comes in fuchsia sapphire too.

 

Stackable Rings Idea #6

Bario Neal Ring Stacks

Ring stacks mean a chance to have fun with shapes and colors. Start with a perfect mixed pair like our Open Lash Fuchsia Sapphire Ring and Ray Fringe Blue Sapphire Ring, and then add a timeless jewelry design like the Half Eternity Wide Yellow Sapphire Band. (P.S. We didn’t build this stack with the pansexual pride flag specifically in mind, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t shout out that noteworthy awareness-raising pink-blue-yellow combo! Read more about how we work to counteract the heteronormativity that pervades the jewelry industry here.)

 

Stackable Rings Idea #7

VIBRANT_ON FIG_DSC9205 copy

Stacking jewelry can become a bit of an obsession, but if Rihanna is wrong then we don’t want to be right. So we’ll go higher by stacking rings in this Vibrant Collection foursome: Fishtail Fuchsia Sapphire Ring, Reticulated One Fuchsia Sapphire Band, Ray Fringe Fuchsia Sapphire Ring, and Dais Narrow Fuchsia Sapphire Band.

Stackable Rings Idea #8 and Stackable Rings Idea #9

Part of the fun of stackable rings is pulling apart and putting together different rings to see what sparks you to smile or what goes with a different outfit or occasion. Take the above image of the towering stackable rings, for instance. Depending on the day or your mood, deconstruct higher ring stacks into tamer twosomes, like our Fishtail Fuchsia Sapphire Ring and Reticulated One Fuchsia Sapphire Band (first and second ring), or the Ray Fringe Fuchsia Sapphire Ring and Dais Narrow Fuchsia Sapphire Band (third and fourth ring). As pairs, these sapphire rings highlight how a contrast of metals works well in stacks, whether that’s putting a braided band with one that’s smoothly undulating or mixing up metal colors.  

 

There’s something irresistibly individual about stacking rings. As our new Vibrant Collection came to life, we couldn’t resist sharing the inspiration for how to cleverly build with these sapphire rings. Shop all Bario Neal’s ethical rings today to create your own perfect stack.

 

5 Simple Tips for Caring for Your Engagement Ring or Wedding Bands

By Sarah on September 5, 2018 at 3:18 am

Engagement rings have been lost and then found washed up on beaches, in the crack of a sidewalk, and around at least two garden carrots. One even turned up in an ice bucket. We get why these stories make headlines. Engagement rings and wedding bands are such a meaningful purchase for couples, and the thought of losing or damaging your ring is pretty scary. You don’t have to bundle your hand in bubble wrap though. All you need is a few do’s and don’ts on ring care, and we’ve made the short list of tips memorable with help from incredibly talented illustrator K-Fai Steele. These beautiful drawings reflect the personal style that Bario Neal brings to custom jewelry. “At the end of the day, jewelry is about people and relationships, not about the individual pieces of gold,” K-Fai says. We totally agree.

Illustration of Interracial Couple Holding Hands
Jewelry Care Tip #1 “” Yes, sometimes you have to take your engagement ring off.

Your engagement ring or wedding band is likely designed for daily wear. (When you’re picking out your ring or working with us on a custom design, the Bario Neal team will talk about which ethically mined metals and gemstones best fit your lifestyle.) That said, protect a ring by taking it off when doing activities that could damage the metal and/or gemstones.

You will want to remove your ring when gardening (see “carrots,” above), doing the dishes, working out, rock climbing, and sailing. H2O lovers, note: There’s a reason you see metal detectors on the beach. Rings easily slip off as fingers shrink in the water at the ocean (or in a swimming pool). We also recommend you take your engagement ring off while sleeping and before bathing (that water warning!).

To stow your wedding rings temporarily at home, put them in the same safe and secure spot every time. Don’t put your jewelry by the sink or within a child’s reach! (See our Senna Tall Black Enamel Band and Octillo Studs resting easy in a dish on a high cabinet in illustration below.)

Collage of Care Guide

Jewelry Care Tip #2 “” Cleaning your engagement ring is easy.

Wearing your ring every day means that it will get dirty and need a good cleaning. Do NOT use any kind of chemical cleaner. This can damage your ring. Most jewelry should be cleaned with a gentle little bath. Put a small amount of regular dish soap into a bowl of barely warm water, and soak for 5 minutes. Gently clean behind the settings and around the stones with a soft bristled toothbrush. Then wipe dry with a soft cloth. One strict exception: opals. If you have a piece like our Cluster Opal and Morganite Ring, remember that opals should never be submerged in water. (Just use a very soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water to wipe clean, and speak with us directly about a more thorough cleaning.)

You can bring your ring back to that brand-new look with a professional cleaning at Bario Neal too. If you take it to another jeweler for cleaning, be sure to give them the details on ALL the stones in your ring. This should ensure they won’t do any damage.

Illustration of hand cleaning ring

Jewelry Care Tip #3 “” Get a checkup for your engagement ring.

We use our hands constantly, so daily wear and tear means you’ll need to put some love and repair into your ring. Don’t panic if you notice a loose stone in your engagement ring. Bumps to the ring can shift or loosen stones over time. Do have the stones checked for security annually.

If you lose a stone, see any damage, or find cracks in an enamel ring, get in touch with the Bario Neal team to have your ring spruced up. Definitely wear your rings with care””and don’t try to DIY!

Illustration of Bario Neal customers shopping

Jewelry Care Tip #4 “” Getting insurance for your wedding rings is a simple stress reliever.

Protect your purchase””and know that you’ll be covered even if your engagement ring gets knocked into a lake because you took it off to eat a big, juicy burger. (Errr, see Tip #1 above.) You can add your wedding rings to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, or get a dedicated policy specific to jewelry. If you need additional paperwork, or want information on getting an appraisal, get in touch with the Bario Neal team.

illustration of diverse couple

Jewelry Care Tip #5 “” Yes, you can refresh your scratched engagement ring.

Like you, your ring will change over time. The first place where this is noticeable is in the finish. Daily wear creates tiny scratches on the surface of the metal, giving every ring its own unique patina. High polish and matte finishes will all move toward a satin finish over time. If you’d like to refresh your finish for your wedding or another big event, get in touch with us!

illustration of couple

Your wedding rings are special, and they should definitely bring more happiness than worry. Our engagement ring and wedding band clients stay part of the Bario Neal family. So if you’re ever concerned about jewelry care, please get in touch!