Bario Neal’s Guide to Giving Jewelry as a Gift

By Jamera McNeil on December 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Bario Neal Gift Guide

 

Bario Neal’s ethical, handcrafted jewelry make for wonderful presents. We believe that by valuing thoughtful design, high quality, and all the people involved in making and sourcing our jewelry, we create lasting rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that every recipient — and gifter! — can feel good about. While we work all year with clients on custom designed jewelry by appointment, we love helping shoppers in our Philadelphia and New York City showrooms figure out what to buy same day for a loved one. We hope this jewelry gift guide, with the bonus of our staff’s picks, helps you navigate your way to a meaningful holiday season with a dash of shimmer.

Diamond Earrings

Diamond earrings make a gift so classic and timeless they suit almost every taste and personal style. Even better, some of our very popular designs, like the Lash Studs that blend a prong and bezel setting and the Aira Studs that play with space and solid gold, now come with different gemstones. The Lash Diamond Studs and Aira Black Diamond Studs are new this year. We also introduced Ray Diamond Studs, Ray Diamond Drops, and Ray Black Diamond Studs to our fringe-with-flair Ray family.

Staff Picks

“At the top of my wish list are the Aira Black Diamond Studs. In January, I’ll be having my first child. Anything beyond some simple stud earrings feels too fussy as a new Mom, and yet these are special enough to treasure for a lifetime. My new everyday earrings — perhaps stacked with some Lash Mini Studs in the future?” — Sarah Francks, Creative Director

“One of the most beautiful things about Bario Neal is our strong roots in both marriage equality and ethics. The top item on my wish list would have to be the Lau Diamond Studs. They are sparkly, yet subtle, and their tiny rainbow shape represents everything that Bario Neal stands for.” — Emily Shank, Bench Jeweler + CAD Designer

Colorful Earrings

Pick a color, any color (your gift recipient’s favorite color?)! Our Lash Morganite Studs (available to purchase in-store only), Aira Blue Sapphire Studs, and Ray Blue Sapphire Studs bring pops of pink or blue fun to designs that are still understated enough to be jewelry for any occasion. If you’re shopping for someone who likes to mix and match shapes, check out our standout  Sapphire Slice Studs.

Gift Guide Photo for Bario Neal

Staff Picks

Ray Blue Sapphire Studs — because my husband is a September baby with blue sapphire as his birthstone. I wear stud earrings every day, and it is the one type of jewelry that I prefer not to think about when I am getting dressed in the morning. It would be nice to be able to wear earrings that are thoughtful in their design and meaning but perfect for everyday wear!”  — Ariel Yaroslawitz, Sales Director

“I’m a sucker for delicate, ultra-feminine pieces that are more neutral than ‘princess.’ The one-of-a-kind in-store only Cluster Hex Morganite Studs are so sweet on their own, but I love them worn as second hole studs. These little babies flash just enough glittery diamonds and powder pink morganite — so pretty with our Circ Hoops!” — Tessa Kennedy, Production & Design Director

Diamond Necklaces

Even if your giftee isn’t someone who wears a necklace every day, a pretty pendant can be the perfect excuse to dress up. More reason to celebrate: Bario Neal’s ethical sourcing means the diamonds we use in our jewelry haven’t come at the price of hurting miners or their communities. Our limited edition Ombre Raw Diamond Necklace streams from white to champagne to black with a delicate ruggedness.

Staff Pick

Ray Diamond Pendant — I love the fringe detailing on the Ray pieces, and the way this pendant layers with a few delicate chains.” — Anna Bario, Bario Neal Principal + Lead Designer

Colorful Necklaces

Here’s a hint: If you’re buying a present for someone who prefers a wildflower bouquet over a pale carnation, who wears polka dots but avoids anything gray, or who loves our cluster rings, here’s where to head in our showroom. Top of list: our new one-of-a-kind in-store only Black Jade Shield Pendant and our Radial Cluster Hex Sapphire Pendant, with five different kinds of gemstones.

Staff Pick

“I’ve always been really into the Sapphire Slice Pendant. It’s both understated and unconventional. Not flashy, but the interesting use of a textured, perfectly navy-blue sapphire is something eye-catching you never have to take off. (There’s a Ruby Slice Pendant too.)” — Constance Mensh, Photographer

Bracelets

Buy a bracelet as a standalone present or to make a set with one of our earrings or necklaces or rings. A swipe of robin’s egg blue glass — and the ancient art of making enamel jewelry — separate our Arc Enamel Bracelet from the post-holiday return pile by a mile. For a diamond bracelet present, our delicate Lau Bracelet has three sophisticated charms.

Staff Pick

“The Gale Bracelet has always been one of my all-time favorite Bario Neal pieces. It’s elegant, versatile, and comfortable for everyday wear, which makes it a great gift — especially for someone who likes less delicate jewelry.” — Katie Dannenberg, Bench Jeweler and Fabrication Specialist

Jewelry as a Gift - Bario Neal
Jewelry Gifts Under $200

We refuse to accept that there are “rules” about spending when it comes to engagement rings or who wears what jewelry, so we’re certainly not going to force price consciousness into what should be joyful giving. Our most accessibly priced jewelry includes the Sol Pendant ($115), Octillo Studs ($92), and the sweet Knottedrush Ring ($115). Our Keepsake Bangles ($83-$95) make gifts of lasting value for children (and their go-to grown-up).

Staff Picks

“The Circ Hoops ($95) always get attention. They are playful and classic, and they’re delicate yet substantial. They’re just the right size. I think a wave in jewelry can easily not work, but the Circ Hoops have the right balance of structure and fluidity.” — Page Neal, Bario Neal Principal + Lead Designer

 

“Around the holidays, I’m always on the lookout for gifts that are affordable but still reflect my appreciation for craftsmanship and design. Our Circ Drops in sterling silver are versatile, lightweight, and at $98 a pair, they won’t break the bank during my holiday shopping.” — Sarah Rachel Brown, Sales + Shipping Coordinator

One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

Anything from our designed-this-year Ceres Collection will make a big and bold present, from these justly named Lash Garnet and Tourmaline Power Studs to the tower of stones in our Lash Vertical Asscher Cut Emerald, Cabochon Emerald, and Blue Topaz Cluster Ring. Ceres gave a home to spectacular emeralds we’d been saving for years — and mixed them in rings with blue topaz, carnelian, white topaz, and phenakite, like this Open Lash Emerald and White Topaz Ring. Like layers of meaning in the gifts you give? Well, the name Ceres is a nod to the Roman goddess of agriculture and fertility, and an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter that was once thought to be a planet.

Bario Neal Jewelry Gift Guide

P.S. We’re not kidding about “one-of-a-kind.” There’s only one of each of these pieces right now, so if your heart’s set on buying one, call ahead to make sure it’s still available.

With our handcrafted designs, our commitment to quality, and our desire to make accessibly priced jewelry too, we think we’re a must-stop for presents — whatever the style of the person you’re buying for (and really, whatever the season). We do have a 30-day return policy and gift cards, just in case.

If you plan to visit the Bario Neal showroom in Philadelphia, use our shopping guide to make a day of it in the neighborhood. You’ll be able to cross off a lot on your holiday gift list by visiting other locally owned businesses that have presents for kids, music lovers, foodies, and more. Ready to shop?

  • Bario Neal Showroom Shopping: Regular hours at our Philadelphia showroom at 700 S. 6th Street are: Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m., and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ll be open from noon to 7 p.m. December 19 through 23, 2018. We take all major credit cards and cash.
  • Jewelry Boxes: All of our jewelry comes in our pretty Signature Jewelry Boxes that are made in the U.S. with eco-friendly recycled paper. For rings or stud earrings, you can also buy our Porcelain Gift Box, hand cast by a small studio in Portland, Oregon.
  • Tips for Wrapping a Jewelry Box: Our boxes are pretty, but if you’re buying a Christmas present and want to go a little more incognito under the tree, here’s a how-to for a no-waste wrapping method we love.

The Bario Neal staff picks above are just a start. Stop into our Philly or NYC showrooms and our sales teams will happily help you find a personalized jewelry gift that celebrates any holiday and someone you love and your relationship. If you can’t make it to our showrooms, browse and buy online. We ship our necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and one-of-a-kind jewelry securely around the world. With such pretty presents around, you won’t even need tinsel!

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.”

Fire Signs: Here’s Your Energy Match in a Gemstone

By Sarah on August 24, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Bario Neal Rings with Gemstone Personalizations for Fire Signs
From left to right: Open Lash Emerald and White Topaz Ring, Reticulated One Champagne Diamond Band and Lash Garnet and Tourmaline Power Studs

People have recognized the energy and healing powers of gemstones for thousands of years. A connection between that naturally formed mineral beauty and the zodiac’s four elements””fire, water, air, and earth””makes sense. So while Bario Neal works with plenty of clients on custom birthstone rings and similar jewelry gifts (gemstones matched to the month), we also love taking cues from the zodiac for our designs. We’re kicking off this series with the fire signs of the zodiac. 

 

Each zodiac sign has complementary gemstones whose metaphysical properties mean enhancing and supporting the best self. The three fire signs””Leo, Aries, Sagittarius””are associated with strength, passion, and bravery. Here are three gemstones, along with jewelry designs, that can fuel those bright flames.

Gemstone for Leo: Tourmaline Jewelry (July 23 – August 22)

The folks at Tarot.com recommend tourmaline for Leo because, they say, “it enhances compassion, happiness, and serenity.” Noting that Leo equals creativity, they add that, if you’re born in late summer, the stone acts as a muse and gives you a friendly push if your imagination is stuck.

Lucky for drama-loving Leo, tourmaline comes in an inspiring multicolored palette, from black to green to pink, and there are plenty of ways to play when it comes to jewelry.

Part of our new-this-year Ceres Collection, our Lash Garnet and Tourmaline Power Studs (and the skyward ear climber version) incorporate pale pink tourmalines in a setting that’s asymmetrical yet still feels perfectly grounded. These earrings make a good match for that Leo strength.

On a more delicate note, a recycled princess cut tourmaline added the perfect hint of pink to the mix in this Cluster Trillion Triad Ring (starts at $1,970). (Bario Neal often uses recycled gemstones, sourced from jewelry settings gone by, to create our eco-friendly jewelry.)

True to our inclusive approach to jewelry design, we don’t think of gender when we use pink tourmaline, but for a Leo who prefers a darker gemstone, green-blue tourmalines shine. That shade is at the heart of our Custom Oval Bezel Ring with Tourmaline and Custom Cushion Cut Tourmaline Cluster Ring.

Gemstone for Aries: Diamond Jewelry (March 21 – April 19)

According to the metaphysicists at Tarot.com, the durable diamond shares everlasting strength with Aries. If your birthday is early spring, they say, diamonds can help drive you to your goals (you already have a never-give-up attitude), and also support you in “attaining spiritual clarity and speaking your heart’s truth.”

Put aside any preconceived notions about diamonds only being for engagement rings or the most special of occasions. The Bario Neal team has loved working with clients who visit our showrooms or shop online to buy diamond jewelry for themselves. You don’t have to spend a bundle to tap into this gemstone’s power either.

There are two diamond necklaces, a diamond bracelet, and a stud pair of diamond earrings in our Lau Diamond Collection (starting at $368), which uses a channel setting and a semicircle shape for a design that’s reminiscent of an electric arc (energy) or a rainbow (those dreams you’re dreaming!). If you want to go full circle and a bit bolder, check out these Aira Studs ($195).

Our organically styled Reticulated One Diamond Band ($271) and delicately braided Fishtail Diamond Ring ($291) are two more accessibly priced ways to wear a diamond. For all these designs we use ethically sourced white diamonds, but don’t forget that diamonds come in many colors, from champagne to black.

Gemstone for Sagittarius: Topaz Jewelry (November 22 – December 21)

Topaz, according to Basmati.com, a site that focuses on health and the environment, has Sagittarius energy. If you were born under this sign, writes Stasia Bliss, choose topaz for “increasing connection with soul truths, strengthening the body, healing any discord and simply finding peace and happiness within.” That influence makes sense when you learn that topaz is also thought to stimulate honesty and straightforward communication.  

Our Ceres Collection sings with truth, and we used blue topaz and white topaz for a few Ceres pieces. (Yep, the explorer in you has color choices with this stone.)

In the one-of-a-kind Lash Vertical Square Cut Emerald, Carnelian, and Blue Topaz Cluster Ring, a blue topaz is the perfect punctuation point (starting point?) in a tower of strength. In this ring, “O,” not “X,” marks the spot.

If you want to go colorless, our white topaz shines in the Open Lash Emerald and White Topaz Ring. This incomplete circle is a signature Bario Neal design and will likely appeal to the open to all possibilities vibe that governs Sagittarius. Our Custom Topaz and Heirloom Rough Diamond Cluster Ring has twice the positive energy with two topaz.

These topaz, tourmaline, and diamond jewelry designs show off just a few of the ways Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries can keep a healing gemstone close. Shop our rings, earring, necklaces, bracelets, and custom jewelry for more. If you fall in love with another piece shown with some other stone, ask us about getting it made with your zodiac match, which we’ll ethically source. And check back with the Bario Neal blog in the future to see what gemstones work for Earth, Air, and Water. Heads up, Cancers, Scorpios, and Pisces: Check back with the Bario Neal blog in September, when we’ll cool things down a bit with our gemstones for water signs.

Get Ready to Fall in Love with Emeralds

By Sarah on October 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

This season we introduce our Helia Collection, featuring emerald cut, octagonal cut, and pave emeralds, sourced from a mining collective located in the Province of Northern Zambia.

 

The Ray and Sol Emerald Rings, shown in 18kt and 14kt yellow gold.
The new Sol and Ray Emerald Rings

 

At Bario Neal we go above and beyond to create a high standard of ethics focused on traceable diamonds, colored gemstones, reclaimed precious metals, and Fairmined gold. Inspired by the majestic emerald hue, we diligently searched for an emerald source that adheres to our environmental and labor standards.

After many years of research, we proudly release our star of the new Fall Collection, Helia: celebrating both the natural beauty of the emeralds and our partnership with the Zambian collective. The mining collective processes rough gemstones without introducing harmful chemicals to the environment, while rehabbing the mine’s waste areas by planting new trees in fresh soil. Moreover, the mine supports two local farms, and provides both a school and teachers’ quarters to the local mining community. This particular collective’s miners use screens to sort and pick the finest emerald crystals by hand, providing us with the lush hues showcased within the Helia Collection.

Co-founder and designer, Page Neal, describes this collection as being “inspired by architectural drawings and photographs of transoms and window frames.” From there, our enchanting Zambian emeralds led the way. Emerald is the green to greenish blue variety of beryl, a mineral species that also includes aquamarine as well as beryls in other colors. Emerald, most commonly know as the birthstone for May babies, is first known to have been mined in Egypt as far back as 330 B.C.

“Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.” – GIA

 

The Ray Studs, in 14kt yellow gold and tiny bead-set emeralds with the Sol necklace and Ray pendant.
The Ray Studs, shown with the Sol and Ray Pendants

 

Our Ray Studs and Pendant are yellow gold bursts, adorned with tiny bead-set pave emeralds. The Ray Ring features a traditional emerald cut stone held tightly by eight soft prongs. This minimal setting showcases the gemstone’s rich depth of color.

Sisters to the Ray pieces, the bright, shiny Sol Pendant, Hoops, and Ring, radiate glimmering flares of sunshine on any day. The Sol Ring features a large, octagonal cut emerald. With this piece, our design team explored unconventional stone setting options, resulting in the emerald being set low, table side-down, and secured by twelve prongs in various sizes. This uncommon setting style highlights our stone’s mesmerizing, magical glow.

One of our team’s challenges this season was seemingly simple: gold hoops. And after many, many rounds of prototyping- we rocked it. Inspired by Caribbean style and mobiles created by the prolific artist, Alexander Calder, we hand fabricated our giant Circ Hoops from solid square wire. They may be big, but they are as light and airy as they look.

The Circ Hoops in 14kt yellow gold.
The Circ Hoops in 14kt yellow gold.

 

Up next, meet the Forma Collection, an eye-catching array of modern treasures, defined by graphic shapes set with precious, ethically-sourced diamonds. All our white pave diamonds (also known as melee diamonds, weighing under .18ct each) are fully traceable and of recycled, Australian, and Canadian origin. We worked extensively to find a reliable black pave diamond supplier that meets our rigorous standards, sourcing through a trusted ethical buyer who travels to three different mines in Brazil, Canada, and Australia. To us, an ethical diamond isn’t just certified as conflict-free. We go deeper; working with a fully traceable supply chain, from mine to market.

 

The Forma Collection: Lau Necklace in 14kt yellow gold & sterling silver with white diamonds, Lau Studs in 14kt yellow gold with white diamonds, Aira Studs in 14kt yellow gold with white diamonds, Linea Pendant & Studs in 14kt yellow gold with black diamonds.
The Forma Collection: Lau Necklace and Studs, Aira Studs, and the Linea Black Diamond Pendant and Studs

 

Our Lau Studs and Necklace might be teeny tiny, but these delicate classics symbolize Bario Neal’s values bigtime. Inspired by the Fairmined gold logo and our longtime support of LGBTQIA rights and worldwide marriage equality, the rainbow shapes are channel set with 1mm white diamonds.

Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of.

Since our classic Aira Ring motif is so beloved, we decided to rethink it and shrink it, creating the mini Aira Studs. These diminutive diamonds are perfect for a second or third piercing. With this pair, our team envisioned affordable and timeless diamond studs, since we believe that everyone should be able to own jewelry of lasting value and ethical origins.

 

 

Aira Studs and Ring
Our Aira Studs and Classic Aira Ring

 

Other Forma Collection rockstars are the Linea Pendant and Studs. Our designers describe this bold pendant as a gestural squiggle, a quick scribble, and a border line- but what can’t be denied is how glam the black diamond/yellow gold combo is. And if the pendant wasn’t striking enough, how about the killer matching asymmetrical Linea Studs? The duo might just give you vixen super powers.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are cluster crazy. If you head over to our Diamond Ring, Gemstone Ring, Personalizations, or Custom pages, you’ll find a captivating array of sparkling, clustered constellations, designed for their lucky owners to wear and admire.

 

The Cluster Collection: Hex Cluster Studs, Ring, and Necklace in 14kt yellow gold. This collection features an array of blue-green and seafoam sapphires, aquamarine, and champagne diamonds.
The Cluster Collection: Hex Cluster Studs, Ring, and Necklace

 

Inspired by our most popular cluster, the Hex Sapphire Cluster Ring, is the Hex Cluster Pendant: a geometric bouquet of ethically sourced sapphires, and one champagne diamond surround a sublime Montana (Go USA!) hexagonal cut sapphire. Enter our new Hex Cluster Studs, featuring color-coordinating gemstone bunches”“ one champagne diamond, and one aquamarine adorn two blue-green sapphire sprinklings”“ the perfect, asymmetrical pairing.

While you’re checking out the new collections, please remember that when you shop with Bario Neal, you support the craft and manufacturing community of Philadelphia, environmentally conscious studio practices, and the responsible mining and sourcing of diamonds, gemstones, and metals. Thanks for helping us design an ethical way forward for the jewelry industry, one handmade piece at a time.

Want to see more? Explore the new collections in our Fall Lookbook.

Fall for Pre-Fall and the New Diamond Cluster Ring

By Constance on July 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Sure, summer is still in full, sticky swing, but maybe you are like us and already pining for Fall?

 

Prefall Collection from Bario Neal

A sampling of the new Pre-fall line from Bario Neal.

 

If so, celestial clusters of ethical diamonds, custom-half-moons of Sri Lankan white sapphires, in stylized geometric shapes await in our new Pre-fall collection. Filled with bright stars, the showstopper of this mini-collection is by far the brightest: The Diamond Cluster Ring.

 

The Diamond CLuster Ring in 14KY and 14KW.

The new Diamond Cluster Ring, inspired by our Spring sensation, the Hex Sapphire.

This sparkly new addition is destined to be THE must-have ring this upcoming engagement season. Make sure to order soon to get in time for your ideal time to pop the question and prepare yourself for a very enthusiastic YES!  See more of the Diamond Cluster Ring here.

In addition to the soon-to-be classic Diamond Cluster Ring, we also have a new ring that is both a unisex engagement ring (just contact us if we don’t list your size) or just a sleek, modern accessory: the Half-Moon Black Jade Ring.

 

The Black Jade Half Moon Ring in 14KY and SS.

The new Black Jade Half-Moon Ring in sterling silver and 14kt yellow gold.

This contemporary ring features a stylized crescent shape, inlaid with custom-cuts of ethically-sourced, Wyoming Black Jade.

“Finding this Black Jade was a sourcing challenge that we feel good about. We were looking for traceable black jade or jasper for a while but to no avail, when we were referred to a family run Wyoming mine that mined and cut down the jade to our specifications, which are not a standard size.” ““Page Neal

Speaking of custom-cut stones we feel great about, the other most-sparkly gems in the Pre-fall line are deceptively diamond-like, clear, white sapphires, sourced and cut from a small family-run mine in Sri-Lanka. These unique-to-BN, crescent-cuts, form the shape of our new Half-Moon Studs and Pendant.

 

Half Moon Stud earrings and Necklace in 14KY

Our exclusive new Half Moon Studs and Pendant in 14kt. yellow gold, make a strikingly modern, yet classic pair.

 

Also featuring inlaid Sri Lankan white sapphires and a half-moon shape are the new Umbra Studs. These graphic, bold earrings take the geometric-glam up a notch, but are still sleek enough for everyday wear.

 

Umbra Stud earrings in 14KY

The editorial Umbra Stud earrings with round white sapphires in 14 kt. yellow gold and sterling silver.

 

Rounding out the collection are still more elevated, playful additions, like the return of our once limited-edition Bijou Stud’s mixed-metal illusion gemstones, now featuring a matching necklace.

 

Bijou Stud earrings and Necklace in SS and 14KR

Our Bijou Studs and Necklace in mixed-metals, sterling silver and 14kt rose gold.

 

These and the new Ruby Slice Pendant, add a pop of color, materiality and organic texture to balance out the atmospheric and ethereal vibes of the rest of the line. Also worth noting is a recent innovation in our fine jewelry collection”“ the addition of extenders to every necklace so that you can wear at various lengths”“ to create a choker or layered with other pendants.

 

2016 Prefall Collection on model layering necklaces: Half-moon, Sapphire Slice and Ruby Slice.

Layer our new Ruby Slice Pendant with other necklaces from the collection (shown with the Half-moon and Sapphire Slice).

 

If you are loving these, you might be wondering what’s in store for Fall. We promise it’s every bit as good as this, so stay tuned.

12 Days of Gifts: XOXO Stud Earrings

By Constance on December 10, 2015 at 10:43 am

third day of gifts

On the third day of our 12 Days of Gifts, we celebrate our favorite little phrase via two favorite little studs: XOXO. No earring stack would be the same without the invention of this staple modern piece and Large X and Octillo Small studs are two little essentials that make a big impact. Wear them alone or mix ’em up.

 

Large X studs in 14kt gold

These hot little XX are 10% off in stores during the BNGood Holiday Sale (through 12/23).

 

Donate an art supply in store to qualify for 10% off fine jewelry earrings & necklaces; 25% off the entire boutique line. A portion of the proceeds goes to help Philadelphia’s Congreso after school program and the Malawi Dzone development project.

 

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Sale in stores only through 12/23. Our New York Showroom will open for walk-in shopping for the sale!
Stay tuned for a new gift idea every day, there’s a lot to feel good about this Holiday.
XOXO,
Bario Neal

Holiday Give to Education Sale: December 9th-23rd

By Alyssa on December 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm
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 Art by students in the Congreso after school program
 Our Holiday Give to Education Sale is almost here! December 9th-23rd Bario Neal, will offer a 25% discount on boutique jewelry and a 10% discount on fine earrings & necklaces with your donation of an art supply to benefit Congreso After School Program, a Philadelphia education initiative. This percentage will be donated to the Malawi Dzone development project to benefit the education and health of communities surrounding the Chimwadzulu Mine, a major source of our sapphires.
sapphire slice stud earrings
Please note, this sale is in stores only. Our New York Showroom will be open for walk-in shopping December 12th-13th & December 19th-20th from 11-6! Philadelphia location open extended hours.
Congreso’s art supply wishlist includes: beads, comic drawing pages & books, markers, drawing paper, construction paper, drawing pencils, colored pencils, tie dye kits, white tee shirts, paint (tempura & acrylic), tissue paper, pipe cleaners, elmer’s glue, & small paint brushes. Not only will you receive a discount for your donation to Congreso, but we will donate a portion of the proceeds from this sale to the Malawi Dzonze development projects”“ you give and we give to education.
Congreso is a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization based in Philadelphia, PA and founded in 1977 with the mission of strengthening Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services, as well as leadership development and advocacy. Congreso offers countless invaluable services to adults, families, and youths in the Philadelphia community, and your donation will specifically go to its after school program, which offers vital enrichment and educational support in academics, dance, music, visual arts, sports, science, and technology. Students in the after school program benefit from well respected programs including Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow (GTLT), Transitions Program, Family Engagement, and Tutoring and Senior Project Support. Congreso’s numerous awards include Philly.com’s top work places for 2014 and 2015, and NLCR Affiliate of the Year Award, and Leap of Reason.
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 Art projects completed by students in the Congreso After School Program
The Malawi Dzonze Development Project was established in 2008 by Nyala Mines Limited in collaboration with Columbia Gem House, a mining, cutting and marketing company committed to corporate social responsibility (csr). The Project’s mission is to raise funds for projects that will directly benefit communities surrounding the Chimwadzulu Mine, a producer of sapphires and rubies where Bario Neal sources many of our colored gemstones. Focus areas for funding include agriculture, education, environment, health, sports, and drinking water projects, and the project is directed by the managing director and local community nominees. The Project has delegated funding to the Kandoma Primary School to help pay for the employment of qualified teachers and assistants, teaching and learning materials, construction of school water and sanitation facilities, construction of two classroom blocks, and over 300 desks for students. Funding comes directly from the sale of Nyala rubies and sapphires. Columbia Gem House also conducts fundraising through specific promotions for its retail clients. With these two combined sources, the Project has 1 million US dollars budgeted for projects through 2020, making the Malawi Dzonze Development Project the most successful CSR model in Malawi.
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Hospital in Malawi
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School (two classroom blocks)
Consider donating one of these supplies to receive 25% off boutique jewelry or 10% off fine jewelry earrings and necklaces.