Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Theme: Spring Rings

The yummy sunshine that we've been treated to for the past few days seems to have put a bit of spring's bounce back into our tired, wintry selves. The promises of spring - clear sunny days, warm breezes and buds on the trees - are not far off; walking home this week I spotted daffodils in full flower, and woke up today to the birds singing. It's the colours of spring, however, that I'm most looking forward to; and what better a way to show off these colours than through oversized gemstone rings? I know, I couldn't think of another way, either!

Think gemstones in pastel hues and unusual shapes and sizes - the only way to show off springtime colour is do it BIG, but with pretty detail or design to keep it feminine. The spring ring demands an admiring audience, whilst maintaining elegance. If you've given something naughty up for lent, then these few gorgeous pieces should keep you satisfied until then (at least, until you crack open your Easter egg!)

Online jeweller retailer Astley Clarke have a continuously updated range of jewellery, from affordable silver and gold plate pieces, to high-end, gem-set designs. Their spring rings do not disappoint - with prices under £100 right up the thousands, there's both the dream and the reality right at our fingertips. Nazanine Tassoudji's striking 18ct yellow gold rings are super-springtime; set with delectable sugary coloured gemstones, from pearls and tourmalines, to turquoise and lemon quartz. Her most striking spring ring, below, embraces the colours of springtime: the smooth pearl is offset by the dangling tourmaline briolette surround. Sumptuous!

On a more accesible level are Monica Vinader's fabulous range of rings. The past year has seen Monica shoot into the mainstream; she is now stocked nationwid, everywhere from Harvey Nichols and Liberty, to local jewellers such as Polka Dot in Taunton. Her sterling silver and gold-plated cocktail rings are simple yet 'statement'. Set with a range of chunky faceted stones - such as moonstone, pink chalcedony and malachite - these rings are sure to receive admiration on a budget (I should know... I have three...!)

Over at EC One, the retailer's founder and in-store jewellery designer Jos Skeates has created a fabulous deco-inspired collection of rings which sit beautifully in the spring rings theme. Featuring soft pastel-coloured gemstones such as morganite, aquamarine and green beryl, and studded with diamonds, Jos' designs are worthy of the red-carpet. And with names like Butterfly and Fleur, they celebrate spring like nothing else!

Of course, I can't write about spring rings without mentioning my ultimate choice of spring ring design. Dior's Diorette collection of brightly coloured, gem-set enamelled rings feature flowers, insects and - occasionally - the odd amphibian. Sounds like a heady mix, but trust me it works. The diamond-set daisy ring would be perfect for everyday... But if you're going spring ring, you might as well go all out! C'est parfait!

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