Blogs: On Your Market / Colored Stones / Designers

Britt’s Pick: Lab-Grown Ruby Super Bowl Ring By Shahla Karimi


Some people have stories of the jewelry they remember their mothers or grandmothers wearing when they were young, passed down as a family piece or even a wedding ring.

That piece for me is one worn by my grandfather, though its journey to a family heirloom is unrealized.

He used to wear this chunky gold ring, a shimmering red gemstone at its center. Its style would have been massively popular today, the kind of vintage piece people would go nuts for if they found it at the store.

When my grandfather passed away—at this point I had recently started with JCK, and with a few years of working at a retail jeweler under my belt—my grandmother asked me if I could take the ring somewhere I trusted to be refinished and resized for my cousin, whose birthday is in July. It seemed only appropriate that she should have the ring, which featured what we believed to be her birthstone.

I obliged without argument, but I admit to being disappointed. I wondered if anyone else admired the ring as I had? If they noticed it enough to associate with him each time they wore it? Of course, this was my cousin’s grandfather, too (as an only child, clearly I was not accustomed to sharing things).

So I brought the ring to my jeweler, preparing to gussy it up nicely and hand it over to a new home. I obviously hadn’t spent much time studying the piece, perhaps too concerned with its sentimental significance, to notice it wasn’t what we believed it to be after all.

The center stone was glass. Not a ruby, but a piece of rich, red glass that for decades had masqueraded—to most of us, who at the time knew no better—as a gemstone. The metal, some sort of base material, nothing that could even really be sized without being destroyed. Had I wanted to place the center piece in a pendant for my cousin, I was told we risked breaking it upon removal from the ring. It was a major womp-womp moment.

So there it was. It didn’t bother me at all that the piece was invaluable—you can’t put a price on sentimentality and nostalgia—only that any damage the ring had incurred (this had been worn without fail for years) couldn’t seem to be reversed.

Lately I’ve been thinking of that ring. I’ve been thinking of getting another one made for me to wear, a reminder of the one that sits unworn, unable to fulfill our heirloom aspirations. I was thinking it might be my next project, and then—boom—this piece came sailing into my inbox.

Shahlah Karimi’s Super Bowl ring isn’t a replica, per se, but I’ve taken its emergence as a sign. A much larger, chicer version than my grandfather’s ring, this beauty is so wonderfully holiday ready just the sight of it makes me feel jolly. Its thick octagonal gold border is masculine and chic, a bold statement that feels right for daily wear, unlike some cocktail rings that are so elaborately decorated (not complaining) they come out only from time to time.

At the ring’s center, a lab-grown ruby, just under 8.5 carats. If red really is the most festive holiday color, this piece gives Santa a run for his money.

If red weren’t a shopper’s color of choice, though, Karimi offers a number of other fabulous options. I’m partial to the natural citrine, its honeyed brown easy on the eyes. There are other lab-grown options: sapphire, alexandrite, and emerald, and each has just the most festive holiday essence about it, or perhaps it’s the lens through which I’m viewing them, being mere weeks away from Christmas and all.

Each version of the ring is available in a selection of metals: 14k yellow, rose, or white gold; 18k yellow gold; and platinum. The metal is recycled, making the ring sustainable in its entirety.

Like the story of my grandfather’s ring, this is the kind of piece I’d hope to see adored for generations—and this selection has the absolute capability to make that a reality.

Top: Super Bowl ring in 18k yellow gold with 8.37 ct. lab-grown ruby, $6,280; Shahla Karimi

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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