Dana Bronfman has continuously offered some of my very favorite jewelry designs ever since I first encountered her.
Since introducing her eponymous collection in 2014, she has maintained a true aesthetic, but her designs have grown in glorious ways, experimenting with rare gemstones, a range of sizes from statement to daintily delicate, and an expert mixing of metals and textures.
Bronfman has lent her signature style to a line of jewels designed with Muzo emeralds, offered jewelry for men, and tempted customers with one-of-a-kind pieces that really are like nothing else—all featuring responsibly sourced, sustainable materials, a cornerstone of her business.
While any of these pieces are worthy of everyday wear, there’s nothing quite like a wedding ring that says “Forever on,” and now fans of Bronfman’s—brides, already-weds, people who just want to procure a really great ring (ahem, me)—can get a wedding band or engagement ring finessed with the designer’s remarkable perspective.
With her new wedding line, Love, the designer is treating us to romantic engagement rings and wedding bands featuring 100% fairmined-certified gold, vintage and antique diamonds and sapphires, contemporary sapphires from Montana and Australia, and some of those aforementioned Muzo emeralds.
“I am excited about this collection, as it further develops my style and also introduces a new design aesthetic and responsible material innovation to the bridal market,” says Bronfman. “Each piece is one of a kind as each stone is unique, but they can be customized with clients’ heirloom stones or any other stone we source for them. I wanted to give my retail partners something they could sell out of the case or custom-order a setting.”
Sustainability is a hot topic in our industry, and an important one to a younger generation of shoppers, too. With Earth Day on the horizon, you’ve likely been inundated with stories and highlights of responsible jewelers, recycled designs, and all manner of related things.
But the issue is a forever one, deserving of more than a single day of spotlight. “I think it’s up to all of us to be part of a positive change in the industry,” says Bronfman. “I think people see this issue in black-and-white terms and either feel totally hopeless and resigned about the future, believing achieving sustainable and ethical standards are impossible, or tend to greenwash, relying on terms like conflict-free diamonds and recycled gold, or preying on clients’ fears by promoting lab-grown diamonds as sustainable. In truth, it’s very complex, and I think it’s important for retailers to educate themselves on responsible jewelry in order to have conversations with their designers and customers—this is necessary for them to know what questions to ask their designers rather than relying on claims without proof. Sustainability is becoming more and more important to customers, so in the future, it will be important from a business standpoint that retailers educate themselves and their staff.”
Bronfman will be going live on Instagram this Thursday, at 7 pm ET (5pm MT), to discuss her new collection and responsible sourcing with the Denver-based jewelry retalier Element 79. The designer also suggests checking out the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference happening this fall, and getting in touch with sustainable jewelry consultant Christina Miller, as other excellent sources for learning more.
As for the engagement ring shopping process itself—we know it’s changed in a COVID-19 world. What does Bronfman think people will want post-pandemic? “I think people will be looking for pieces that are more special and unique, that reflect their style and values, rather than having the exact same ring everyone else has,” Bronfman says. “I think people will care increasingly about the story being the piece rather than having the biggest diamond. More and more people browse engagement rings online, but I think people still want to try on an engagement ring before committing to buying if it’s not the same or very similar style they’ve already tried on elsewhere, or at least want to be able to visualize how it will look on them.”
Though Bronfman herself won’t be doing in-person trade shows until at least this summer (because of the pandemic), her new collection will be stationed at partnering retailers for between four and six weeks (the line is currently being shown at Element 79 in Denver through the end of April, when it will move to Mayfair Rocks in East Hampton, N.Y.).
For the full collection (I had to pare it down here and believe me, it was not easy), visit danabronfman.com.
Top: Steps ring in 18k Fairmined-certified nickel-free palladium white gold with 2.93 ct. oval sapphire and 0.13 ct. t.w. diamonds, $11,240; Dana BronfmanFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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