Filed under: Celebrity Shopping
One of the signs that Spring must be just around the corner is not just that the days start to get longer, but that wedding and proposal specials start to proliferate. Many men must feel a lot of pressure to not only pick the right diamond engagement ring but to propose in such a manner that their fiance will have a great story to tell all of her friends, not to mention her mother. Some people are just naturally creative and others need a little bit of help and inspiration.
The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is prepared to help the creatively impaired, offering what is possibly the most expensive martini ever. The Grey Goose $10,000 proposal cocktail comes with a one-of-a-kind diamond ring placed in the glass. This specialty cocktail is served by a white gloved waiter in a crystal glass on a silver platter in the hotel's famous Blue Bar. The hotel arranges for clients to work one on one with a private jeweler to customize the engagement ring picking carat size, number of stones and the setting. The hotel needs at least 72 hours notice to set up this arrangement.
The hotel opened in 1902 and has long been famous for being the center of the city's literary and theatrical circles. If your intended is a big reader she might get a kick out of being proposed to in the same room where literary geniuses such as William Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis, and Derek Walcott spent their time.
As an aside, should the love of your life be more into spending time at the mall than the local library, Ivanka Trump is serving up a different offer at her Bridal Bar. Any diamond engagement ring bought comes with the "New York Proposal" package featuring a free night at one of the Trump Hotel Collection properties in New York City. The package also comes with complimentary long stemmed roses, champagne, dinner at the famed Jean Georges restaurant as well as breakfast in bed the next morning.
Filed under: Jewelry
I've always thought that when it comes to jewelry, the bridal market was a safe bet even in bad times. After all, people will always fall in love and get married even during a recession. But a new report from the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council indicates a bit of weakness in the wedding market. Their June Bridal Study" shows that while most people are still going through with their weddings, ring budgets are shifting. Grooms seem more ready to downsize the ring than brides. Of the grooms surveyed, 36 percent have said that their ring budget is lower by fifteen percent or more due to the recession but only 23 percent of brides thought the budget for the rings would be lowered that much.
This isn't the first time I've seen information on scaled back ring budgets. ABC News had a piece earlier this month on the same topic which featured interviews with young couples. Prospective grooms are getting creative, buying rings off Craigslist or swapping out the diamond for something a little less pricey. Some are cutting back on the quality of the ring, sacrificing color and clarity so that they don't have to scale back the size.
Of course you could always try your luck at winning one. GemEx(R) Systems, Inc. has launched the Rock the Recession, Pop the Question contest where couples upload a video showing their most romantic and persuasive plea to get engaged for a chance to win a prize package worth $10,000, including a one carat GemEx certified diamond engagement ring. Submissions will be accepted until July 31.
Filed under: Jewelry
It's been a tough year for the jewelry business and for Robbins Brothers in specific. The company, which specializes in engagement and wedding rings is making a fresh start after emerging from bankruptcy. Last month the company completed the sale of its assets to a purchaser owned and controlled by a significant equity holder of the company. The new legal entity, Robbins Brothers Jewelry, Inc. will enable the Robbins Brothers team to continue business. Andy Heyneman, president and CEO of Robbins Brothers called the recent moves " a humbling experience and an emotional rollercoaster for all involved" but has said that he's excited to have Robbins Brothers get back to the business of helping couples with their ring needs.
The company has created a couple of fun new promotions. They are holding a Diamond Dig in conjunction with Southern California's Orange County Flyers baseball team, after a doubleheader game July 5, 2009. After the game registered contestants will dig for 10 Robbins Brothers lighted ring boxes buried somewhere between first and third bases. The boxes will contain gift certificates, diamond pendants and earrings and one box will hold a .5-carat solitaire ring.Contestants can register at one of four Robbins Brothers locations in the area--Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Riverside or Montclair until June 29, 2009. Registrants will be given a complimentary ticket to the game.
Filed under: Jewelry
The other day I mentioned a company working on virtual shopping technology that lets you try on watches via computer. But how about engagement ring shopping by iPhone? Stuller has partnered with Gemvision Corp. on an app that lets you try on a ring no matter where you are using the iPhone camera. The app is called "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" and will be available for free this summer from the App store. Users can select a diamond engagement ring, choosing metal, carat size, style and more then try it out for size on their own hand. To get the full effect you can put the iPhone on your hand and tilt it to get a sense of the ring's sparkle as it shifts. The image can be saved and e-mailed and posted on Facebook or Twitter. The user can then get the real thing using the app's "find a jeweler" function. Will this lead to virtual proposals with no real ring required?
If you've ever thought you might want to do the stereotypical baseball stadium proposal, here's your chance to do it without having to spring for the rock, provided that you are a Yankees fan. Jewelry retailer Michael C. Fina, Hearts On Fire diamonds and N.Y. Yankees All-Star pitcher Mariano Rivera are offering a contest called The Final Engagement. Fans who write a short essay (250 words or less) describing why they should be chosen will be entered into the contest to win a 1.5-carat Hearts On Fire diamond engagement ring valued up to $40,000, plus four tickets to the Sept. 18 game and to propose live via the Diamond Vision screen. Winners will be chosen based on love of the Yankees as well as a creative and persuasive essay. For each entry, Michael C. Fina and Hearts On Fire will donate $1 to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits underprivileged children. The contest ends August 31.
[via National Jeweler]
Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
Whether you're after a breathtaking view, a secluded romantic getaway, or a once-in-a-lifetime journey, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to find it and a popular time to for many to pop the question and get engaged. Choosing the where and the when for your proposal really is a big deal, since all the rest of your days together start in that moment and in that place.
If you're looking for inspiration check out these ideas, all of which will have you making a memorable journey together to mark a memorable moment, and please add your own suggestions in the comments!
Gallery: Best Places to Propose
The romance between France's president Nicolas Sarkozy and model/singer Carla Bruni has been captivating the gossips lately. The latest news involves a bit of jewelry spotting. Bruni has been seen wearing a heart-shaped Dior ring that is very similar to one owned by his ex-wife Cecilia. The rings are from Dior's Coeur Romantique collection. Sarkozy reportedly gave the the model a pair of earrings from Dior earlier in their courtship. Some have also remarked that the two women are similar in looks, both being angular cheekboned and leggy model brunettes. Many are predicting that the pair will marry soon even though they have only been dating since November.
Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
[via Born Rich]