Ruth Donaldson is the founder of Heirloom London, an exclusive and personalised jewellery service. The company provides designs from top jewellery designers and discovers the most exquisite and original stones for every special couple.
As wedding season will soon end and possible engagements are taking place as folks take to summer holidays, Creme de la Bride caught up with the esteemed jewellery curator for a brief insight into her world of exquisite rings for your special day.
Hello Ruth, thank you for speaking with Crème de la Bride.
Hi, nice to be chatting to you lovely people again!
How many years have you been in the business?
I started my career in the UK jewellery industry over 13 years ago, and I’ve since passed two milestones; my thirtieth and my thirty tenth! The idea for Heirloom started three years before the business actually launched. The business is now two and a half years.
Where is your company based?
We are based in London, and now also have a presence in Cheshire.
What do you think sets you apart from others in the industry?
I’m obsessed with exceeding the quality, service and value levels we have, than my clients even expect sometimes. However, that is the right way to be and what achieves such loyalty and ongoing relationships with clients.
We didn’t choose the name of my business by drawing things out of a hat – my aim is always to provide jewellery that will be just that for the wearer. I don’t want diamonds that just look good under a store light, they have to look good in the shade too.
I work with the cream of British craftsmen, as I think jewellery making is something this country can feel really proud of. Everything is beautifully finished; this is jewellery, the way it should be.
What are your best tips on how to choose the perfect engagement or wedding rings?
Let’s go from engagement to wedding rings, as I’m guessing some of your readers are already starting their left finger collection!
Look at your hand shape. Wedding rings are no different to choosing the right pair of jeans for your body shape, there is one to suit every finger. However, something that looks lovely on one hand, may not work on another.
Experiment and find the right metal colour for your skin tone. While platinum is often the preferred medium, gold or rose gold may look better against your skin tone. You will be wearing the ring forever, so get this right.
Play with different stone shapes. A round stone often works on many fingers because it is completely symmetrical.
Emerald shapes are a lovely classic alternative. Cushion shapes can look plump and lovely and marquis or pear shapes are great for lengthening shorter fingers. Don’t tie yourself into a classic ideal if it isn’t what suits you.
Consider the centre stone. Diamonds are used in about 70% of UK engagement rings, which is a shame when there are so many other interesting stones suited to everyday wear and in addition, are far more wallet friendly.
For example, a half carat sapphire may cost the same as a half carat diamond and create an equally eye-catching design.
Spinel used to be mistaken for ruby, it now quite literally is a ‘hidden gem’. The deep beautiful shades provide the backdrop to create something quite distinct and beautiful. If you like red, there’s an for you option to consider.
If you aren’t bothered by the idea of an engagement ring, you could consider an eternity style band, which could double up as the wedding ring or be the start of a stacking trend for your finger!
Marilyn Monroe had a simple baguette set eternity ring to be all three wedding rings. Audrey Hepburn was presented with three faceted rings in gold, rose gold and platinum which she mixed and matched according to her moods, tastes and outfits.
Your wedding ring doesn’t have to match your engagement ring. We get a little carried away with being ‘matchy matchy’ these days.
I personally salute ladies who want to do their own thing; gold and platinum look great side by side. Likewise, choosing a different wedding ring to the engagement ring can provide a stunning contrast.
Does your company offer special services for the brides-to-be?
I think the most important service we provide for brides to be is to ensure their fiancé proposes with the perfect ring! A good example of the care we take can be seen here.
When we start working with brides, quite often the most appreciated thing I do is to take away all the thousands of decisions that they really shouldn’t be worrying about in relation to their jewellery.
We’ll work with them, resizing their engagement rings or repairing settings (you don’t have to be an Heirloom London customer to come to us for your wedding rings), or even, remodelling the jewellery where they have inherited an engagement ring.
We might also source a special pendant or pair of earrings which the bride can wear to her wedding and beyond. Alternatively, if she wants to get her fiancé a special pair of cufflinks, we can help her source something that is completely him too.
Thank you Ruth for taking the time to speak to Crème de la Bride!
Image Credits: Heirloom London