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If you are looking for vintage engagement rings Redlands, you must be after a ring whose appeal transcends time. Van Craeynest engagement rings do just that. They are pieces of heirloom quality, created through a scrupulously preserved legacy of Old World values.
Art Deco inspired
When you say you like vintage, chances are high you mean Art Deco. Art Deco is the style of the 1920s and 1930s, the age of jazz, flappers, Coco Chanel tubular dresses, women who smoked, bobbed their hairstyles and danced the night away to the sounds of wind ensembles.
The most distinctive feature of Art Deco jewelry are repetitive geometric shapes and patterns – such as rectangles, diamonds, triangles, fans and octagons. White metals like sterling silver, platinum and white gold, gained prominence in this age, although yellow gold retained its place. Filigree is another signature feature of Art Deco jewelry – lace like or evocative of geometrical motifs. There were also nature-inspired filigree details like flowers and leaves. Diamonds were adored, but colored gemstones were also universally loved. Designs often combined diamonds and rubies, blue sapphires or emeralds in complementary patterns. Finally, what was particular about Art Deco jewelry was that it often moved with the wearer – drop earrings, drop pendants, tassels and fringes, layered strands and dangly designs were all the rage.
Art Deco rings have a few distinctive features. Rings of the day were massive, set in scores of diamonds or gemstones. There was usually a center stone, cut en cabochon or in the emerald style, surrounded with smaller stones. Bands also hit the spotlight, set all around with diamonds or colored stones. They were also often stacked.
In 1920 Roger J. Van Craeynest started as an apprentice at The Shreve and Co. where he worked under some of the finest European master craftsmen in the U.S. He rose to become master die cutter, designer and engraver.
Some years later, in 1926, Roger J. Van Craeynest opened shop in San Francisco with two other jewelers. Roger’s son, Larry Van Craeynest joined the company in 1960 after finishing art college.
In 2011, Van Craeynest was acquired by the Emerson family, who had sold Van Craeynest jewelry for years. The Van Craeynest workshop was relocated from San Francisco to downtown Redlands - behind the Emerson & Farrar storefront on 27 E. State Street is a living museum where Van Craeynest jewelry is still made. The mission of Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry is to uphold the legacy of this historic jewelry manufacturer.
Van Craeynest jewelry and workshop are still based on jewelry making techniques and traditions from the Victorian age. The apprenticeship system is still in use at Van Craeynest, because there’s no better way to keep alive the jeweler’s expertise that’s been cherished for more than a century.
The tools and techniques used at Van Craeynest are as authentic as the vintage designs. Many technologies used here aren’t in (wide) use anymore and they require an enormous amount of skill, patience and concentration. Die striking, for example, is a technique in which gold or platinum are forced into shape with a press that exerts a pressure of a few tons. The metal is modeled cold and the result are rings of exquisite endurance, density and strength. Die struck metal takes filigree work much better than molded metal, which is more porous. Other methods used are chasing, carving and piercing. As we said, all of these require direct tutelage through apprenticeship, which means that every single Van Craeynest ring is created slowly, meticulously and passionately.
If you want an enduring sentiment and a unique ring of captivating beauty, Emerson & Farrar is your one-stop shop. We are dedicated to offering engagement rings and jewelry of timeless beauty, just like love is. Browse our website, Facebook page or visit us in our stores in Redlands or Palm Springs. We’d love to help you find an engagement ring that will celebrate your love for a lifetime!