Picking out engagement and wedding ring styles is typically a simple process. Most folks know what types of jewelry they’re drawn to, colors of metal, diamonds or other stones, etc. But finding a jeweler you can trust, who also shares your style and values, is not quite as easy. So when we met Emily Chelsea Jewelry, it was like all the stars had aligned: A female-owned business with ethical, sustainable practices, and tons of style? HECK YES.
Emily, who is an APW reader herself and bride-to-be (woohoo!), has her BFA in jewelry, metals, and 3D design and is also a graduate gemologist from Gemological Institute of America. She specializes in custom designs and loves working with heirloom stones. Wedding bands range from $60 to $1,300, with many being between $500 and $800. Engagement rings range in price from $500 to $8,000, and on average are around $1,500 to $4,000. Custom work varies greatly depending on the stones and metal chosen, but Emily often creates custom rings under $2,000.
She really understands how to turn her clients’ great ideas into reality. Like when they want a sapphire that reminds them of “the forest they go hiking in” or “a ring that looks like sunshine” (both true stories!), she gets it. Being able to trust and connect with your jeweler is key to creating jewelry that you’re going to be wearing every day for-freaking-ever.
Emily Chelsea Jewelry is a Fairmined Gold License Holder (there are only 130 businesses worldwide that are Fairmined Licensees!). Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet world leading standards for responsible practices. It’s an opportunity for miners to participate in the global mineral market with the guarantee of responsible and conflict-free supply chains. She’s also an active member of Ethical Metalsmiths. So when you work with Emily, you’re also given peace of mind that you’re making a socially responsible choice. She talked to us about her commitment to transparency and its importance, not only in terms of ethics, but also for the history of each piece of jewelry:
I believe every ring has a story. A ring’s value should not only be on the surface and in its sparkle, but also in its origin. Since I am committed to sourcing responsibly, most gems and diamonds I work with are traceable back to their country and even mine of origin. For recycled and post-consumer diamonds, some can even be traced back to the era of jewelry they came from.
I really like to break down each ring as it is being made and identify where each piece is coming from. I recently made a ring that was made using post-consumer side diamonds, heirloom diamonds from the customer’s grandmother’s ring, and a lab-grown sapphire, all set in recycled gold. I think that ring has an incredible story and deserves to be shared as it gets passed down through generations.
Emily has been a CAD designer for over eight years, and loves creating custom designs for her clients. After designing the rings on the computer, they are 3D printed. The printed pieces are then used to create the actual moulds the rings are made in. (It’s also a cool way to see how your actual rings will look!) All pieces are then finished by hand on the jeweler’s bench for a product that is durable with a handcrafted feel. Because Emily uses super sophisticated software, she’s really able to push the boundaries of her designs versus traditional design methods. Basically anything you can think up, she can create. Want an intricate filigree or geometric pattern on your rings? No problem! Looking for a vintage design with modern sensibility? You got it! She was even able to replicate a grandmother’s ring that had become too fragile to wear every day.
Besides her passion for ethical production, Emily strives to provide exceptional customer service. Planning a wedding herself has really given her insight into what couples are looking for. Working with Emily will give you a truly personalized customer service and design experience. She has worked with clients from all over the world. One of her customers from London had this to say about working with Emily:
I was really pleased with the whole experience; it can be scary buying expensive items online, but the lengthy conversations with Emily (before I’d even spent a thing!) really put my mind at ease. She sent photos and videos of the gemstones that were a great help, too. I originally had a pear cut sapphire in mind for my ring, but when Emily suggested Alexandrite I fell in love with it. So glad she mentioned it, because my ring is perfect!! Thanks again Emily!!
So if you’re looking for more than just somewhere to buy a ring and want to ensure that the token of your commitment also is a symbol of positive social and environmental impact, then drop Emily a line. Connect with her on her Instagram to see what’s happening in her studio, peep her other jewelry designs (we want it all!), and check out more of her super gorgeous custom work here.
CHAT with Emily Chelsea Jewelry today and create your own heirloom-quality, ethical jewelry.