If You Want to Build a Better #Ringfie, Ask Grace Lee
The designer resorted to making her own jewelry when she couldn’t the kind of simple, chic pieces she wanted for everyday. She’s found plenty of fans who were looking for the same thing.By Tanya Dukes |
Her search for an engagement ring sent Grace Lee on a detour from her original career in finance to starting her own jewelry line. In the intervening 12 years she’s become part of a vanguard of young designers who are expanding the possibilities of what engagement rings and weddings bands can be.
Would you consider your Demi Globe diamond rings bridal or fashion jewelry?
Both. For instance, the Globe collection started out as my feminine interpretation of the classic gold band. Lots of my clients were coming in wearing ones from their grandfather or great-grandfather. The Globe ring was my interpretation of that kind of band. When I added diamonds to it, it became the answer for a lot of brides who wanted one significant piece that would be a wedding band and engagement ring all in one. And when I started posting them on Instagram requests came in from clients who just wanted to wear one because they liked the style.
The same goes for my Baguette Signet ring. It came about because my bridal clients were looking for more diamond-heavy bands. The ring gives bridal customers a linear option that’s the total opposite of our rounded pieces. With time, you can stack and add to them. It’s often worn as a wedding band but I just had a bride purchase one as a one-year anniversary band. Some people just buy them to add to their daily stack of rings.
You’re well known for your top-notch ring stacking skills. Any advice for a novice?
I always have a stack of rings. I typically only wear rings on my ring finger but I’ll have on at least two and up to eight. You just have to experiment. Don’t be scared to mix metals or a soft rounded diamond band with a linear and structured baguette band. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The point is to add different points and texture and different levels and experiment. There’s a lot of inspiration on my Instagram. Every third or fourth post is a #ringfie.
Do you have any favorite family memories connected to diamonds?
When I was growing up, my late mother would trace the outline of my nail beds with her finger when I was sitting next to her or on her lap. While she did that I remember playing with her rings. She loved jewelry but she only wore rings on her ring finger. (I must have gotten that from her.) I would run my fingers over her rings. And the one I remember most is her pavé-set diamond ring. Even today, when I run my finger over a diamond ring that’s set the same way it gives me chills.
What’s behind your commitment to using natural diamonds?
For me, it’s obvious that if something is natural its innate value is infinite. You can’t replicate it. There’s nothing that man’s technology or progress or intelligence can do to recreate something in nature. That innate value is what draws me to natural diamonds. Nature does things that humans can’t do. When you’re standing in front of the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, you’re just awestruck. It’s something that the human mind can’t create or fully grasp. Nature’s creations are infinitely valuable and infinitely beautiful.