Marla Aaron’s New Evening Bag-Inspired Engagement Ring

The style locks in elegance and function.

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New York jeweler Marla Aaron chose not to ride the contemporary jewelry waveinstead she focused her namesake label on unusual concepts and functions from the get-go in 2012.

An obsession with bridges, locks and claspless chains led Marla to toy with “ideas that have nothing to do with jewelry, and turn them into jewelry.” Ever since she gave up a significant career in marketing for a life surrounded by wearable hardware, Marla has morphed industrial carabiners into (mostly) 18 karat gold creations sprinkled with gems and enamel.

For the De Beers Group’s Ten/Ten initiative, which tasks independent designers with creating a commitment ring boasting an ethically sourced diamond from Botswana , Marla wanted to create a piece that was “very emblematic” of her company. Marla decided to adapt her popular DiMe ring (meaning tell me in Spanish) in platinum. “I love the color, the strength and the combination of diamond with platinum” she says. She chose an oval diamond for her design. 

Marla, who usually uses tiny stones to accent her jewelry, had never used one similar to the natural diamond she had at hand. “It’s hard to make something that’s new and exciting,” she says. Kobi Yamada’s children’s book What Do You Do With An Idea? inspired her to think outside the box; she ultimately found a solution in an unlikely object—handbags. “I was thinking specifically about evening bags—the way the clasp opens and closes, yet is still decorative.”

Marla’s fine jewelry translation of the style: a diamond set into a bezel reimagined with a mechanism that opens to reveal the two interlocked halves of the DiMe ring; the ring transforms into infinity shape, signifying commitment.

“I fell in love with the design; it looks really beautiful and fresh and I like the proportion of it. In this iteration, the function is the supporting cast and the diamond is the star of the show, which is a little different from how we normally work, ” Marla says.

The engagement ring is called DiMe Siempre, Spanish for tell me forever. “Like all of our DiMe rings, in this one you can write a very special message inside,” Marla adds. The jeweler offers enough newness in her DiMe Siempre ring to keep brides excited in 2021, and beyond. “The rings are beautiful. Ten people and their teams spent an enormous amount of time thinking of making a special object. I hope it’s more special than just somebody buying the biggest stone around,” she says.

Marla Aaron’s DiMe Siempre rings for the Ten/Ten project will be sold exclusively on Blue Nile in January 2021.