Stunning Yet Sentimental: Engagement Rings with Hidden Symbolic Touches

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When you first see the engagement ring pictured above, you might think it’s a modern minimalist style. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. This stunning piece of jewelry is part of Marla Aaron’s new DiMe Siempre engagement ring collection.

Marla, known for her lock-inspired designs that function as carabiner clips and can be worn as charms or necklace clasps, has taken her fascination with mechanisms and applied it to engagement rings. “According to my parents, I have always been obsessed with little weird objects, hardware, and how these things work,” explains Marla. “I apply those ideas into jewelry.”

Just like Marla’s locks draw inspiration from real-life objects, her engagement rings are influenced by a pre-existing creation. However, you won’t find this particular design in a hardware store.

The DiMe Siempre collection draws inspiration from Gimmel or Twin rings, which were popular in Europe from the 14th to the 17th century and often used as engagement rings. These historical jewels consisted of two rings that fit together like a puzzle, with a secret message in enamel on the interior of the gold bands. One popular phrase used on the rings came from wedding ceremonies, “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” It symbolized the union of the couple and the joining of the two elements of the jewel.

Marla was drawn to the puzzle aspect and secret message of the Gimmel rings, inspiring her to create the DiMe collection of gold band rings. “I wanted to bring back a simple version of the Gimmel ring,” Marla explains. Actress Blake Lively, a collector of Marla’s work, even has one with diamonds.

The journey towards creating the engagement ring collection began when Marla added a solitaire design to her DiMe rings for the Ten/Ten Engagement Rings collaboration, which featured diamonds from Botswana.

One of Marla’s ideas for a complete engagement ring collection came from a vintage change purse with a ball clasp. She and her craftsmen recreated the clasp’s opening mechanism in the Kissing Spheres ring, featuring two faceted sphere-shaped diamonds.

Marla also played around with solitaire diamond designs for the collection, including an oval-shaped diamond set horizontally and a marquise-cut diamond set at an angle.

The DiMe Siempre collection features an extravagant ring called the Love Machine, adorned with large gemstones. It showcases a sugar loaf-shaped sapphire in the center, flanked by two diamond side stones.

Hidden beneath each center stone is a flat clasp with a lever that holds the two parts of the ring together, keeping the secret message concealed.

“It took about a year to work out the mechanisms,” Marla explains. “There was an enormous sense of pride among our team, who are all based in New York, when it was done.”

The secret message on the interior of the rings can be anything the couple desires, as long as it fits within the available space. With Marla’s expert hand engravers, the length of the message is usually around 65 characters, but they can sometimes accommodate more.

“One client requested a pretty long lyric from a 1967 song by The Association,” Marla shares. “You wonder if this heart of mine, Will lose its desire for you. Never, my love, Never, my love.”

Marla has designed special boxes for the rings that differ from traditional ring boxes. These unique boxes allow the jewel to be displayed with the secret message exposed, visible to the recipient during a proposal.

Understanding that the information about the 4Cs and the qualities of a gem, not to mention the personal excitement associated with choosing an engagement ring, can be overwhelming for couples, Marla did something no other jewelry designer has done before. She collaborated with a friend at Casa Bosques Chocolates to create special chocolate bars with space on the packaging for notes. If desired, clients can pause and enjoy the treat.

Wondering what the name “DiMe Siempre” means? It’s an intimate way of saying “tell me” in Spanish, reserved for people you know well. Like everything in Marla’s collection, the name reflects her personal passions. Marla, a native New Yorker, became fluent in Spanish while studying abroad in Argentina and later worked in Spain for five years in the magazine industry.

For now, Marla Aaron’s DiMe Siempre engagement rings are only available by appointment at her charming new showroom on 47th Street in New York City.

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