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North Hills Monthly

Customization Key When Selecting Wedding Jewelry

Jan 29, 2016 05:23PM ● By Jennifer Monahan
Few moments in life are more emotional than a marriage proposal, and a key component of that experience is the engagement ring. Two local jewelers take great pride in helping couples find the perfect expression of their love; both have spent much of their lives working to help people identify just the right engagement and wedding rings to signify their union in ways that are unique to each couple.

Mike Fodi
Mike Fodi of Fodi Jewelers in Bellevue has witnessed a variety of style changes in wedding jewelry since getting into the business more than 45 years ago. One recent trend that he has noticed is that couples want very customized engagement rings, and he has also seen an increase in the number of people coming to him with heirloom rings from a mother or grandmother that they want to have refashioned. “It’s more about the family connection and sentiment, not about the money,” explained Fodi.

Couples want their rings to be original, he said. “We find a way to make it unique, whether it’s the choice of stone, the presentation or the setting,” noted Fodi, who said that he shows customers the diamond they are hoping to buy—one carat, for example—but also different qualities of stone, both larger and smaller, that could be available within their budget.

He often serves as the intermediary between the couple and the artist who creates the rings. “I have a tremendous craftsperson,” he said, “and my role is to mix the technical with the emotional.” Customers come in with an idea of what they want, and he helps them figure out how to design a ring that conveys that feeling and emotion.

In terms of wedding rings, Fodi said many men were choosing alternative metals such as titanium, chrome, tungsten or ceramic in recent years, but that more traditional metals such as white gold and platinum are becoming popular again as the price of gold has come down.

Joe Murawski and his son, Jay
Like Fodi, Joe Murawski of Joden Jewelers in Grove City has spent more than 45 years in the industry. Murawski and his son, Jay, each hold graduate degrees from the Gemological Institute of America; together, they oversee an enterprise that includes antique, estate and modern jewelry as well as an internationally renowned wholesale division.

The senior Murawski said that the current trend with engagement rings is toward larger diamonds. While he formerly sold many rings with one-eighth to three-quarter carat diamonds, he explained that customers today are almost always looking for one- or two-carat diamond rings.

Murawski has also seen two-tone (silver and gold) rings gain in popularity in recent years, and noted that halo diamond rings—i.e., a large diamond in the center, with smaller diamonds embedded all around the band—are very popular right now. English vintage-style engagement rings, which Murawski explained look more like wedding bands, are another emerging trend.

With the largest inventory of estate and antique jewelry to be found between New York and Chicago, as well as more than 1,700 different settings for engagement rings among their modern pieces, Murawski said that even experienced buyers are sometimes overwhelmed with all of the choices available to them. Guidance is provided by Joden Jewelers’ staff, which is practiced at helping couples select rings that are unique and beautiful symbols of their marriage.

And ‘unique’ is something Murawski is confident he can offer. The reason people drive to Grove City from all over the Pittsburgh area is because Joden Jewelers stocks authentic antique engagement rings that couples cannot find elsewhere.

Whether trendy or traditional—whatever style of rings a couple has in mind—they can find the bands that suit them best with the help of local experts.