July 2012 Newsletter

   JULY 2012

Summer is here! The longest day of the year has already passed, but for most of us, the 4th of July marks the real beginning of Summer. It is a grand celebration of history and freedom, often spent embracing the beauty of the outdoors with friends and family.


At Ashley Morgan, freedom of expression is integral to inspiring creativity and making history. Freedom of expression allows us to create timeless pieces of jewelry that can be handed down for generations. In this issue we are highlighting ways that you too can unleash your creativity and express yourself.


Be free this summer!



Capture a Piece of History with Ashley Morgan  


Looking for a piece of history?


Did you know that Ashley Morgan has access to rare antique items that allow you to elegantly place a piece of the past in your future? Pictured is one of the items we have in our treasure box that has provided endless inspiration. This is an antique Indian elephant bracelet made of 18 kt gold with diamonds and enamel inlay.


Let us help you find something both unique and antique to add to your collection!


Express Yourself with Custom Wedding Rings  by Ashley Morgan



At Ashley Morgan, creating custom pieces is not only our specialty, it is our passion. We love working with our clients to create symbolic, one-of-a-kind pieces. We especially revel in designing custom engagement and wedding rings as they mark such joyous occasions. Recently we had the pleasure of working with Brendan Bowe and Teresa Ohta.




“I had the pleasure of working with Ashley and her team to design my fiancée’s engagement ring. At first I was intimidated as I didn’t know anything about jewelry, but Ashley was extremely patient and thoughtful throughout the process. She was able to make it a personal and emotional experience while also remaining professional and efficient. She truly has your best interest at heart and will work with you to design exactly what you want while keeping your budget in mind. Ashley will identify your vision and incorporate her own style to make a beautiful, one-of-a-kind ring. I would recommend Ashley to anyone looking for a personal touch and unique, high quality designs. We were so pleased with Ashley’s work that we asked her to design our wedding bands as well.”

 – Brendan Bowe

“Hearing Brendan talk about Ashley and how much he enjoyed the design process with her, melted my heart. Based on Brendan’s experience, and how pleased we were with my engagement ring, we never contemplated getting our wedding bands anywhere else. With just a few photos and a brief discussion, Ashley managed to create exactly what we wanted. We couldn’t be happier and absolutely adore Ashley, her team, and their amazing work.”

– Teresa Ohta

  The History of the Engagement Ring



Engagement bands began in Ancient Egypt. For centuries, the circle had symbolized a never-ending cycle and in Egyptian mythology the space within the circle was seen as a gateway. Ancient Egyptians placed rings on the fourth finger (or ring finger) because they believed that a vein led from that finger directly to the heart.


In Roman times, rings were used to declare ‘betrothal’ and did not necessarily signify marriage. In fact, rings were more often just a sign of affection or friendship. The engagement ring as we know it, truly came into being in 1215, when Pope Innocent III established a waiting period between the promise of marriage, and the actual marriage ceremony. The ring was given to signify the couple’s devotion to one another during that waiting period.


In Colonial America, where many religious groups shunned jewelry, a thimble was often given as a sign of eternal companionship. Women would then remove the tops of the thimble in order to create a ring that could be worn.


The first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by Austrian royalty in 1477. This dramatic gesture of devotion to your loved one quickly became the gift of choice for members of the upper class and those of significant wealth. When diamond mines were later discovered in Africa in 1870, the increased supply allowed those less affluent to join in on this tradition.


Engagement rings didn’t become standard in the West until the end of the 19th century, and diamond rings didn’t become common until the 1930s. Today, 80% of American women are given a diamond ring to signify engagement. Wedding rings amongst men became more in vogue during World War II, as soldiers going to war longed for an ever-present reminder of their wives and families back home. In the 21st century, especially within Western civilization, it has become a common expectation for the bride-to-be to permanently wear her ring as a sign of her love and commitment.


   DIY: Painted Natural Objects As Decor (as seen on remodelista.com)

Summer is the perfect opportunity to explore the ‘great outdoors.’ There are so many incredible shapes, colors and patterns when you stop to look closely at natural materials. So why not use these as a fun, inexpensive and eco-friendly way to decorate your life. Add a little paint, glue, or string, sprinkle with your imagination, and before you know it, you have created a new piece of jewelry or wall art.


So get outside and see what you find!

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