There is one almost universal truth about brides to be. The vast majority want a “unique” engagement ring. For many that means just a little tweak on a classic. Few go for something seriously alternative, like the designs worn by InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown and jewelry professional Elizabeth “Beth Anne” Bonanno. When I spotted these special rings on Instagram, I had to find out more about them and the women who wear them.
Laura Brown is not the typical fashion person you love on Instagram. The 44-year-old Aussie EIC posts as many pictures of kangaroos as BTS shots of celebrities on set. Another staple on her feed is her comedian fiancé, Brandon Geoffrey, who is 16-years her junior. Despite the age gap, the inseparable pair have always seemed like complete soulmates. So, it was no surprise when they announced their engagement over New Year’s while on vacation Down Under.
What was astonishing was the engagement ring from the Australia jeweler Canturi, Laura showed off repeatedly on Instagram. The sensational jewel features a cushion cut diamond surrounded by baguette and carre cut diamonds. It was conceived by Stefano Canturi, a friend of the couple, who has been evolving the Stella design for over 20-years. When asked about the women that choose alternative styles from the collection, Stefano’s wife Patricia shared, “while timeless and in many ways classic, the ring doesn’t feel old world but superbly modern for the confident woman who lives life inspired, open minded, and is completely disinterested in the status quo of ring designs and everything else!”
Jewelry veteran with a self-proclaimed “flair for the dramatic,” Beth Anne Bonanno, is another woman who lives by her own rules. Her engagement ring story began with a small jewelry box that she spotted on her friend and client Pamela Huizenga’s desk. Inside the box was a chunky rough brown diamond, faceted on both sides with a “crazy wide girdle, resembling an antique mirror,” she remembers.
Beth Anne and Pamela marveled at the stone, but couldn’t think of how on earth to set it. Pamela named the gem her dragon’s egg way before Game of Thrones popularized the idea. Eventually, the clever designer figured out just what to do with the gem. She designed a bold ring with a domed and wider than average diamond and gold shank and eight hefty yellow gold prongs that clutched the round stone.
By the time the ring was done, Beth Anne had found her true love Russ Atkins. The couple’s meeting was a happy accident. When Beth Anne was showing one of her relatives how to use Tinder, she accidentally swiped right on Russ and it was a match, not to mention pretty much love at first sight. It wasn’t long before the couple decided to get married. Beth Anne, knew she wanted an amazing ring but wasn’t sure what that would be. She considered an oval tanzanite surrounded by red spinels. But when she spotted the Dragon’s Egg set as the ring, she instantly knew that was the one. She texted Russ immediately, “I found my ring!”
“Anyone who knows me and sees my ring says, ‘of course,’” explains Beth Anne. “There is something about this piece that is the essence of who I am. I love absolutely everything about it, who made it, who it is from, and what it represents.”