The cocktail ring gets some tough love. By Valery Joseph
That flashy bauble first favored by cool grannies has undergone a tough transformation thanks to Brooklyn designer Aaaron Ruff of the jewelry line Digby & Iona. His faceted, emerald-cut ring set in bronze or sterling suggests a pared-down, industrial-strength version of the classic trinket given its unusual gemstone—a cool slab of solid vermeil in place of the typical sparkling topaz or peridot. "I wanted to revisit the classic cocktail ring and take it out of the realm of costume jewelry," Ruff says. "I'm also a big fan of mixing metals like silver and gold, which a lot of people are wary of."
Ruff's uncommon vision is influenced by an equally unorthodox approach. With a background in furniture design and carpentry, this jeweler isn't afraid to play around with unusual materials or imperfections. "Having no formal training in jewelry or stone-setting, I needed a fool-proof way to produce a ring with this sort of setting. The natural solution was to cast the stone, making it virtually indestructible." Consider it the sort of tough love you can wear like a good pair of jeans. "My approach is probably a lot less refined than some!" says Ruff.
The cocktail ring gets some tough love.