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A stunning split shank, cushion cut diamond halo ring
by Linda Penwarden Jewellery

Christmas. New Year’s Eve. Valentine’s Day.

Each is a lovely holiday, but to those of us in the wedding industry they are also known collectively as Engagement Season.

Next to buying your first home, purchasing an engagement ring will be the most emotionally fraught financial transaction of your life.  If you’re feeling the pressure you can thank diamond mining giant De Beers for popularizing the engagement ring tradition with an effective ad campaign launched in the 1930s.

If you’re thinking of “putting a ring on it” in the coming months you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the choices available. In Canada 88% of men present their girlfriend with a ring when they propose. So how do you know you’ve selected the best ring for such a momentous occasion?

Do you go with a tried and true classic from Tiffany, Birks or Cartier? Or you could go the on-line route and buy a ring – sight unseen – from Blue Nile.

Or, how about this:  a unique, custom piece made locally by a talented designer?

I recently had a nice chat with Toronto jewellery designer Linda Penwarden. Linda has been designing fine jewellery for about a decade from her shop on Mount Pleasant Avenue.  A significant percentage of her business comes from engagement rings.

In addition to her seasonal and shop collections Linda has created many unique pieces over the years for customers who want something a bit different. A custom design may mean tweaking an existing creation – substituting a clear diamond with a coloured gemstone for instance – or it may mean creating something completely new. Working closely with her customer this design process typically take four to six weeks. As Linda says on her website, the process “… ensures a finished product of the highest standards, manufactured locally, ethically and with integrity.”

Linda has certainly seen trends come and go but aims for a clean, modern and timeless aesthetic. Her design approach transcends fleeting fads allowing Linda and her team to  create quality jewellery that is intimate, elegant and uniquely expressive.

A one-of-a-kind design may be the most romantic and meaningful way to ask your beloved to join you on the journey called marriage.

To learn more about Linda, her creative process and her beautiful designs visit her website.

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