A New (Wedding) Ringmaster in Town
- Monday, July 25, 2011
- by Liz Johnstone
Actually, that’s ringmistress. And really, not so new. Belgium-born Sylvie Levine is a 25 year veteran of the raw diamond and jewelry design business (she and her husband of 17 years, Ian, run Plano-based Spectrum Diamonds together). She spent 14 of those years in what she calls “bread-and-butter” design— diamond bracelets, diamond earrings.
“Slowly more and more people were asking for engagement rings. I started realizing how incredibly more meaningful it is,” Levine says. “It’s way more exciting just a regular piece of jewelry.”
Her eponymous line, The Sylvie Collection, launched in 2007. Today, she boasts 1,000 different options (all fully customizable to fit the size and shape of the sparkly rock of choice) and a starting price point of $900 without the center stone. What’s standard? Every diamond is guaranteed fair trade.
“Me myself, I know it’s important to have something that nobody else wears,” Levine says. “What happens very often is that the bride will see a ring, and we personalize the ring to look exactly like what they want. They change something in the profile, the shank…We can do anything in any size and shape and cut and color.”
“This is really what gets me going,” she says, and indeed, her voice quickens with obvious excitement and pleasure when she talks about the flexibility of her designs. “The meaning of working with something so meaningful in woman’s lifetime. And I think that the emotions that are attached to it… it’s such an emotional purchase.”
During our phone chat, I ask her for a little ring-shopping advice. She tells me to consider the shape of the hand. For very small hands and thin fingers (a ring size 4), consider a thin shank. For larger hands, she likes a split shank, something “that’s wide and makes a bigger statement.”
Levine also stresses the importance of mounting and setting. “The setting is what is ultimately going to portray your diamond and showcase your diamond,” she says. “Put the same diamond in ten different settings, they will all look different….The minute you use a halo, you increase the look of the size of the diamond.”
Speaking of. If your ring is outdated or if, uh, your beloved did not actually get it quite right all those years ago (surely this is one of those things where it’s the thought— and the actual proposal— that counts), Levine is an expert at re-styling wedding and engagement pieces to fit your personal style.
“Sometimes women have an incredible stone, and sometimes the setting is very plain and doesn’t do justice to the diamond,” Levine says.
Which is where she comes in. Find a wide selection of the Sylvie Collection at Shapiro Diamonds (another local husband-and-wife run business). The boutique is appointment only, so call before you drop by.