Category: Jewelry

Unconventional Engagement Rings – Part 2

by C. M. St. John, Appraiser
The Provident Loan Society

In my last blog, I discussed alternatives to traditional engagement rings, including stones set low in a wide band, metal bands with intricate engravings, and “poesy” rings inscribed with a romantic message on the inside, outside, or both.

In this blog, I offer two more engagement ring options to consider.



No Comments

Unconventional Engagement Rings – Part 1

by C. M. St. John, Appraiser
The Provident Loan Society

In this blog, we’ll discuss some alternatives to traditional engagement rings.

Rings have been used as tokens of love, devotion, and fidelity for millennia. But why settle for conventional engagement and wedding rings? A raised diamond set in gold or platinum is only one option!

In this blog, I will discuss some alternatives to traditional engagement rings to get you thinking about what you want to use to symbolize your commitment to your partner.

  • Stones set low into bands
  • Hand-engraved bands without stones
  • Poesy rings with engraved messages


Option 1: Low Profile Rings

For couples who like the look of classic gold, platinum, and diamond engagement rings, but feel that an old-fashioned solitaire will just get in the way, a terrific option is to go low profile.

Instead of having a large stone placed above the finger in a vulnerable setting, check out styles that use smaller stones set low into a wider band. Often branded as “right-hand rings,” these pieces can be just as glamorous as a single large diamond and are usually less expensive.

Metal bands without stones are also elegant and easy-to-wear. Hand engraving is a wonderful art form that can elevate a simple band into something truly special. And for those do-it-yourself couples, many enterprising goldsmiths are willing to help novices craft rings from scratch in their workshops.

Option 2: The Message Matters

Those who wish to express their love in words should consider a “poesy ring” that combines a classic band of precious metal with a short and tender sentiment.

Popular from the Middle Ages onward, poesy rings can have their message hidden inside the band or inscribed on the outside for all to see. Some are engraved in script and embellished with fanciful designs while others appear outwardly plain. Small gemstones and enamel can also be used to decorate the band.

Historical examples of poesy rings are on display in museums worldwide with inscriptions in several languages, such as:

  • “True Love Is Endless”
  • “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love conquers all)
  • “Vous et Nul Autre” (You and no other)


Poesy rings are gaining in popularity and many modern-day jewelers offer them in designs that replicate historical examples. Those with bigger budgets can purchase genuine antique poesy rings. And, of course, a couple can choose to design an engagement and/or wedding ring with their own words.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss a few more options for unconventional engagement rings.

About the Author
C. M. St. John is a Graduate Gemologist and Appraiser at The Provident Loan Society, the country’s only not-for-profit pawnshop. Gems and jewelry are a lifelong interest and much easier to collect than architecture, which is her other great passion.

No Comments

Know the Worth of Your Jewelry

If you’re thinking about applying for a collateral loan, it’s important to understand the value of your jewelry or gold – before you borrow money against it.

You might love your gold necklace or diamond ring but that doesn’t mean it is as valuable to others. An appraisal will give you a better idea of what your jewelry or gold can bring in the form of a loan before you even walk into the pawn shop.


No Comments

So You Want to Be a Jewelry Appraiser

In this blog, I interview Anthony LoRe, the Director of Appraisal at The Provident Loan Society. Anthony is a certified gemologist and recognized jewelry expert who has been featured on WABC Channel 7, WPIX Channel 11, and Fox 5 News. He also hosts the Ask Anthony live blog discussion about jewelry issues on Provident Loan’s Facebook page.

How did you get started in the jewelry industry?

In November 1975, I was looking to make some extra Christmas money. My friend’s father owned a jewelry store in Valley Stream, Long Island, called King Richard. He knew that I had the gift of gab and that I could deal with people because he had watched me work at my father’s beauty salon since I was a little kid.

No Comments

Better Than Your Average Pawn Shop – Provident Loan Society

By Julianna Alvarado-Arias

The average consumer will spend $3,069 during the month of December on gifts, bills and holiday entertainment, according to a recent Gallup poll .

It’s an expensive month for most consumers as they traditionally spend more than other months. If you find yourself a little short on cash – and that holiday bonus hasn’t arrived yet – there are short-term alternatives.

Provident Loan Society is the only not-for-profit pawn shop in the United States.

In other words, the organization works entirely for the benefit of the consumer. Unlike other banks, Provident Loan Society doesn’t try to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. The proof is in the numbers.

Most New York pawn shops charge a whopping annual interest rate of 48 percent, while the Provident Loan Society is only 26 percent. Their handling fees are lower as well.

So how does Provident Loan Society work when it comes to loans? You can watch the video or continue reading.


No Comments

Older Entries
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons