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by Sohyun Ahn •

How the Fire and Brilliance of Diamonds Inspire Gillian Conroy's Designs

Photo credits Interview for Real is a Diamond By Tanya Dukes Gillian Conroy’s résumé includes stints as a product designer and a Vogue Paris fashion editor, but it’s jewelry design that ultimately captured her passion. Her eponymous jewelry collection—crafted entirely in her New York City studio—is a favorite choice for couples craving a chance to personalize their engagement and wedding rings.  The first step in creating a ring is choosing the diamond. “Once that decision is made everything else falls into place,” says Conroy. To help clients make their decision, she explores the many ways that diamonds can be incorporated into a ring’s design. The options are limitless and can be adapted to suit any style or budget. “We can make a beautiful cluster ring with a grouping of small diamonds or focus on a whopping, beautiful three-carat stone.” And Conroy knows that the allure of diamonds can’t be expressed with dry facts and figures. Instead, their magic is revealed while getting an up-close view of the stones, which she calls “sparkling fragments from the earth”.  That’s why Conroy shows myriad options to couples searching for their special diamond. Often, they’ll fall in love with one at first sight. Diamonds in all their variety excite Conroy and she believes they’re a logical choice for couples in a matrimonial mood. “They have a fire and brilliance that catches light in a way colored stones don’t,” she explains. Their durability is a big plus, too. “Diamonds are strong enough to be worn every day and so timeless that you’ll never tire of them.” Though she’s made thousands of wedding and engagement rings in her career, she remains inspired by the diversity of diamonds. Her designs feature white diamonds, but also natural color diamonds; yellow, gray and pink are a part of her palette. So are stones in nontraditional shapes. Fancy-shape diamonds, including pears, ovals, cushions and marquises, are some of Conroy’s favorites. Couples looking for unconventional wedding jewelry are following her lead. “People have become more open to wearing unusual settings and mismatched stones,” she says. “I love to make custom designs when someone wants a one-of-a-kind ring.” Above all, the most important quality in a Gillian Conroy ring is the commitment it represents. “There’s a lot of emotion attached to diamonds,” she says. “My clients want a ring with a special stone that feels rare and one-of-a-kind to symbolize the love of their partner.”       2 carat oval white diamond set east-west in classic 4 prong platinum ring