History of Verragio
Designer Barry Verragio explains: “A beautiful mounting should only enhance the beauty of a diamond in the same way a beautiful dress makes a woman even more beautiful.”
Barry Verragio began his career in the jewelry industry at age 14 by apprenticing himself to a master jeweler. He arrived in the US from Moscow, eager to pursue his passion of working with his hands, creating something beautiful from nothing. He enrolled in a city-subsidized program that taught the basics of jewelry making and afterwards he was hired as a bench jeweler, where he worked at crafting fine jewelry for 10 years. After he had learned the basics of jewelry making, he expanded his design sensibilities while attending the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Verragio then spent twenty years in the business, designing fine jewelry for some of the most well-known jewelry houses in the world. These decades enabled him to master the art of ring design, and eventually create his own revolutionary setting technique. It was this setting technique upon which the designer, founded his company.
The Verragio setting style is known as the Lumino Setting, and it stands out in jewelry design thanks to its beautiful form and flawless function. The Lumino appears to suspend the center stone in mid-air, unobstructed by metal. This allows more light to interact with all of the diamond’s facets. It also creates a uniquely delicate look for the entire ring, with minimal metal and plenty of open air space to let the design elements gently enhance the diamond – never overshadow it. In addition to falling back and letting the diamond take center stage, the Lumino setting is unobtrusive on the hand. It’s airy and light, never domineering.
The inspiration for such a stunning setting, appropriately, was a labor of love. Verragio pioneered this style when crafting his own wife Tanya’s engagement ring. It eventually formed the basis of the brand’s very first collection. This heart-first launch of the brand also established the way that it still does business, and set the guidelines for both the designer and the company:
Verragio would always be first and foremost a creator of beautiful wedding and engagement rings.
They would continue the spirit of revolution by creating the most unique and unusual designs possible.
Verragio engagement rings would always be crafted with one primary purpose: to showcase the center diamond.
In addition to the Lumino setting, every ring has another defining characteristic – the intricate profile designs the brand is famous for. These scrolls, engravings, milgrain work, and diamond patterns all circle back to an emphasis on feminine beauty – something the designer learned from an influential professor.
While at FIT, Verragio studied under Maurice Galley, a former designer for Tiffany & Company. Galley taught him to think of the women who will ultimately wear his designs when creating them. Paying close attention to fluid lines, curves, romantic detailing and other “soft” design elements contribute to each ring’s overall feminine feel and provide a stunning backdrop for the hard, sharp angles of a brilliant diamond.
Additionally, this mentor encouraged Verragio to focus on bridal. Not only would this honor his obvious talent, but he learned from Galley’s emphasis on detail. Bridal jewelry may not change much over time – the elements of a diamond ring evolve, but the basic structure is still there – but Verragio could reimagine it over and over again by adding creative detail and nuance to a well-structured ring. Galley encouraged him to think outside the solitaire and three stone settings so prominent in bridal jewelry design. The result was a collection, and eventually brand, that reimagined engagement rings and leads the world of bridal jewelry in new directions.
Beyond the practicality of focusing exclusively on bridal design, Verragio was drawn to it for the same reason we all are: becoming a part of a couple’s love story is deeply meaningful. Whether the involvement comes from the designer, sketching away in his studio thousands of miles away and months before a bride-to-be says yes, or he personally gets to witness a proposal with one of his designs, Verragio treasures the role he plays in a couple’s relationship.
It’s a responsibility the brand takes seriously. This is why each ring is crafted with impeccable attention to detail.
It all starts with the Lumino setting. This setting suspends the center diamond in precious metal, rather than obscure it with any more than necessary – only enough platinum or gold is used to ensure the ring’s structural integrity. The diamond remains open to light, allowing maximum exposure for every facet and creating a brilliance like no other.
Beyond the Lumino, each Verragio ring features the brand’s signature diamond tucked into the ring’s profile. This can be easy to spot, as it is on the simpler designs, or like a hidden treasure among the studio’s more intricate designs. Every setting features the trademark ornate details that make these rings famous. Scrolling lines of metal, French beading, bezel set diamonds, and more diamond pave than most brands use in an entire collection. All are design details that make these rings stand out.
The design starts out as a sketch, imagined by the brand’s designers. At this stage, the ring is wildly romantic, with whimsical and luxurious details. The setting is outlined according to the brand’s mission and standards, with all focus on the center stone and plenty of feminine detailing to make the ring come to life.
Next, the ring is mocked up in a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model. This program lets the designer and jeweler work together to bring the ring to life with all the beauty possible and the perfect construction to make the ring last a lifetime.
Next, the ring is cast in wax, creating a 3D model of the beauty to come, so that the goldsmith can craft precious metal to perfectly reflect the design. Next, the accent diamonds are chosen. Each diamond must be perfectly matched according to color, clarity and proportion. They are then expertly set to ensure that they will last a lifetime.
Next, a final polishing brings the ring to a brilliant shine before it’s showroom ready. Once it arrives in our showroom, we’ll have our master jeweler set it with your chosen center stone in our on site, state of the art design studio.
Every Verragio collection has its own hallmark design details. The vast majority are on the setting’s profile. The designer prefers to use unique details on the ring’s face up perspective, to maintain the striking look of each ring.
Parisian – The Parisian collection is super romantic, with mixed metals and an emphasis on rose gold. Each design is inspired by the city of lights, and every setting is banded with 4 rose gold garters along the ring’s foundation.
Venetian – The Venetian collection is the most intricate of the lines, with lace scrolling around the outside of the rings’ shanks and shoulders, and French beading along the inside. These rings are especially stunning in high contrast mixed metals. This collection can be customized with 5 different styles of foundation. (We should make a graphic like this pic. http://beyond4cs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/venetian-collection-different-shanks.jpg) The Venetian Lace style features scalloped metal on the ring’s outer layer. The Euro features a gently sculpted outer layer and a single diamond at the ring’s base. The Lido’s outer layer is a double of the inner layer, also with the single diamond tip. The Centro is the same style, but Without the diamond at the point. Finally, the Classic features a rounded base without a point or center diamond.
Couture – The high end addition to the design family, this line specializes in settings created with and for larger diamonds. French beading lines the inner face of the ring, leading to two gently opening scrolls that hug the signature diamond.
Insignia – The original collection, first launched in the late 90’s and inspired by the designer’s wife’s ring. With delicate features, this line has the Verragio logo nestled into the ring’s crown, with two diamond pave scrolls leading to that diamond-accented “V”.
Paradiso – An innovative collection, each ring is engineered for perfect comfort. The rings feature diamond-accented scrolls that prevent spinning on the finger and add windows of light from every angle.
Classic – The newest addition to the line, Classic settings show off all the beauty Verragio is known for, but with delicate designs at a fraction of the cost of some of their more diamond intense designs. The Verragio “V” is a clean, single accent diamond, similar to Insignias, and the rings’ inner faces are lined with micro-French beading.
Each collection contains wedding rings both perfectly paired with specific engagement ring and designed to be worn with any of the rings also in the same line. Pared down design elements coordinate beautifully with each other and make a gorgeous, contemporary yet classic bridal set.
If you don’t see a wedding band that you love as much as your engagement ring, Verragio is happy to design a custom piece. In fact, they specialize in creating something unlike any other. If you see a ring that’s close but not quite your dream ring, or if you’re envisioning something one of a kind with the brand’s signature design sensibilities, Diamonds by Raymond Lee is happy to partner with Verragio to create your custom dream ring.
Verragio uses F-G color and VS clarity diamonds in all settings with the exception of the Parisian collection, which features G-H color and SI clarity diamonds. All settings can be crafted in a variety of metals and combinations of 14 karat and 18 karat white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.
Every authentic Verragio ring is stamped with the brand’s name on the inside of the ring. This is the first step to verifying that you are purchasing an authentic engagement ring, but it isn’t the only one. Unfortunately, due to the emergence of “Super fakes” and unscrupulous manufacturers overseas, the prevalence of Verragio knockoffs is on the rise.
The best way to make sure you are getting the real deal is to shop with an authorized retailer. You can find a list of authorized retailers near you by visiting the designer’s site. Diamonds by Raymond Lee is proud to be an authorized retailer and even if you cannot shop with us in person, our online showroom is convenient, secure, and has the same policies as our Boca Raton location.
Ensuring you’re buying an authentic setting is very important. Unlike other, simpler styles, a Verragio design features elements that are very difficult to replicate. In the hands of an unskilled jeweler, those scrolls, loops, scallops and – most importantly, the diamonds – won’t be as structurally sound.
And if you do find a jeweler skilled enough to replicate the look and quality, you can expect to pay about the same amount – and wait longer for the ring to be finished. You’d also miss out on the Verragio warranty and guarantee of customer satisfaction.
After you register your ring on the website, it is protected for life. Should any damage occur due to the craftsmanship of the ring, the designer will repair or replace it – for as long as you own it. When you purchase your ring from Diamonds by Raymond Lee, you get a lifetime of protection from Verragio in addition to our own lifetime warranty, access to our trade and upgrade guarantee, and our always-included complimentary insurance appraisals.
Buying a Verragio ring is a decision that will bring you joy throughout your relationship. No other brand can mimic the beautiful attention to detail, and the strong identity of the designs. When they entire collection evolved from the ring designed for the founder’s own wife, you can rest assured that each ring is crafted in the spirit of love. Beyond that, you can wear your ring proudly, knowing it represents a spirit of creativity, of love, and the celebration of feminine beauty.