Everyone has a childhood memory of playing dress-up; either trying on Dad’s ties, which end up hanging down to the floor, or putting on Mom’s lipstick and much-too-large heels. For Anne Sportun, the memory is a fascination with her grandmother’s costume jewelry, which she kept in elaborate cookie tins. “The jewelry would often get tangled and I would spend hours untangling it for her,” Anne says.
A career in jewelry design was on the horizon, as Anne sold her first collection of glass earrings to stores when she was 16. She shares, “As a teenager I taught myself stained glass and along with making lampshades and sun catchers, I made earrings!”
Now an established designer selling her collections at stores like Max’s in St. Louis Park, Anne knows her way around a wedding ring. Although she loves to work with 18K yellow gold (“It’s like working with butter!”), she advises couples to not follow trends. She says, “I think jewelry is so personal. More important than any trend, it’s about finding a style and design, or even an artist with which you connect, to represent your union and love.”
Same-sex couples don’t even have to have the same ring, or even match at all. Once again, Anne suggests going with what you love. In fact, Anne’s clients will often not have rings that match in design. However, the rings look related as they may have the same texture or finish, since everything Anne makes is by hand. And, should a couple choose the same metal, the unique metal alloy used will connect the rings to each other.
Depending on the purpose of a piece of jewelry, Anne says she typically uses different design elements, although right-hand rings can vary from a classic solitaire to a large rose-cut colored center stone. “A beautiful rose-cut sapphire center stone surrounded by pave diamonds can similarly be worn as an engagement ring!” she says. “Colored gems for fashion rings work well especially when they contain a softer stone than sapphire and are not worn every day. Absolutely diamonds for wedding bands as diamond is the hardest stone there is, and there really is never a day we are without our wedding band.”
The greatest advice Anne gives to couples looking for wedding bands is to take your time. Looking and revisiting pieces works best for some people as it allows them time to have the design percolate in their thoughts. “Often people will have a list of their top three, and more often than not will return to the very first ring they liked,” she says. “But they need and deserve to take the time and experience the process of purchasing a ring to symbolize such a significant and wonderful life event.”