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Fashion

Tips on picking an engagement ring

Jewelry maker Emily Scott
Jewelry maker Emily Scott

When Emily Scott started out as a jeweler eight years ago, her best customers were people sitting down to dinner. She waited tables at Trina’s Starlite Lounge and Highland Kitchen in Somerville, and she did what any savvy entrepreneur might: She wore her pieces to attract clients.

“I’d sell necklaces right off my neck,” she recalls.

Today, Scott has her own modest Somerville storefront and her own company, E. Scott Originals. Her new nuptial line debuts this season with engagement rings and wedding bands for men and women. She offers a variety of styles from antique to asymmetric to baguette in gold, palladium, and platinum. Clients can opt for their gem of choice. Prices are modest, with engagement rings beginning at roughly $900 and wedding bands starting around $500.

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Scott is equally down to earth, and she’s not afraid to tell people what works and what doesn’t.

“I’m seeing a lot of people doing mixed metal rings. If an engagement ring is platinum, they go with a rose gold band. And people are using alternative stones, not just a white sparkly diamond, and different colored sapphires,” she says.

Moissanite, in particular, has become a hit among the eco-friendly set.

“It’s a lab-grown stone but white and sparkly. Because it’s lab grown, it’s a lot less expensive and more environmentally friendly,” Scott says. Eco-friendliness is part of her business: She also uses estate diamonds as much as possible to avoid mining, and she sources from eco-conscious Boston Gems.

Scott’s careful to point out that she’s not an art jeweler; she trained in jewelry-making at the North Bennet Street School, a private North End trade school.

As such, she says her designs are the “J. Crew of rings — cool and durable, not dainty,” she says with a laugh.

The school “was set up for immigrants to learn a trade when they got here. They stay pretty true to that. My program was two years, hands-on: You sit at a bench every day from 8 to 3 for two years, and you learn how to make things.”

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Now she has a bench of her own, though the digs are equally modest. She shares the space with an intern and her dog; customers pop in asking for advice.

“The first thing I always tell people is: Pay attention to what your lady friend wears,” Scott says. “If she only wears silver, not gold, go with silver. And simpler is better. You can always add on [to a ring], but you can’t take things away.”


Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com