You may know Lorraine Schwartz as the queen of engagement rings. With celebrities like Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian, Meghan Markle, and Beyoncé wearing her designs, there’s a reason why this popular jeweler is highly praised.
Schwartz is now using her time and skills to pay it forward, creating opportunities for the next generation of fine jewelry designers. On January 25 2021, she and The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) announced the start of their Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative–a program created to increase inclusivity within the fine jewelry space.
BIPOC jewelry designers will showcase their work to an esteemed committee of judges including Lorraine Schwartz; NDC CEO, David Kellie; Fashion Director of Vanity Fair, Nicole Chapoteau; and Celebrity Stylist, Jason Rembert. Kelly Rowland, Tina Knowles, and Pharrell Williams will also serve as honorary advisors and provide their expert opinions throughout the program.
The initiative will offer exclusive mentorship and provide a $20,000 credit to each designer (totaling one million dollars)–with The Natural Diamond Council serving as a guarantor with diamond suppliers. Once credit is established, designers will also have access to the NDC and Lorraine Schwartz’s partners and vast industry networks.
Schwartz states in an official press release, "It is past time for our industry to be more supportive and share the magic of diamonds with a larger, more diverse group of jewelers. Helping BIPOC designers, and more specifically the underrepresented Black designer community, gain entry to diamond vendors and credit financing as well as expand their businesses is a necessary step in the process towards a more equitable industry. This program is another opportunity for me to give back to those communities that have embraced me and have been a wonderful part of my journey as a designer over the last 20 years."
Applications can be found here, and acceptance into the initiative will be on a first come, first serve basis.
In honor of this program, here are a few of the most epic rings Lorraine Schwartz has designed.
For their 2007 engagement, Jay Z gave Beyoncé a jaw dropping 18-carat, emerald-cut, diamond solitaire Schwartz ring. The cost? An estimated $5 million.
Kanye West reportedly spent $8 million dollars on his first engagement ring to Kim Kardashian back in 2013. Lorraine Schwartz created a gorgeous 15-carat, cushion cut diamond ring for the pair.
NHL player, Brooks Laich, tapped Lorraine Schwartz to help create a flawless, 5-carat, oval cut ring for Julianne Hough in 2015.
Ryan Reynolds proposed to Blake Lively with a spectacular 12-carat, light pink, oval diamond ring. Schwartz and Reynolds worked together to design this one of a kind, $2 million show-stopper.
Though Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney ended their engagement in 2016, we must acknowledge the 6-carat, heart shaped Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring he donned to the pop star.
Prince Harry relied on the expertise of Lorraine Schwartz to help create a breathtaking eternity ring–a gift to Markle for their wedding anniversary back in 2019.