Diamonds, by Design

In a fabulously well-appointed new studio space in the Back Bay, jewelry designer Hannah Florman works with clients to create one-of-a-kind engagement rings that speak to each couple’s authentic love story.

Custom wedding and eternity bands. / Courtesy photo

Since 2016, Hannah Florman has been designing custom engagement rings and wedding bands that reflect each of her clients in a personal and intimate way. At Hannah Florman Fine Jewelry, says Florman, “We also design custom fine jewelry outside of bridal, from timeless tennis bracelets to classic diamond studs and beyond.” In 2023, she opened the Brownstone, a private, by-appointment studio where the concept for every signature custom engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry begins. “A first of its kind in Boston, this space is designed as a treasure trove where inspiration, style, and design intersect,” Florman says.

Why did you decide to open your new studio?

I opened the Brownstone with the intention of bringing beauty back to the traditional brick-and-mortar experience by elevating it for the modern client. Our approach to custom fine-jewelry design is reminiscent of the way my grandparents would have shopped—thoughtfully, in person, and with someone they trusted. Creating a custom piece of lasting quality is an incredibly intimate and special experience, one that should be mirrored by the aesthetic environment the process unfolds in. I also wanted to revitalize the perception of Boston as a bridal destination—my clients would have traveled to NYC or L.A. before to design something special, and now they can enjoy a luxury design experience right here in the city.

Florman worked with Rachel Reid Design to set the aesthetic for the space. / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Please give us some of the design details about this unique space.

From the fixtures to the handglazed walls by Iris Marcus, each choice was deliberate and was composed to balance heritage and contemporary style. I always knew art would also play a big role in the space, and I worked with Hadley Powell of Powell Fine Art Advisory, who had influence in the selection of artwork from Mel Bochner, Robert Longo, and more. The Brownstone is home to several other elements that are so beautiful they act as art—from the sculptural lighting fixtures to the custom-made furniture. These were all incredibly deliberate choices and evocative of the way we design.

What are some of your favorite aspects of working with couples?

I love the one-to-one connection that working with couples—and individuals—brings to my life, whether they’re looking to create a custom engagement ring or add to their fine-jewelry collection. Some clients are eager to be immersed in the world of the custom design process, while others prefer a more hands-off, concierge approach—and both provide equally exciting opportunities for me and my team to design something better than the client ever imagined.

Florman worked with Powell Fine Art Advisory in the selection of the studio’s artwork from Mel Bochnr, Robert Longo, and more. Guests are welcomed into the space by the handmolded “Ceramic Flowers” by Bradley Sabin, a visionary installation that sets the tone for the Brownstone. Sculptural light fixtures and custom furniture enhance the contemporary aesthetic. / Photo by Michael J. Lee

When you meet a new client looking for a custom engagement ring, what is your process?

When a client comes in looking to design a custom engagement ring for their partner, my first step is to collect as much information as possible, from details of their partner’s personal style to their day-to-day lifestyle. Gathering rudimentary information like this, as well as establishing a budget, is a solid starting point. Based on that initial discussion, we tap our exclusive network of diamond dealers to show you four to six handselected GIA–certified stones from around the globe, making sure to inform you of each option’s individual characteristics. Upon settling on a design that fits the likes and lifestyle of the client, we work intimately together to design CAD and handdrawn renderings to help clients visualize the final designs and details of the ring. After seeing your dream ring on paper, our local workshop creates a beautifully designed custom engagement ring that will be ready for its big moment in just four to six weeks.

Hannah Florman in her Back Bay studio. / Courtesy photo

How far in advance of their wedding should couples come to see you to have their wedding bands made?

Eternity bands can often take as little as three to six weeks, but I recommend starting your wedding bands process around four to six months before your wedding, ensuring ample time for any resizing and adjustments.

What styles of engagement rings seem to be the most in-demand these days?

I am a firm believer that your engagement ring should not be something you deem trendy. However, timeless designs don’t have to mean traditional, and I’ve seen many beautiful cuts, settings, and stones fluctuate in popularity over the years—and all of them withstand the test of time. Recently, clients have been loving the more contemporary oval-shaped stone, a slight twist on the classic round stone. An elongated oval can give the finger more coverage, making the stone appear larger than it is. I also can’t help but be excited about a recent inclination toward bezel-style settings—a non-traditional option rooted in sophistication.

Where do you source your diamonds, and where are your rings made?

Through our global network of highly esteemed and trusted diamond dealers, we have access to the same high-quality stones that high-end stores like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Harry Winston use. Through our intimate connections and keen knowledge of the diamond industry, we can offer handselected stones for each client.

One of the designer’s custom engagement rings. / Courtesy photo

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