It’s estimated that nearly 40% of engagements in the US happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.
Thinking about popping the question?
Julez Bryant Director of Brand Development, Wade Clar, and Gemological Science International (GSI) President and Co-Founder Debbie Azar, reveal the latest trends in rings, including the rise of women buying their own!
Popping the question: It’s estimated that nearly 40% of engagements in the US happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Hailey Bieber said ‘Yes’ to an oval-shaped diamond set on a gold band
Heirloon: Prince William gave Kate Middleton the same 12-carat sapphire his mother Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles
Get involved: Experts encourage women to talk to their partners about the style of ring they like. Meghan Markle’s ring features a cushion-cut stone flanked by two diamonds
Times have changed
Tradition has long dictated that a man is supposed to choose an engagement ring for his girlfriend before getting down on one knee and popping the question.
These days, however, the element of surprise isn’t as appealing to women who know what they want.
Regardless of how much you trust his decision-making skills, Wade encourages women to talk to their partners openly about what they like and to get involved.
‘Couples are enjoying the engagement ring process,’ he said. ‘They’re excited to work directly with designers and push the boundaries of societal norms.
‘As an ultimate symbol of love, work with your partner to curate a ring that will be treasured and tell the amazing story.’
Wade also revealed that some women aren’t opposed to purchasing their own bling.
According to a recent study by De Beers, women are increasingly buying engagement rings for themselves, and spend more on them than their partners do.
A league of it’s own: While Jennifer Lopez’s rock from fiancé Alex Rodriguez is a 15-carat emerald-cut, colorless diamond, fancy light brown diamonds and salt-and-pepper diamonds are trending, according to Wade
Original: Heidi Klum’s now-husband, guitarist Tom Kaulitz, asked the supermodel to be his wife with a green gemstone surrounded by a halo and accented by two cushion-cut diamonds
Unconventional: ‘Pinks, reds, and blues are sophisticated, and couples are entertaining the idea of Sapphire, Ruby, Morganite, and Spinel among others’ said Wade
‘We, at GSI, are still seeing a majority of diamonds coming through our laboratory going towards diamond engagement and bridal rings, but we’re also noticing that millennials are purchasing more than just those pieces, said Debbie.
‘And millennials now make up about 41% of all diamond purchases, according to a report by De Beers.
‘Because of increased social mobility, women are becoming self-purchasers buying their own engagement rings and statement pieces like necklaces or earrings and men are now buying earrings and rings for themselves.’
Left: 18k White Gold Gemstone and Diamond Cluster Ring by London Collection, $2,995; londonjewelers.com. Right: Sapphire And Emerald Cut Diamond Ring by Nicole Rose, $9,800; nicolerosejewelry.com
Red hot: When Eva Longoria’s husband, José Bastón, proposed, he did so with a stunning ruby and diamond cluster ring
Left: Brilliant Yellowish Brown Diamond & Colorless Diamond in 18k White Gold by Karen Karch, $13,650; karenkarch.com. Right: Chocolate Diamond Band 7/8 ct tw 14K Honey Gold by Le Vian, $1,999.99; jared.com
Taste the rainbow
‘Colored gemstones are having a moment,’ revealed Wade.
‘Pick a stone that speaks to you. Pinks, reds, and blues are sophisticated, and couples are entertaining the idea of sapphire, ruby, morganite, and spinel among others.
Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria and Katy Perry all have engagement rings without traditional clear diamonds.
Arguably one of the most famous colorful engagement rings of all time, is the one on Kate Middleton’s finger.
William gave the Duchess of Cambridge the same 12-carat sapphire his mother Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles.
‘Women across the world are spreading their wings when it comes to the type of stone they’re wearing as a sign of commitment,’ shared Wade.
‘Fancy light brown diamonds and salt-and-pepper diamonds are also trending,’ he added.
In bloom: ‘Colored gemstones are having a moment,’ revealed Wade. Actor Orlando Bloom popped the question to singer Katy Perry on Valentine’s Day last year with an oval-shaped ruby featuring diamonds around it to create a flower-shaped halo
Salt & Pepper Ring by T Kahres Jewelry, $2,870; tkahresjewelry.com. Right: Margaret Rose Cut Grey Diamond Ring by Mason Grace, $6,580; etsy.com
Hexagon Engagement Ring With Salt And Pepper Diamond by Sofia Kaman, $4,130; sofiakaman.com. Right: Grey Diamond Ring by Capucinne, $2,950; capucinne.com
A cut above the rest
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The cut of the diamond affects the way light is reflected off of it, determining the look and sparkle.
While brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular, rose cuts are in demand, according to Wade.
The cut gets it’s name for it’s resemblance to a rosebud.
‘Storied, old mine cut diamonds (dates back to the Victorian era, similar to a cushion cut) are also well-liked.’
‘Last year I had a client request an octahedral diamond wedding ring in rose gold paired with a Russian rough diamond as the wedding band. This was a designers dream,’ said designer Julez Bryant.
Rost 14K Gold Criss Cross Ring by Julez Bryant, julezbryant.com. Right: Oval Rose-Cut Diamond Octagonal Bezel Ring by Grace Lee, $3,888; gracelee.com
Be different: ‘Women across the world are spreading their wings when it comes to the type of stone they’re wearing as a sign of commitment,’ shared Wade. Emily Ratajkowski’s engagement ring from Sebastian Bear-McClard features a pear-and square-shaped diamonds
Metal is a personal choice
Platinum is the most popular metal choice for engagement rings due to its hardness and naturally white sheen that will never fade or change.
But according to the expert, choose a metal that complements the stone.
‘With a 1-carat salt and pepper fancy shape (any shape that’s not round) diamond, go for rose gold,’ said Wade.
‘Yellow gold works perfectly with a variety of materials depending on your style.
‘I recently sold a 1.20-carat light fancy yellow-brown oval diamond set in 14k yellow gold; the yellow gold made the diamond pop.
‘If you are a girl who wants a clean white (1.5-carat or less) diamond, opt for white gold or platinum.’
Good tips: Bachelor in Paradise bartender, Wells Adams, gave Modern Family actress, Sarah Hyland, a 5-carat oval-shaped solitary ring by Lorraine Schwartz in June 2019
Natural vs. lab-grown diamonds
‘I’m a naturalist, I love rocks that come from the earth,’ Wade said.
‘It makes me feel alive and like I’m personally discovering the earth’s ability to create special moments, like a surfer catching a wave.
‘I’m getting men requesting diamonds with character and they are excited about celebrating the imperfections of the earth.’
While wholesale diamond dealers are confident in the demand for natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are gaining popularity.
Natural diamonds are made of pure carbon below the earth’s surface. They are the hardest natural mineral on earth.
Lab-grown diamonds are the result of an industrial process as opposed to a geological process, but they are made of the same composition. They are not Cubic Zirconia.
The benefits of lab-grown diamonds range from affordability to transparency in the supply-chain.
Left: Aerial Oval Halo Lab-Grown Diamond Ring by Great Heights, greatheights.com. Right: Classic Pear Shaped Halo Lab-Grown Diamond Ring by Great Heights, greatheights.com
Left: 1/5 Ct. T.W. Lab-Grown Diamond 14K White Gold (Setting Only) by New World Diamonds, $449; newworlddiamonds.com. Right: 1/5 Ct. T.W. Lab-Grown Diamond 14K White Gold (Setting Only) by New World Diamonds, $399; newworlddiamonds.com
Classic beauty: Cooke Maroney placed a solitary, emerald-cut diamond on Jennifer Lawrence’s ring finger