Ditching the Diamond: Engagement Rings of the Modern Bride

By Catherine Wolfe

It’s no secret that engagement ring trends have recently shifted, and quite drastically. Brides and their partners are opting for other choices besides the quintessential diamond. It’s a trend that has gained so much momentum that companies such as Forbes and Bloomberg Markets, among many others, have acknowledged the trend and looked into why it’s happening and how it’s affecting the diamond market.

It turns out those in the market for a ring are looking at other stones so much so that it’s placing such a strain on the diamond market, diamond prices are expected to fall another 10% this year. So why are brides choosing not to follow the diamond ring tradition their parents and grandparents almost religiously adhered to? Well there’s really two answers to that question; cost, and looking for a more unique expressive style. A lot of couples shopping for a ring are just unwilling to shell out as much as previous generations when there are lab created stones with great quality at a much lower cost. It’s also all about how you can customize your ring to really let your personality shine through, brides today love standing out from their friends through unique shapes or colored stones.

So what exactly is taking the diamond’s place for these modern rings? Almost no stone has been excluded in the recent surge in unique rings. Some have gone with lab created diamonds just to cut cost, but colored stones are really taking the forefront this year. Again, some of these stones are colored lab created diamonds, blue diamonds and likewise, sapphires are gaining popularity. Blue stones saw an increased popularity when Duchess Kate Middleton was given the late princess Diana’s sapphire ring, but they didn’t stop there. Sapphires continue to charm brides as do other colored stones, rubies, emeralds and others have been used for engagement rings with an increasing frequency. A gem that’s taking the market by surprise is the opal, which has gotten a lot more attention for bridal than ever before.

The changes to the engagement ring don’t stop at the type of stone though. Many brides are looking for more unique cuts for their centerpiece to their ring. Oval and pear shaped stones have become the most popular cuts recently, straying away from the round and princess cuts that were formerly at the forefront.

The overall shape of the ring and the metal work to the band has also seen a recent facelift as a result of these changes. Stackable rings have really been popular with brides recently, with some being multiple thin rings, and others being the tiara style stack wedding band to encase the engagement ring. Twist details have also been gaining ground as a highlighted element to the metalwork of these modern rings.

Now this isn’t to say the diamond has completely fallen of the radar of today’s couples, as much as it has started taking a back seat to the colored stones. Couples still looking to incorporate diamonds are using them in elaborate halo designs around the center stone, or as small accents through the band. Both of these style options really help to accentuate the ring as a whole and truly set the center stone apart.

While trends in bridal and fashion come and go, one thing remains the same, the meaning behind your engagement ring. No matter the color, shape, or size of your ring you can wear it with confidence that it’s an expression of not only yourself, but the deep love you and your partner have for each other.