Unique Engagement Ring Trends That Modern Brides Are Loving Right Now — From Unusual Settings To Unconventional Gemstones
It’s hard to imagine that engagement rings can be influenced by trends, since these are jewellery that’s intended to be worn forever and, hence, are typically designed to be classic and minimal.
While it’s true that the majority of brides would opt for a simple, therefore, timeless ring, there is a growing number of those who want something different, unique, and which reflects their taste and personality.
Many seem to have a fixed idea of what an engagement ring should look like – a single round solitaire diamond set atop an elegant, fuss-free ring setting, perhaps with some subtle enhancements, such as having a “halo” of diamonds around the central stone or decorative elements on the ring shank.
Such designs are perfect in their classic way, but nobody ever said an engagement ring must look that way or be set with a diamond. Your ring is yours to wear and appreciate, so it can be anything you like, as long as you believe you’d enjoy it for a long time to come.
This is why many modern brides are looking at other ring styles or gemstones that offer a special twist, and yet are still timeless and wearable. If you, too, are searching for an engagement ring that will stand apart from the rest, why not take a cue from these trends that are currently finding favour with them?
#1: Coloured gems
Diamonds are forever, so it is said, and that’s why they have always been the popular stone of choice for the ring that seals the promise of commitment between two people. But there’s no reason why a ring with other gemstones can’t be worn as an engagement ring – more brides are ditching white diamonds for coloured gems, which open up so many more design possibilities.
While not commonly seen on engagement rings here, precious stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires have always been classic gems worn by many famous brides around the world – Kate Middleton, one well-known example, wears the sapphire ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.
The cool brides of today, however, are exploring beyond these, and going for semiprecious gems like aquamarine, tanzanite, morganite, or tourmaline and spinel – two gemstones that are available in a wide spectrum of hues. You don’t necessarily have to go for a single-stone ring – combining two or more coloured gems can be interesting too.
#2: East-West settings
This ring setting gives the central stone a horizontal orientation instead of the typical vertical position. This works on gems of any shape that’s elongated (this excludes round and square-cut diamonds, of course) and creates a contemporary twist that’s perfect for those who like designs with a modern edge.
The east-west setting can also make the gemstone appear larger than it really is – an illusion that no woman would mind on their engagement ring. It also can create an interesting asymmetric effect when used on a pear-shaped diamond – consider going for this gemstone cut if you want a trendier look.
#3: Fancy cuts
The round brilliant-cut diamond will forever be a classic and likely the most widely purchased diamond shape. In Singapore, at least, it seems to still be the most in-demand choice – local jewellery brand Holly Gray’s co-founder, Hanya Seah, said that Singaporeans largely stay with safe designs when it comes to engagement rings. In fact, 90 per cent of the custom orders she gets are for a solitaire. Around the world, however, there’s been a growing appreciation for fancy cuts, which include any other diamond shape besides the round.
While a heart-shaped diamond might not be for everyone, there are other fancy cuts that can be as timeless as the solitaire. Take, for example, the emerald, cushion, oval or Asscher cut, which all make for simple and sophisticated ring designs and are gaining popularity with those who desire a ring style that is out of the ordinary and yet still classic.
There are also those who prefer to get a completely unique and bold design they had in their mind customised. All one needs is to find a jeweller who can realise it for them. Seah remembered a particularly memorable double-arrow diamond engagement ring she produced for a client. “We were intrigued by the unconventional choice of the client and had to specially get the diamonds custom-cut, since you won’t be able to find arrow-shaped diamonds anywhere,” she shared.
#4: Lab-grown diamonds
With the rise in awareness about climate change, more consumers are opting for sustainable products – part of the reason why cultivated diamonds are getting the attention of couples in recent years.
It’s no secret that diamond mining can have a negative social and environmental impact – lab-grown diamonds seem to rate better in these aspects, even if it doesn’t mean that they produce zero negative impact.
The other perk they offer? Their much-more-affordable price in comparison to that of mined diamonds. Seah noted an increased receptiveness to these cultivated diamonds, which is also due to cost-saving reasons. Lab-grown diamonds can be bought at almost half the price of natural diamonds, which is understandably a big draw for many. Add to that the fact that they are genuine diamonds, and it’s not difficult to see why they are gaining traction.
#5: Toi et moi rings
Its name alone (French for “you and me”) is romantic enough – there’s really no need to explain why this style of ring is perfect as an engagement ring. Featuring two focal stones that represent the union of two people, toi et moi rings have long been a fashionable jewellery statement, but have gotten popular recently as engagement rings, thanks to celebs including Megan Fox and Emily Ratajkowski flaunting theirs on social media.
There are so many ways to get creative with it, too, if one should like to get a toi et moi ring custom-made – consider opting for a pairing of two gemstones in different shapes and colours (one to signify each of you), or go for a between-the-finger version, which positions the gems nearer the two sides of your finger for a trendier look.
#6: Unconventional diamonds
It takes someone with a truly unconventional taste to appreciate this new trend in diamonds. Salt-and-pepper diamonds are in the spotlight now, even if they appeal to a niche market.
These diamonds are speckled with large inclusions, but are appreciated for their unusual, galaxy-like appearance. Each stone is special because of its unique pattern of inclusions – in other words, every one of them is one-of-a-kind.
Evelyn Chung, who owns Twomorrow, a Singapore jewellery brand that specialises in such unconventional diamonds, has had more couples coming to her for wedding rings. “There is definitely a larger appeal in terms of the symbolism and romance in these diamonds and we do see this trend in our clients – many of them have been searching for a special piece that enables them to stand out from the crowd. Like how a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime milestone, they want the diamond to also hold special and meaningful connotations for their engagement or marriage,” she shared.