This post was written by my friend Aimee Berrent, a GIA Graduate Gemologist and owner of A Matter of Brilliance. Aimee is a jewelry expert! Whether it’s helping you with the stones you’re considering, appraising your engagement ring, or supplying you with the documentation you’ll need when it’s time to insure it, you can go to Aimee for all of your jewelry-related questions. Given that this time of year is a big one for proposals, gifts, and engagements, I thought her tips for choosing a non-traditional engagement ring were very timely. Check her out at www.ambappraisal.com
When you think of an engagement ring you probably envision a clear, sparkling diamond, maybe with a few smaller stones around it. But today, many couples are looking for something more individual, a ring that speaks to their own interests and lifestyle.
Here are the current trends in engagement rings, as noted by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
- Geometric shapes: Move over, circles and ovals, and make way for rectangles, triangles, and pears.
- Whimsical designs: Off-center stones; uncut natural stones with rough surfaces instead of facets.
- Unique bands: Instead of a simple band, rings have split and bejeweled bands. Plus, we’re seeing more mixed metals, like rose gold and white gold, in the same ring.
- Stackables: More than just an engagement and wedding ring set, brides are adding 2 or more bands for extra effect.
One of the biggest trends: Colored stones
While the traditional engagement ring had a clear diamond, there have always been other gems, like sapphires and emeralds. Today, though, the use of colored stones has exploded. In fact, even Tiffany is featuring an engagement ring with a large aquamarine, surrounded by two circles of diamonds (Google it and you’ll see.)
More and more couples are choosing from a rainbow of stones:
- Fancy yellow/brown/black/pink/blue diamonds
- Tanzanite, with a bright blue/purple hue
- Topaz, in blue, yellow, green, pink, purple, vibrant orange, and red
- Alexandrite, which turns different colors in the light—the GIA describes it as “Green in sunlight. Red in lamplight.”
- Someone’s birthstone
- Even pearls!
If you’re thinking about using a stone other than diamond:
- Consider the stone’s durability. That opal may be breathtaking but it’s not as durable as others, which may not work well in a ring.
- You love the ring now, but think about the future. A super-trendy ring may not stand the test of time.
- Do some homework on the stone you’re considering. Will it be in your price range? What sorts of treatments has the stone had?
Congratulations on looking for a ring that will be a sign of your love for decades to come. Make it yours, and make it spectacular!
Romantically yours, Aimee