To dive further into it all, we tapped a handful of trusted experts to weigh in on exactly what’s going on with engagement rings. From the rise of online shopping to the cuts, colors, and styles that have risen to the top, consider this a lesson in the recent history of engagement rings, straight from those who know best. Whether you’re in the market for a sparkler or not, we found it all fascinating, and think you will too.
Read on to learn more about how engagement ring trends have changed in the past decade, then shop a few current must-have styles!
One major trend noted over the past decade is individuality. “There has been a huge shift in the market recently, with a large amount of customers looking for something unique and different,” says Sindur McRedmond, director of jewelry and gemology at Everything But the House. While traditional settings remain popular, shoppers are looking for rings that feel special to them.
As women embrace their individual tastes, another trend that has emerged among those shopping for engagement rings is that they’re more adventurous about the types of stones, and the colors of both gems and metals. “Many customers choose a unique, colorful stone that holds personal meaning for them,” notes Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth.
As to why there has been a shift over time, some attribute it to a new generation beginning to tie the knot. James Allen co-founder Michele Sigler says, “We’ve seen a lot more interest in sapphires, fancy-color diamonds, and fancy shapes. Younger buyers are definitely expressing their individuality in their engagement ring choices.”
Another major trend in engagement rings that has emerged over the past decade is a resurgence in vintage or retro-inspired engagement rings. “The workmanship on a piece of vintage jewelry is truly a work of art. Every single filigree design was handmade and that level of craftsmanship just doesn’t exist today,” McRedmond says. Gerstein adds, “Vintage details reimagined in contemporary settings,” while describing of-the-moment styles.
The jewelers we talked to all agreed, solitaires have continued to be a popular choice among brides, but the shape of choice has changed since 2006. “Ovals are in high demand as well at the moment,” says Michael Lebowitz, director of Jewelry at WP Diamonds. The “fancy” oval shape (as described by both Sigler and Gerstein) has come to be a favorite among current shoppers. Says McRedmond, “an oval shape is the new modern classic.”
With the rise of the internet, anything can be purchase online, including an engagement ring. “We’ve seen double-digit sales growth every year, ten years counting,” says Sigler. Though a big ticket item may seem like an intimidating online purchase, Gerstein notes that consumers are comfortable, especially if it’s a “brand they trust.” So, while some may still want to see the ring in person, shoppers aren’t afraid to purchase a ring from a brand they feel confident about.