If deciding what to order at a restaurant gives you anxiety, then the idea of choosing an engagement ring—one of the biggest fashion commitments you'll ever make—is probably not sitting too well with you right now. Between the various diamond cuts, metals, settings, and price points, even attempting to find a place to start this shopping endeavor is a challenge in itself. Well, thanks to private jeweler and founder of The Clear Cut, Olivia Landau, it no longer has to be.
Olivia and I recently sat down for a quick coffee so I could pick her brain on all things diamond related. After all, it's not every day you're in the presence of a GIA graduate and fourth-generation diamantaire. I quickly learned that, like with anything in fashion, there are trends that pump through the engagement ring market, and the one trend that's currently decreasing in popularity had me quite shocked—pavé halo rings.
"In the past year, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of requests for diamond pavé halo engagement rings," Olivia informed me. "For quite a while, the halo ring was one of the most coveted engagement ring designs, providing the center diamond with some extra sparkle and the illusion of a larger size. The halo consists of tiny pavé-set diamonds that frame the center stone, which can make the diamond appear a carat or two larger than its actual size. I like to think of a halo as a push-up bra for your diamond."
"However, like in fashion, trends come and go with jewelry and engagement rings as well. Perhaps the halo's initial surge in popularity is the [reason for] its current decrease in popularity. When girls see all of their friends with the same rings, they tend to lean toward getting something slightly different. As a result, we are seeing a shift to more unique diamond cuts and simpler ring designs." Unique cuts? Simpler designs? You know we pressed her for more information and thankfully, she obliged by telling us the most popular engagement ring trends of the moment. Whether you're currently in the market for an engagement ring or are one of those girls looking to update your wishful wedding Pinterest board (no shame), the engagement ring trends ahead are definitely worth knowing about.
Go on to find out which engagement ring trends are increasing in popularity and what Olivia has to say about each, and then shop our favorite selects.
Yellow & Rose Gold
Platinum is still the metal of choice for most engagement rings. However, we are seeing an uptick in demand for both rose and yellow gold. Traditionally, the majority of women viewed white metal as the default choice for their engagement ring. Today, women are opting for the metal color that complements their skin tone or personal style best. Colored metals can provide that extra style statement to even the most traditional rings. I also love the way white diamonds really pop against colored metal. Even men are switching gears and opting for yellow (and even rose) gold wedding bands over the ever-popular platinum and white gold.
Expert Tip: If you are thinking about a using either yellow or rose gold for your ring, it is important to keep in mind the metal purity. The higher the purity, the more saturated the color will be. For instance, 18K yellow gold will look more yellow than 14K yellow gold.
Although round brilliant diamonds will always be the most classic and traditional diamond shape, fancy-shaped diamonds are definitely on trend right now. Over the past couple of years, cushions have by far been the most popular cut after round. However, now oval- and emerald-cut diamonds are taking center stage. Both of these elongated cuts are finger flattering and unique, while also maintaining a classic feel. You could say they are classic with a bit of edge.
Those who are looking for the extra sparkle and brilliance would typically lean toward the oval cut since the brilliant faceting (similar to the round brilliant) provides an amazing light return. For those seeking a super-elegant look, the emerald cut is the perfect choice. The step-cut faceting (that literally looks like stairs) provides a high-fashion feel but has a subtler sparkle.
- Emerald-cut diamonds hold a lot of weight at the bottom of the stone, so they tend to look a bit smaller.
- The step-cut facets in an emerald cut let you see into the stone easily, so you will typically have to opt for a higher clarity.
- Some ovals that are not cut well can have a “bow-tie” effect—a dark appearance in the center of the stone in a similar shape of a bow tie.
- The brilliant faceting in the oval diamond will allow more leniency for clarity.
Price is for the setting.
The most popular ring design of the moment is definitely the thin delicate pavé band. This style has become so desirable because it combines the best of both worlds—a classic feel with extra sparkle. A delicate pavé band highlights the center diamond as the star of the show while also providing a little something extra for those who do not want a plain metal band. The great thing about this ring design is that it complements any shape center stone.
Expert Tip: When attempting to achieve the thin, delicate look (à la Kim K), make sure the shank (band) of the ring is no more than 1.8mm in thickness.
Monique Péan Mineraux Women's Hexagonal White Diamond Ring ( $36,890)