Top 6 Engagement Ring Trends for 2011
Engagement rings aren’t like a new dress or a pair of boots. You aren’t going to wear them for a season and then discard them, like last year’s feather-embellished headband or the Uggs of 2007. A diamond engagement ring is a purchase to treasure for a lifetime, a symbol of love you want to be as timeless as your love itself. When you think “diamond engagement ring”, you think of words like “beautiful,” “timeless” and “elegant”, not words like “cool,” “trendy” or “hip”. The most gorgeous engagement rings of all time, the ones which have withstood the test of time to become truly memorable, are the ones with design appeal that transcends any individual decade or trend.
So then why is this an article about engagement ring trends? Good question. First of all, when we say these are trends, we don’t mean that these styles and design elements are trendy in the same way that we thought shoulder pads and neon looked good in the 80’s or some people seem to think jeggings look fantastic now. These are trends in that right now people are discovering, or discovering, the simple, classic beauty that these styles express, in ways that may not have been recognized ten or fifteen years ago. But you can rest assured that all of these so-called “trends” will withstand the test of time, and you will be as proud to pass these engagement rings on to your grandchildren as you will be to wear them in 2011.
1. Ring around the diamond. Diamond solitaire engagement rings are nice, classic pieces that will never go out of style. But add a diamond halo to the setting and a pavé diamond design to the band and suddenly your engagement ring is a fashion statement that attracts every eye in the room. Designers are incorporating small, high-quality diamonds in ever more ways in diamond engagement ring settings, creating classic and whimsical designs that complement, but don’t compete with, the certified diamond center stone. A halo of small diamonds can make your center stone look larger, or create balance in the design. A diamond-embellished setting may cost a little more than a plain solitaire setting, but it’s a great way to add flair and sparkle to a modest diamond, or to create a suitably dramatic setting for a more substantial one.
2. What’s your color? For the last few decades, nearly every engagement ring sold was pure white—colorless diamonds set in bright white platinum or white gold. But color is coming back, and in a big way. Express yourself through your engagement ring choice with gorgeous, retro-style colored metals like yellow or rose gold, and create a personal touch by choosing high-quality colored gemstones as the center or accent stones for your engagement ring. Keep in mind however, that not all gemstones are suitable for use in an engagement ring that you plan to wear every day—sapphires (in every color, not just blue), rubies and citrines are just a few of the gorgeous gemstones you can use to contrast and highlight your certified diamond.
3. Raise it up. While sleek, low-profile engagement ring settings remain popular with athletes and other people with highly active lifestyles, the bigger trend in engagement ring design is going exactly the other way—up, up and away! Raised profile settings, in which the center stone sits slightly above the finger on a cleverly-designed raised setting, calls attention to the center stone and creates a dramatic, eye-catching look with any certified diamond. These designs can be subtle and simple or elaborate and intricate—but no matter what you choose, the high profile is hot!
4. Mint vintage. While real vintage can be fun when it comes to weekend flea market browsing and even dress shopping, it can be a risk to buy vintage diamond jewelry, especially engagement rings. First of all, it can be hard to get reliable certified diamonds in older jewelry, and second, it can be hard to ascertain the quality and condition of the ring until you get it professionally appraised. Mint vintage, a style in which new engagement rings are styled to look like they could have belonged to your grandmother, is the best of both worlds. You get the old-school design, intricate details, and quirky sensibility of heirloom jewelry, with the modern innovation and high-quality certified diamonds of brand new diamond jewelry.
5. Add a little twist. Creating motion with intricately twisted metalwork is a great way to add visual appeal to an otherwise simple ring, and this twisty look has never been more popular. Adding a sleek curve to a simple polished band looks innovative and modern, while wrapping two diamond-embellished bands around each other is sweet and romantic. Keep in mind that twisted diamond engagement rings will often need specialized wedding bands that fit their silhouettes. Some engagement rings designs may be sold with matching wedding bands, or speak to your jeweler about having a wedding band custom designed to follow the contours of your engagement ring.
6. Rings that love the earth. Loving the planet doesn’t mean settling for a hemp ring and a daisy chain. The trendiest engagement ring of all is the one that embraces earth-friendliness and shows some serious sparkle wattage. The first step to an earth-aware diamond ring is to read up on conflict-free diamonds—you can even purchase diamond jewelry that is sold to support victims of the illegal diamond trade in Africa. After all, nothing sparkles more than the feeling of doing good!
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