When it comes to engagement rings, the options are almost endless. From ring style to gemstone choice, stone shape to precious metal, there are millions of combinations to configure your dream engagement ring. And although you might have had a particular ring in mind for years, new trends, styles, and technologies might change that up once you start your search.
To help keep you up-to-date on all things ‘engagement rings’, we’ve partnered with the industry experts at Clean Origin to compile a list of the top 5 trends they’re seeing in the second half of 2020.
1. Fancy-Cut Diamonds
Although the round brilliant is still the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings, “fancy-cut” stones are becoming much more popular…and for good reason.
So, what exactly is a fancy-cut diamond? Basically anything other than round. Some of the most widely known are pear, oval, cushion, princess, emerald, marquise, and Asscher. Each one of these shapes has its own personality and unique features, so they are a great option for someone looking to create a stand-out ring.
When searching for a fancy-cut diamond, you won’t be presented with a ‘cut’ grade. This is because these shapes are based on two faceting styles: brilliant and step-cut. Since there are so many different ways to cut these stones to maximize how it plays with light, it is extremely difficult to create a universal grading system. For this reason, it’s important to do your own research on the shape you’re going to choose, as each one will have its own recommended features to look for when comparing stones. For example, the placid, glass-like appearance of an emerald-cut diamond will make it very easy to spot flaws and inclusions. So, a good clarity grade is definitely a must for emerald diamonds.
2. Yellow Gold Settings
Though the general consumer still prefers their engagement ring in white gold or platinum, yellow gold is coming back in style in a big way. The gorgeous golden hue of this metal looks incredible next to the sparkle of a diamond. Not to mention, it looks fantastic on all skin tones!
If you do decide to go with yellow gold, you’ll likely have the option of it being 14k or 18k gold. The difference between the two really just comes down to the percentage of actual pure gold in the setting. 14k gold contains 58% pure gold, compared to the 75% contained in 18k gold. This gold is then mixed with different amounts of other alloys to keep the yellow color.
Since pure gold is so malleable, the more that it is present in a metal, the softer that metal will be. Thus, the main factor to consider is how active you will be when wearing your ring. If you’re at all nervous about the strength of your ring, then 14k might be your best bet. Plus, it is the most affordable option, often saving a few hundred dollars compared to 18k (depending on the setting, of course).
3. Diamond Alternatives
As the eco-friendly lens zooms in on the fashion and jewelry industry, more and more couples are turning to diamond alternatives for their engagement rings. The most popular choice? Lab-grown diamonds.
Having the same optical, physical, and molecular characteristics as mined diamonds, there are only two differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds — their origin and their price. Unfortunately for the earth, mined diamonds must be blasted out of the ground or seabed before they start on the long supply chain to get to your finger. Fortunately, lab-grown diamonds give you a better option. Not to mention, they can be up to 40% less expensive. A win-win if you ask us!
4. Minimalist Styles
Over the past few years, halo engagement rings have been some of the bestselling settings and it’s no surprise why — they’re glitzy and they give the illusion that your center diamond is much bigger than it really is. However, over the past few months, more and more couples are turning to the sleek, minimalist feel of a solitaire ring.
Individuals are searching for super thin bands, often unordained with anything else besides their chosen diamond. Then, for the wedding band, they have the option of adding in a pave style ring to add some sparkle.
The upside of these settings is that they’re usually much less than other styles such as a halo.
5. Shopping Online
With the current pandemic at hand and most individuals taking the necessary precautions to social distance, thousands of brick and mortar jewelry stores have either temporarily or permanently closed. This has pushed a lot of couples to discover the benefits and ease of shopping for their engagement ring online.
Many companies, such as Clean Origin, offer a seamless interface to search and build the ring of your dreams. They have endless educational resources if you’re still in the discovery phase and dedicated diamond experts to answer any and all questions you may have via chat, phone, or email.
Iffy about the idea of making such an important purchase online? With free shipping, one free resizing, and a generous 100-day return policy, Clean Origin doesn’t have to tell you that you’ll love your purchase, they’ll just show you.