Just like clothing trends come and go, engagement ring trends are constantly changing. For many of us when we think of an engagement ring we think of a round, clear, center stone diamond (known as a round brilliant) with maybe a few accent diamonds along the band. This “traditional” style ring (known as a solitaire engagement ring) was popularized in the 1940’s when De Beers ran an ad campaign, “A diamond is forever” with the goal to boost diamond engagement ring sales after The Great Depression.
The De Beers campaign proved to be successful, making diamonds the “norm” when it came to engagement rings. During World War II there was limited access to platinum in the US, so rose-gold and yellow-gold bands became the common choices. But, this didn’t stop people from revisiting old trends. Thanks to the rise in pop culture in the 1960’s, we saw a return of colored gemstones, similar to the art deco inspired engagement rings of the 1920’s and 1930’s. This trend is largely credited to First Lady, Jackie Kennedy’s two stone style ring featuring a diamond and green emerald as well as actress Sharon Tate’s large opal surrounded by rubies. The 60’s were known for its glam and modern style, with sleek silver metal settings.
By the 1970’s, colored center stones took the backseat for a while and angular diamond cuts started to catch on. We saw an influx of emerald and princess cut center stones with yellow-gold and rose-gold matching wedding bands.
The 1980’s were known for their maximalist fashion so colored gemstones became the new fab once again along with yellow-gold bands. Perhaps the most well known example of this style ring was Princess Diana’s 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds.
After the craziness in 80’s fashion, the 90’s were all about simplicity. Yellow-gold was out and white metals like platinum and white-gold were in. Marquise diamonds were on the rise and solitaire engagement rings became popular again. Since then, we have continued to see many of these trends cycle back. Some recent engagement rings that push the traditional boundaries include Ariana Grande’s ring which features an off-center diamond next to a pearl, Lily Collins’ which features morganite, Halle Berry’s with an emerald center stone– and let’s not forget the late Princess Diana’s iconic sapphire ring that is now worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Today’s trends tend to feature asymmetry or divergence from clear diamond center stones, favoring more colorful gemstones or simply diamond alternatives. Whatever the trend that you find calls to you, the options are only limited by your imagination. If you have any questions about designing a ring or piece of jewelry or just have questions and want to dip your toes into the world of diamond and gemstone jewelry sign up for an in-person or virtual appointment and a member of our sales team would be more than happy to answer any of the questions you may have.