The single stand alone solitaire was still available but not the only choice anymore, although it is still considered one of the best quality engagement rings. With the introduction of wider bands to incorporate baguette diamonds, accenting the solitaire has started to become the norm. There are still traditionalists out there and this is perfectly fine. Personally my fiance has a solitaire ring, but added to this is a second ring with accent diamonds that is perfectly shaped just to complement this ring. The solitaire itself is a break from tradition. It is a modified marquise diamond in the shape of a tear drop. I gave this as a symbol for the tears I would shed if she was ever to leave me.
From the grace of halo to the sophistication of micro pave, design trends in diamond engagement rings and wedding band settings are changing, reflecting today’s busy lifestyles. Ergonomic designs reign supreme in today’s market, no longer does pure panache determine the design that leads to ‘I Do.’
“Some brides prefer an ergonomic design that can comfortably be worn day in and day out,” says Debi Wexler, President of Whiteflash.com. “Others look for added style in an intricate or trendy setting; which, unfortunately, can be limiting when it comes everyday wear,” adds Wexler. Whiteflash.com is an e-jewelry boutique specializing in Hearts & Arrows diamonds and custom-designed engagement rings.
Here’s a peek at the up-and-coming trends in engagement rings according to the boutique’s jewelry designers:
Myth: solitaires stand tall – Not true of today’s diamond solitaire settings, says Wexler. “Solitaire settings are traditionally upswept, raising the diamond to make a very bold statement,” he adds. “However, people are also choosing settings where the center diamond sits down low, creating a look that is extremely elegant and also ergonomic.” With the diamond down in the setting, brides-to-be are able to wear the engagement ring in everyday work and play situations long after they say their “
Halos make a comeback – The likely reason for that comeback, according to Wexler, is that the halo-style diamond engagement ring makes the center diamond appear larger than it really is. “And the appearance of a high carat weight in the center stone is extremely important for many who are headed to the altar,” says Wexler. Whiteflash.com has introduced several halo designs to its line of diamond engagement rings in the past year, including one with beaded diamonds along the shank as well as around the center stone, Increased sales prove the design’s resurgence and staying power.
A toast to the ‘Champagne’ setting – One design stunning even to the most fashion-savvy is the diamond ‘Champagne’ setting. “Those who desire this setting know exactly what they’re looking for…and that’s something unique,” says Wexler. “The Champagne style of setting has an unmistakable following.” The designers at Whiteflash.com deserve a toast of the bubbly for their interpretation of the Champagne-style bubble design in their U-prong Champagne engagement ring…among others.
Wexler says the company’s Champagne fashions have produced a great deal of spin-off custom-design work, much of which incorporates exclusive Whiteflash ACA melee diamonds. “The design of the Champagne diamond setting intermixes several components…it’s these combined features that really draw[s] people to it,” he says.
“Often people ask us to replicate one aspect or another of the Champagne design into a custom project, and of course we don’t hesitate to do so.” According to Wexler, the U-Prong, domed shank and accent diamonds are examples of features that can be applied to any custom piece. “Our Whiteflash ACA melee diamonds have been adopted into thousands of projects, and are a stunning complement to any setting style,” comments Wexler.
Delicate pave and micro-pave designs – The old debate: Delicate versus complex, which is better? According to the designers at Whiteflash.com, this season the style leans more heavily towards delicacy rather than complexity.
The diamond pave setting is widely admired for its refinement. To give the setting its simplistic, yet exquisite appearance, beads of metal are raised to create secure channels where the diamonds sit securely in the ring. According to the craftsmen at Whiteflash.com, the raised metal of the band (or ring) is used to create the tiny prongs that hold the petite diamonds in place.
Center stage: Eternity bands – The pave and micro pave diamond engagement rings come into play when customers are looking at smaller diamond settings like the eternity band. According to Wexler there has been a recent push for smaller diamonds in settings. “In some cases even solitaire engagement rings are being replaced with semi, and even full diamond eternity bands,” he says. The trend is likely a response to the aforementioned movement towards dainty-looking styles and those that offer daily wear. Eternity bands traditionally are set with diamonds anywhere from one to three points (carats).
Brides trade up – The ‘trading-up’ trend will never fade into obscurity. “We’ve found that it makes a difference in the design process if the bride-to-be is involved up front,” says Wexler. “If the groom chooses to go it alone, he typically gravitates toward a simple design with a smaller-than-desired diamond. And what happens next? The bride-to-be upgrades the size of her diamonds, even adding side stones, and looks for a setting more suited to their tastes.”
‘Trading up’ need not always be done up front. Many couples consider upgrades for important milestones like anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. “While her diamond engagement ring was [current] as a newlywed, many years later she might change or modify her setting to reflect transition in her own life or to keep up with current jewelry trends,” says Wexler. “Even if she keeps the setting forever, there is a chance that down the road she may require a larger diamond. We have many repeat customers who upgrade their diamonds with us,” she finishes.