JCK talks to retailers and designers about the most buzzed-about colored diamond engagement ring in years—and the effect it could have on the wedding jewelry market
When Jennifer Lopez announced her engagement—or, more accurately, her reengagement—to Ben Affleck, the media frenzy surrounding her new ring came as no surprise.
After all, this is J. Lo, the woman who launched a million search inquiries for pink diamonds, which she wore on her first go-round with Affleck.
But the sparkler the multihyphenate talent now wears, an 8.5 ct. modified cushion-cut green diamond, might be more of a stretch for your everyday engagement ring shopper—at least in the short run.
The green of Lopez’s diamond ring is an exquisite one: vivid and juicy, yet soft, like an Easter pastel. Today’s shoppers certainly aren’t strangers to alternative center stones in their engagement rings. But when it comes to green, they’re more likely to opt for an emerald as opposed to a rare green diamond.
“I have never, ever gotten that request—for a green diamond,” says the Los Angeles–based designer Maggi Simpkins, who specializes in custom work. “Sometimes I get emerald requests.”
It’s too soon to tell what the ramifications of Lopez’s newest engagement ring will be, but what effect do celebrities even really have on brides?
“I do think [celebrities] have a bit of an influence,” says Simpkins. “Blake Lively’s ring has been a top requested ring for, like, seven years now. I feel like she brought ovals back.”
Bill Hermsen of August, a Los Angeles jewelry retailer, seems to agree. “Celebrities always have an impact,” Hermsen says. “The majority of Jennifer Aniston’s jewelry on The Morning Show [on Apple TV+] came from our store, and those pieces have sold incredibly well for us due to the exposure. But I haven’t seen an impact of celebrity on engagement rings specifically—perhaps stores that cater to engagement would see more of an impact.”
Single Stone, another Los Angeles–based jeweler, does cater to engagement rings. “Emeralds have always been a favorite gemstone for us to work with,” says owner Corina Madilian. “The classic, bold shade of emeralds plays beautifully with the hue of our gold and works well with the aesthetic of our designs. While we have definitely noticed an interest in emeralds, this demand started way before J. Lo got engaged with her green diamond. Colored diamonds read ‘expensive’ and ‘exclusive’ to many clients, making them something to talk about but not necessarily putting them on a client’s wish list.”
It’s understandable, and in most cases accurate, that a customer might see a colored diamond as aspirational, or even unrealistic. Unless budget is not a constraint, most shoppers will select a style that fits more of their needs—carat weight, ring design, and so on—rather than spending more to have the fancy color in lieu of other aspects.
But if one were to really desire green, particularly in varying shades, there are plenty of options beyond the elusive green diamond.
“I love the green garnet and Colombian emerald, but I feel like green stones as a centerpiece are tricky because they tend to be on the less durable side,” says Michelle Lierre of the Washington-based Lierreworks. “The fact that there are more types of green gems than ever before is very alluring. I think in the past, people just thought of emerald, but now there’s green sapphire, garnet, diopside, tourmaline, and more.”
Of all the green gemstones, emerald seems by far the most popular choice—though more than one jeweler told JCK that they don’t recommend them (one won’t even work with them), because of their fragility.
Others—many, actually—revel in them. “Green gemstones are one of our specialties,” says Yi Guo, founder of Yi Collection. “We have an amazing collection of emeralds, which are from Gemfields. Beyond our aquamarines, emeralds are the second-best sellers for us.”
Be it an emerald, a tourmaline, or even a diamond, green is a winning choice for many brides-to-be, and has been for some time. While its price and rarity make it unlikely that the green diamond will rise to full-on trend status, its color certainly might get a boost in the mainstream jewelry market.
Top: Majestique collection Angelica ring in platinum and 18k pink gold with 5.06 ct. no-oil antique cushion-cut emerald, 0.69 ct. t.w. white diamonds, and 0.57 ct. t.w. intense pink diamonds, price on request; Muzo x Argyle