This fall, we reported on The Knot’s 2017 Jewelry & Engagement study, which may well be serving as your most comprehensive tool when it comes to anticipating the top engagement ring trends of 2018. Perhaps you used the study to curate your current bridal collections to entice those getting engaged during the holidays.
Certainly you should use your own holiday bridal sales as a barometer of what to expect customers will be seeking; meanwhile, we’ve done our own digging, reporting, and observing to put together a prediction of 2018’s reigning engagement ring trends.
To do so, we used The Knot’s study with feedback from jewelers big and small, as well as artist studio designers. (They’re the ones dictating tastes these days—I’ve got a story that speaks to this in the January-February issue of JCK; look for it at JCK Tucson.)
Get the inside scoop below—the findings may surprise you.
A royal engagement always has a dramatic effect on consumer appetites and behavior and everyone’s expecting Megan Markle’s ring from Prince Harry to spark a renewed interest in three-stone styles.
Historically, this look has been considered a classic, not-trendy choice. The new twist to look out for? Using family diamonds for the side stones (as Markle and Prince Harry did) or the center stone itself.
“More and more, I’m seeing that clients are incorporating small pieces and memories of their parents and grandparents into a custom engagement ring design,” says Lauren Priori, of L. Priori, a private jeweler in Philadelphia. “Many of my clients love the love story behind their family diamonds, but may not love the current setting. Incorporating family diamonds instantly elevates the engagement ring, turning it from something beautiful into a truly special heirloom.”
Zoe Triple diamond Engagement ring with a 0.73 ct. center stone in 14k rose gold, $3,039; Point No Point Studio
Three-stone Halo Engagement Ring with pavé diamonds, a L’Amour Crisscut® diamond center flanked by two princess-cut diamonds, $7,665; Christopher Designs
Catherine/Mara Hybrid Engagement Ring with Asscher-cut center stone and trapezoid-cut side diamonds in platinum (center stone sold separately), $10,275;; Penny Preville
MORGANITE CENTER STONES
Yes, you read that right. Morganite is a trending bridal stone. We’d been seeing a bit of it on Instagram this year from a number of indie designers and wondered if there was something behind it.
According to designer Melissa Tyson, the interest in morganite began on wedding style blogs, prompting brides to search for it. “They now know the stone by name and come asking for it,” says Tyson. “I get numerous requests for morganite regularly for engagement rings. I think it’s because the pale pink of morganite is romantic, soft, and still reads as a ‘neutral,’ like a diamond.”
Still not convinced morganite is a thing? The Knot’s report showed 14 percent of brides are opting for morganite among those seeking stones other than diamonds. (For some perspective, 20 percent of these brides are choosing sapphires.)
Begonia Engagement Ring set with a morganite center stone in hammered platinum and a matching band with pink sapphires, $2,995; Melissa Tyson Designs
Engagement ring with 2.62 ct. pale pink morganite center stone and 0.30 ct. tw. diamonds in 14k yellow gold, $3,200; Everett
Eye Ring with morganite center stone and white sapphires in 14k yellow gold, $1,800; Ruta Reifen
OVALS AND ROSE GOLD
It’s a super specific combo that almost certainly owes its popularity to the wedding blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram. The Knot study found that oval stones (and cushion cuts) are on the rise; many jewelers we spoke with would add pears to that list.
If we can agree that oval (versus a traditional round diamond) is a unique choice, then a rose gold setting (versus yellow gold or white metals) kind of takes the whole thing into edgy territory. Bottom line: There’s something undeniably romantic, yet modern, about the two together that brides are drawn to.
Pavé Diamond Compass Engagement Ring in 18k rose gold (oval center stone sold separately), $7,795; Lindsey Scoggins
Camila Engagement Ring with diamond halo and pavé diamond accents in 14k rose gold, $2,300 (center stone sold separately); Jeff Cooper
Engagement ring with diamonds in 18k rose gold (center stone sold separately), $2,995; Penny Preville
Among brides who lean toward fancy shapes, and feel that oval isn’t different or cool enough, a budding microtrend has begun to emerge: diamonds in sleek, slenderized shapes. You may have already heard about “movals”—a cross between a marquise and oval diamond with an appealingly lean, elegant silhouette. Expect to see more of these in 2018.
However, “I’m sensing an uptick in step-cut center stones, mostly emerald cuts for that elongated look that ovals offer,” says designer Lindsey Scoggins.
But the go-to rectangular shapes are getting skinnier and longer, a way to stay within the lines of tradition, but a little bit sexier than usual—like cut-out shoulders on the sleeves of a dress. Meanwhile, baguettes have been creeping into bridal spotlight not as accent stones but as the main event—further proof that thin is in.
Pierced Flora Navette Ring with a 2.55 ct. center diamond surrounded by 42 round brilliant and pear-shape diamonds set in platinum, price upon request; McTeigue & McClelland
Vertical Baguette Ring in 14k yellow gold, $950; Elliot Gaskin
OFF-COLOR SAPPHIRE CENTER STONES
Sapphires from Burma, India, and Sri Lanka will obviously never go out of style. But there’s a growing microtrend within this category that point to “off colors”—specifically gray, teals, and mossy greens. Often, these sapphires hail from Montana and other under-the-radar sources which is a big part of the appeal (42 percent of brides queried in The Knot study said they would even pay more for ethically sourced stones).
Says designer Megan Thorne, “Montana sapphires have that universally complementary ‘denim’ color. I’ll be using the soft gray-green-blue juxtaposed with richer warm tones for 2018. Often these nonspecific colors—sort of blue, sort of green, a little smoky, a bit gray—are more affordable than true blue. These in-between shades are chameleons, tone shifting to work into almost any color palette and wardrobe. For me, that’s the greatest selling point.”
Two Tone Ribbon Frame Ring with rose-cut gray-blue sapphire center stone and brilliant-cut gray-blue, gray, and white accent diamonds, $3,003; Megan Thorne
Picot Ring with 0.58 ct. Montana sapphire center stone and rose-cut round side diamonds in 18k fair-mined gold, $3,020; Jill Kathleen Designs
Bausch Solitaire Engagement Ring with 0.47 ct. Montana sapphire in platinum, $2,450; M. Barutti
Of course, these have always existed, but brides now know the term and are asking for it. Mainly because an East-West setting makes a plain solitaire diamond engagement ring feel a little less basic. Just as elongated versions of standard shapes offer trend-conscious customers a cooler version of a traditional bridal look, setting an oval, marquise, or emerald-cut diamond horizontally is an easy way to cast something familiar in a fresh, new light.
Engagement ring with split diamond band and emerald-cut center stone in 18k white gold, $5,395; Penny Preville
East-West engagement ring with L’Amour Crisscut® diamond center and round diamond accents in 14k rose gold, $5,380; Christopher Designs
Mandee Engagement Ring with emerald-cut center stone and baguette and trapezoid-cut accent diamonds in 18k white gold, $65,000; Albritton Day
(Top: Three-stone custom engagement ring with heirloom diamonds in 18k yellow gold and platinum, price upon request; L. Priori)
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