Industry / Weddings

The 3-Stone Ring Gets A Modern Makeover


Three-stone engagement rings have been around for a very long time, and in many different forms.

But it was a clever marketing tactic by De Beers that really brought them into the spotlight in the early 2000s.

De Beers emerald three stone ring
Three-stone engagement ring in platinum with emerald-cut diamonds, from $30,000; De Beers

Three diamonds—one each for your “past, present, and future.” The ring became a marketing ploy so slick that it completely dominated the style no matter who sold it, like referring to any tissue as Kleenex or any photocopy as a Xerox. People would come into the store where I worked asking for “past, present, and future” rings, seeking the romanticized setting for an engagement ring or anniversary gift.

Azlee platinum diamond engagement ring
Engagement ring in platinum with Lozenge and kite diamonds, price on request; Azlee
Jemma Wynne Autumn ring
Autumn bespoke ring in platinum with Asscher- and shield-cut diamonds, price on request; Jemma Wynne
Single Stone Jolene ring
Jolene engagement ring in platinum with 3.36 cts. t.w. old European–cut diamonds, price on request; Single Stone

There’s nothing wrong with the way the style was marketed—it was brilliant, and it worked—and there’s nothing wrong with the rings, either (they’re exceedingly beautiful). But a young, hip crowd doesn’t like that. They wouldn’t be hyped on the same ring style their mom liked in a commercial—if someone is told enough times that something is hot, they begin to doubt you. So they turned to other styles that rocketed to popularity at the time, such as the halo or solitaire princess-cut (all of which, by the way, were also labeled as very hot).

Erica Courtney Eloise ring
Eloise ring in platinum with 1.14 cts. t.w. rose-cut diamonds and 0.35 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Erica Courtney
Jessica Mccormack diamond ring
Engagement ring in platinum with 2.3 ct. Asscher-cut diamond, price on request; Jessica McCormack
Harlin Jones cognac diamond ring
Three-stone ring in 18k white and rose gold with 2.27 ct. Asscher-cut cognac diamond and 0.4 ct. t.w. shield-cut diamonds, price on request; Harlin Jones
Stephanie Gottlieb diamond ring
Engagement ring in platinum with marquise and Cadillac-cut diamonds, price on request; Stephanie Gottlieb

Young people getting engaged today probably have no idea or recollection of the past, present, and future ring—at least not to the extent that it was once advertised. And that’s a good thing, because heavily marketed styles don’t quite vibe with the small business offerings so many consumers now seek. But that doesn’t mean independent designers aren’t creating them.

Michelle Oh Leann ring
Leanne ring in 18k rose gold with 0.5 ct. oval diamond and 0.3 ct. t.w. pear-shape diamonds, £3,750 ($5,100); Michelle Oh
Shahla Karimi three stone engagement ring
Engagement ring in 14k yellow gold with marquise and half-moon diamonds, price on request; Shahla Karimi
Erica Bello Pop Up Orion ring
Pop Up Orion ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.3 ct. rose-cut diamond, $3,295; Erica Bello
Lindsey Scoggins emerald cut diamond ring
Three-stone 16 Links engagement ring in 18k yellow gold with emerald-cut diamonds, prices starting at $8,800; Lindsey Scoggins
Kendra Pariseault green sapphire ring
Ring in 18k yellow gold with 2.91 ct. olive green sapphire and 1.35 cts. t.w. rose-cut diamonds, $15,000; Kendra Pariseault Jewelry

And wow, are they creating! Not just in the traditional arrangements, but in a variety of ways that, while still touching on the classic silhouette, represent one heck of a modern glow-up.

Jade Trau Sadie ring
Sadie ring in 18k white gold with 1.51 ct. round diamond and 0.6 ct. t.w. pear-shape diamonds, $4,400; Jade Trau


Julie Lamb Brooklyn Bridge ring
Brooklyn Bridge ring in platinum with diamond and sapphires, price on request; Julie Lamb
Andreoli emerald ring
Three-stone ring in platinum with 5.35 ct. emerald-cut emerald and 3.55 cts. t.w. heart-shape emeralds, $88,000; Andreoli
Lauren Addison three-stone engagement ring
Three-stone engagement ring in platinum with diamonds, price on request; Lauren Addison

It is a lovely premise. Three stones to represent where a coupe came from, where they are now, and what lies ahead—like a lot of good jewelry, it tells a story. Whether a couple opts to see it that way or whether it’s just the ideal ring to get engaged with is up to them. Either way is just right.

Top: One-of-a-kind ring in 18k yellow gold with diamond, pink spinel, and orange sapphire, price on request; Brent Neale

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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