Modern couples are chartering exciting new territory in their search for the perfect engagement ring. Long gone is the belief of following tradition and choosing a classic white or yellow diamond engagement ring. Instead, the search for something different is as important as the design itself.

Choosing an engagement ring is a very personal experience. Some of my GEMOLOGUE followers know exactly what they want, while others haven’t a clue or yearn to be surprised.

Your engagement ring is probably the most important piece of jewellery you’ll ever wear, so let me share with you my own experience, as well as the latest trends right now.

My fiancé proposed to me last year in the most romantic city on earth, Venice. Six months later, we were married and had an intimate wedding ceremony on the beaches of the Maldives. For the past ten years, I’ve had a particular engagement ring in mind and I shared my thoughts with my husband. I told him I knew exactly what I wanted – a cushion-cut, yellow diamond, centre stone, framed by micropavé diamonds and set on a micropavé band. If you know exactly what you want, don’t be afraid to tell your future husband or his jewellery designer. It will take a load off his mind and make you the happiest woman alive!

My second choice was a trendy, fashion-forward, open setting like the rings from the Repossi collection. Less formal than a solitaire, Repossi rings make more of a statement. Their open designs combine different cuts of gemstone, as well as different colours in one ring.

A Modern Take On Traditional Engagement Rings

Maybe your choice of engagement ring is dependent on cultural influences. In Brazil, where my husband grew up, it is traditional for the bride and groom to wear plain gold bands with no centre stone. So why not stick with cultural heritage but put a spin on it and go for a stackable engagement ring. Pile on as many bands as you want to represent different milestones with your hubby. Or consider two crown-shaped bands that fit together to form a larger ring is definitely a strong trend in engagement rings right now. Wear one band to show off the design or both bands for a more ornate look.

The same tradition exists in my home of Russia. I still have my parents’ gold, eternity rings as a keepsake.

The traditional look isn’t for everyone. Today’s brides-to-be want an engagement ring with an aesthetic to match their unique personalities, a statement ring. Consider an asymmetrical design. It’s one trend gaining real momentum right now.

Consider A Bespoke Engagement Ring

Our generation loves the entire shopping experience of finding the perfect engagement ring, almost as much as the ring itself! Couples love to visit the jeweller’s workshop and meet the people behind the brand and see the craftsmanship that goes into a beautifully designed ring. Recently, I organised such an experience for a client at the Graff workshop in London’s Mayfair. This kind of in-depth experience makes the purchase much more memorable and extra special.

Men shop for engagement rings differently than women. Some of them prefer online shopping because it’s convenient, and you can easily compare prices while educating yourself about carat, clarity, cut, and colour. There’s so many options online. You can shop for engagement rings from existing collections like those offered by Vashi, London. It’s also not uncommon for couples to start with the perfect gemstone and design the ring together after the proposal.

There’s no right way or wrong way. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time. My engagement ring is engraved with the date, 01.01.2017, as my finance was planning to propose in the Maldives on New Year’s Eve, but he’d ordered the ring from NYC and didn’t receive it in time. So he waited another three months before finding the perfect moment in Venice. He was so happy after I said, ‘I do’, that he didn’t have to carry that ring around in his pocket any longer and live with the fear of losing it! Some of my favourite handcrafted engagement rings are from Buccellati, but a bespoke ring can take as long as three months or longer to finish, so plan well in advance.

What About Antique Engagement Rings?

There is strong demand for antique engagement rings right now. From Art Deco to Edwardian and Victorian styles, an antique engagement ring or heirloom like this is excellent value, not to mention environmentally conscious. So much better than synthetic diamonds.

For some cultures, there are mixed feelings about antique engagement rings. From the energy aspect, rings with hundreds of years of history can give off negative vibes for some. But if you love the style, many brands offer antique settings with a modern twist like Jessica McCormack. Always a luxurious experience and using the best diamond dealers, Jessica McCormack recently launched their first engagement ring and bridal collection. And if you’ve already chosen your engagement ring, you’ll want to check out their line of Party Jackets. “What could be more fabulous than a diamond wearing a diamond!” These rings open up a whole new way of dressing up your engagement ring to give you a different look, and make the ideal anniversary gift.

Coloured Diamonds And Gemstones

I’ve always dreamed of a pink diamond but I was very fortunate to find a beautiful fancy yellow diamond engagement ring. Many brides want a little colour in their jewels and prefer sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and even morganite, a more affordable alternative to pink diamonds. This form of beryl (the same mineral as emeralds and aquamarines) comes in an array of pastel pinks. Synthetic pink diamonds is another affordable option and as demand for these grows, the price will drop.

Though diamonds last forever and are more durable for everyday wear, you can add colour by choosing the right setting. A trilogy setting with three stones representing the couple’s past, present and future, is one idea worth considering. A beautiful emerald banked by two diamonds is a good look. Sapphires are my favourite and loved by the Royals. Just look at Kate Middleton’s gorgeous 12-carat sapphire engagement ring.

Two Engagement Rings

Some lucky women are fortunate enough to own two engagement rings – one for more formal occasions and the other for work and play. In some countries, opulent jewellery larger than one carat is considered inappropriate for the corporate world, so two engagement rings makes a lot of sense. Learn which engagement rings are worn by my gem squad! 

Floral Motifs And Other Trends

Engagement rings are blooming right now with flowers, petals, vines and other natural motifs. Leaf detailing adds whimsical detail to a classic setting.

More modern couples are choosing smaller centre stones in a simple setting for a dainty and feminine feel.

Another modern look that I love is hexagonal halos and unique designs like those from NYC-based Eva Fehren, whose jewellery I had a chance to present in London.

I hope my tips and trends will help you find your perfect engagement ring. Would love to hear about your proposals and engagement rings. Share your story with me on Instagram @GEMOLOGUE.

If you loved this article, share with your girlfriends on Pinterest!

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I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and art direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

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