Engagement Ring Trends

This season the vintage ring is making a comeback with force. Influenced by the ornate detail of the authentic estate rings of old, this season’s new ‘antique’ style rings are gorgeous, unique, and all the rave! The modern styles of the vintage, or ‘antique’, engagement ring sets focus on the acute detail of pave set diamonds and milgrain and filigree detailing on the metal.

Generally these rings have a thinner shank and the accent diamonds are much smaller than a contemporary ring’s side stones. However, this style allows for a much larger amount of diamonds to be set within the band which makes the ring sparkle and shine as if the entire thing were encrusted in diamonds. Though the center stones may not be very large, nor may there be an abundance of them on the ring, the fact that the shank of the ring sparkles with so much brilliance and fire more than adequately substitutes the traditional, more contemporary engagement sets.

Moreover, the antique ring’s standard trademark is the presence of a ‘veil’ of diamonds that surrounds the center stone. Generally these diamonds are also pave set and the aesthetic gives the beautiful illusion of a much larger center stone. This style of ring is extremely popular with the round, princess, and oval shaped diamonds but there are mountings for other diamond shape cuts including emerald, marquis, etc. If you cannot find a semi-mount (engagement ring purchased without a center stone) that fits the shape of your center stone, many designers have antique rings pre-set with their own diamonds, from which you can choose a variety of shapes. Moreover, if you are intent on setting your own stone, you can often have this ‘antique’ look customized to fit your stone.

A beautiful switch from the previous trend of the ‘Past, Present, Future’ ring; a tri-stone setting set in a simple metal band, the new antique rings offer a unique look that distinguishes itself from the multitudes of mass-produced contemporary designs. Moreover, some designers are actually spinning the look of the tri-stone ring and making it look ‘antique’ by adding milgrain and filigree etchings to the metal shank, and/or, including pave set diamonds along the sides of the shank for even more sparkle.

The estate ring look will generally include a much larger center stone than traditional engagement rings. This, along with the extra detailing to the metal and the detailed pave settings will make these rings a bit pricier than standard engagement sets; however, they are arguably worth every penny. Be prepared to start at least around $800 for semi-mounts. These rings can range anywhere from $800 – $5,000 for semi-mounts and from $1,500 – $65,000 and up for engagement ring sets with center stones. Obviously the price range will be large and is dependent on the carat weight and quality of diamonds in your ring. To help lower the cost however, you can opt to only purchase the engagement ring. Since the center stones in these rings are generally either much larger, or made to look larger by the surrounding veil of diamonds, these rings can look great on their own and may not need a wedding band; the choice is solely preferential.

For the past few years many celebrities have been seen displaying their larger than life ‘antique’ style rings on the red carpets. Both Kate Hudson and the newly engaged Katie Holmes sport the antique looking rings on their slender fingers. Kate Hudson’s is a bit more ‘Art-deco’ than antique; however, it still has an elemental estate look that is very popular right now. Katie Holmes recent 5-carat oval shaped two-tone antique ring is a perfect example of the current trend in rings, and, if I may add, it is beautiful. Big… but beautiful. Naturally one wouldn’t expect to purchase a ring of that magnitude and hundreds of designers are taking this look and incorporating it into an engagement ring that holds a more modestly sized center stone that is much easier on the wallet.

After looking at engagement rings for months I absolutely fell in love with the vintage style and am 100% convinced that the antique look is the perfect blend of traditional (as in family heir-loom traditional) and contemporary styles. This ring has the flare of a modern twist with an essence of the rings of old that smack of grandma’s beautiful antique jewelry. But the beauty of these rings is that they are devoid of that ‘aged’ look and are designed to look appropriate for even the youngest of brides-to-be.

Happy ring hunting!