Unlike popular runway styles, engagement ring trends tend to move on a slower, subtler track (there’s not a wedding ring equivalent of a butterfly top or leather harness, after all). Even so, options are still diverse and run the gamut, ranging from traditional designs like solitaire settings all the way to modern interpretations like black diamond ring rings or bezel-set bands. This year, experts are pointing to a similarly varied array of ring trends that will be seen everywhere, with options that both die-hard minimalists and those with bolder tastes can envision slipping on their fingers.
If you happen to be in the market for an engagement ring and find yourself overwhelmed by choosing one style to wear for the rest of your life — don’t. “Often people put a lot of pressure on an engagement ring, thinking they have to love it forever, so they end up choosing something traditional,” Meadowlark co-founder Claire Hammon says. “But things change, and you can remodel your ring in the future as your style evolves.”
When looking for an engagement ring that resonates with your personal style, designer Ashley Zhang says to begin with a digital mood board of sorts. “Save screenshots of any and all styles of rings you like. After a few weeks you might be surprised to find that a few of them have similar looks or elements,” she says. Once you have a general sense of the vibe you’re going for, according to GIA expert Nellie Barnett, you should focus on the center stone, asking questions like: “Are you a dazzling diamond type of person or attracted to a pop of color using emerald, morganite, or a different kind of gemstone?” From there, she adds, look for a gemstone with a report.
All of this to say, choosing an engagement ring that’s right for you isn’t a perfect science. It’s a mix of gut instinct and what’s available in the current market. If you’re not sure where to start, ahead, seven trends that have taken over 2023.
Rings With Colored Stones
Non-diamond center stones have steadily climbed in popularity over the last few years and experts point to this trend as one that will only continue to grow. “Colored stones will be going strong for a long time,” Hammon predicts. Zhang notes that her team has also been receiving more requests for colored stones than ever before. “These can either be as the center and main stone or as accents,” she says. “Using colored gemstones is a great way to have a unique look… These rings still feel bridal and special but also bold and different.”
Yellow Gold Bands
While Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw had a bone to pick with her yellow gold engagement ring band, the trend has become a preferred option in recent years. “Yellow gold is our most requested metal,” Zhang says. “I think this choice in settings will stay strong. The contrast of the yellow with white diamonds really makes them pop.” If you’re going especially unique, consider mixing silver and gold metals when choosing a wedding band to complement your stone.
Though dainty, delicate rings have been in favor for seemingly forever, the pendulum is beginning to swing in the opposite direction. “Bold pieces will grow in popularity,” Marrow Fine founder and creative director, Jillian Sassone, says. “Metal-heavy chunky settings have been requested the most in 2022, and I don’t see that slowing down. If anything, our brides and grooms are doubling down on that by adding cigar bands and other statement-making wedding bands to their bridal sets.”
A “vintage-inspired” engagement ring can mean a lot of things from types of settings (e.g. Art Deco) to cuts (Old European), but a general sense of old-meets-new is permeating current trends. “I’ve seen an increase in demand for reimagining heirloom stones into new designs that feel more aligned with the bride’s or groom’s style,” Sassone notes. Zhang has also seen an uptick in old gemstones. “Old-mine cut diamonds and antique cushions are the most desired request we get,” she says. “These stones are rare and extremely difficult to find. Mined and cut over 100 years ago, they have such a unique sparkle.”
You might think of engagement ring bands as falling into three main categories: gold, rose gold, and silver. But this year, that might change. “Our popular Til Death band is ideal for our brides and grooms who want to make a big statement about their love,” Sassone says about the black enamel band emblazoned with the words "til death." “It feels like a Victorian throwback while the old English type brings an edge that is resonating with couples wanting a bold non-traditional wedding band.” Other materials such as tungsten carbide and teakwood also lend unexpected elements to otherwise-traditional settings.
Step-Cut Diamond Rings
For brides with pared-back style, Sassone says to watch out for step-cut diamonds — a square or rectangle stone with parallel facets on all four sides, resembling steps — as a trend in 2023. "I love a step-cut diamond for a minimalist,” she says. “The clean architectural lines are perfect for someone with style but who doesn’t want a lot of flash.”
Pear and Oval Rings
While celebrity engagements don’t always move the needle for trends, Sassone says Sydney Sweeney’s mega-round brilliant was noteworthy. In addition to classic round shapes, both oval- and pear-shaped rings will continue to stay on trend. “Hailey Bieber's oval engagement ring is still a piece that clients reference,” she says. “Pear and oval shapes elongate the finger and look spectacular on any hand.”
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