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If you're likely to get engaged to be married in the next year or are thinking about proposing, engagement ring trends are a great place to start.
You should definitely also start with research into diamond quality and the different metals available.
But once that's ticked off, one of the biggest unknowns for couples shopping for an engagement ring is often the overall look and feel of the design.
There are so many beautiful styles and designs to consider. It can be overwhelming to try and decide if you want minimalistic and pure classic style, or stunning vintage and intricate style. It's a piece of jewellery you wear daily for the course of your union, which we hope is long and happy!
So if this is your year to choose that all-important engagement ring, here are our top tips. This is what we hear from our customers about engagement ring style and points of difference.
The oval and pear shaped diamond featured in many engagement rings in recent years.
Whilst round brilliant and princess cut are still both popular and classic diamond cuts, the trend for slightly different cuts will continue this year.
Marquise cut is a striking and different cut that's not seen every day. Its sleek shape and symmetry has a large surface area for the weight (meaning it looks bigger!). So that makes this shape a strong contender for growing popularity this year.
We also expect to see some more complex shapes this year. But Marquise is definitely one to consider if you like a point of difference with a style that will still be a classic for years to come.
Coloured gemstones have become more and more popular for engagement rings.
This follows the trend set by the Duchess of Cambridge. Her sapphire and diamond engagement ring was once worn by Prince William's beloved mother.
Although you may not have a royal budget, when compared to similar sized diamonds, many coloured gemstones are more affordable. Coloured gemstones therefore give you a more substantial ring for your money.
Coloured gemstones such as blue sapphire and emerald give you a unique style and look. They add a bright and bold twist to a classic design.
Or if you prefer a more subtle twist on the classic, using an aquamarine or morganite stone can create a beautiful and romantic ring.
You can also use coloured gemstones as side stones in a three stone ring.
This trend regained popularity since Prince Harry opted for this style in the engagement ring he chose with Meghan Markle.
The halo design featuring a central stone with a 'halo' of smaller stones framing is a popular style in recent years.
It is certainly here to stay for the foreseeable future. But having said that - this style has had peaks and troughs of popularity since Victorian times, with a surge during the Art Deco era.
This year we expect to see a slight shift back towards more minimalist designs with solitaire settings, clean lines and fine bands.
If you don't wear a lot of jewellery or prefer an unfussy look, stick with the 'less is more' mantra and keep the detail minimal.
And don't forget that even with classic and minimalist styles, you can still add your own twist with stacking (see next trend!).
Another great tip is personalisation such as engraving or adding a hidden gem inside the band of the ring.
One way to change up your look is to stick with a fairly classic and minimal look. But then layer up your engagement, wedding and eternity rings on one finger.
Of course if you're just getting engaged or thinking about it, you might not be looking that far forward. But we always advise customers to think of the end game and design for the future.
Picture this - a simple but beautiful solitaire engagement ring in a diamond cut of your choice.
It is flanked on one side by a classic shared setting half or full eternity ring as your wedding band. On the other side sits a marquise and round full eternity band.
Both rings add texture, sparkle and depth to your ring finger, yet each ring is a minimal and subtly beautiful style on its own.
These days its more and more common to gift an eternity ring for an early anniversary (3-5 years) or the birth of a child. So you might not be waiting as long as you imagine to complete the look!
White gold and platinum have been the most popular metals for engagement rings in recent years.
But both yellow and rose gold are increasing in popularity and expected to surge further this year.
Rose gold has been a strong feature in fashion jewellery and accessories for the past few years. This makes it a lot more popular for mainstream engagement or eternity rings.
Yellow or rose gold can also be used just in a setting or feature of the ring detail, rather than the whole band.
Yellow gold was once the staple for engagement and wedding rings. Gold fell a little from popular fashion with the advent of the silver jewellery craze and affordable platinum, which is currently on par with the cost of gold.
This year fashion jewellery has swung strongly in the direction of yellow gold. And we expect to see a similar increase in the popularity of yellow gold wedding jewellery.
Gallery detail is where the side view of a ring reveals either fine detailing, small gemstones or engraving which add a not quite hidden extra element to the design.
This is a wonderful way to personalise and make an otherwise classic ring unique.
This gives the best of both worlds in terms of longevity of style and having a ring that is unique to you.
One of our favourite examples of gallery detailing is this classic trilogy ring with detailed 'cherry blossom' gallery:
If you're ready to learn more about diamonds and try on rings, why contact us to chat to us about how we can help?