But, as is tradition, more often than not the one actually shopping for said ring is rarely the one who’ll end up wearing it (hopefully!) for the rest of their lives.
Which is why, if you know what you like and feel you may be in the market for one in the coming weeks/months/years, it doesn’t hurt to hint… whether subtly or not.
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Take it from someone who sent several hints – one in the form of a bullet-pointed list detailing the exact cut, clarity, setting and metal she would love one day (he was very generously allowed to decide on the prong setting; plumping for button, if you’re interested) – if you have a strong vision you’d be wise to share it. No one deserves to be confronted by an even remotely disappointed face after having meticulously planned a proposal.
If you don’t know exactly what you’d like but would like to be involved in the design in some way, we caught up with some of our favorite engagement ring designers to discover the key trends for 2023. Consider this all the inspo you need…
Art Deco styles
What the experts say: “The Art Deco era was a huge moment of liberation for women” explained Maddy Sangster, founder of Heavenly London, “they could start working, smoking, wearing masculine silhouettes and owning and buying their own jewelry; a lot of it costume. It was all about bold shapes, show-stopping stones, interesting settings, geometry and not being afraid to show some bling.”
“I have long been attracted to the rich design vocabulary of the Art-Deco period,” noted London bespoke jewelry designer Rachel Boston, “And my clients can’t get enough of it when it comes to engagement rings.”
“It’s such an extensive style that offers something for every taste: whether a five-stone ring with all-emerald cut diamonds or an old antique mine cut surrounded by a modern baguette halo. It’s one of the reasons for this aesthetics’ enduring success: you are guaranteed a chic, timeless piece with a lot of considered design details, ranging from very classic to completely extravagant. There is something for everyone, and I can’t see the appeal of Art-Deco inspired pieces slowing down anytime soon.”
What the experts say: “Mixed metals are really popular at the moment, and I don’t see this trend going anywhere,” Emma Clarkson Webb, bespoke London jewelry designer, revealed. “My clients are combining yellow and white gold and rose and white gold, which gives a really lovely, impactful look. Traditionally it was an absolute no to mix metals, so I love that it’s back in fashion; it makes for such a versatile look and means that you aren’t limited in terms of your other jewelry.”
“A trend we have noticed growing steadily is the demand for mixed metal rings,” agreed Eliza Walter, Founder of Lylie. “Whilst the gold price has been rocketing up, the platinum price has remained steadier over the past couple of years. Platinum is a very strong metal, which is perfect for an engagement ring. However, gold is still the metal color of choice, so what we have seen is the rise of mixed metal rings.”
“By choosing a platinum setting you get the strength and security whilst making diamonds look even bigger. This coupled with a yellow gold band or detailing you can maintain the overall yellow gold feel to the ring. All of our Ethical Engagement Ring collection pieces are available in mixed metal and it is by far the most popular option.”
What the experts say: “We’re going big on toi-et-moi rings next year,” revealed the team at Jessica McCormack. “We saw that trend take off in 2022, and we’re expecting to see more of it in 2023 – hence we are introducing more toi-et-moi rings to the JMc family.”
“We launched a one-of-kind version earlier this year (below), and for 2023 we’re launching more. We will be creating more one-of-a-kind pieces again but also styles that slot into our signature collection (above), which are therefore at a lower price point than the larger, one-of-a-kind styles.”
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What the experts say: “Color is king at Minka,” said Lucy Crowther, Founder of Minka Jewels. “We have been seeing a real surge in interest in rare and wonderful colored stones this year. Clients are coming to us having done some research into what they want and what they think will stand out and be unique. It really is so wonderful to be given a brief by a client who has a clear idea of what they want and it makes the hunt for the stone all the more exciting.”
Also seeing a rise in colored stones is the team at Annoushka. “I love to use colored gemstones in my engagement ring designs and have seen an increasing trend for the more obvious stone choices (emerald, ruby, sapphire) being replaced by stones which have a more unique color and also an added sentimentality – stone meanings are really important to the wearer.” There’s also a sense of getting more bang for your buck and there are lots of lesser-known gemstones like Tourmaline, Morganite and Tanzanite which allow for that, without compromising on the quality (its important to choose a stone which can withstand daily use). Sapphire, too, comes in a huge range of colors.”
Emma Clarkson Webb agrees that there is a real movement in the world of sapphires. “Sapphire rings are having a moment. They have always been extremely popular but they seem to have come full circle thanks to the renewed focus on Princess Diana’s iconic ring. There are so many variations in tone and shade that blue sapphires come in; they’re also very hard wearing and don’t come with quite the same price tag as a diamond, which definitely adds to their popularity.”
What the experts say: “This year, we have seen a lot of taper diamonds used as side stone on engagement rings and we believe this will also trickle into 2023” noted the team at Smiling Rocks.
“Tapers help expand the look and elongate the ring, which many consumers prefer. It’s a fairly new design that is catching the attention of the next generation who are looking for a unique, slightly more dense style yet with a simplistic and minimal foundation.”
What the experts say: “Bold designs and big statement rings are very in demand at the moment,” revealed Minka’s Lucy Crowther. “Our clients are looking for something adventurous, unapologetic and unique that really reflects their personality. Bold designs often have more gold which can help protect the gemstones from general wear and tear too, so they’re a win-win.”
“I think the trend for statement, gypsy set rings will continue,” agreed fine jeweler Jessie Thomas. “I love the bold, sculptural aesthetic of them. They feel more unique and make for a cool, wearable statement piece, yet remain ‘classic’. You can wear these rings all day every day and they’ll survive which is what you need in an engagement ring – plus it’s a great way to set a large stone if you feel you don’t want it to be too showy.”
What the experts say: According to Lylie’s Eliza Walter, “Hexagonal or octagonal cluster rings is the style to expect to explode with popularity in 2023. The opportunities are endless, where you want to combine coloured gemstones with ethical diamonds or round cuts with angular cuts – anything is possible. These rings have a classic feel with a modern twist, and a nod to the art deco period. Our Amor Cluster ring (above) and our Artemis Target ring are always sought after and we often have people coming to visit us having seen them online.”
“We are seeing a strong demand in consumers looking to have more than just one cut of stone in their engagement rings,” agreed the Smiling Rocks team. “Pairing different shapes together brings a fresh look to our Bridal engagement rings – the classic three-stone ring (usually using one shape of a diamond) is now converted to a mix of multiple shapes which we believe is a modern spin on a traditional design making it relevant, renewed and distinctive.”
What the experts say: “More and more our clients are looking to add that extra touch of personalization to their engagement rings”, said Annoushka. “It could be a little touch like adding a hidden stone or engraving to the inside of a ring, or a much more obvious tribute like combining the couple’s birthstones into the design.”
What the experts say: According to Annoushka, “ring jackets are really increasing in popularity.” “They’re something I love designing, because they let you upgrade a special piece without compromising on the sentimentality. Your engagement ring is a piece you’ll (hopefully) wear every day for the rest of your life – so why only wear it one way.”
“When we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary I felt it was a rather appropriate moment to upgrade, so I designed a pair of diamond ring jackets to sit alongside my existing ruby engagement ring. It was a real pimp my ring moment and instantly breathed new life into a precious piece.”
“Since then, we’ve had lots of clients celebrating these milestone moments with a bespoke jacket. Now when I’m talking to newly engaged couples about engagement ring designs, I encourage them to consider a design that gives them versatility – ring jackets are really unique way of doing that.”
What the experts say: “Floral engagement rings are such a timeless trend that we believe will be a leading design going into the new year,” noted the Smiling Rocks team. “The detailed, yet simple floral patterns uplift the engagement ring to a different level that exude femininity.”
“Smiling Rocks have introduced the new trend of floral motifs in our engagement ring categories, with the centre being always remaining our lab grown, round diamonds. They have been designed with blooming petite petals spreading from the sides of the centre stone making for an enchanting, eternal style.”
Originally published in Glamourmagazine.co.uk