When it comes to getting hitched, there’s no one way. Same goes with the ring you choose to symbolize your commitment. More and more couples are defying tradition and opting for engagement rings with a range of gems, colors and cuts. We asked jewelry store designers and owners what they’re inspired by right now — and what styles their clients are seeking.
Add some color
“If you’re looking for a nontraditional option, a colorful diamond is a beautiful, fashion-forward and unique choice for this season,” says Harvey Rovinksy, owner of Philadelphia’s Bernie Robbins Jewelers. “We are seeing yellow diamonds become more and more popular for those looking to make a bold statement, yet remain timeless.”
And diamonds, of course, aren’t the only gem in the jewelry box. Leigh Plessner, creative director of Williamburg, Brooklyn boutique Catbird, is fond of rings that feature many-colored rubies and sapphires, both on their own or as complimentary gems, where they can “really amplify the luminosity of diamonds.”
Take their Rainbow Stardust Ring, ($735) from designer Sofia Zakia. Its center white diamond is framed by two yellow gold moons, with a radiant band of blue, orange and yellow sapphires, ruby and amethyst.
“I'm excited about seeing color, both rainbow hues and soft watercolor gradients, being used in a very refined, wear-forever way in the engagement world,” Plessner says.
Customize it — and take a risk
Reshma Patel, the owner of Quiet Storms jewelry boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, says clients seek out the shop because they’re looking for something a little different.
“Women are getting married at different ages in their lives now, [when] they may have moved past the idea of a diamond ring,” she says. “The idea of a big rock on a band...they might not necessarily relate to that.”
Her approach to helping them customize is to find out what suits their personal style, as opposed to what’s dictated by tradition or trends. Sometimes, it’s about finding out what’s already inspiring them from the shop’s collection — and if you're looking for creative ideas, Quiet Storms is the spot.
Patel thinks of the jewelry as works of art, and will describe different pieces as “sculptural” and “geometric.” Take designer Jemma Wynne’s Prive Double Emerald Pave Band ring, which positions two differently sized emeralds on opposite sides of a diamond-studded band, or her Covet Open Ring, which leaves its band slightly agape.
"People will say, what is that [piece]? How do you wear that?" says Patel. "It's really exciting."
Switch up the cut
“When it comes to diamonds, the world isn’t traditionally round,” says Richard Berberian, the owner of Elyse Fine Jewelers in Reading, Mass. “The trend is moving to alternate shapes.” Think: cushion, tycoon, oval and emerald cuts, as well as old mine cuts (larger, square shaped) typical of family heirloom jewelry.
He helps his clients see that different shapes complement their varying physical features, from size of hand to length of fingers. And form fits function: Berberian says his focus as a designer is on “wearable art.” Before he designs a piece, he’ll ask clients what they do for work, what their lifestyle is like, how they dress — all details which inform the final creation.