The diamond engagement rings - a timeless expression of love and commitment.
The classic styles available - solitaire and pave, for example - still are popular today, but there are emerging trends of which you, the potential buyer should be aware.
Note: One thing that never changes is what grooms tend to pay for engagement rings - quite a bit! Latest statistics show the average amount spent is $3,000, according to these sources:
" $3,044 (Bride's Millenium Report)
" $2,982 (Bride's Magazine)
" $2,909 (Modern Bride, as cited in Weddings for Dummies)
" $3,576 (Conde Nast Bridal Group)
" $3,165 (Modern Bride Magazine)
" $2,807 (National Bride Service)
Hot ring trends - classic, antique and modern lead the way
For example, classic solitaires are very popular. Many women are choosing a classic-cut diamond solitaire. These are assured of never going out of style and make good heirloom pieces.
However, a traditional solitaire setting is upswept and raises the diamond high. Some people today select settings where the center stone sits low, creating a look that is elegant and ergonomic. Another popular setting is one that is intricately raised, as well as twisted band.
And while the round cut continues to be popular, it is becoming more common to see the oval cut, as well as the emerald.
The pave setting, where the band is studded with diamonds seamlessly, is elegant and is becoming more popular. The idea is that smaller stones are set so close together that no metal can be seen between them. This maximizes the wattage of the ring without pushing the cost too high.
Antique, vintage rings that your grandmother might have worn also are trendy, which combines an historical, period look with current fashion. Look for gold filigree settings, floral accents and gemstone baguettes. The cuts typically are cushion, round, pillow and Asscher , and their larger facets radiate more fire under less light.
Also becoming more popular are modern styles. This type features clean, streamlined designs for a cosmopolitan, chic look. The most contemporary styles feature a bezel-set and designs where the diamond seems to "float," which is a type of tension setting.
Engagement rings with colored stones also are an emerging trend, with colored diamonds being quite the rage. Many celebrities, such as Jennifer Lopez, have chosen colored diamond engagement rings and this has cemented their popularity.
For something different, consider new diamond cuts on the market. The Zales diamond cut has more facets than traditional cuts and can increase the stone's fire. Also consider the princess cut - a modified square.
Platinum - hands down the choice today
Regarding the ring itself, platinum is definitely the hot trend. Platinum is popular because its rich luster sets off the brilliance of a diamond like no other metal. This metal is naturally white and will always keep its shine, unlike yellow gold, which may tarnish. Platinum is the strongest precious metal, and is twice as heavy as most gold alloy rings.
Some women want their platinum ring carved with designs or inlaid with gemstones.