The Jewelry Insider

March 8, 2009

A jewelry primer of important engagement ring tips every nervous bachelor needs to know.

The Bachelor star, Jason Mesnick, made reality show history with his by now infamous change of heart. Need a recap?

So. After popping the question to the perky Melissa Rycroft in the series finale, Mesnick later realized he chose the wrong woman and offered his heart to a wide-eyed Molly Malaney instead. Yikes!

Aside from earning the wrath of millions of women everywhere, Jason gave guys a lesson in what NOT to do when it comes to popping the question. Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind is to avoid falling in love on a reality show. The next big lesson is to pick the right engagement ring – you know, one that won’t be making its way back in your pocket down the road.

So what should nervous bachelors know about the latest in engagement ring trends? Steer them towards this special report from our exclusive Wedding Boutique where they can find a treasure trove of wedding bling and educational articles covering everything from proposal ideas to jewelry
insurance tips. The final rose belongs to you!

Four Top Engagement Ring Trends

Something new. Sleek, modern, often geometric designs have done well with brides looking to stand out from the crowd. Cutting-edge fashions include settings such as tension (the stone is only held on its edges, suspended, and appears to float) and bezel (the stone is flush with the ring’s
surface); newer cuts like the Zales Diamond and the Tiffany Lucida, which display more facets than traditional cuts to increase the stone’s fire; and alternative shapes like the princess-cut (modified square), which offer the bride-to-be more individuality than the more traditional round, marquise, emerald, pear, or oval shapes.

Something classic. Regardless of the latest trends, timeless, classic-looking rings will never go out of style. But sometimes, a new style becomes so pervasive, that it becomes a modern classic. The strong renaissance of the three-stone diamond ring (which has roots going back to the Victorian Age) and its steady transition from an anniversary ring to an engagement ring show that this style, with its powerful “past, present and future” message, is here to stay.

Something blue (or another hue). Adding a splash of color to an engagement ring is another way that some of today’s brides are expressing themselves. Some are selecting colored diamonds in yellow, pink, blue, green and other shades. Others are turning to alternative gems as the center stone or as an accent to the center diamond. Some of the more popular colored stone choices for engagement rings, according to the American Gem Trade Association, are sapphire, ruby, emerald, tanzanite and garnet.

Something old. Family heirlooms handed down from mothers/grandmothers, rings from estates and auctions, and pieces from vintage jewelers have been doing particularly well. In general, antique styles and cuts — especially when set in platinum — have been strong sellers with today’s brides. Some say this is a direct result of the tragic events of Sept. 11, which caused many to want to reconnect with their past — a time seen as more simple and secure. An antique engagement ring also gives the wearer a chance to express her own style by wearing something that can’t be found in just any jewelry store.

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