The New Stuff

Engagement rings are about to look a lot different


Engagement rings aren't immune to trends. The practice and styles have changed throughout history.

Some researchers suggest Neanderthals marked their mates by tying cords around their fingers, wrists and waists. It was a physical representation of their spirits being bound together. Ancient Egyptians sealed a marriage for all eternity with leather, bone and braided hemp rings. Early Romans used metal jewelry as a sign of ownership, placing a ring on the fourth finger of the woman's left hand. They believed the finger held the Vena Amoris, or Vein of Love, that connected directly to the heart.

While that particular theory is false (all fingers have a similar vein structure), the designated ring finger has stood the test of time.

Today a diamond engagement ring is the most popular Western symbol of romance and outward declaration of committed love. But even this style is transforming.

In the early 2000s it seemed every bride-to-be rocked a princess cut stone nestled in a channel setting. Modern aesthetics eventually took a back seat as antique styles gained popularity. Vintage rings were then followed by a rise in round stones with double halos, giving the illusion of a larger center diamond. Most recently, minimal millennials are getting down on one knee with simple solitaires.

But the next trend in matrimony bling is a little off kilter. Keep an eye out for the asymmetrical engagement ring, soon to be gracing a finger near you.

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Image: Mociun.com

Mociun ring, $11,400

Even when these styles are mass produced, their unique stone placement offers brides a custom experience that makes the proposal especially personal.

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Image: JenniKwonDesigns.com

Jenni Kwon Designs, $1,200

Clustered settings place timeless shapes in a contemporary layout, forming a marriage of classic and modern design.

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Image: AnnaSheffield.com

Anna Sheffield black diamond ceremonial set, $4,900

You'll also begin to notice a rise in mixed metals as brides pair their platinum engagement rings with rose or yellow gold wedding bands. This helps to further customize the set and ensure the finger looks completely different.


WhiteGoldLeda2

Image: HeidiGibson.com

Heidi Gibson, $2,350

Nestled_Diamonds_Ring

Image: Wwake.com

Wwake ring, $1,242

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Image: Mocin.com

Mociun ring, price upon request

While the perfect ring won't make or break a relationship, these days it symbolizes a lot more than a lifetime commitment. It's a statement of a personality, and these days, that means breaking from the mold.

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