15 May Alternative Engagement Rings
It wasn’t too long ago that platinum; solitaire diamond ring was expected with a marriage proposal—but these days, anything goes! “Today’s bride is looking for something timeless with a twist; something extraordinary that still embodies her distinct sense of style,” says designer Anita Ko, whose more unconventional rings are popular among brides-to-be. “Her choice is not the classic engagement ring but something more personal.” With this in mind, we present the ultimate in sparkly, non-traditional inspiration.
Why not consider a different treatment for your diamond ring? Stone Fox Bride creative director Molly Guy says raw diamonds are very popular among nontraditional brides-to-be, thanks in part to the fact that no two stones are the same—making for a truly unique and slightly ethereal spin on a classic. Opt for a polished finish or let the natural texture shine.
ELLE.com editorial director Leah Chernikoff recently got engaged, and proudly wears Anita Ko’s Double Asscher Cut Split Ring. “I have noticed women gravitating towards these alternative styles over a more traditional emerald and round Diamond,” says Ko. “The modern bride is a bit more adventurous.” (You may also see this style referred to as a “cuff ring” or “wrap ring.”)
Why should the focus just be on the stone and setting? Tiny engravings and interesting details make for an unexpected twist, even on traditional rings.
CLEAN AND MODERN
Vintage-inspired rings not your thing? Clean lines and geometric silhouettes offer a sleek and modern sensibility that we don’t see often in the engagement ring market. Look for industrial-chic details like laser cuts and brushed metals.
Since ring-stacking is a trend that doesn’t appear to be heading anywhere soon, we shouldn’t be surprised that it now extends to the bridal market. Not only do they look very cool, but it’s like getting multiple rings at once. “Vibrant stacks of mixed metals and textures is what we’re seeing customers gravitate towards,” says Catbird general manager and buyer Leigh Plessner.
It’s always felt like we have two choices in ring color: silver or yellow gold. But rose gold makes for a lovely alternative. “Rose gold is really romantic and modern, yet classic, all at once,” notes Plessner. The color also makes diamondsreally pop, since it’s a slightly deeper tone than traditional yellow.
Choosing a different stone than a typical diamond is an easy way to make a ring your own. While the possibilities are endless, there are a few gems in particular that seem popular lately: Guy and Plessner both name opals as an alternative, while rutilated quartz, tourmaline, and even black diamonds offer an edgy vibe.
Nesting or ceremonial sets—that is, engagement and wedding rings that are meant to be paired together—are far from new. But the old world style is getting new life thanks in part to that stacking trend, as well as designers like Anna Sheffield and WWAKE’s Wing Yau, who use mixed metals and unexpected gems like opals and black diamonds.
A final idea? Choosing a style that’s gorgeously asymmetrical. Molly Guy names this as one of the top trends she has seen lately with her discerning clientele at Stone Fox Bride.
What kind of ring speaks to you? Modernization is what’s in right now and the different colored stones. Although a classic diamond engagement ring is the norm, maybe you’ll be the type of bride to stray from the norm?