Diamonds may be a “girl’s best friend” but how they’re mounted on rings is still up for discussion. We’ve spoken to some experts about emerging and consistent trends in the engagement ring industry.
Round continues to be the most popular cut, according to Rhoula Monios, general manager of Meritage Jewelers in Lutherville. Ron Samuelson, CEO of Samuelson’s Diamonds and Estate Buyers in Pikesville, agreed.
“They always maintain demand. We see a lot of people asking for round diamonds,” said Samuelson.
Lynn Weisberg, a jewelry concierge at Misha & Co. in Lutherville, said that after round diamonds, emerald cut and oval are the most popular cut for diamonds. “But round is still the most popular,” Weisberg said.
Diamonds remain the most popular engagement gem with all three jewelers.
“Sapphire would be the next most popular, but not anywhere near the diamond,” said Monios. “Hardness wise [sapphires] are a great option for a color in the engagement [ring]. On the hardness scale [they are] sturdy enough to withstand wear every day.”
For metals, white gold and platinum are still the most popular, but rose gold is catching up in popularity.
“White gold and platinum are always in style,” Weisberg said.
In terms of design, while haloes, a circle of diamonds around the centers tone have been extremely popular for a number of years, simpler designs are gaining ground.
“We have been in halo world for years and years and I can tell you design-wise we’re going back to classic styles,” Monios said.
Weisberg agreed and added, “If you have a beautiful diamond in an appropriate size for you, the trend now is just a simple Tiffany setting…to showcase the diamond.”
A major theme all three jewelers are witnessing is a desire to ensure that diamonds are not only economical, but ethical as well.
Monios said many people are asking for lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are chemically the same as mined diamonds, but have the added value of being socially conscious: no land was disturbed to make them and no one enslaved to mine them. Additionally, mined diamonds are “30 to 40 percent less than a mined diamond. You can get a bigger diamond for the same price,” Monios said.
Weisberg and Samuelson have witnessed a similar sensibility playing out in a different trend.
“We see a lot of people requesting estate and vintage jewelry,” said Samuelson. “Because you can get a really great deal on vintage and estate jewelry and it’s also sustainable and people like the fact that you’re getting recycled jewelry rather than new jewelry.”
Weisberg explained that Misha & Co.’s owner and designer, Misha Gilkis, is well-known for taking vintage jewelry and redesigning it to be more current.
In order to create pieces that are timeless and survive through the ages, Gilkis said, “What I’ve found to be most true [is] that the simpler rings are the ones that don’t go out of style…the simpler rings are the ones I see people wearing for years and years.”