How do people express the feeling of love to their boyfriends or girlfriends?
If I went out into the streets of New York City and polled 100 complete strangers, what do you think they would say?
Flowers? Chocolates? An expensive dinner at a 5-star restaurant? All very possible and likely choices.
However, the overwhelming consensus opinion is quite simple…if you love someone deeply and completely, you express that love in a manner that is powerful and timeless…with an engagement ring.
And not just any engagement ring…a diamond engagement ring which has stood as the symbol of marriage and affection for what seems like forever.
That is the way it’s always been and always will be, right? Maybe not…
You might be surprised to find out that the diamond engagement ring and marriage is not the invincible pairing it seemingly has been for hundreds (and really, thousands) of years.
Like most industries, the market for engagement rings has seen a substantial shift when it comes to what customers want.
Think of the shift in the last several years to electric vehicles. Think about how many Tesla cars you see on the road during your morning commute.
Each year brings new trends and ideas to the party and 2022 is no exception.
Let me lead you on a journey that will help strengthen your knowledge of what engagement rings were, what they have become, and where we see them going this year and beyond.
THE PAST: Where Did Engagement Rings Come From?
Excellent question! Here is a fun fact for you to throw out at your next dinner party…DID YOU KNOW that the earliest record of an engagement ring (or “promise ring”) goes back over 5000 years in Ancient Egypt? From the Great Pyramids, records of engagement rings have been found in Rome and Greece. Earliest depictions of rings even featured hand carved etchings of the bride and groom within the ring! Talk about a high pressure project…
After diamonds were discovered and the technology was developed to cut them properly, their beauty and value stood unrivaled as the mainstream gemstone of choice for a marriage proposal.
Now that we have gotten a taste of the past, let’s take a look at what the 21st Century has brought us as we enter 2022 and what engagement rings look like now. Right this way…
THE PRESENT: Modern Trends In Engagement Rings
Like most industries over the past 20+ years, the market for engagement rings has grown and expanded far beyond the conventional diamond engagement ring. What was seen as the one true option when looking to “pop the question” has become a foundational backbone. Creativity and ingenuity have become major factors in what people look for in an engagement ring in 2022.
Let’s look at some of those trends now and some ways we are branching off from a conventional diamond engagement ring.
A Unique Cut: When actor Ryan Reynolds proposed to his wife Blake Lively, he did so with an engagement ring that was anything but conventional.
The ring he proposed with was a 12-carat diamond that is oval in shape, centered around a simple rose gold band, covered in smaller diamonds. The ring cost is estimated at $2 million dollars and is an absolute show stopper (go Google it now and see for yourself…I will wait here after you check it out…).
This is just one example to illustrate new behavior in the mindset of consumers. Lately, fancy cut diamonds, such as oval, cushion, and marquise cut diamonds have risen in popularity, to name a few. Each cut offers a unique style and energy to the ring which is sure to be a trend which will continue.
Non-Diamond Gemstones: Another trend gaining popularity this year is using a non-diamond gemstone as the center stone for an engagement ring. Rubies and Sapphires provide that “wow” factor to a ring (as most precious stones do) while also being extremely unconventional.
Think about it…would you want to be the person at the party who everyone is talking about your one-of-a-kind ruby engagement ring?
Come to think of it, an “Engagement Ruby” does have a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
Even pearls have emerged as popular examples of a modern approach to a timeless style.
Natural Diamond vs. Lab-Grown Diamond: Today, shoppers are more knowledgeable about engagement rings and the options available. The lab-grown diamonds entered the stage a few years ago, and will continue to gain popularity and demand.
The differences between the two types of diamonds can be shown under very thorough examination (i.e. microscope) but are virtually identical to the naked eye. This makes lab-grown diamonds a hot commodity amongst ring-seekers.
What is even more enticing is that lab-grown diamonds can cost 30%-40% LESS than natural diamonds.
Not to mention the fact that natural diamonds take somewhere between 1-4 BILLION years to form!
Two Stones Are Better Than One: One of the most unique and "fashion-forward” styles in engagement rings is called Toi et Moi. Toi et Moi is French for you and me, also called a two-stone ring. This modern twist on an engagement ring consists of not one, but two complementary gemstones.
And, yes, when it comes to an engagement ring, you would want to invest in something that represents romance in addition to a breathtaking look. After all, an item that embodies love should look as if it personifies the romance and affection that any lasting relationship is built on.
Here comes another fun fact for that dinner party you might be going to…DID YOU KNOW that one of the first recorded instances of a Toi et Moi style engagement ring was used in the marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine? Yeah, me either…
The two gemstones united in the engagement ring, is a very intimate and sweet symbol. It is a representation of the love which unites two people in a marriage and offers an extremely outside the box look.
Bottom Line…along with purchasing your first house or first dog (some would argue that a first dog is the most important…I won’t argue that one), buying an engagement ring is one of the most personal and important decisions you will make in your lifetime.
Compared to an engagement ring, not many items can elicit the emotion and incredible memories that come with an engagement ring and the four words that most often precede it (will you marry me?).
As we have seen, there are many new trends and an ever-changing landscape of creativity coming into the engagement ring space in 2022. That being said, finding a jeweler that you trust who will help you fall in love with a ring that speaks directly to you should always be a top priority. Finding the right jeweler will always be one of the most important steps you can take on your journey for the perfect custom engagement ring.
And when it comes to custom-made engagement rings, the sky is truly the limit to the amount of creativity and personalization that a custom engagement ring can have.
That ring will always serve as a beacon in your world, a testimony that you have found the perfect person to share your life with, and that your relationship is unique in this world. As we have seen and will continue to see, ring style, diamond and gemstones shapes, and even diamond and gemstone’s origin can be ways to create a one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
So why shouldn’t your ring represent your unique love? Well…IT SHOULD! I do believe that you are a one in a billion person and your engagement ring should reflect who you are and who you choose to spend the rest of your life with.