< BACK TO THE DIAMOND BLOG MAIN PAGE
03
April 2018

Like? Share!

4 Diamond Engagement Ring Trends that Will Surprise You

Diamonds have long been associated with engagement and marriage – but perhaps not as long as you think. The diamond engagement ring is in fact a modern, specifically western phenomenon. Diamond rings were first linked to marriage only in the late 1930s, when De Beers hired the NW Ayer advertising agency to convince young women that diamonds were indeed the ultimate symbol of romance.

The partnership with NW Ayer led to the famous “Diamonds Are Forever” campaign about a decade later. And from then on, diamond engagement rings were set (pardon the pun) to accompany marriage proposals. Since the 1990s, the trend has seeped into eastern culture and tradition as well. In fact, China is now the fastest growing diamond market in the world.

During the 80 or so years that diamond engagement rings have been around, they’ve been subject to fashion trends just like every other type of jewelry. Although the classic round solitaire diamond engagement ring has remained a bestseller across time, other trends have dominated the market as well.

In the 1960s, platinum bands were all the rage. In the 1980s, it was all about bling. The 1990s were the popular years for radiant cut diamonds, and the past decade saw the rise and rise of the halo design.

In 2018, yellow diamonds, open band, rose gold, and oval cut are just some of the hottest diamond engagement ring trends. But scratch the surface, and you’ll find surprising – and some truly shocking! – diamond engagement ring trends that are seeping into the market and going mainstream. Here’s a roundup of the ones that we can’t stop talking about:

Pierced diamond engagement rings

Ok, this one takes a little getting used to. Instead of just slipping on an engagement ring, there’s a new, and original, technique that takes ‘putting a ring on it’ to entirely new levels. It’s called ‘diamond dermal piercing’ and it’s the rage among certain younger diamond wearers. It involves a professional piercing artist embedding the diamond into the skin of the ring finger, so the diamond sits in the skin, just like an earring or nose ring.

This is probably the weirdest engagement ring trend ever, but given the expert advice from dermatologists warning that it’s actually pretty dangerous – we don’t think this particular trend will catch on.

Rough diamond engagement rings

This is not a new trend – it’s been going for a year or two – however it seems it’s here to stay. Many women are discovering the raw beauty and appeal of rough, uncut diamonds in their engagement rings. It’s a pretty revolutionary fashion statement, if you think about it. Since ancient times, people have been looking for ways to cut and polish diamonds, to extract the most beautiful polished jewel from the rough mined stone. And now, women in droves are going back to basics, choosing engagement rings featuring rough diamonds that have never been in the hands of a diamond cutter.  Why?

Cost is certainly one reason for the appeal of rough diamonds. Rough diamonds don’t undergo the laborious, time-consuming process of polishing, so they are significantly cheaper than polished diamonds. But it’s not just about cost. In a fast paced, hi-tech world, younger consumers are seeking simple, special ways to express themselves. They want a diamond ring that doesn’t speak to old fashioned traditions, yet is also not a modern, mass produced, branded item. And the boom of ecommerce craft websites, such as Etsy, have given many more consumers access to artisan, home-grown jewelers who dabble in alternative forms of jewelry making.

Recycled diamond engagement rings

While some consumers are running away from past traditions, others are going back in time, using older diamonds in their engagement rings. Some people have diamonds removed from family heirloom rings or other jewelry pieces, and then reset them in a custom-designed ring. Others scour second hand jewelers, estate sales, pawn shops or online sites dealing in pre-owned diamonds to find their own one-of-a-kind vintage diamond. It’s not about being frugal, but rather about getting inspiration from the past to create a unique modern twist on the traditional engagement ring.

“Mangagement” diamond engagement rings

Believe it or not, men are getting in on the act too. In an era of equality, the concept of a women’s engagement ring is too closely associated with backward notions of ownership. If she’s going to wear one, well, he will too. Even a few years ago, a survey by The Knot showed that about 5% of men were wearing engagement rings. The number is increasing all the time, and many jewelers are meeting the demand, creating rings for a specifically male clientele.

And it’s not just engagement rings – according to De Beers research, 67% of Chinese men aged between 30 and 44 want diamonds. It seems that even outside the bounds of engagements and proposals, the roles of women and men in diamond consumption are becoming blurred.

 

That’s our roundup of strange, sometimes beautiful, sometimes shocking, diamond engagement ring trends for 2018. Steeped in tradition, yet subject to the whims of a new generation, the diamond engagement ring has traveled a fascinating route. Where will it end? Only time – and the timeless diamond – will tell.

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Diamond Blog

Get the latest technology, grading and retail news straight from the source, straight to your inbox.


MORE FROM THE DIAMOND BLOG

The State of the Diamond Industry in 2019: Challenges & Opportunities

Today, the diamond industry is more complex and dynamic than ever, and technology has only deepened the challenges faced by industry players at every stage of the diamond pipeline. At Sarine, our technologies scanned more than 70 million diamonds in 2018, enabling us to take a broad consideration of the changes happening now in the […]

3 Retail Technologies & Trends that are Changing the Consumer Experience

Recent years have seen a spike in the number of retail stores that are closing down. In 2017, there was a record-setting estimate of approximately 102 million square feet of retail space that went out of business. Retailers worldwide are facing significant challenges, and the main culprit is the internet. We live in a world that […]

The Sarine Diamond Journey™ Provenance Report Goes to Africa

Recently, it was announced that a leading diamond manufacturer in Africa, Schachter & Namdar, has adopted the Sarine Diamond Journey™ provenance reports for its two exclusive diamond brands – Brilliant Rose and Proudly South African. This announcement comes at a time when diamond traceability and provenance are the fastest-growing issues in the diamond industry. Today, […]

5 Diamond & Jewelry Trends for 2019

We’re already well into the year, but 2019 is shaping up to be a bold one in diamonds and jewelry. Designers are pushing the envelope with new, creative styles, and reaching back to revive retro trends. Whether it’s a new fancy diamond shape, an engagement ring worn on the pinky, or a chunky chain of […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #28

Love is in the air in this edition of SPECTRUM, Sarine’s monthly roundup of diamond industry news and trends. This week, we are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a great piece about how to choose the perfect engagement ring from Good Morning America, and a showcase of 15 gorgeous Valentine’s jewelry gifts, compiled by Business Insider. […]

The History and Future of Lab Grown Diamonds

In 2015, photographer Dillon Marsh undertook a fascinating project to demonstrate visually just how much natural diamond has been extracted from a diamond mine during its entire lifetime. In one dramatic example, a photo of the Kimberley mine in South Africa – also known as the “Big Hole” – is juxtaposed with a CGI rendered […]

The Importance of Diamond Provenance in a Data-Driven Age

In breaking the frontiers of the diamond industry, from manufacturing to retail, technology must strive to reach beyond what it can do today, to the potential of what it can achieve tomorrow. At the same time, technological development that brings true change must be in lock-step with the state of the industry at the current […]

3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Affects Your Life (That You May Not Be Aware Of)

What is “artificial intelligence”? Since the very beginnings of computerization, the concept of artificial intelligence has captured the imaginations of science fiction writers and movie makers. Today, fantasy is already reality, and artificial intelligence, or AI, is implemented in a wide range of everyday applications and devices. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, and as […]

How Technology Has Advanced the Diamond Industry: Sarine Celebrates 30 Years

This year, Sarine is launching celebrations for 30 years in the diamond technology business. When Sarine was established, in the late 1980s, technology in the diamond industry was in its very earliest stages. The kinds of technologies used today by diamond manufacturers and gem labs all over the world, such as inclusion mapping, automated rough […]

How Diamonds Are Produced

After the long natural formation process deep in the earth, the diamond is extracted from the mine in its rough, raw state, and begins on its next journey – to become a polished diamond.   From mine, to jewelry store, to the engagement ring finger of its eventual owner – every diamond undergoes a long […]