Are diamonds truly timeless, or are the expensive gems finally on the way out? What about gems that aren’t diamonds? For so long it was taboo to use any other kind of jewel, but does that still hold true? Just as wedding ceremonies are being modernized with updates to old traditions, so too are engagement rings. Are rings even still round, or has a new shape ridden into town? To get some clarity, we spoke to two local experts about emerging and consistent trends in the Valley’s engagement ring industry.
“The most popular metals are platinum, yellow gold and white gold,” said Glenna Gibbons, president of G.G. Gems Inc. in Scottsdale.
Marc Shutro, vice president of Burland Jewelry Center, Inc. in Phoenix, agreed that white gold has remained firmly popular with women.
“For men,” Shutro added, “definitely tungsten carbide bands. They’re scratchproof, but can’t be sized.”
Tungsten carbide is an alloy of tungsten and carbon; it’s the most scratch-resistant metal known to man, and will not bend out of shape.
As for other ring trends, Gibbons noted that “rose gold is definitely becoming more popular in engagement rings, especially in the abstract designs.”
“Round diamonds are always a classic and a popular cut followed by ovals and cushion cut diamonds,” Gibbons said.
Shutro added that “round brilliant is always the most popular” cut, while “oval would be second.”
A round brilliant is a many-faceted cut where the gem is made into the shape of a cone.
For designs, Gibbons thinks that multiple gem-shapes in one ring are trending right now.
“A beautiful and creative trend are abstract styles using different cuts (shapes) of diamonds together and sometimes adding colored gemstones,” Gibbons said.
Shutro has also noticed popularity in an unexpected design-trend. Burland has seen “stackable bands in different colors and thin, diamond bands stacked on top each other to make one wide-looking band.”
Shutro also noticed that yellow gold is currently making a comeback. Gibbons agreed, adding “Yellow gold is definitely becoming more popular now.” But according to Shutro, it’s not yet the most popular. “White gold is still about 80% of our gold sales.”
In terms of gemstones, Gibbons said that diamonds are still used the most for engagement rings, though “about one in 20 people may ask for a colored gemstone such as a blue sapphire.”
“Diamonds are still the most popular,” Shutro said. “But people are using diamond replacements, such as moissanite and lab-grown diamonds, to cut the cost.” JN