2020 has been a strange year – there’s no denying it. Still, life goes on and, if anything, people are even more acutely aware of just how important it is to cherish the people we love, which means there have been plenty of pandemic engagements and small, socially-distanced weddings.
Experts have even reported an increase in engagement ring sales over the last several months – but what ring trends should we expect to see when we finally encounter our newly engaged friends in person again?
When it comes to buying an engagement ring, people have unusually strong opinions about how much couples should spend. We are, however, in the middle of the worst economic recession since the great recession, so many couples are concerned about spending too much money. That means we’re likely to see a spike in cost-conscious engagement ring purchases. Buying a ring that’s slightly less than a full carat – 1.8 carats instead of 2, for example – can help save money, as can opting for a gold band instead of platinum.
Shop By Shape
Engagement ring stones, which are traditionally diamonds, come in a variety of shapes and settings, and the trends change all the time. In 2019, celebrity engagement rings drove sales towards pear-shaped diamonds, but this style has been on the decline this year, with increased interest in oval diamonds. More important than trends, though, is knowing what gem cuts the wearer prefers since trends come and go, but this ring is forever.
Something Old, Something New
The last decade has seen increased interest in ethical jewelry purchases, ranging from carefully traced gems to lab grown diamonds, but your options don’t end there. Why not choose an engagement ring that offers “something old” and “something new” in its recycled metal band? Recycled bands may contain a mixture of metals or upcycle a single metal from old jewelry into a new band, and not only is recycled metal less expensive, but it’s also a good option for those concerned about the environmental impacts of mining.
Fun With Florals
Engagement rings have strayed further and further from tradition in the last few years, with a spike in colorful rings like rubies and emeralds, as well as rings featuring the bride-to-be’s birthstone. Newest to the scene are ring settings inspired by flowers, with leaf-like stone shapes, metal accents, and unique multi-stone placements. Perfect for the woman who loves a little extra whimsy, these floral rings will stand out in a crowd.
Stacked Up Style
Stacking rings that are designed to be worn together have found a place in the engagement ring market, and they’ve also spawned some beautiful, spinoff styles, such as double-banded engagement rings. Double-banded rings often feature unique stone shapes in their center, and have a larger profile than conventional engagement rings, making them more like a cocktail ring in overall style.
Wedding industry experts have suggested that the extended closeness of quarantining together has led even newer couples to consider marriage sooner than they might, and has brought couples closer together in general – after all, everyone has had a lot of time to talk and see how they deal with serious stress as a couple. So while they may seem like a strange time to get engaged, it’s also ideal in many ways, and many couples will boast new engagements to their friends on the other side of this pandemic.