Engagement rings, they’re not what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. Though the three C’s (carat, clarity, cut) is still at the forefront of the discussion, your true love may fall in love with colored stone, an unusual setting, or an eternity band just as much as a classically designed diamond ring.
We’ve drawn up a guide that aims to cater to everyone looking at engagement rings, whether you’d rather spend your money-saving up for a future home, or you’ve always dreamt of your wedding and know you must have that diamond solitaire, no matter what. And though many prefer a modern approach to engagement, vintage engagement rings are proving more and more popular as well. The luxury website 1stdibs.com notes a 47% increase year-over-year in the purchase of vintage engagement rings on the site, the highest category being Art Deco at 54% year-over-year. “This is a period that will never go out of style—it is timeless,” says Cristina Miller, CCO of 1stdibs.com.
Regardless of how you approach it, though, the whole process can be daunting and the experience alienating. “Being open about the process is the best way to make sure you get exactly the right thing,” says jeweler Brent Neale, who often works with clients on custom engagement rings. “Perhaps there’s a cut you’ve never seen in person or an unusual way to set the stones, or maybe it’s one stone instead of three. Or perhaps you never thought about color! It’s a big investment, so I say explore it all.”