Bold, brave, and colourful: Engagement designs for the modern couple

Published On: May 28th, 2021

By the Langerman Diamonds Team
Photos courtesy Langerman Diamonds

Are you ready for some good news? In Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world, jewellers saw orders for engagement rings increase after COVID hit—and this may also be true on a global level. After all, many couples have already faced the ‘for worse’ part of the relationship and are ready for the ‘better’ part of that famous vow.

This article explores ideas to inspire new couples, as well as how they may express their personal style when it comes to engagement rings and wedding bands.

Bespoke design

The popularity of bespoke engagement rings encourages couples to be bold and challenge traditional round, solitaire designs.

Opting for a custom-designed engagement ring is an incredibly popular option for couples today, and it is easy to understand why. When a future bride and groom are involved in creating a unique symbol of their love—choosing the centre stone, participating in the design of the setting, and receiving updates as the ring is being crafted—the two form a stronger bond than ever before. Indeed, the process of creating something so special, together, becomes a special memory in itself.

All over the world, modern grooms- and brides-to-be are making this significant purchase from the comfort of their own home. They are taking time to consider which design elements could be incorporated into their jewellery to generate a bold statement and truly celebrate their love and togetherness. Many consider this a once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase their individualized (and sometimes unconventional) take on the classic engagement ring.

Natural colour diamonds take centre stage

The uptick in bespoke design has led more couples to choose a natural colour diamond as a centre stone in place of the more classic colourless round brilliant.

Using a tension setting makes a ring’s centre stone appear to float in the air, while the lack of prongs allows for a full view of the shape of the diamond.

Because the centre stone is, arguably, the most important component of a ring, clients take their time in selecting the colour and shape that most speaks to them. For many, the rarity and exclusivity of natural colour diamonds makes these stones irresistible; after all, only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural colour. This makes these diamonds a true masterpiece—one which, unlike a Rembrandt or a Picasso, an individual can sport on their finger!

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The rarity of natural colour diamonds (coupled by the joy they evoke) have long made them an in-demand choice for engagement rings; however, the past few years in particular have seen a surge in brides-to-be with an eye for colour. This willingness to venture beyond the 4Cs of colourless diamonds leads to an entirely new dimension, complete with hundreds of nuances to choose from. It gives couples endless combinations to play with when they are looking to add a bit of colour to a proposal. To find a completely unique look for the ring, the bride and groom can play with different colour combinations and look closer at which hues might complement their skin tone and make their eyes sparkle.

Never settle for predictable settings

The popularity of bespoke engagement rings also lends itself to another hot trend: challenging traditional round, solitaire designs.

Contrasting a lime natural diamond with colourless diamonds makes the green colour pop even more and gives the ring a clean, crisp, and contemporary look.

Natural colour diamonds come in a wide range of fancy shapes, inviting couples to create inspiring designs aimed at enhancing the beauty and profile of a ring’s centre stone. Indeed, when it comes to engagement rings, jewellers in Antwerp have noted significant demand for original and symbolic designs.

Using a tension setting, for example, makes a ring’s centre stone appear to float in the air, while the lack of prongs allows for a full view of the shape of the diamond. This effect is especially exquisite for round-, oval-, or marquise-cut diamonds, as the tension setting offers an unhindered view of the stone’s organic shape.

Recent years have also seen increased demand for rotating the diamond on the band, creating a more contemporary effect. The rule of thumb has always been to set emerald, oval, and marquise diamonds on a north-west setting to create an optical illusion of long, slender fingers; however, the east-west setting rotates the diamond 180 degrees for a different view of the shape and its facets. For an exciting note on personal style, one need not look further than singer Ariana Grande’s fascinating engagement ring, where an oval diamond has been set at a slanted angle next to a lustrous, white pearl.

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Finally, the halo setting is a classic ‘trick of the trade’ and a great gift to suit any engagement ring budget. Placing a halo of small diamonds around a centre stone not only makes the main diamond appear larger, but also adds sparkle and reflection to the ring. When it comes to natural colour diamonds, the halo is a particularly effective way to enhance the colour of the centre diamond. Contrasting a lime-toned natural diamond with colourless diamonds makes the green colour pop even more and gives the ring a clean, crisp, and contemporary look. Meanwhile, adding a halo of pink melee diamonds to a yellow pear-shaped centre stone lends glamour and soft femininity to an engagement ring.

Notable celebrity bespoke designs

Blake Lively’s pink natural colour diamond engagement ring is a beautiful example of a very feminine take on colour. The ring’s incredible pink, oval-shaped diamond is set on a band of rose gold with pavé details, creating a soft, pastel look, complementary to most skin tones. A similar effect (at a much more attainable budget) can be achieved by pairing an oval or round champagne coloured diamond with a rose gold band—perhaps even with a halo of champagne coloured or colourless diamonds around it.

Pink natural colour diamonds can create a soft, pastel look, complementary to most skin tones.

In 2019, Scarlett Johansson also opted for a natural colour diamond engagement ring with a champagne stone. The ring is boldly set on a dark band—almost copper coloured—which enhances the brown nuances of the diamond. This is an example of an exciting, novel choice, both in colour and setting, for an actress who is known for her personal style.

Lily Collins has also recently been showing off what she calls her “new favourite accessory”—a rose-cut, light pink diamond in an unconventional bezel setting. The feminine colour contrasts with the almost masculine signet ring-style setting to create an exciting statement of individual taste.

Other colours that look absolutely incredible on the ring finger are vivid yellow and lime, as well as cognac, amber, and brown shades—indeed, brown diamonds are certain to attract consumer attention in the near future.

The variety of nuances within the segment of these stones can range from light champagne with rosy undertones, to dark and mysterious chocolate, to toffee colours with incredible caramel and amber undertones. This is a very exciting and deep colour—one which will draw eyes to a ring without fail.