By now we're all very aware that nothing, not even a global pandemic, can stop love. And it certainly hasn't put a stop to engagement season! The latest engagement ring trends are still on display, and designers, and couples, are getting more creative than ever when it comes to ring shopping.
So what does the latest crop of rings have to offer? We’re diving deep into the top engagement ring trends for 2021. Whether you already have the ring of your dreams picked out (dropping hints counts), or you and your partner are just starting to talk about what that bling might look like—you’ll want to be armed with all the latest engagement ring trends before you safely visit your favorite jeweler, or virtually discuss the ideal ring with a designer.
Wedding ceremonies may change or be on hold for now, but the desire to celebrate love and union is going strong.
Bride magazine rounded up some of their favorite jewelry designers to talk all things engagement rings—from the latest trends, to how the pandemic has changed the way couples are shopping for rings. Here, the engagement ring trends you need to know for 2021.
Unique Rings With Personal Details
In a year full of such uncertainty, couples are taking control of what few details they can as it relates to marriage—and one of those is focusing on personal touches when it comes to engagement rings. "A huge difference we’ve seen is that clients have much more time and space to explore what they want, so they are coming to us with much more personal, thoughtful and insightful directions and ideas," Azlee's CEO and designer, Baylee Zwart, says.
"Right now I am seeing a huge surge in clients wanting alternative engagement rings, mainly in the form of a unique cut or an unusual custom designed setting," jewelry Angie Marei tells us.
People are continually searching for ways to do things differently. We’ve seen all the rings flashed on every social media channel.
Tacori's COO and Design Director Nadine Tacorian, agrees, and says that customers are eager to celebrate love by making the ring their own. "Rings with secret details—hidden messages of love only you and your partner know about," Tacorian adds.
"People are continually searching for ways to do things differently. We’ve seen all the rings flashed on every social media channel. People are looking to add another layer to the traditional wedding band, putting some extra love and meaning behind it," says Madeline Fraser, founder and CEO of Gemist.
Band Style Rings
Given the ever-changing landscape of weddings, jewelry designers are seeing clients turning to band style engagement rings for a two-in-one situation. "I am seeing an increase in brides that are opting for a band-style engagement rings in lieu of a single stone engagement ring," says Grace Lee.
KatKim designer Katherine Kim is also seeing this trend on the rise "Since a lot of weddings are being postponed we have been seeing a rise in rings that can serve as both an engagement ring and wedding band" Kim says.
"Traditionally in many European countries they do not give engagement rings but rather wedding bands/eternity bands as engagement/wedding bands rings," says designer Emily Rudman, founder of Emilie Heathe. She adds that the current crop of pandemic safety measures have helped keep this trend going. "It's also easier to clean/sanitize and can endure the constant washing and hand sanitizing we are doing these days."
Classic Styles With a Modern Twist
The nature of virtual ring shopping has given rise to a return to classic styles for engagement rings. “Because less clients are coming in person to our showroom to try on different settings, more and more are playing it safe with classic styles, like a solitaire or 3-stone ring," says Nicole Wegman founder of Ring Concierge.
Stylist Micaela Erlanger, whose Forevermark X Micaela Erlanger collection is a n office favorite, is also seeing classics making a come back. “Going into the new year we are seeing couples gravitate towards classic cuts like round, oval and cushion set in delicate platinum settings that really allow the diamond to pop,” Erlanger shares.
Famed-jewelry (and the absolute best Instagram to follow for ring inspo) Stephanie Gottlieb agrees. "Overall I think our brides are embracing "fashion-forward" bridal designs with traditional elements" Gottlieb says.
Anna Sheffield is also seeing this timeless trend making an impact for 2021. "I think there is something to be said for really timeless rings, and choosing a super special stone," says Sheffield.
"A more traditional ring with a pretty silhouette and exquisite detail speak to today's bride and this trend will continue into 2021," Cathy Waterman tells us. We definitely agree there's something to sticking to a tried-and-true style in the midst of dealing with the unexpected.
North South East West
Get ready to see things sideways, North South East West prongs and East West cuts are going to be everywhere next year. "NSEW prongs, also known as compass prongs, are a cool and vintage spin on traditional prongs and I am so excited to see them in style!" Landau says
An East/West Emerald Cut adds a different spin to a classic says Fraser. "It’s a great way to take a traditional emerald cut engagement ring and add a unique twist."
Photo of East-West Double claw emerald cut Diamond ring - designed and made at Francis Jewellers.
Alternative Gemstones and Metals
Another way couples are making this special piece of jewelry unique is by opting for gemstones as alternatives to diamonds and choosing metals that feel unexpected.
"Colorful gemstones in both classic round and oval shapes as well as modern geometric shapes are appealing to many people right now for their alternative aesthetic," says Valerie Madison. "It's nice to have something that now one else is wearing."
"We’ve already had private commissions for bespoke adaptations of [our most popular] designs featuring alternative gemstones such as shield-cut diamonds, sapphires, tourmaline and other colored precious stones," Marei says. "Our clientele loves edgy jewelry that is modern, artful, and timeless. Another trend we are seeing and predict will be even bigger in 2021 is 18-karat black gold engagement rings."
Anita Ko says that the yellow gold we're seeing popularized across all divisions of jewelry is quickly making its way to the bridal sector. "Women are choosing to set their engagement rings—one their most prized possessions—in Yellow Gold over the once classic and popular Platinum or White Gold," Ko says. Yellow gold, she states, is "a color that will complement their everyday jewelry style and personal collections."
Nicole Wegman of Ring Concierge agrees. "[Couples] are still adding their own modern twist [to classic rings] by selecting yellow gold, rather than the classic platinum, or adding a hidden halo under the diamond for extra sparkle,” Wegman shares.
Rudman attributes this metal's rise in popularity to its price going up during the pandemic. "I don't see it going down a lot in 2021 and its perceived value being high and more classic—I think yellow gold and white will continue to be popular with a lower emphasis on rose gold," Rudman adds.
Lab Grown Diamonds Instead of Earth Mined
The pandemic has definitely made many people think harder about how and where they want to spend their money. Lab grown Diamonds provide many groom to be's with a more cost effective alternative (comparatively lab grown Diamonds cost 30-50% less than their Earth mined counterparts). Lab grown Diamonds are also a more environmentally sustainable option which many young couples find very alluring!