Over the last several years, colored engagement rings have held the spotlight. Celebrities like Halle Berry, Jessica Simpson, and Eva Longoria celebrated their engagements with brightly colored gems, and millennials flocked to the style.
Still, as colored stones dominated fashion spreads, many assumed they would fade out – but diamond alternatives aren’t going anywhere. Unlike other headline-grabbing fashion trends, emerald, aquamarine, and amethyst stones are here to stay.
A Rich And Royal History
Colored engagement rings may seem like a new trend, but a quick look at history’s most famous rings reveals that leading ladies have been wearing colored gems for decades. Jacqueline Kennedy’s engagement ring featured both emerald and diamond stones, while Kate Middleton inherited Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring.
These gems broke through the mass of more common diamonds and set these famous rings apart. And, in the case of Kate Middleton and Princess Eugenie, who sported a coral-colored sapphire for her engagement, they may just have started a trend.
All About Individuality
Setting aside their famous history, today’s brides-to-be are attracted to colored gemstones for another reason: their individuality. Even as colorful stones become more popular, by mixing stones, metals, and cuts, millennial brides want unique rings that reflect their own personalities.
That might mean setting a colored stone from another piece of family jewelry into their engagement ring, selecting a ring featuring their birthstone, or passionately pursuing a sustainably sourced gem, less likely to be marked by the violence of the diamond trade.
Vintage’s Wide Variety
In the hunt for a unique engagement ring, many millennials have turned to vintage rings to uncover even more uncommon styles, like these Art Deco aquamarine rings. Art Deco styles are notoriously bold, featuring larger stones, multiple colors, and cuts rarely seen today – and they’re also seeing a resurgence.
For the women who started seeking out these rings a few years ago, though, such rings are a dramatic departure from the otherwise dominant gold band and diamond solitaire combination that remains the top seller. While colored gems have gained in popularity, they still play second fiddle to this more conventional style, the choice of brides with a commitment to tradition.
A New Ring For A New Generation
While most of the buzz around engagement rings focuses on millennials who range in age from their late 20s to nearly 40, Gen Z is aging into the marriage market now, and like millennials, they’re looking for something a little different in their engagement rings. In particular, they’re seeking sustainably sourced materials, both in stones and metals, which is often easier to achieve with colored stones than with diamonds. Companies producing alternative jewelry styles have better tracking procedures for their supply lines and they’re less likely to be sullied by past unethical practices.
Colored stones may not control the majority of the engagement ring market, but they’re undeniably an ongoing trend in 2020 with no signs of fading soon. Creators offering unique, sustainable options, from the vintage to the upcycled, should step up to their place in the engagement ring market.
Colorful stones aren’t relegated to the accessories market anymore – they’re center stage players.