They say that diamonds are forever, which is probably why they’re such popular engagement ring stones. After all, when we make the choice to spend the rest of our lives with someone, we want a ring that can keep up. But with this longevity comes a potential downside: The decision you make in picking out a diamond engagement ring is one that you and your spouse are probably going to have to live with for a long, long time.
Well, don’t worry; we’re here to help. Check out our guide to the most popular engagement ring trends for 2020. From classic cuts to unique new designs, we take an expert look at the new trends that are turning heads, and ensure that your forever decision is one that you’ll be happy with.
The Basics: The 4 Cs
Now, before we get into specific options, it makes sense to offer a quick recap of the standard diamond grading criteria, and that means considering the 4 Cs — cut, color, clarity, and carat. Let’s take a brief look at each:
Not to be confused with a diamond’s shape, the cut refers to the diamond’s facets — namely, how effectively they refract and reflect light within the stone.
Diamonds should be colorless, or at least close to it. The less color a diamond has, the higher quality it is.
Diamonds, whether they’re mined from the ground or grown in a lab, often include small imperfections within the stone (called inclusions). The presence of these imperfections, along with any surface flaws (called blemishes), are taken into account when rating a diamond’s clarity.
Perhaps the most straightforward of the 4 Cs, carat refers to the diamond’s size (or more accurately, its weight). A single carat diamond weighs 0.2gm.
Taken together, each of these criteria help to determine the overall quality, and price, of a diamond. Your choice of diamond is also going to be heavily influenced by your budget, so it helps to know which categories are the most important to you, and which ones you’d be willing to pay less on. Also, it’s worth noting that some ring styles can make up for stones that otherwise fall short in certain areas. Click here for a more in-depth look at the 4 Cs.
OK. With that out of the way, let’s talk about trends.
2020’s Most Popular Engagement Ring Trends
One of the problems with following a new trend is that it may end up being just that — a trend. And once the trend loses steam, you could be stuck with something that looks dated. That said, there’s a big difference between dated and timeless. That’s why the first trend on our list is one that bucks the new in favor of something a bit more established: antique rings.
Antique rings carry with them a certain amount of history. And whether you use an heirloom that’s been in your family for generations, or start a new tradition by purchasing an antique ring from a vintage jeweler, you’ll be incorporating that history into your own story. Antique rings often stand out as representations of the time periods and art style they were made for. So, if you or your intended fiance are interested in a particular era, choosing an antique ring from that time is a great way to add some stylish antiquity to your union.
And, if you have the antique ring but aren’t sure about the stone, an experienced jeweler will be able to replace or upgrade your diamond. This is particularly useful when you have an heirloom ring that may have lost a gem or two over the decades.
Traditionally speaking, the point of a diamond engagement ring is to stand out as a very visible representation of a couple’s love and devotion. But sometimes, standing out is about not overstating things. Featuring clean, sleek lines, fewer facets, and very little in the way of extra ornamentation, modern minimalist engagement rings are generally diamond solitaire designs, or feature a larger center stone set between two smaller stones.
Minimalist rings not only deliver a touch of elegance and refinement but also stack easily and beautifully with most wedding rings.
Halo rings have been popular for years, but new variations on established themes are helping keep these styles firmly in the limelight. Halo designs tend to feature a large center diamond, encircled by a ring of round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds. Of course, this is just the starting point; there are as many different halo styles as there are stars in the sky.
For an extravagant look, larger halo diamonds or multiple halo rings can create an eye-catching piece. On the other hand, small halo diamonds help the center stone stand out. Or, for something really cutting edge, consider a ‘hidden halo,’ where the ring of diamonds is actually set directly underneath the main stone — the ring looks like a traditional solitaire from the top, but from the side it gains significant sparkle.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with a classic solitaire. But why settle for one diamond when you can have three? The three-stone engagement ring dials up the wow factor, by adding two slightly smaller stones on either side of the center stone. Together, these stones represent a couple’s journey; the largest tone signifies the present, while the stones on either side represent the past and the future. Alternatively, the three stones may signify friendship, love, and fidelity, or stand as an eternal reminder to love, honor, and cherish one another.
Given their sparkle, shine, and prominence, it’s easy to get hung up on an engagement ring’s diamonds. But there’s more to the ring that just the center stone. The rings themselves are made from precious metals, and choosing which metal to go with is a large part of the ring-creation process.
Today, platinum is probably the most popular engagement ring metal. But why not branch out? Rose gold engagement rings can add a little color to an otherwise uniform pallette. Combining the allure of yellow gold with a hint of pink, rose gold engagement rings are designed to complement a range of skin tones. For a thrilling and romantic option, consider going with rose gold.
With access to more information than any generation before, today’s couples are extremely informed and conservationally minded. As such, many of them are shying away from supporting the traditional diamond market. This is because diamond mining can be a very environmentally unfriendly process. In fact, for every carat of diamond that is mined from the earth, approximately 6000 lbs of mineral waste is created. Additionally, conflict diamonds (also called blood diamonds) make diamond shopping a problematic moral issue — one that modern couples are very aware of.
That’s why lab-grown diamonds are becoming so popular.
Lab-grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds. But perhaps even more importantly, lab-grown diamonds create almost no mineral waste and are completely conflict-free. And as an added cherry on top, they also tend to cost 20–40% less than mined diamonds.
Environmentally mindful, socially conscious, and financially responsible — it’s no wonder that lab-grown diamonds are becoming such a popular option for engagement rings in 2020.
Diamonds are forever, and the same is true for your choice of a diamond engagement ring. So, when it comes time to make your decision, consider these popular options. After all, trends may come and go, but if you can find a unique and personal way to represent your love, you’ll have a timeless ring that’s always in style.