The 21 pieces up for auction, including Tiffany & Co. jewels and a Cartier watch, garnered more than $430,000 across two sales.
5 Engagement Ring Trends to Track in 2019
They include ovals and old European-cut diamonds, and they all relate to one overarching trend—everybody wants something “different.”
New York—WP Diamonds has released its annual list of the five engagement ring styles it predicts will be popular in the coming year and, to no one’s surprise, they all orbit around a central theme: everybody wants something “different.”
That is why custom rings are the No. 1 choice among WP Diamonds customers today, President Andrew Brown said, with couples working together to come up with the design.
“The gentleman,” he noted, “is no longer coming in and totally ad-libbing. The woman is having a lot more say in the ring, and they want something no one else has.”
In creating its list each year, WP Diamonds, the division of White Pine Trading LLC that buys and sells from the public, draws from the rings it is actively making for customers as well as what customers are talking about, liking and considering.
Celebrity engagement rings that created buzz, like Priyanka Chopra’s 4-carat cushion and Katy Perry’s pink stone, also play a role in the company’s predictions.
It then distills that into a list of styles the company thinks will be hot.
Here are WP Diamonds’ five engagement ring predictions for 2019, along with input from a handful of jewelry designers on what they are seeing in their studios.
Of the five trends mentioned by WP Diamonds, oval-shaped diamonds was the one everyone interviewed for this article agreed on for 2019.
Brown ticks off a few reasons for the continuing popularity of this trend.
Oval-shaped diamonds provide a softer look than the sharp-edged princess, and they are versatile—they can be set north-south or east-west, surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds or colored gemstones, or used in three-stone rings.
Princess cuts aren’t as versatile, he noted, and can chip at the corners.
Cushion-cut diamonds aren’t so much a 2019 trend as a shape that’s been picking up steam over the past decade. The shape has, in some estimations, supplanted the princess as the second-most popular cut in the United States. (Round is still No. 1.)
Brown said what he sees indicates that cushions are now more popular than princesses, and 2018 search data from GemFind indicates the same.
He said each cushion-cut diamond is slightly different; they are less expensive than rounds; and, like the also-popular ovals, have a softer look.
To wit: As of last Wednesday, a 1-carat, triple X, G VS2 round diamond
These characteristics check off two items on many shoppers’ checklists—something different and the most value for their money.
3. Pink everything
The public’s current love affair with pink, allegedly sparked by the millennial generation, has bled into jewelry, piquing interest in pink gemstones and rose gold.
“There is a ton of interest in our rose gold with pink gemstones,” designer Erika Winters said when asked about the 2019 trends. “We are selling rose gold just as much as our yellow gold and even platinum.
“Pink gemstones are a common request.”
The love for all things pink is trend designer Barrett Salzmann, who hand-forges about 15-20 pieces a year at his New England studio, is pleased to see.
“Pink is so feminine, we are thrilled it’s back in the spotlight, and with the Argyle mine closure nearing, we knew we had to scoop up all the natural pink diamonds we could, to play with while we can get them,” he said.
(Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine, the world’s main source of pink diamonds, is set to close as early as 2020.)
Pink diamonds are, Brown noted, a good investment for those who can afford them, with prices climbing as Argyle’s end date nears. Those who can’t are selecting other pink-hued stones such as pink sapphire and even morganite.
Jade Lustig, the designer behind Jade Trau, said in addition to ovals, asymmetric designs—rings featuring stones in mismatched shapes or sizes, slightly off-center center stones and/or setting that are a little awry—are popular right now.
But she wouldn’t say asymmetric is the No. 1 trend of 2019. For her, right now, it’s the simple solitaire, a trend cited by WP Diamonds last year that Brown says is still going strong.
“My little world has definitely been feeling a more modern aesthetic,” Lustig said. “(But) I think the solitaire is the resounding trend this year, to me. I feel it more than ever. I think people are focused on simplicity.”
For Salzmann, asymmetry is a trend he’ll said he will be exploring this year, noting that he is “always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of design.”
5. Vintage cuts and vintage-inspired rings
Old (or new designed to look old) never seems to go out of style.
Brown said he’s getting an increasing number of inquiries about old European-cut diamonds (aka old Euros), the precursor to the round brilliant with a larger culet and smaller table. WP Diamonds will “tidy up” these stones, he said, repairing chips but retaining the original style.
Ross Nacht, of New York-based estate jewelry company Bernard Nacht, said the company gets “a ton” of requests every day for old Euros as well as old mine cut stones, the diamonds also known as “old miners” that generally pre-date old Euros and are more of a cushion shape.
The company recuts chipped and worn antique stones and sells them under its “Crown Jubilee” brand, which is gaining traction and popularity among designers across the world, Nacht said.
And, of course, both Brown and Nacht noted the continuing popularity of designs from and inspired by the Art Deco period, the decade that seemingly will never go out of style.
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