An engagement ring is perhaps one of the most significant pieces of jewellery you’ll ever buy. Steeped in symbolism, yours will soon become woven into the fabric of your day-to-day lives; a constant reminder to you both of your shared bond and this special moment in time. With this important role bestowed upon it, it’s vital that this engagement ring is equipped to stand the test of time; still igniting the same warm fuzzy feeling twenty years down the line as it did on the day you opened that box for the very first time.
Though engagement ring trends are fascinating to observe - often encapsulating the mood of a moment and serving as an interesting source of inspiration - they are not the be-all and end-all. If there’s nothing currently in-vogue that satisfies your vision, don’t worry about it! This ring is yours to enjoy forever, and only you have the power to decide what feels right.
Think carefully about their personal style and try to honour it in some way. Are they often drawn to a particular colour? Is there a certain design movement that excites them? If they’re an understated dresser who likes to make their statements quietly, a simple solitaire diamond atop a polished band might do the trick. If they are in fact more of a peacock, satiated by the opportunity to attract attention, perhaps a statement jewel with a sparkling diamond halo would be more suitable.
Though it’s true that we all progress with time, our preferences and references constantly evolving, an engagement ring chosen thoughtfully won’t become outdated like an old pair of trainers. Tapping into an aesthetic or sentiment that you know is important to them is an almost sure-fire way of ensuring their special jewel feels forever like an inextricable part of them.
One thing that isn’t going out of fashion any time soon is your love for one another. Putting a symbolic stamp on your partner’s engagement ring is a deeply romantic way of imbuing it with timeless sentimental value. This could involve engraving its inner band with a heartfelt message for their eyes only or adorning the surface of its band with significant geographic coordinates, an important date or a unique emblem paying homage to something that’s meaningful to you both.
Classics are classics for a reason. Many of today’s most popular engagement ring styles are age-old blueprints that have stood the test of time. Trilogy settings, cluster settings, old-cut diamonds and mixed metals are all examples of design features that enjoyed their heyday in bygone years, yet remain firmly in favour in the modern-day context. If they’ve endured hundreds of years already, it’s safe to assume they have staying power.
Timelessness isn’t just about visual attributes. If your engagement ring is to maintain its spark for as long as possible, it needs to stand up physically, too. Though no piece of jewellery is invincible, there are certain materials and design features that tend to offer more longevity than others.
Bear in mind the Mohs Scale of Hardness and choose a metal and gemstone that score high on it. Diamonds, sapphires, 18ct gold and platinum are all resilient substances that are suitable for daily wear - provided they’re properly cared for. Comparatively, emeralds, opals, 9ct gold and silver are examples of precious materials that are beautiful to look at but much softer and more prone to breaking.
Whilst delicate bands of 1.7mm and thinner look sublime in photographs, they’re simply not robust enough to withstand day-to-day contact with the elements. Sadly, snapping is not uncommon. In the context of engagement rings – particularly those set with high-value gemstones – we advise choosing a band no slimmer than 2mm.
It’s also worth considering your partner’s lifestyle; Do they work with their hands? Do they enjoy playing sports in their free time? Are they – for all their quirks – prone to being a little clumsy? If so, a sturdy gemstone setting might be their calling. Though raised claw settings are a beautiful celebration of light and colour, streamlined rub-over settings tend to guarantee a little more security and aren’t easily caught on hair or clothing.