Wendy Adeler on why sapphires, heirlooms and personalized designs are the “it” wedding band trends when you want to pop the question.
By Sheila Mulhern
In the early fall of 2010, they got engaged while on holiday camping in a remote area of the Shenandoah Valley and Lillian McTernan proudly accepted the heirloom diamond and sapphire engagement ring from her fiancé, Brandon Krueger. A few weeks later the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton made headlines with a surprisingly similar story. Ok, so the ring originally belonged to McTernan’s great-grandmother, instead Lady Di, but both couples also proved to be ahead of the curve on current engagement ring trends.
While not the most popular day to get engaged, Valentine’s Day follows closely behind and remains an obvious time to pop the question. Wendy Adeler Hall of Adeler Jewelers shares some of the top engagement ring trends and consumer behavior patterns behind the each purchase. Are couples demonstrating similar spending habits behind their purchases to that of the royal couple? The answer is YES!
Everyone in our store is asking for unique rings Adeler Hall articulates. Traditional designers and name brands are not the main influence behind purchasing power anymore. People are more mindful of how they are spending and want to receive true value for their dollar with better service and follow through from their jeweler. The customary indicators are less relevant and consumers are fixated on something that is more personalized and speaks as a reflection of the relationship. There are many ways to accomplish this even if you aren’t inheriting from royalty.
More and more customers are incorporating heirlooms or pieces from jewelry received from family. Adeler Hall shares that the sentiment behind the ring is playing an even larger role these days when it comes to engagement rings and also overlaps with achieving a distinctive look. Often couples try to redesign sentimental component parts of jewelry passed down or incorporate stones into the design. This is especially the case when portions of the ring may have reached their life expectancy due to wear. Rings can be designed and refurbished to create a similar look to the original in instances with conditions such as metal fatigue. These legacies also convey that value is through the expression of the bond and connection of the couple.
Hand etching, filigree patterns, scroll work, contrasting metals and antique looks are elements that couples are gravitating towards according to Adeler Hall. These characteristics go along with adding a more unique factor to the ring through the delicate arrangements using Edwardian accent styling, made popular in Britain. The smaller and more detailed diamond work along with intricate patterns, create an impressive highlight to the main stone. It makes more of a statement and adds opulence to the vintage look. Customers are skewing away from geometric shapes, straight lines and modern looks.
From fashion and home design to iphone apps and other gadgets, everything is becoming more personalized and it is certainly permeating to purchasing choices for engagement rings. Adeler Hall says that one way customers are accomplishing this is by using alternate colors in the stone work. Since sapphire is durable (being the next hardest stone after a diamond) and it comes in a full color range, consumers enjoy creating a tailored setting with this stone. Yellow sapphire can be used as the main stone with diamond accents or blue sapphire accents to the main stone. Gemstones, particularly sapphires, are the traditional choice for Europeans. As noted before, using heirloom pieces to create individual looks also play into the custom-made trend.