2012 Engagement Ring TrendsAn engagement ring is unlike other baubles, bangles and beads: It’s no mere frill or trinket but perhaps the most important jewelry she’ll own. Here we drop a few hints for finding that one piece of ice that will melt hearts.
Colored Stones and Metals
There's no question that the past decade's favorite engagement ring pick was forged from white gold or platinum and set with a white diamond. Every good trend must come to an end, and we're now seeing more ring choices glowing with color. The priciest are colored diamonds in yellow, pink, blue, chocolate and even edgy black. The next tier offers other precious and durable stones like rubies, emeralds, tanzanites and sapphires of all hues. Much more affordable, but just as eye-catchingly colorful, are the semi-precious picks in citrine, blue topaz, garnet and peridot. Don't forget the metal — yellow gold is making a serious comeback (with a special subset of yellow diamonds set in yellow gold bands), and rose gold is truly the tint du jour. For those who can't decide, have it all with a two-tone engagement ring in white and yellow.
Antique and Vintage Style
Everything old is new again, as the appetite for engagement rings that reflect the past shows no signs of diminishing. Think: the ornate detailing of Victorian and Edwardian jewelry, Art Nouveau's free-form curves or the glamorous architectural lines of Art Deco design. Engagement rings echoing these eras are heavy on embellishment, with intricate metalwork creating mesmerizing bands and settings, and milgrain and filigree accents adding a sense of substance. There's also frequent use of paved and micropaved stones, which increases the dazzle factor, even on rings in which the center stone is of a more affordable, smaller-carat weight. Floral and nature-inspired designs offer curvilinear charm and leaf motifs, while the more geometrically clean choice of a three-stone ring both hark back to the Victorian era and symbolizes a couple's past, present and future.