Bridal Trends and Inspiration for 2018
Give your engagement ring an extra special twist
While timeless styles will always be popular for engagement and wedding rings, today's brides are increasingly looking for something a little bit different to the classic four-claw solitaire diamond ring as they seek a design as unique as their relationship. Read on for ways you can make that once-in-a-lifetime purchase even more special while retaining an elegance that will last forever.
In the UK, customers like simplicity with a twist – something that shows flair in the manufacture and an understanding of how quality feels without total re-invention. Vintage and halo styles have grown in popularity, offering some truly innovative designs for those seeking something a bit different. The vintage “trend” is now so firmly established as to be mainstream – so too diamond-set shoulders, cluster rings featuring multi-stones and rings with diamond detailing. Alongside the ever-popular classic four-claw single stone and six-claw “Tiffany” style settings, Hockley Mint has incorporated talon-style claws into its new MariMe jewellery collection as a result of customer demand for something that little bit more modern, while Gemex prides itself on beautiful, precision-set halo styles (pictured). Vintage and unusual cuts are also coming back into fashion – whether that be ovals, emerald cuts or cushion cuts, the move away from the classic solitaire is no doubt led by the current trend towards more vintage styling.
THE RETURN OF YELLOW GOLD
While white metals – white gold and platinum – are still the best-sellers for bridal customers according to CMJ retailers, there has been a significant rise in yellow and rose gold sales in recent years – in both 9ct and 18ct. The Bloom collection from Brown & Newirth mixes the demand for yellow gold with contemporary styling to bring the designs up to date for today’s consumer (pictured). Consider looking for a yellow or rose gold ring and shank with a platinum or white gold head to show the diamond off to full effect. Also making a blast from the past is the return of three-stone diamond engagement rings to really make an impact, offering personalisation and individual styling without losing the timeless elegance needed from a ring that will last a lifetime.
A TRULY UNIQUE PROPOSITION
For couples looking for unique jewellery to reflect their own unique relationship, bespoke design could be the answer. Today many retailers offer a bespoke service, where you can get involved throughout the design process to truly craft something from the heart. New technologies offered by suppliers, such as 3D scanning, 3D printing and CAD, make it easier than ever for retailers to offer a price-competitive bespoke design service. You pick the stone, the metal, the style (why not take in a photo of something that has inspired you?), sit down with the designer and create something truly special. Designer-makers such as Alexis Dove take the trend for personalisation even further by using unique recycled diamonds and old mine cut stones such as these, set in Fairtrade gold, so you can also rest assured on the provenance of the materials used to create the ultimate symbol of love and commitment.
CAN’T WAIT FOR ETERNITY
If you’re looking to add even more sparkle to your bridal jewellery, a diamond-set wedding band could be just the ticket – especially if you can’t wait until the eternity ring purchase. Consider fine claw, grain-set and edge-set designs as well as single and double rows of diamonds for maximum impact. Charles Green has added more milgrain, delicate diamond-set wedding bands to its collections in spring 2017, again in response to customer demand for more vintage styling. Channel-set diamond wedding bands are selling well, again set in platinum, while matching bridal sets such as these from Hockley Mint’s new MariMe collection are increasingly popular with customers wanting to ensure that the profiles of both rings are a perfect match – just like the couple.