Tag love bracelet 18 Article

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At first glance, it seems that engagement and wedding rings seldom change over the years. But look closer. While most couples shy away from trendy styles for something classic, a lot of subtle differences exist in cut, color, shape and pattern. The perfect ring can be an antique reproduction, a glittering pav band or a traditional three stone setting. It can be a sparkling sapphire or a dazzling diamond, surrounded by an intricate sculptural pattern or showcased in a simple, elegant setting. Whatever it looks like, most brides know the right ring when they try it on because it takes their breath away. "Texans especially like new and different, but different is not enough," says , who recently opened Shaftel Diamonds in Rice Village. "It has to be different and spectacular."

While a round diamond is still the most popular pick, brides are opting for other shapes including rectangular emerald cuts, oval and Princess cuts (a sparkling square).

While diamonds are still far and away the most popular gem, some brides are choosing color with blue or pink sapphires, green emeralds and other candy colored solitaires.

Bigger is better. at Deutsch Deutsch says couples are putting more emphasis on the center stone. "Down the road they can add side stones if they want," he says.

Look for more ornate choices. You’ll find them shaped like crescents, half moons, trapezoids and shields, notes a Bailey Banks Biddle representative.

A Cartier representative says some couples purchase eternity rings to wear at less formal events when their oversize diamonds might seem out of place.

The newest Bulgari Venice collection was inspired by an ancient document recording the first diamond engagement ring, which commemorated a 1503 marriage in the Italian city.

cartier love bracelet size 16 How celebrities are influencing engagement rings

"It came as a shock. I expected to sell about one or two a month, but they’re all gone," said Mr Hashem, owner of Diamond Emporium.

"Consumers are definitely influenced by celebrity culture and what celebrities are doing. Without a doubt you do see a spike in inquiries and demand about certain cuts and designs."

Australian jewellers say recent celebrity and royal engagement rings have triggered greater demand for bigger diamonds, coloured dominant stones, and thinner bands.

Mr Hashem, who offers an online customisation service, said the average Australian man splashed between $8000 9000 on an engagement ring, about double the figure 10 years ago.

He said in recent years, actress Jessica Alba’s cushion cut diamond, actress Blake Lively’s giant, oval shaped rock, and singer Beyonce’s emerald cut eye popper had sparked the greatest number of inquiries.

"Larger diamonds (from 1.7 carats) are becoming the preference. Budgets aside, people are comfortable having a size that 10 years ago was considered a bit ostentatious," he said.

A diamond ring on display at Fairfax Roberts Jewellers in Sydney. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Laura Sawade from wedding ring supplier Peter W Beck said according to a Brides To Be survey, the average spend on an engagement ring was $6934 in 2014 15.

She has noticed a strong move towards coloured stones being used as the dominant stone, whether diamond or non diamond.

Gus Hashem, founder of Diamond Emporium, examining a diamond. Photo: Supplied

"It changed when [Duchess] Kate Middleton got engaged with the sapphire and diamond ring. It made other stones more acceptable," said Ms Sawade, also the vice president of Jewellers Association of Australia.

"Pink and yellow diamonds are very popular. Black diamonds as well. We’re seeing a lot of emeralds, rubies and sapphires being used as the dominant stone."

The popularity of the princess cut had slightly waned and the average width of the band had dropped by a millimetre, but she said there would always be a demand for both "incredible classics" and "unique designs".

Georgina Brujic, the newly installed chief executive of high end jewellery house Fairfax and Roberts, said she encouraged couples to keep their ring as unique and personal as possible.

"One thing we say to every customers is: ‘Find the one that suits’. You’ll find your personality in the right ring, which is far more important than what Packer gave Mariah Carey," she said.

"Sometimes you’ll find the bigger one isn’t the best one because it doesn’t suit."

Fairfax and Roberts, recognised as Australia’s oldest jewellery house, is home to the "fancy intense" yellow diamond ring, which has a price tag of $412,600.

Ms Brujic revealed its bespoke engagement rings averaged about $40,000 $50,000, though some were sold for $8000.

She agreed that big and colourful stones were back in favour, which to her indicated that people were designing rings that better suited their personality.

"People are also focusing more on quality, rather than the biggest for the best possible price. They’re more knowledgeable and asking a lot more questions," she said.

"My personal favourite celebrity ring is Mary Kate Olsen’s one. It’s a 1950s Cartier and it’s the most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s stunning, just stunning."

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