Most Unique Engagement Rings of 2021
September 23, 2021
You are about to make one of the most important purchases of your life, but that's no reason to panic. Buying an engagement ring only seems intimidating because of all the terminology surrounding the condition of diamonds and settings. Yes, you will hear all about the grade of a diamond along with the carat, cut, and clarity of the stone, and, yes, these things are all critical. There is a wide range of setting choices to consider as well.
However, all that matters is that your bride-to-be is happy. The stones and settings that are popular now may not always be to her liking. She has a unique taste, and she deserves an engagement ring that not only speaks to her particular point of view but demonstrates your singular love for one another.
The process starts with deciding on the type of ring you think would fit her best. Whether the ring is considered unique due to the band’s color, the diamond’s shape, or the arrangement of many stones together, your decisions are limited solely by preference. So when it comes to choosing the most unique engagement ring, there are plenty of options to consider.
To help guide you in the right direction, we’re going to break down the various categories of unique engagement rings and provide some possibilities to consider along with your search. Each of these rings is as unique as the woman who will wear it for a lifetime.
Colorful Engagement Rings
A colorful engagement ring can have a band made from non-traditional colors or one or more gemstones that may depart from the norm. But there's nothing wrong with a splash of color to show the world you're in love.
This engagement ring from designer Michelle Fantaci is crafted from 18K green gold with rose-cut diamonds of .47 carats. The stones have a clarity rating of VS and a color grade of G.
To help you better understand what these grades represent, a clarity rating of VS means that any minor imperfections in the stone are all but impossible to see. A color grade of G is at the top of the spectrum for near-colorless stones. Color grading describes the amount of color displayed in the stone against a white background. Once the stone is mounted, that color becomes imperceptible.
Shay has created an 18K yellow gold miniature link ring containing .72 carat pave diamonds. You may be wondering what the term “pave” means when applied to diamonds. This is the French word for pavement, and it is used to describe how the stones are placed in the setting. A pave setting arranges the stones in a linear fashion, so the band has a consistent shine and twinkle.
Engagement Rings with Unique Shapes
A unique engagement ring can focus on the shape of the stone and how it's cut. Your wedding band will be quite the conversation piece.
Another piece from designer Shay, this ring is manufactured with an 18K yellow gold band and mixed-cut diamonds. In the center of the ring sits a pear-shaped diamond of 3.5 carats. Pear-shaped stones offer a classic look that transcends fads and trends.
This unique piece comes from Loriann Stevenson, a designer who has always inspired nature and created hand-crafted jewelry in Los Angeles. This diamond slice ring is a shining example of the thought and detail that goes into her work. The piece features a 3.14-carat teardrop brown diamond slice outlined in .40 carat pave diamonds on an 18K yellow gold ring.
Vintage Engagement Rings
You may have heard of the saying that describes all that a bride should wear for good luck on her wedding day. It goes: “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” With a vintage engagement ring, the first of these items can be satisfied while commemorating the start of your new life together.
Originating circa 1942, this ring from J.E. Caldwell has been crafted with a platinum band and old euro cut diamonds of .60 carats. The width of this ring is 5mm, and the band is 2mm. So what does “euro cut” mean when describing these stones? It means the stones were cut by hand to increase both the clarity and color, and this is something you will find on many vintage stones since diamonds were a lot more scarce during the era in which these were cut.
The .59 carat diamonds feature an old mine cut that was popular in the 19th century. An “old mine” cut means the diamond is cut to display a smaller table (the top facet of the stone), a higher crown (the table and facets surrounding it which disperses light through the stone), and larger facets than you would find in a more modern cut today. Another handmade piece, dating back to around 1930, offers a floral filigree aesthetic with an 18K white gold band measuring 1.5mm in width and an overall 8.5mm width of the ring.
Engagement Rings with Multiple Stones
Sometimes one stone isn't enough to show how much you love her. Fortunately, you have plenty of options from which to choose that feature two, three, or several more stones in a variety of settings and arrangements.
Crafted with a band made of 18K yellow gold and featuring a set of three white diamonds, this Coco ring makes a dramatic statement. The stones are 3.36 carats, and they offer a combined detail size of 13 x 12 mm on a bandwidth of just 1.5mm. This is a delicate yet bold piece that will grab plenty of attention.
This engagement ring is another beautiful piece of jewelry from Michelle Fantaci; this engagement ring features a uniquely shaped stone similar to those listed above. In the case of this item, the five-sided pentagon-shaped 1.1-carat diamond sits on an 18K green gold band accompanied by a set of six .27 carat French cut diamonds on either side. This is a show-stopping piece of subtle sophistication.
As you seek out the perfect engagement ring for your bride, the style and cut of the stone are essential. But don't overlook the significance of the band in your search. These are the most common materials from which the majority of engagement rings are manufactured. Let's take a closer look at each to help you better understand the differences between them.
The most common concern about rose gold is whether or not it is real gold. This is due to the rose-colored hue of the metal. But don't worry, a rose gold engagement ring does contain pure gold, but it has been combined with silver and copper alloys to provide additional strength to the band and give it that rose-colored hue.
In most instances, the ratio of these components breaks down to approximately 75% pure gold and 25% copper to produce the pink-tinged metal, and you need not worry that the ring will tarnish. Just give it a polish every so often to maintain the look and feel of your rose gold engagement ring.
Much like rose gold, yellow gold is also created by combining pure gold with an alloy metal. Copper is typically used in this mixture along with zinc, and the ratios can vary to produce different karat values that reflect the purity of the gold. For example, 14K gold measures out to roughly 58% purity. 18K gold is about 75%, while 22k or 24k gold is the closest to the highest purity you can find at approximately 91% and 99%, respectively.
So you might feel as if going with the purest gold content is the best option for your engagement ring, but that’s not always the case. Higher purity can mean a reduction in the overall durability of the band. You'll find many 14K and 18K gold options since a lower purity offer a more robust foundation upon which you can set the stones.
Yellow gold is also the more traditional choice for engagement and wedding rings if that factor is essential to your bride-to-be.
Another option is white gold, a mix of pure gold and various white metals including silver, palladium, nickel, and rhodium. As with yellow gold, the white version uses alloys to build up strength and resilience. The existence of those alloys also affects the purity of the gold, so 14K and 18K versions of the metal will have varying ratios, making the gold durable and more resistant to scratches. That's something to keep in mind, as a ring can take a lot of abuse and show signs of wear and tear if not maintained properly.
White gold also gets confused for platinum, and while the two look very similar in a ring, the former is more affordable than the latter.
When selecting a silver engagement ring, you can go with platinum for a shiny aesthetic or choose a ring made of actual sterling silver. When you consider the metal’s cost, durability, and rarity, you’re looking at the two direct opposite ends of the spectrum.
Platinum is a white metal that contains no alloys and offers purity of nearly 98% when used in jewelry manufacture. It's a rare metal that adds more weight and durability to any ring style compared to a gold alternative. These traits, along with the metal’s hypoallergenic qualities, make it a luxurious choice that will last a long time.
The benefits of a sterling silver ring are found in the price and the appearance of the metal. It is undoubtedly among the most affordable options you can see, and its popularity cannot be understated. However, silver is a softer metal like gold, so it must be combined with other metals to make it more sturdy and reliable for use as a piece of jewelry. Copper is often used for that task.
Custom Engagement Rings
Maybe you're unsatisfied with the options that already exist, or perhaps you have a particular ring in mind - a truly one-of-a-kind piece. You may want to go with a custom engagement ring. Many customers will go this route because they are limited only by their imagination (and budget). What makes this option so attractive is the vast range of possibilities that exist.
You can select the stones, the cut, the style of setting, the band, every facet of the ring can be engineered by you and your bride. Custom jobs are ideal for reproducing a ring you once owned or saw in a photograph or movie.
Designing your ring may take some time as the development process can be lengthy. If you're starting with a photograph or a sketch or image, the complexity of the final product can have some bearing on the time it takes to receive your ring. You may even combine elements from multiple rings to create what you want.
Just remember, the more work it takes to create the ring, the longer the process will be.
Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online?
It's perfectly natural to wonder if buying an engagement ring online is a smart move. This is no small purchase; the financial and emotional value behind this transaction is exceptionally high. To answer your question, yes, it is safe to make this purchase through an online retailer. But you should always exercise the same level of caution as you would with any purchase online.
Ensure that you're working with a reputable dealer who has excellent reviews, offers reliable customer service, maintains fair and honest return policies, and above all, is willing to provide you with certifications and documentation pertaining to the item you have purchased.
Many retailers will even ship the ring for free.
Can I return an engagement ring I purchased online?
Every retailer is different, though most reputable engagement ring sellers will offer a return policy should you or your bride-to-be feel unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason. The ring may not fit right, the ring may not look the same as the photo you saw online, or the ring does not meet your expectations.
Always be sure you are working with a dealer who offers a satisfactory return policy. Read the policy in full, find out who pays for shipping the item back to the retailer, how long you have to return the ring, and whether or not you will be receiving a cash refund or a store credit.
What to look for when buying an engagement ring online?
Don't always fall for the best deal. In many cases, it's no deal at all, and you could end up paying more for your ring than you had bargained on. The item may not be as advertised, manufactured from cheap materials, or you may be falling for a scam altogether where there is no ring to be had at all.
Always verify your retailer. As we’ve stated before, read through that return policy, and we can't emphasize that enough. You should also confirm that your retailer has a thorough FAQ section, a transparent and simple shipping policy, and offers customer support for any and all issues with the sale.
Certifications are also a critical part of buying an engagement ring online. Your diamond ring must be accompanied by a certification from an independent lab that verifies the stone’s quality. Your best bet is to get an AGS or GIA certificate.
What is the most popular engagement ring style?
Trends come and go, and fads fade over time. But one style has managed to endure in light of every trend, and that is the solitaire engagement ring. A single solitaire diamond seated upon a polished band without any additional accouterments or accents brings simplicity and elegance without a hefty price tag. A single-center stone set without distraction, shimmering against a gold or platinum band, is something she will marvel at for the rest of her life.
What is the latest trend in engagement rings?
Rose gold continues to grow in popularity because of its unique aesthetic and fortified resilience. Yellow gold will always be the classic choice, but rose gold is a trendy pick for brides who want something less traditional and more unique. As for stones, shapes are a hot trend, with the pear-shaped diamond one of the best sellers for this year.
Do couples pick out engagement rings together?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Couples who like to consult and include each other in their decisions should naturally approach this milestone of their lives in the same way. The traditional practice is for the groom to purchase and surprise his bride-to-be when he pops the question. But many of these classic moves are going out of style in favor of more modern marriage practices.
The purchase of the ring is no exception. While the element of surprise is mainly lost when you pick out the ring together, you know your bride-to-be will be getting the exact ring she wants, and you won't need to worry that you failed in your selection (or got her ring size wrong). The marriage proposal is something you will remember forever, and you want the engagement ring to reflect the magnitude of the moment.