Birthstone rings: the alternative engagement trend brides-to-be are loving in 2019
The 2019 bride wants to do things differently. Dresses are being ditched for suits, veils for wide brim hats and sparkly stilettos for sneakers.
Now, when it comes to engagement rings, diamonds are being ditched in favour of colourful birthstones.
Handmade and vintage retailer site Etsy has seen a surge of interest in colourful creations. The website’s trend expert, Dayna Isom-Johnson, says: “On Etsy, we’ve seen over 259,00 searches for “birthstone rings” in the last three months, and I predict the trend will continue to grow for engagement rings.”
Etsy isn’t the only one who has seen more demand for the alternative gems. Jewellery designer and consultant Kate Baxter, of The Cut London, told Standard: “Over the past couple of years I have definitely seen a rise in people wanting to personalise their engagement rings using birthstones.”But, with only 12 stones to choose from, which are the best colour combinations?
“If you’re lucky to have a ruby, emerald or sapphire as a birthstone then these are perfect for a main stone,” explains Baxter. “But I’ve also seen people using accent stones or side stones of amethyst, aquamarine, or topaz, which are not as hard wearing as the more traditional stones and not traditionally used in engagement rings.”
In the past three months alone Etsy has seen 895,000 searches for emeralds and 892,000 searches for sapphires. The gemstones fall behind opal, which remains the most popular alternative stone with over 1,500,000 searches in the same time period.
The idea of having a birthstone engagement ring not only appeals to many because of its unique aesthetic, but also, for its sentimental meaning.
Bespoke London-based jeweller Lily Kamper told the Standard: “I made a wonderfully unusual engagement ring that featured four different stones which each symbolised a member of the family (the parents and their two children).
“I also created one of my classic cube rings featuring the couple’s birthstones set side by side with no metal separating them.”
However, the designer notes that, for many, the addition of birthstones is usually a coincidental perk for those wanting a more modern and individual design. “The clients that choose to work with me are not so concerned with the symbolism of the diamond but perhaps something more unusual, unexpected and colourful. And what better way to add further meaning to the colours chosen than by working with birthstones.”
With Kamper’s one-of-a-kind designs offering a variety of styles—from a rainbow sapphire band to bold multi-stone ovals—there’s certainly no shortage of possibilities when it comes to adding personal style and flare to the special item. “The more birthstone rings I make then the more interest it sparks,” adds the designer.
Birthstones are the latest way to create an alternative engagement ring. “In general people are making more unusual choices in a bid to have a truly personal and unique ring, and birthstones are a great way to achieve this,” says jewellery consultant Baxter.
So, whether it’s a happy accident or poignant decision, get ready to see more colourful engagement rocks in the future.