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  • Halo and goodbye – the changing fashions of engagement rings

Halo and goodbye – the changing fashions of engagement rings

It’s not just clothes that are hostages to style trends – jewellery fashions that are on-trend one day can be out of favour the next, and there’s no better recent example than the halo engagement ring.

For a while there the halo ring was all the rage. Originally designed for people who wanted their engagement ring to make a big, loud statement but whose budget didn’t stretch to having a diamond to match, the halo ring ticked a lot of boxes.

There’s nothing wrong in making a statement with the jewellery you wear – particularly a piece of jewellery that is, by definition, a statement in itself (if it’s not there to shout I’ve found the love of my life and I’m no longer available at anyone who sees it, then what is it’s purpose?), and in that regard the halo ring did a pretty good job.

But the problem with bold statements is that the next person who wants to make one has to go one step bigger to do it, and what we eventually end up with is something that’s always on the verge of looking preposterous.

Those of you who know me also know I have a bit of a thing about James Bond, so here’s my 007 analogy as it relates to the halo ring.

In 1962, the film studio United Artists spent $1.1m (the equivalent of just under $10m today) to make Dr No. It featured Ursula Andress in a small white bikini, some conch shells and – spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t managed to see the film in the last 57 years – a metal fire-breathing ‘dragon’.

Imagine this as the very first halo engagement ring.

The most recent film, Spectre, had a budget of $300m, the highest number of real human beings in a single scene, set a Guinness World Record for the largest stunt explosion recorded on film and destroyed £37m worth of Aston Martin in a night-long shoot that generated four seconds of used footage.

Imagine this is the latest halo ring. And yet every time the Bond franchise gets overblown with excess, the result is that the producers bring the next film back closer to where Ian Fleming originally had him.

Shutterstock 1318638623And that’s what happens in the engagement ring fashion merry-go-round. A trend appears, it sticks around for a while – maybe a decade or so – and then eventually it gives way to something new. It’s true of all fashion, from jewellery and Bond films, to clothes and music, architecture and soft furnishings.

So, if you want to be on-trend in 2019, where is fashion taking the engagement ring now? Current classics include the six-claw solitaire, the four-claw twist, the emerald-cut Art Deco with baguette shoulders and the traditional solitaire with micro-set diamond shoulders.

And if you’re feeling really bold, some of my more daring customers are plumping for rose gold as the metal in their engagement ring.

Or perhaps you’ve a fancy to go more Meghan Markle in style. The Duchess of Sussex’s statement ring last year started a trend back to the trilogy ring, though hers wasn’t exactly conventional.

While most trilogy rings favour three diamonds of the same size, hers sported a large cushion diamond in the middle with supporting, and comparatively small, diamonds either side.

Trilogy rings will always be around: they’re simple and timeless and mean you can invest in three diamonds that go further around your finger. The Duchess’ choice also probably explains the recent surge in popularity for the cushion diamond.

The other on-trend style that rarely goes out of fashion is the oval, which is perfect for ladies with long slender fingers because it covers more of the surface area of the finger without seeming over the top.

And if you’d like advice on how to pick an engagement ring that’s likely to be timeless and at the same time make the right statement, I’m always happy to offer advice on what to choose and the things you need to consider before making your investment.

Just contact me to arrange a conversation.

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Lewis Malka

Specialist Engagement rings made in Hatton Garden, London



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