Celebrity Engagement Rings Spark Trends
By Devorah Isenberg , Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2:52 AM
When news of a celebrity’s engagement hits the Twittersphere, fans and fashion lovers zoom in on paparazzi photos to get a glimpse of the brand new celebrity engagement ring. Within the week, Us Weekly or People usually has the whole scoop—who the designer was, what the lucky guy was thinking when he picked it out, and of course, how many carats of diamonds it has. If the ring is an unusual or memorable style—think Angelina Jolie’s baguette-set ring or Reese Witherspoon’s Ashoka diamond—the next stage of the celebrity engagement ring life starts almost immediately. Celebrity engagement ring imitators—from Emitations to Gemvara—spring into action the moment a starlet announces her engagement, scrutinizing the engagement ring and creating replicas that can hit the market as soon as three to four weeks after the initial announcement.
In fact, the top celebrity engagement rings are some of the biggest influences on engagement ring trends in general. The bigger-is-better ethos that brought us Kim Kardashian’s massive 20-carat engagement ring sparked a frenzy for impressive carat wattage, while more recent celebrity engagement rings featuring unusual diamond cuts, narrow bands embellished with micropavé diamonds, and colored gemstones have been scrutinized and imitated as well.
Right now, the celebrity engagement ring photos designers around the world are examining and deconstructing belong to 19-year-old Miley Cyrus, who announced her engagement to actor Liam Helmsworth last week. Taking a marked departure from the ultra-simple round diamond solitaires preferred by much of her Hollywood cohort, Cyrus’ ring is an ornate, vintage-seeming style, courtesy of celebrity engagement ring designer Neil Lane. An antique cushion-cut diamond that dates back to the 19th century set into an ornate, diamond-embellished yellow gold band, the ring is feminine, beautiful and unique. Or at least it was unique, until celebrity engagement ring knockoff site Gemvara posted a near-perfect replica, retailing for $3,800. (Although designer Neil Lane did not reveal the price tag on Cyrus’ ring, an independent appraiser estimated its value at $250,000.)
In general, there are two kinds of celebrity engagement ring replicas. There are real engagement rings, sold by legitimate diamond and fine jewelry vendors that market themselves as “inspired by” the original celebrity engagement ring. These are usually made with quality materials—gold, diamonds, gemstones, and sterling silver—and reflect the general celebrity engagement ring trends, but are not direct imitations. An example of this is the sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring marketed by British department store Marks and Spencer shortly after Kate Middleton announced her engagement, and revealed her 18-carat sapphire ring. Although the Marks and Spencer ring certainly takes its cues from Kate’s ring, and is very in line with the sudden trend for sapphire engagement rings that followed it, it is not an exact replica, and can be worn by someone with no particular connection to the Duchess and her famous sapphire ring.
|Eternity Engagement Ring
The second type of celebrity engagement ring
replicas is the knockoff—inexpensive rings made with lower-quality materials that are meant to be exact replicas of the original. Sold on sites such as Emitations, these are meant to be souvenirs or symbols for ardent fans of that particular celebrity or movie—not real engagement rings in their own right. The most famous example of this trend is undoubtedly the Twilight
engagement ring, a vintage-style pavé ring that one character uses to propose to another in the blockbuster vampire romance series. Die-hard Twilight
fans were eager to get their hands on exact replicas of the unusual-looking ring, described in detail in the popular books, and replica celebrity engagement ring designers were happy to take a break from scrutinizing celebrity engagement ring photos and turn to film stills for inspiration instead. The rings were sold out within days of hitting the market, although none have been used as actual engagement rings.
So the next time a celebrity announces her engagement via Facebook, Twitter, or even the old-fashioned way, by allowing herself to be snapped by the paparazzi while wearing the engagement ring—take a close look at the ring in question. You may just be looking at the next big trend in engagement rings.
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