Engagement Ring Trends in Austin Texas
By Debi Wexler , Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Austin has always been known as the Texas city that is nothing like the rest of Texas. “Keep Austin Weird,” proclaims the famous bumper sticker, and locals have aspired to do just that. Everything is different in Austin, and that applies to the engagement rings in Austin as much as any other product or purchase. Compared to the other engagement rings in Texas, engagement rings in Austin tend to be smaller, more simple, and more ethically and environmentally conscious. Most Austin jewelry shoppers prefer small, locally-owned boutiques and stores selling made-in-Austin jewelry and engagement rings over mass-produced chain store jewelry offerings.
Designer engagement rings are less popular here than they are elsewhere in the state, as most customers prefer designer engagement rings made and produced by small, local designers. Of course, for those looking for traditional engagement ring styles, Austin jewelry stores do carry classic settings as well, but overall, the selection is geared much more towards these typically Austin engagement ring tastes.
The top Austin engagement ring and jewelry trends, in no particular order:
- Wanting to minimize their economic and environmental footprint, many Austin engagement ring shoppers choose diamonds and engagement ring settings that have been used before in one way or another. Whether that means buying a ring setting made of recycled gold, or using an antique setting, or buying an estate ring, pre-owned jewelry is a huge Austin jewelry trend. While some brides choose to have an heirloom or recycled setting set with a new stone (and you can find many stores selling loose diamonds in Texas if this is what you want), many Austin engagement ring shoppers choose estate rings that have already been set with antique diamonds.
- The rustic, organic look is one of the hottest trends in jewelry and clothing right now, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Austin jewelry. The look of jewelry that is not quite perfect, with rough edges and irregular shapes reminiscent of natural, organic shapes like twigs, leaves and flowers, brings a modern, artistic edge to engagement rings in Austin. The rough, rustic look is perfect for adding a bit of a natural edge to normally sleek, simple designs like engagement rings and other fine jewelry. For example, a classic round diamond can be set into a white gold band etched with a twig-like design, or a simple setting can be made more interesting with a rough, uncut gemstone. The textured and handcrafted engagement ring setting is one of the most popular engagement ring settings in Austin this year, and is showing up on everything from earrings to necklaces as well.
- You’ve heard of locavores—people who try to eat only food produced within a 100-mile radius of their homes. At stores selling jewelry in Austin, you’ll find an incredible array of jewelry designed, produced and manufactured right here in the Austin area. In Austin, “designer engagement rings” means rings created by local designers. Instead of jewelry produced thousands of miles away by big-name designers like Cartier or David Yurman, Austin jewelry shoppers would prefer to meet and talk to the people who created their jewelry. A passion for local design and production is one cornerstone of the Austin jewelry scene—and one of the hottest trends in Austin jewelry.
- For many people in Austin, the environmental and ethical impact of each purchase is a primary factor that goes into the decision to buy that particular item. So it is no surprise that the same eco-conscious shoppers who seek out fair-trade coffee and chocolate would also want gold and diamonds whose production has not negatively impacted anyone’s life. The engagement rings Austin citizens prefer come from brands that certify that each and every diamond and gold nugget was mined in a way that was respectful and helpful to the lives of local citizens. Going beyond these anti-blood-diamond measures, many popular Austin jewelry brands offer lines that specifically fund economic relief and educational efforts in diamond-mining areas, to assist those whose lives may have been negatively affected by the diamond industry in the past. After all, if you are buying a special piece of jewelry to commemorate a happy time in your life, you don’t want to know that the materials for it came to being through a process that hurt other people. Here in Austin, the ethics of our purchases matter—and proudly, we have a wide selection of ethical engagement rings to show for it.
For more specific questions ask our experts