By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, March 02, 2009 12:00 AM
From the grace of halo to the sophistication of micro pave, design trends in diamond engagement rings and wedding band settings are changing, reflecting today’s busy lifestyles. Ergonomic designs reign supreme in today’s market, no longer does pure panache determine the design that leads to ‘I Do.’
“Some brides prefer an ergonomic design that can comfortably be worn day in and day out,” says Debi Wexler, President of Whiteflash.com. “Others look for added style in an intricate or trendy setting; which, unfortunately, can be limiting when it comes everyday wear,” adds Wexler. Whiteflash.com is an e-jewelry boutique specializing in Hearts & Arrows diamonds and custom-designed engagement rings.
Here’s a peek at the up-and-coming trends in engagement rings according to the boutique’s jewelry designers:
Myth: solitaires stand tall
Not true of today’s diamond solitaire settings, says Wexler. “Solitaire settings are traditionally upswept, raising the diamond to make a very bold statement,” she adds. “However, people are also choosing settings where the center diamond sits down low, creating a look that is extremely elegant and also ergonomic.” With the diamond down in the setting, brides-to-be are able to wear the engagement ring in everyday work and play situations long after they say their “I Do’s.
Halos make a comeback
The likely reason for that comeback, according to Wexler, is that the halo-style diamond engagement ring makes the center diamond appear larger than it really is. “And the appearance of a high carat weight in the center stone is extremely important for many who are headed to the altar,” says Debi Wexler. Whiteflash.com has introduced several halo designs to its line of diamond engagement rings in the past year, including one with beaded diamonds along the shank as well as around the center stone, Increased sales prove the design’s resurgence and staying power.
A toast to the ‘Champagne’ setting
One design stunning even to the most fashion-savvy is the diamond ‘Champagne’ setting. “Those who desire this setting know exactly what they’re looking forâ¦and that’s something unique,” says Wexler. “The Champagne style of setting has an unmistakable following.” The succesfull creative design team consisting of Debi Wexler and Frieder Lauer at Whiteflash.com deserve a toast of the bubbly for their interpretation of the Champagne-style bubble design in their U-prong Champagne engagement ring among others.
Wexler says the company’s Champagne fashions have produced a great deal of spin-off custom-design work, much of which incorporates Whiteflash.com’s exclusive Whiteflash A Cut Above melee diamonds. “The design of the Champagne diamond setting intermixes several componentsâ¦it’s these combined features that really draw[s] people to it,” she says.
“Often people ask us to replicate one aspect or another of the Champagne design into a custom project, and of course we don’t hesitate to do so.” According to Wexler, the U-Prong, domed shank and accent diamonds are examples of features that can be applied to any custom piece. “Our Whiteflash A Cut Above melee diamonds have been adopted into thousands of projects, and are a stunning complement to any setting style,” comments Wexler.
Delicate pave and micro-pave designs
The old debate: Delicate versus complex, which is better? According to the designers at Whiteflash.com, this season the style leans more heavily towards delicacy rather than complexity.
The diamond pave setting is widely admired for its refinement. To give the setting its simplistic, yet exquisite appearance, beads of metal are raised to create secure channels where the diamonds sit securely in the ring. According to the craftsmen at Whiteflash.com, the raised metal of the band (or ring) is used to create the tiny prongs that hold the petite diamonds in place.
Center stage: Eternity bands
The pave and micro pave diamond engagement rings come into play when customers are looking at smaller diamond settings like the eternity band. According to Wexler, there has been a recent push for smaller diamonds in settings. “In some cases even solitaire engagement rings are being replaced with semi, and even full diamond eternity bands,” she says. The trend is likely a response to the aforementioned movement towards dainty-looking styles and those that offer daily wear. Eternity bands traditionally are set with diamonds anywhere from one to three points (carats).
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