The jewelry world has always been a competitive one. Jewelers strive to attract customers by regularly producing new styles and setting new trends, and customers want to get the most for the money they pay (or even win a deal along the way).
So how are you supposed to score a truly awesome piece in this seemingly endless universe of jewelry? Especially when it comes to a very special piece – an engagement ring – that will adorn the finger of your loved one for the happily ever after?
Catalogs, wedding magazines, and social media all point in different directions, inviting you to buy immediately because the ring in question is ‘oh so trendy and coveted right now.’ But this is what we warn you against doing.
Why? Because the principle that stands behind all world-famous jewelry icons is actually different. And these jewelry pieces fascinated people back then and they continue to do it now without resorting to extravagance or niche design tricks. These jewelry styles just stay with us and never go away, while whimsical trends come and go before you can even get into them.
That’s what we invite you to consider while ring-shopping and that’s the question we will explore in detail in this guide: "What engagement rings will never go out of style?"
Historical Perspective of Timeless Engagement Rings
Historically, engagement rings were what a giver could afford – and what the status of a couple dictated. It could be a big stone like an emerald or ruby set in an ornamental gold setting or an assortment of impressive gems set as a dazzling mosaic. Stones could be chosen according to their assumed meaning, like power, fidelity, or royalty, or correspond to the heraldic colors of an aristocratic family.
Ordinary folks would buy simpler rings of gold, silver, or plated copper with semi-precious stones or even glass. Money was a decisive factor, universality of styles was the last consideration.
Diamonds first came into fashion in the 18th century, when candlelight from multiple candles reflected in polished facets, creating a truly magic sparkle. Yet even back then they were not common for rings. Large colored gems were preferred instead.
In the 19th century, distinctive jewelry styles started to take shape, and some of them retain their appeal today – and they are considered classic and universal, like Georgian or Victorian jewelry.
In the 20th century, diamonds became the staple of engagement jewelry and this trend rolls on and on. Yet no matter what stone is used, some styles are more desirable for an engagement ring than others. It is also a reason why antique and vintage engagement rings are so popular today – they are as awesome today as they were on the day of their creation.
Celebrity and Royal Influence
Whether we like it or not, jewelry trends are often set by famous and ultra-wealthy, and wider markets gladly pick up trends and spin new variations of famous designs. But that’s not so bad. The best jewelers with access to all possible materials and stones in the world create sublime and timeless engagement rings that can go on and on without being boring or plain, so why not grab this chance? A slightly smaller stone will look equally awesome when set in a classy setting. And the durability of these trends is sometimes tested across centuries, no less.
Think of the famous Princess Diana’s engagement ring that now belongs to Catherine, Princess of Wales. Its copies are among the most popular ring styles not only in the UK but across the world.
And guess what? This ring (whether intentionally or not) imitates the brooch that Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a day before their wedding. And it was the year 1840. It is a huge oblong sapphire of excellent quality surrounded by 12 perfect white diamonds. Both the brooch and the ring are epitomes of timeless elegance and universality. Simple, reserved, and outstanding in quality.
The same can be said about practically every famous engagement ring of royals and celebrities – impressive or unique stones and elegant settings. Even more contemporary two-stone rings follow the rule of simplicity and stones are neutral in color palette. Then a ring looks classic even in such a non-traditional design.
Characteristics of Timeless Engagement Rings
So when you start your shopping spree and ask yourself the question "What engagement rings will never go out of style?" the first thing you need is a reliable checklist to run through. Here are a few key points to consider at once when (or even before) a ring catches your eye:
- Special stones and craftsmanship are what sets really timeless rings apart. Stones should be sublime, not in size but in quality and beauty. Even the simplest ring is crafted perfectly, all stones sit snugly in their nests, smooth surfaces are carefully polished, the amount of metal is sufficient, and a ring does not feel foil-like (even the slimmest and the daintiest one).
- Styles are usually on a simpler side, with a subtle twist; materials speak for themselves. Such timeless styles may not feature kaleidoscopic stone combinations or exaggerated shapes and ornaments. Instead, they revolve around a central color, sometimes accentuated by perfect transparent stones, set in clean geometric shapes. The ‘big 4’ of jewelry did not get their name for nothing – diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald look stunning on their own and don’t need much fluff to stand out. Set alone or in a halo of diamonds or zirconia, they just spell splendor. Other colored central stones with a sprinkle of shiny stars set around them also make a perfect engagement ring.
- Why is simplicity a quality mark for timeless engagement rings and good taste? Because an engagement ring is usually worn every day, from dawn till dusk, and it should match a wide variety of clothing styles. This ring should go well with everything, from daily wear or even sportswear to evening gowns. Only simpler, more reserved styles with limited color palettes pass this universality test. Cocktail rings and statement rings can be whatever your heart desires and fashion dictates, but an engagement ring is evaluated by a different set of standards.
- Working well with other jewelry. An engagement ring is usually worn with other rings, not instead of them. So it should be able to blend into the mix and look good even next to the above-mentioned statement rings. Only simpler, sleeker, and more streamlined styles can do it and still be noticeable and cool in their own right. They are a perfect noble background for flashier on-trend styles and they won’t lose their appeal when worn alone.
6 Best Engagement Rings That Never Go Out of Style
Now let’s get to specific styles and shapes that are considered classic and universal – and what to look for when choosing this important ring.
Classic Styles That Never Fade for Timeless Engagement Rings
- Solitaire. The first thing that comes to mind related to timeless engagement rings is a solitaire style, a single impressive stone on a sleek band. The stone is a focus of attention, while its setting provides gentle support to its beauty. Whether you opt for a polished band or pave style, a stone gets all the attention and literally spells ‘happily engaged.’ A solitaire ring is a safe bet. Always.
- Halo. A stone in a frame of smaller sparkling stones always looks impressive and classy – whether a diamond or other stones. Even a smaller central gem will look big enough when surrounded by a halo. Besides, this design is interesting while being rather simple, so it will go well with other ring styles, from bands to multi-stone rings. That’s the real universality and timelessness of design.
- Cluster. Clusters are great in that they are versatile. They can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, run vertically or horizontally, have a central stone formation, or get placed evenly across the band. Just opt for the same stones in a cluster, and the ring will look cool without being too ‘busy.’ Such a ring won’t get boring over time and will be a fashion statement for many years to come.
- Three-stone ring. One more engagement jewelry staple. A central stone is flanked by two smaller ones, usually tapered. The sparkle and beauty of a central element get enhanced by side stones, and the ring looks truly regal, a stream of sparkle and light. This design is more on the modern side, but its versatility and simple elegance make it a permanent resident of jewelry boxes. Its appeal won’t wear away over time.
- Birthstone rings. They can be featured in any of the settings mentioned above (or below), but the significance of stone is key here. Emerald, sapphire, opal, alexandrite, sunstone, quartz, - each stone can become an impressive centerpiece of an engagement ring. Its meaning will always be there, and a simpler, more restrained design won’t let the ring become obsolete or dated.
- Art Deco. This highly ornamental style relies on clean geometric shapes and an almost architectural design approach to create the desired wow effect. Rhombic shape with additional angles and curves, an oval with geometrical patterns put within – simplicity is married to elaborate ornamentation, and one enhances the other. Such rings usually feature smaller stones to let the design and shapes come to the front, and the ring itself is a real work of art.
When vintage engagement rings are mentioned, it is usually the inimitable Art Deco style that is meant, even if it is not named. Once you’ve seen it – you won’t forget it. That’s why this style belongs to the category of timeless engagement rings.
Diamonds: The Timeless Choice for Engagement Rings
Yes, the search for a perfect engagement ring begins with a perfect stone, and usually, it is a diamond. Diamonds are forever, diamonds are chic, and they are highly versatile. A complete match for a ring to wear forever. today, in other words.
The sheer size of the stone does not matter as much as its clarity and purity. The trend for more reserved and laid-back rings means that smaller stones with good sparkle are regularly featured in exclusive wedding jewelry collections. Such rings do not blind with their shine right on the spot but never go unnoticed either. They look elegant alone, are cool when worn together with a wedding band, and make perfect stackable jewelry.
Alternative Gemstones for a Timeless Look for Engagement Rings
If diamonds are not what your loved one prefers, turn to colored gems with special meaning. Birthstone rings, zodiac rings, rings with symbolic stones – everything is fine as long as you two appreciate it. The only rule for this kind of ring is to keep the color palette limited, preferably one main color and sparkly stars of diamonds or zirconia for true opulence.
The recommended styles are solitaire, halo, and possibly cluster. A splash of color in a circle of sparkle or a good-quality stone of reasonable size will stand out without looking too bold. Whether you opt for the ‘big 4’ of precious stones or go for something unique like opal, amethyst, topaz, or sunstone, the ring will be gorgeous and one-of-a-kind.
Metal Choices in Timeless Engagement Rings
Precious metals lead the race in this wedding jewelry world. Trends come and go, but gold and silver (or gold-plated silver) stay fashionable forever. They don’t lose their appeal and luster, and any stone set into these noble materials is bound to become an eye candy and an heirloom piece.
Nowadays, the trend for bimetallic rings (gold plus silver) is luring the audience toward buying such pieces. Well, this trend reappears with regularity, so it won’t be completely outdated anyway. Yet, if you are looking for timeless engagement rings, opt for one metal. It will be a safe bet.
Stone shapes to consider first
Certain stone shapes and cuts age well, and some make a wearer feel tired of their look quite fast. Overly fancy shapes or custom-carved stones belong to this category. They are OK for rings that are worn occasionally, like cocktail rings.
For an engagement ring, resort to time-tested shapes. They are round, baguette, oval, cushion, marquis, pear shape, and emerald.
Round and cushion shapes are completely symmetrical, they sit prettily on a finger and fit into any jewelry combination a person might want to wear.
Baguette, oval, marquis, pear, and emerald are elongated shapes with clean corners or smooth curves, and they make fingers look longer and slenderer. They also have a special elegance to them that makes them the number-one choice for celebrity and royal rings. Yes, look at Princess Catherin’s ring, or at rings rocked by Ariana Grande, Paris Hilton, or Beyoncé. Or by Jackie O and Grace Kelly, for comparison through time. Their rings sport classic emerald cut, or oval and pear shapes, for that matter. Smaller or larger, colorless or tinted, these stones are all elongated and set usually vertically, for additional wow-factor.
Again, the rule is to keep bands simple and understated. Polished or pave bands, solid or split-shank bands – these are the optimal style elements that will please the wearer forever. They are easy to fit together with a wedding band, and they are neutral enough to match other types of rings, from fancier to avant-garde ones.
Design Elements That Stand the Test of Time
So, let’s sum up what elements stand the test of time no matter what. It will be a checklist to look up when you have to make the final buying decision.
- Stone shapes: stone should be on a more classic side with clean geometric shapes. Round and cushion are universal shapes, and baguette, oval, marquis, pear, and emerald have an additional flair of elegance and sleekness in them. These longer shapes also make fingers look longer when placed vertically. Diamonds or colored gems – any stone is totally fine, yet when settling for a colored gem ring stick to one main stone color.
- Metals: gold and silver. Platinum, titanium, or stainless steel may come in fashion or become a bit forgotten in jewelry, but gold and silver are eternal. People in ancient Greece and Rome adorned themselves with these materials and exchanged nuptial rings made of these precious metals. We do it today, and probably the grandchildren of our grandchildren will do the same. That’s what true timelessness is.
- Settings and bands: simpler, minimal, with care and skills invested into every detail. They should underscore the beauty of stones and provide enough visual support without popping too much. In engagement rings, stones do all the speaking, so they should be displayed prominently.
Besides, more reserved and simpler styling is always in fashion, in contrast to more whimsical pieces. The main exception is Art Deco which is a separate category. If you pick this type of ring, it will be cool and fashionable practically forever.
Your Asteria Engagement Rings
We hope we have provided answers to the important question ‘What engagement rings will never go out of style?’ This piece of jewelry is not an average decorative ring, it is supposed to last a lifetime, like the love and commitment you share. Nothing is more disappointing than the need to redesign a ring because it has become dated in a year or two.
In our artisanal jewelry shop at YourAsteria, you can find rings of all types listed above and choose a perfect token of your love. We offer a rich selection of dainty diamond and colored gem rings, and you can ask for customization of a stone or a metal if you feel the need. We’d be glad to collaborate and craft your vision into a real masterpiece with the help of our skills and expertise.
You don’t have to settle for something if you can have exactly what you want. That’s our belief because we are confident in our team’s craftsmanship and your right to get the best for your money. So reach out and ask for a custom piece, and we will create it for you. And – mind it – not for all the money in the world. Our prices are very reasonable, and you can save some money for truly important things, like a wedding day and your dream honeymoon.
All in all, it does not take much to pick a ring that will look stylish and elegant forever. Follow our tips on styles and stones and you won’t spend your money in vain. It’s not necessary for a ring to be huge or sport a boulder of a diamond to look impressive and worthy of a celebrity. More reserved styles on a simpler side are usually the most versatile and practically timeless, that’s the key takeaway.
We are sure that after reading the guide you’ll make the right choice. And we at YourAsteria will gladly assist you in this difficult but sweet and important task.
You and your sweetheart deserve truly the best!