By Michelle Graff
Trend No. 3 on WP Diamonds’ list is rose gold rings set with micro-pavé. The ring shown here is the Laurel Cathedral Solitaire from designer Erika Winters, which features a 2.26-carat light yellow old European-cut diamond on an 18-karat rose gold micro-pavé diamond band.
New York--Rose gold with pavé, three-stone rings that mimic Meghan Markle’s, and more halos are three of the engagement ring trends WP Diamonds is forecasting for 2018.

WP diamonds, the division of White Pine Trading LLC that buys and sells from the public, based its predictions on what consumers were purchasing toward the end of 2017, as well as its own forecasting expertise.

Included among the predictions are insights gleaned from National Jeweler’s 50 Jewelers/50 States series, which ran last year.

How do these five trends compare with what you are selling, or expect to sell, in your store? Tell us in the comments below.

5. A Classic Setting. Though it’s not advisable from a legal standpoint, this setting is widely referred to in the industry as the “Tiffany setting.” It refers to a simple band with a round stone held in place by six prongs and is, according to WP Diamonds, “always on the list.”

20180124 Classic setting IngwerThis die-struck six-prong solitaire setting from Leo Ingwer is holding a 1-carat round brilliant-cut diamond. The mounting in 14-karat white gold retails for $495 while the setting plus diamond is approximately $7,000. It also can be made in platinum; $825 for the mounting and $8,300 for the setting plus diamond.
A number of retailers interviewed for 50 Jewelers/50 States last year said while halos are still popular, they are seeing an increasing number of customer choosing a simple solitaire.

Christine Osborne, general manager of Christopher’s Fine Jewelry in Des Moines, Iowa, told National Jeweler: “We’ve seen kind of a transition a little bit away from halos toward more simple, clean lines, more solitaire-based (styles), which is kind of interesting. We still have halos, but we’re starting to see less fussy styles grow in popularity.”

4. Yellow Radiant-Cut Diamond with Triangle Side Stones. WP Diamonds said colored diamonds are “gaining some serious momentum” and predicted that a radiant cut with colorless side stone accents will be popular in the year to come.

20180124 Yellow LJ WestThis platinum and 18-karat yellow gold ring from L.J. West Diamonds is for those with big diamond dreams in 2018. It features a 16.78-carat fancy vivid yellow modified square cut diamond (SI1 clarity) with triangular side stones weighing a total of 2.16 carats.
It’s also possible that colored gemstones could enjoy another bump in popularity in bridal this year. It’s only January and already two fairly high-profile engagements have featured colored stones--Gwyneth Paltrow said yes to a classic blue sapphire while Princess Eugenie picked a beautiful padparadscha.

3. Rose Gold Rings with Micro-Pavé. Micro-pavé has long been a favorite addition to engagement rings, but setting it in rose gold will be a way to make a ring stand out in 2018, WP Diamonds said.

In addition, mixing metals, particularly through a stack of rings that includes the engagement ring and wedding band, is a new trend that WP Diamonds believes is going to be around for a while.

2. Cushion-Cut Diamonds Set in a Halo. WP Diamonds said halos, particularly those framing cushion-cut stones, will continue to be popular in 2018, to the chagrin of some retailers.

20180123 Cushion Halo Gem PlatThis platinum engagement ring from Gem Platinum features a cushion-cut diamond with a halo. The price for the semi-mount, no including the stone, starts at $1,600.
Many jewelers interviewed for 50 Jewelers/50 States remarked on the continuing popularity of the style, including Paul Muffuletto of Jackson Jewelers in Flowood, Mississippi, who told National Jeweler, “We still do a lot with halos. We have a wide variety of different ways a customer can do a ring with the halo.”

Dawn Hendricks, owner of Peridot Fine Jewelry in Larchmont, N.Y., said: “Everyone still loves a halo, and I still do.”

Yet, there seems to be a creeping sense of halo exhaustion among others.

When asked about her top-selling engagement ring styles, Rejena Carreras of Carreras Jewelers in Richmond, Virginia said: “The halo continues. Kill me, kill me now. It’s always the halo.”

WP Diamonds President Andrew Brown said while they do see a shift toward a more classic look for engagement rings (see No. 5), many customers still love the halo.

“We expect it to remain popular throughout 2018 and given its ability to make the center stone appear larger, it will rise above the classic solitaire on the list,” he said.

1. Meghan Markle’s Three-Stone Ring. You knew this had to be on the list somewhere.

The news of American actress Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was big, both in the jewelry world--where her three-stone ring set in yellow gold was the topic of much conversation--and to the general public, which has a fascination with all things royal despite the fact that the monarchy has no real power anymore.

20180124 Three Stone GemAnother ring from Gem Platinum; this one has three round diamonds set in platinum (starting at $10,000).
While WP Diamonds predicts the ring of the future princess will ignite interest for three-stone styles, Brown said they don’t see it doing the same for yellow gold, at least not this year.

“Yellow gold makes up a fraction of the custom rings that we have been making,” he said. “Though it is gaining in popularity in certain regional areas, we do not predict a substantial rise in demand across the board.”

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