Trends in engagement rings are largely set today as they’ve been for hundreds of years: by high-profile brides with style. To name but two, Napoleon’s Joséphine and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy both launched looks for the ages. Although current styles may seem to cycle in and out more quickly than those of leisurely days gone by, that’s not really the case.
“From a consumer standpoint, the trends take a bit longer to catch on,” explains Single Stone’s Corina Madilian. One of the main reasons for the time lag may simply be that couples don’t get engaged the moment a trend emerges. It’s not like getting the “It” bag of the season or a dress from a runway collection. An engagement ring style might figure on someone’s wish list for several years.
The engagement ring trends many future brides are undoubtedly keeping track of now include oval and pear-shape diamonds as well as Toi et Moi designs. Just because these are the hottest styles in the category, however, does not mean they appear only in new or custom-designed rings. Each has a history and can be found in vintage as well as contemporary rings. Find out more about the three looks below.
Toi et Moi Engagement Rings
Engagement rings with two gemstones of about equal size, dubbed Toi et Moi ages ago, have become a millennial favorite. The contemporary trend was kicked off in 2018 by mega-influencer Emily Ratajkowski, who received a design with pear- and princess-cut diamonds. A couple of years later, pop star Ariana Grande got engaged with an oval diamond and pearl example. This year, actress Megan Fox received a glorious diamond and emerald Toi et Moi engagement ring by Stephen Webster that garnered massive press coverage.
With all this recent interest, you might be stunned to learn how old the style is. Toi et Moi rings first became famous in 1796 when Napoleon Bonaparte presented Joséphine with a pear-shape-diamond and sapphire example. In the 20th century, the best-known Toi et Moi engagement ring was the Van Cleef & Arpels emerald-cut-emerald and diamond design John F. Kennedy gave Jackie Kennedy in 1953, when he was a U.S. senator.
Today, Toi et Moi rings can be found in a multitude of variations, from elegant vintage designs to sleek contemporary cross-over ones.
Pear-Shape Diamond Engagement Rings
The pear shape is rapidly becoming one of the most popular fancy cuts for diamonds. The last time it was in such high demand was during the 1960s. One of the most high-profile rings of the period was the nine-carat pear-shape diamond engagement ring actress Mia Farrow received from singer Frank Sinatra in 1966. The stone was set, like most pears of the period, with the tip up and rump down.
Today, designers play around with how the stone is set and with its size relative to that of the band. The singer Adele (who has not publicly acknowledged that she is engaged) has a large pear-shape diamond on a slender diamond band that she wears on the third finger of her left hand.
The pears in Megan Fox’s Toi et Moi ring are at slight angles to each other, so they appear to form a heart. Lots of designers set pears on their sides in an east-west position. They may also add a halo of gems, among other embellishments.
Oval Diamond Engagement Rings
This elegant shape never found such favor with high-profile brides as it does today. Blake Lively, Kourtney Kardashian and Hailey Bieber are among the boldface names who have popularized engagement rings sporting an oval-cut diamond. The style got another jolt of energy recently when gymnast Simone Biles showed off her new oval-diamond engagement ring on Instagram.
Why it took so long for ovals to reach celebrity status is something of a mystery. The cut has 58 facets, for a wonderful brilliance, and the elongated outline slenderizes fingers. It’s also a versatile shape that works well in both minimalist and ornate designs.