Diane Kruger dazzled when she waltzed into the Met Gala this past September. The German actress and model arrived in a lime green gown with a train and cut-outs that showed off her abs, searing bright-pink eyeshadow and a gargantuan engagement ring with a square-cut diamond as big as the Ritz.
After years of subtler sparklers and sweet, semiprecious stones, Kruger’s show-stopping rock threw down a gauntlet.
Brides — weary of COVID-era austerity and caution — are embracing the big, bold and brilliant. And what better way to announce it than with a flashy ring?
“It’s a joyful thing, it’s a moment of celebration,” says Sam Broekema, editor-in-chief at the Natural Diamond Council’s online platform, Only Natural Diamonds. He applauds the trend toward more exuberant, more extra jewels — from pear-shaped gems, à la Liz Taylor, to brightly hued stones, which enhance the celebratory vibe.
“More people are getting engaged and getting married this year than the year before,” Broekema continues. “There are so many people in this market, people want to set themselves apart — what makes their ring different, what makes their wedding different, what makes their engagement moment different?”
As for “different,” look no further than the “twin flames” that rapper Machine Gun Kelly designed for actress Megan Fox. The ring incorporates two large pear-shaped gems representing each of their birthstones — a diamond for him, an emerald for her — set on a band of thorns. (It supposedly hurts to take off; “Love is pain,” 32-year-old MGK told Vogue.)
“It’s a definitely edgy style,” says Scott Udell, vice president of London Jewelers. “It takes a certain woman to step out of the traditional diamond look. But we do a lot of two-stone diamond rings, and for the really unique, avant-garde type of woman, we do get requests for a diamond and a sapphire, or a diamond and a ruby — something of that nature.”
Udell, however, says that even more traditional brides want to stand out, with more and more women opting for mixed metals (like platinum for the head and rose or yellow gold for the shoulders and shank) or requesting long stones, such as “To All the Boys” star Lana Condor’s oval stone set off by smaller diamonds down the side.
“Oval cuts, emerald cuts, elongated cushion cuts, elongated radiant cuts are very, very on-trend right now,” he notes. “Obviously, some of these have crossed over to become timeless, but we have a lot of women coming in saying, ‘The longer the stone, the better.’ It just shows better on the finger, and it appears bigger as well.”
Or you can go for a classic cut in a resplendent colored diamond, like Jennifer Lopez’s brilliant 8.5-carat green rock, which her second-time fiancé Ben Affleck gave her last month.
“That’s the next big trend,” Broekema says of colored diamonds, whether green, pink, blue or violet. “They’re extremely rare, because of their chemical makeup and how they’re made. When you discover the science behind them, you feel like you’re part of a piece of history.”
Plus, he adds, “If there’s one thing that working fashion has taught me is that people love color — it makes you happy.” And in the end, that’s what an engagement ring should do.