Engagement rings now a customizable investment

by Laura Bednar

Those searching for the perfect ring to pop the question are also looking for a unique way to showcase their love.

Nathan Joviak, of Wills Jewelers in Northfield, said in his 40 years in the business, the biggest change he has seen is more special ordering of rings, rather than picking straight from the glass case. “People are looking to stand out and be unique, not a cookie-cutter design,” said Joviak.

He still sees halo rings, with a central stone surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds, and single stone settings as popular choices, but the shape of the diamond itself has evolved. A plain round diamond is no longer the norm as oval and pear-shaped diamonds are becoming the fashion. “It’s nice to see different shapes than just rounds,” Joviak said.

Current trends like vintage rings with Victorian aesthetics, along with lab-grown diamonds, are trends that are here to stay, according to Joviak. Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical makeup as natural diamonds and are optically and physically the same. The only difference is they are man made. This started as an industrial technique, but over the past 10 years has begun to mimic real diamonds for rings, said Joviak.

Lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than natural diamonds, and can be a statement piece due to the size. Other ways to make a statement are through colors. Sapphires and rubies as an accent jewel to a ring make it stand out. Another color making a comeback for engagement rings is rose gold, according to weddingforward.com.

Joviak said another unique look is engagement rings with a different contour that don’t match the wedding band exactly. Prices for rings are based on style more than anything else, though the more intricate the design and the more diamonds added, the higher the price.

Couples may shop for the ring together, though Joviak has also seen people come into the store with a photo of a ring style that their partner saw online. Regardless of what type of ring you choose, Joviak said the seller should take his or her time to educate a couple and help them choose the proper stones and ring. “Make sure you are comfortable with the person you are getting it from,” he said.