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What is the most common engagement ring?
The most common engagement ring is a Round Brilliant Cut. The brilliance refers to the sparkle of the stone and is often used to describe a diamond, while the cut refers to the stone’s features and its congruency, sparkle and consistency. The cut of the diamond assists its reflective qualities and helps the diamond seem bigger than it actually is.
A rock waiting to be cut
Round brilliant cut diamonds were first introduced in the 1700s as diamond cutting tools were invented. Until then, diamonds were not regarded as jewelry. Although it may be hard to imagine all those rocks just lying around, no one could work with this stone because no one could cut it. They had to invent the tools to work with diamonds first.
Diamonds are rated top of the list of Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Friedrich Mohs was a German mineralogist responsible for the scale, which was introduced in 1812. As technology continued to evolve, so did diamond cutting tools. Jewelers appreciate round cut diamonds because there is very little waste involved, ensuring maximum value and a larger carat (weight).
Let there be light: facets and brilliance
“Brilliance” refers to the amount of light radiating from the diamond. This style of cutting follows a diamond’s authentic silhouette. A brilliant cut maximizes the sparkle of the stone by its facets. A facet is a level area on the surface of the stone. A brilliant cut diamond features 58 facets. Each facet is angled to encourage the reflection of white light and allow light to enter the stone. There are typically 33 facets on the crown of the stone, and 25 facets are found on the pavilion (the area at the base of a diamond reflecting light).
But the real story here is that of the engagement ring itself, with a plot twist no one saw coming. It's a tale about our innovation and ingenuity, a story shaping the trajectory of our traditions. It's about how we nearly lost engagement rings, like this beautiful Double Halo Square Ring forever, and how we brought them back.
The story behind the ring
It's hard to imagine a wedding without an engagement ring, but after World War I and reaching into the Great Depression, engagement rings were on the decline. Young couples opted out of the tradition as the cascade of chaos caused by Black Tuesday in October 1929 gave the world other things to think about. As devastated jewelers looked on, one company took the crisis into their own hands.
Cut, Carats, Color, Clarity: the four Cs
De Beers, the famous diamond company, began a marketing campaign that transformed the trajectory of the engagement ring. Just when heartbroken jewelers across America believed the engagement ring was finished, De Beers rewrote the book - and then some.
De Beers' marketing gurus knew engagement rings weren’t popular. In fact, by 1939, only 10% of Americans bought an engagement ring featuring a stone. An ingenious campaign featuring the “4 Cs” - cut, carats, color, and clarity - helped to turn things around. Then came 1947 and that infamous slogan, “A diamond is forever”. From 1939 to 1979, diamond sales in America rocketed from $23 million to $2.1 billion. An engagement ring is all about its story.
Today’s stories are just as beautiful
Today, the round brilliant cut remains the most common engagement ring. We hold its strength and beauty close to represent the strongest of all bonds: love. During times of crisis, we see our collective belief in the bonds of love deepen.
We hold each other close even when we are separated. We inspire ourselves and each other with acts of love. No one is waiting for the pandemic to finish before we get engaged. Engagement ring shopping continues online. After all, love (and those hardy diamonds) are forever. Weddings continue around the world as intimate gatherings. The resilience, optimism and tenacity of love is the common thread linking all of us together.
Trends we can expect for 2021
Engagement rings featuring a stone continue to capture our hearts. The most favored stones are diamonds, followed closely by other colored stones, especially emeralds. Couples are also favoring vintage styled engagement rings, including Art Deco and other evocative styles. Band engagement rings are popular, too, with some stunning sparkle inlaid in gold, particularly yellow and rose gold, like this Eliane Abstract Crystal Pave Ring.
An engagement is all about its story. Your story. Your engagement ring reflects every facet of your journey and your hopes for the future. Engagement rings celebrate the most common bond of all: love.