Best of 2013: engagement rings and wedding jewels

From halo style engagement rings and coloured stones to pretty diamond hair jewels, it's been a colourful and creative year for the world of bridal jewellery.


The past 12 months have seen one style of engagement ring outshine all others. With the traditional solitaire taking a backseat in 2013, the halo-style ring has won over brides-to-be with its vintage undertones and impressive sparkle.

A halo ring, with a central diamond encircled by a row - and often two - of pavé diamonds, is a showstopper whilst not looking overly show-offy. Just look at Cartier's newest engagement ring, the Destinée. It continues the pavé diamonds all the way round the band and is just as beautiful in profile as it is on the finger.

Individuality has become increasingly important when choosing an engagement ring, which has seen a significant rise in demand for coloured stones rather than more obvious white diamonds. From Van Cleef & Arpels' extraordinary Pierre de Couleur collection of engagement rings, featuring the 'big three' sapphires, emeralds and rubies, to pink, yellow, blue and even red diamonds, women are looking for rings with plenty of personality.

Beyond coloured stones, designers with an original approach have really stood out this year. Polly Wales' whimsical new Rapunzel bridal range, created using an ancient technique known as lost wax casting, has a raw quality but is deeply feminine, while Andrew Geoghegan's Cannelé engagement ring is daintier and prettier than any other engagement ring you are likely to have seen last year. 

Ethical engagement rings have boomed in the past year as people look for brands with a conscience. Designers such as Hattie Rickards, Jessica Poole, Ingle & Rhode and CRED Jewellery only work with Fairmined gold and are leading the way with their beautiful yet responsibly produced jewels.  

Can't find the right ring for you? Take advantage of the bespoke offerings that are popping up everywhere, designed to help you create an engagement ring in keeping with your vision and style. De Beers and Harry Winston launched exclusive bespoke services for brides in-store in 2013 - a trend that is set to continue this year.

Looking beyond rings, two bridal trends of old have been reinvigorated this year: pearls and hair jewels, including Alice bands and tiaras. The world of fine jewellery went pearl mad in 2013. From sliced pearls at Melanie Georgacopoulos to rare natural pearls set into an exquisite ring and earrings at David Morris, this classic gem has become a bridal favourite once again.

While many celebrities got engaged with a halo style ring, I can't think of any that doubled up on their wedding bands. To tie the knot, the immaculately stylish Kate Bosworth chose two bespoke eternity-style rings set with baguette diamonds, designed by Ocappi, with a hint of the art deco style that was big in jewellery throughout 2013. Pure perfection.  

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