While the bright bold colours of rubies, sapphires and emeralds have long featured on the engagement ring finger, as Princess Diana’s iconic sapphire proves, the myriad of possibilities is broadening. Contemporary designers such as Alice Cicolini, Polly Wales and Nadine Aysoy as well as larger international jewellers are embracing the seemingly endless palate of semi-precious stones to express the power of love through colour. Even the near ubiquitous white diamond engagement ring is taking on a new look as fancy yellow and champagne diamonds are gaining popularity with brides-to-be.
Of the wide palette of gemstones colours that range for olive-hued tourmalines to electric blue zircons, it is the pinks, yellows and blues that are gaining popularity as engagement ring choices but many less expected colours are also becoming popular. While many prefer the subtle pastel tint of a blue aquamarine or a pink kunzite those who want to make a statement with the deep shades of a green peridot, a rich yellow citrine or the majestic red of a rhodolite, there is more than ever to choose from.
Driven by a desire to let the bride-to-be express her individuality, designers such as Ananya has created a collection featuring unusual stone combinations. Ananya sets a deep blue cabochon tanzanite surrounded by diamonds on a large hexagon of blue abalone with a swirling peacock feather pattern of colours (below). Abalone is not for every bride, but its iridescent marbling makes this ring a striking choice.
To capture the rosy glow of true love, delicate pink morganite, rose tourmalines and pink sapphires are increasingly popular choices for engagement rings. As of course is the pricier pink diamond (below). Bucherer Fine Jewellery and Ortaea offer a wider range of examples to feed this passion for pink. As Ortaea's Creative Director, Mita Vohra explains, “the pink hue…represents the colour of unconditional love, which is what I love most about these gems”.
The Lucerne-based Bucherer Fine Jewellery, provides a colourful alternative to the solitaire ring with the Peekaboo collection (below). Large cushion-cut stones in soft pink, yellow and blue are circled by bands of diamonds, merging classic and contemporary looks.
For those wanting a stronger shade, de GRISOGONO has a selection of eye-catching rings bursting with colour. The 10.06 carat cushion-cut ruby is suspended in a pear-shaped halo of baguette-cut diamonds (below). The design plays with space as well as colour, leaving a void between the rounded, rich red ruby and the crisp edged white diamonds, an arrangement that brings balance to a powerful ring.
If for you red is the colour of love then take a look at Nadine Aysoy’s ‘Tsarina Fire Flake’ collection (top). The crimson 7.00 carat rhodolite, is surrounded with a coronet of fine tracery that is as delicate as a snowflake. The magnificence of the Russian Empire is conjured up in the opulent red of the rhodolite.
Similarly, Chaumet’s ‘Josephine’ collection uses strong, regal colours. Established in 1780, Chaumet first adorned Empress Josephine and an air of Imperial elegance pervades. ‘The Josephine Aigrette’ collection (above), is an original and versatile choice of engagement ring. The pear-shaped aigrette centre-piece is reminiscent of the maison’s famous tiaras, but on a smaller scale to fit your finger. The Josephine ring can be set with an array of colour gemstones from amethyst, citrine and peridot, to aquamarine and rhodolite. The ‘v’ shape of the ring invites the company of a wedding band and later, an eternity ring.
For the unconventional colour-lover Polly Wales offers a distinctive alternative. Initially trained as a sculptor, Polly Wales’ designs have a fresh rawness. Through her ‘cast-not-set’ process, colourful stones seem to emerge organically from their gold surround (below). Polly is unafraid of uneven stone shapes. Her ‘Confetti Rings’ (from $4,4840-6,800) make an original alternative to the traditional eternity ring. The matte gold bands are speckled with coloured gems to comfortably accompany an engagement ring of any colour.
Alice Cicolini’s bridal collection (below) is a testament to her eye for colour. Alice’s engagement rings can be paired with a matching enamelled eternity ring for a double colour pop. So dare to go beyond the traditional solitaires for an engagement ring to truly match your personality.
By Ottilie Kemp