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Diamonds really are forever. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds – they’ve all had their moment in the spotlight when it comes to the engagement ring of choice.
But no precious stone quite has the enduring appeal of diamonds.
From the emerald cut classic designs of the 1920s to the more modern princess cut and cushion shape, the diamond has been reinvented over the years, but never replaced thanks to its status as the ultimate luxury gemstone and unrivalled sparkle.
When it comes to finding the perfect diamond engagement ring, cut is key. And there have been plenty of variations over the years.
‘We have seen a much greater interest in fancy cut stones, customers are moving away from the classic solitaire and want something that is more unique in shape. Whilst the pear shape is still popular we have seen emerald cut diamonds grow,’ the head of Ernest Jones jewellery buying says of 2023 trends.
‘Deco-inspired engagement rings are also on trend; we see this through the success of our Vera Wang bridal cut offer where fancy cuts and emerald cuts specifically are prominent. We are also launching a new vintage collection that encapsulates this trend and stone shapes.’
In order to get an idea of what will be trending next, it can be useful to look to the past, so let’s take a look back at the most popular diamond cuts over the past 100 years – and which have stood the test of time to remain top jewellery trends in 2023.
1920s and 1930s – The Emerald Cut
Jewellery from the 1920s – and into the 1930s – has a distinct art deco feel to it, with the sophisticated Emerald Cut being the diamond style of choice.
Worn by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, it’s a classic, timeless style that boasts clean lines and a simple design.
Get the look: Vera Wang 18ct White Gold 0.95ct Total Diamond Ring, £5,000
1940s – The Round Brilliant
Cut circular diamonds, known as brilliant diamonds, were made popular during the 1940s and have gone on to be one of the most popular diamond shapes of all time for engagement rings.
It’s known as the ‘brilliant’ cut due to its surface having light-reflecting 58 facets for dazzling shine.
A true romantic’s choice.
Get the look: Eternal Diamond Platinum 0.50ct Four Claw Solitaire Ring, £3000
1950s – The Oval Cut
Then came the Oval cut diamond, a stylish hybrid of the round cut and the marquise diamond, an elegant shape that creates the illusion of longer fingers.
One of the less common diamond engagement rings nowadays, this cut is for a person who wants to express their individuality.
Get the look: Diamond Story Platinum 0.50ct Total Diamond Oval Ring, £3,000
1960s – The Pear Shape
The popularity of the iconic Taylor Burton Cartier pear diamond meant that this cut became synonymous with the ‘60s.
The pear cut also gives the fingers an elongated look that’s flattering and chic. They’re particularly stunning in halo sets, too. Just sayin’.
Get the look: 18ct White Gold 1ct Total Diamond Pear Cut Halo Ring, £3,500
1970s – Yellow Gold
While yellow gold may feel more vintage now, back in the 70s it was seen as a contemporary choice, with the warm hue of the yellow offsetting the cool tones of the diamond, increasing its bling factor.
A unique and original choice.
Get the look: Diamond Story 18ct Yellow Gold 1ct Total Diamond Ring, £4,000
1980s – Precious Stones
There was one engagement ring that took centre stage – Princess Diana’s iconic diamond and sapphire design, which saw 14 sparkling round-cut diamonds surrounding a bright blue sapphire.
This paved the way for more colourful engagement rings using precious stones from rubies to emeralds and, of course, sapphires.
Get the look: 18ct Gold Sapphire & 0.66ct Diamond Ring, £1,595
1990s – The Marquise Shape
The 90s saw diamond engagement rings take on a more minimal look with the Marquise Cut, offering an elegant, oval shape with pointed edges for what was a very modern look at the time.
Another great one for creating the illusion of elongated fingers.
Get the look: Neil Lane 14ct White Gold 0.69ct Total Diamond Halo Ring, currently £1,299
The 2000s – The Princess Cut
The 2000s saw sparkle take centre stage with the more bling, the better.
The Princess Cut Diamond is square on the tip with four bevelled sides and comes in at a point for a unique shape.
First appear at The evolution of the diamond ring – and what it means for 2023 trends