Whether you’re fully in shop mode or perusing for the eye candy, 2022’s biggest engagement ring trends are fodder for discussion. Why not kick off a new year with an extra bit of diamond and gemstone knowledge, right? Of course, jewelry trends typically evolve at a different pace than the trendy clothing, shoes, and handbags lining your closet. And yet, they’re undoubtedly some of the most exciting to discover — most being personal trinkets worn close to the heart. But with the new year comes some shifts in the most popular engagement ring styles, though hits like elongated diamonds in a solitaire setting, yellow gold, and non-traditional designs remain a constant.
“Traditional rules and conventions continue not to be popular, and I think that will only continue into 2022,” says Leigh Plessner, chief creative officer of Catbird. Similarly, bespoke jewelry designer Maggi Simpkins tells TZR, “I have a lot of people come to me who want an alternative spin on classic, timeless styles.” The LA-based designer highlights bigger stones among her top requests, including natural and lab-created diamonds and gemstones in the two to three-carat range. Other popular choices include rings with oval, emerald- and round-cut diamonds in off-kilter and East-West settings, unique stone shapes like shields, colorful stones from emeralds to sapphires, and chunky designs.
Above all, Kathryn Money, senior vice president of merchandising and retail at Brilliant Earth highlights yellow gold metals as one of the biggest trends among engagement rings, which Simpkins also points out. Plus, she explains how celebrity engagement rings continue to drive the trends, like elongated fancy-shaped diamonds. “Surprise diamond details have also grown in the form of hidden diamond halos, diamond-accented galleries, or other unique details crafted beneath a ring’s center gemstone, adding extra sparkle and uniqueness to otherwise understated styles,” says Money.
Another new shift? “We’re seeing engagement ring interest across genders. [It’s] exciting to have a couple both show interest in engagement rings,” says Plessner. Plus, a greater emphasis on meaningful details. “More and more, we are finding our Millennial and Gen-Z customers are focused on the thought behind the ring and the options available to them to make every detail purposeful and intentional,” Money tells TZR, including ethically sourced materials and lab-grown diamonds.
Keep reading for a full breakdown of 2022’s most prominent engagement ring trends as predicted by the three experts, and shop, marvel at, or save the edit ahead as inspiration.
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In addition to pear, ovals have been Simpkin’s top-requested diamond shape for engagement rings. “I don’t see that slowing down,” she says. Plessner also predicts oval solitaires as a top choice in 2022. “They look beautiful on the finger,” she tells TZR. “Our oval Swan solitaires are available in both 100% recycled gold and diamonds, or with 100% recycled gold and lab-grown, cultivated diamonds, which speaks to the enduring (and ever-increasing) interest in sustainably made jewelry.”
Toi et Moi Rings
Following the lead of A-list stars like Ariana Grande and Emily Ratajkowski, Money anticipates a rise in toi et moi rings featuring two large center stones. “It will be one to watch as it takes over Instagram in 2022,” she says. “The more unique, the better.”
In addition to pears and ovals, Simpkins tells TZR, “I’m starting to get more requests for emerald cuts as well. I think people are gravitating a lot towards elongated shapes.” Adding, “There are also many requests for elongated stones with East-West orientation.”
From flush-mount settings to signet rings, Simpkins and Money predict a rise in chunky engagement rings with vintage inspirations. “I’m noticing a trend in high polish and chunky yellow gold styles,” Simpkins tells TZR. While Money says, “2022 will see a blast from the past in terms of chunkier styles with twists and curves in warm yellow gold, split-shank designs that curve around the center gem, and thicker bands reminiscent of the ’80s most coveted designs.”
According to Money, halos are another vintage-inspired trend on the rise for 2022. “Standout halo ring designs are prominent in customer purchases, as well as celebrities that have been seen leaning toward a more vintage-inspired look of choosing a colored diamond or gemstone ring with a classic sunburst halo design,” she explains. “This is perhaps tied to the renewed focus on Princess Diana’s style.”
If you subscribe to a less-is-more mentality, Plessner says bands as engagement rings will be big in 2022. “Rather than a focus on a prominent center stone, it’s such a cool and understated way to go,” she says.
Gemstones have been a popular alternative to white diamonds over the past few years, which Plessner and Money say will continue in 2022. “Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires (which come in a zillion colors) hold so much beauty and appeal,” says Plesser. “Over the years, we’ve seen a flowering of desire for color — I expect that only to grow.”
Similarly, Money says, “We are seeing colored diamonds or gemstones gaining significant attention from consumers,” such as sapphires, emeralds, colored diamonds, or other colored gemstones. “Celebrities like Elizabeth Olsen, Kristen Bell, Zoe Saldana, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Blake Lively, and Scarlett Johansson all continue to drive this trend forward by wearing engagement rings with colorful green, pink, yellow, or brown gems.”
“There has been a lot of demand recently for lab-created diamonds, salt and pepper, and Champagne diamonds,” says Simpkins, predicting all three as favored alternatives to traditional white diamonds in 2022.
Accent stones, like rare-cut diamonds, are a popular way to modernize classic diamond shapes and settings, like three-stone engagement rings, which Money predicts will continue into 2022. “Engagement rings with unique diamond accents are seeing a steady rise in popularity,” she says, citing celebrity rings belonging to Paris Hilton, Demi Lovato, and Amal Clooney. In place of round or baguette accent stones which have primarily led the trend, the Brilliant Earth SVP says, “We anticipate customers [leaning] into unique fancy-shaped diamond accents, including curvy pears, ovals, and marquises, to more geometric kite or trapezoid cuts.”
Hidden halos — aka diamonds adorning a ring’s basket — and pavé diamonds on prongs are two more unique accents Money highlights in her 2022 predictions.
For a more-is-more approach to engagement rings in 2022, Money and Simpkins predict a rise in bridal ring stacks. “I’m anticipating a lot of classic-style engagement rings with playful stacking bands,” Simpkins tells TZR.
Money says the distinguishing factor is what drives this trend. “More than ever, brides are concerned with their wedding band being a perfect match to their engagement ring, and as the last year showed us a rise in elongated and fancy-shaped diamonds, we have seen a major moment with contoured rings and ring stacks that pair back to these styles.”
Most classic engagement ring styles are designed to sit flush between straight bands for seamless stacking. But with the predicted rise in elongated fancy-shaped center stones, such as an oval or a marquise, Money says, “a contoured or nested stack is a great option that allows stacking rings to sit flush with the engagement ring.”
Men’s & Unisex Rings
As men’s and unisex jewelry continues to gain momentum, Plessner and Money say the trend extends to engagement rings, predicting a steady continuance for 2022. “We see interest in engagement rings across genders and in ways that are best suited to the shared individuality of the couple,” says Plessner.
“We expect gender-fluid jewelry to increase in popularity in 2022 and for many years to come,” says Money. Classic gold and platinum wedding bands continue to be popular timeless styles, especially for men. However, the Brilliant Earth SVP notes a rise in rings featuring diamonds and gemstones, alternative metals, engraved details, and solitaire center gems. Adding, “Wider and more substantial bands, in particular, seem to be increasingly popular as part of a ring stack or wedding look.”