How Engagement Ring Preferences Stack Up Across The World

We asked brands in five key countries to share what’s selling.

viltier white diamond engagement ring
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Fact: Any place where people are falling in love and getting married generally has a healthy demand for engagement rings. The exact styles couples are shopping for, however, is an ever-evolving proposition, and greatly varies across the globe. And according to jewelers from around the world, local trends have a whole lot to do with cultural perspective as well as a region’s general approach to fashion.

Here in the United States, for instance, brides-to-be often seek out a sparkler that aligns with our population’s relaxed approach to getting dressed. “Primarily, people are looking for jewelry that can take them from day to night, and are looking for less ‘heavy duty’ pieces that you have to wait until a special occasion to put on,” Michaela Kesselman, vice president of Jewelry at Wempe US, tells TZR. “Similarly, they want an engagement ring they can wear everyday and will complement their lifestyle.”

But travel a little further south to Brazil, and you’ll find a customer base far more invested in buying a piece that reflects the nation’s firmly established conventions. “Brazil is filled with extraordinary ethnic and cultural richness, but beneath this diversity, there's a strong traditionalist streak, heavily influenced by European trends and Catholicism,” notes Graziela Kaufman, whose self-named jewelry line offers timeless elements and vibrant, can’t-find-it-anywhere-else pieces. She says that many of her clients lean toward options that can be passed down through several generations.

Of course, there are some cuts and settings that are internationally beloved. Solitaire rings are cited as a bestseller by Kaufman as well as Hamilton Jewelers Vice President Anne Russell, who counts Princeton, NJ and Palm Beach, FL as the company’s key markets. United Arab Emirates-based FYNE founder Aya Ahmad has also found success with the simple, yet striking, design. “Because it’s such a traditional and classic statement ring, it will never go out of style,” she says.

Ahead, we’ve compiled more insights from these brands and a few others from five countries with influential jewelry markets. Keep scrolling to see how engagement rings are selling both close to home and all around the earth.

USA: The Midas Touch

Both Kesselman and Russell share that American shoppers seem to be moving toward designs made from yellow diamonds and warm gold versus colorless stones and platinum or white gold. Hamilton Jewelers also has seen an uptick in the sale of “fancy” shape engagement rings — think cushion or oval cut versus round — as well as designs that can be paired with future meaningful purchases. “Some brides really love to stack, marking a significant moment such as the birth of a child, a career move, etc. with a new ring,” explains Russell. “So we’re also seeing a trend in buying a diamond eternity band and wearing it for both engagement and wedding ring purposes.”

France: A Quality-First Mindset

Design, detail, and craftsmanship play important roles in choosing an engagement ring in the French market,” Viltier co-founders Iris de la Villardiere and Thomas Montier Leboucher tell TZR. “We focus less on solitaire designs, as the stone does not reside at the forefront of the decision but rather the overall look of the ring.” These days, said look tends to be something in yellow gold with vintage-inspired touches. “Engagement rings are often passed down through generations in our market, and if they are not, people still want to create the same [heirloom] feel.” It’s hardly surprising, then, that they’ve found enduringly elegant emerald cut and art deco designs to be popular choices — regardless of passing trends.

Brazil: Art Imitating Life

Although classic silhouettes are always in demand, Kaufman has also been noting a proclivity toward rings with multiple gemstones and customized details that reflect a couple’s unique love story. “An example of this would be including a hand holding roses in the ring's design, especially if roses are the bride's favorite flower,” she explains. “This surrealistic trend not only adds an element of fantasy and creativity to the jewelry market but also allows couples to express their uniqueness and history in a meaningful way through a piece of jewelry that will be appreciated for a lifetime.”

Australia: Socially-Conscious Choices

Aussies, in general, are known for their laidback approach to living — and Melbourne-based jeweler Seb Brown confirms that their attitude toward jewelry is no different. “Most people are happy to mix and match metals, stone types and styles,” he says. “Also you need to be able to swim in the ocean in your jewels!” Lately, he’s clocked an uptick in sales of engagement rings featuring champagne and cognac diamonds (which have soft golden undertones and a rich brown color, respectively) as well as an increased awareness around the sourcing of stones. “Customers are becoming a lot more interested in the provenance of stones and the social impact of mining,” Brown says, adding that his shoppers down under prefer less traditional pieces in general. “The 6-claw, 1.00ct diamond engagement ring is becoming less and less popular… [but] Australian parti sapphires are a perennial favorite of the Aussie customer.”

United Arab Emirates: The Bold & Beautiful

Ahmad says that the average UAE engagement ring shopper is looking for something that’s anything but ordinary. They often opt for bespoke options with a personalized touch over a straight-from-the-case design, with art-deco and East-to-West styles standing out as repeat requests. “Couples also usually choose and design their rings together or the bride selects it herself,” she continues. “I like that there is a sense of female independence when selecting rings here – they know what they want!”

FYNE, which works exclusively with lab grown diamonds, has also seen increased local interest in this alternative route in recent years. “I see a lot of couples making the shift towards lab grown diamond rings because there is more of a value proposition for them,” she explains. “That way they can buy a larger and better quality diamond at a more accessible price point.”