Traditionally, an engagement ring consists of a precious stone set in a precious metal – the idea of a diamond is a more recent addition to the criteria and has become culturally entrenched, along with the idea that an engagement ring ought to cost two months' salary. The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy, starting a trend among European royalty and aristocracy for diamond engagement rings, although this was only a possibility for the very rich. In 1974 De Beers launched their "A diamond is forever" slogan, which cemented the idea that diamonds signify eternal commitment and ensured that generations would opt for a diamond engagement ring for their beloved.
Time change, however, and the younger generations are eschewing these traditions in favour of something more personal, preferring a ring that is more their taste and style than one which is in a case marked "engagement rings". Budgets are also much tighter nowadays, with many couples preferring to save for a house deposit or to pay off their mortgage earlier than on fancy weddings and expensive jewellery. Here's our top pick of the Amore Argento ring range which will make fantastic modern engagement rings.
Starting with the engagement ring style – a single stone mounted as the centrepiece – we have several pocket friendly options. The Love Me Do ring is a simple, elegant piece which is very versatile and will also work with other rings on the same finger – as an engagement ring will be worn for a long time, it's important that it fits with the wearer's sense of personal style and will complement any other jewellery. The Give You My Heart ring is a little bolder, with a larger cubic as the centrepiece but no other stones down the shoulder as the Love Me Do ring has. This will still work with other rings on the same hand, but it makes more of a statement – perfect for making a good impression at the proposal.
Our Amour ring has a little twist on the setting which gives the ring a modern slightly geometric feel. Cubic zirconia is the main central stone as well as appearing down the shoulders of the ring, making this a little fancier than the Love Me Do ring, but still dainty and pretty. If you like that, but want something bigger than the Dazzle ring is ideal. A large cubic zirconia nestles in a circular silver mount and more stones dazzle down the shoulders. This is a real showstopper and a hard ring to say no to, so if you want to ensure a successful proposal have this little beauty in your pocket.
One aspect of an engagement ring which can affect its appeal is the wearability of it. It's all well and good having a huge diamond like Hollywood stars, but when you've got to do your own laundry and cook your own food this can be a bit impractical, and having to take off your engagement ring for various tasks is often what causes them to go missing. For this reason a channel set style is a good option for a ring which won't catch on anything and which can be work during all tasks. The Everlasting rings and the Always & Forever ring all have this style of setting, where the stones are flush with the surrounding ring. These are practical yet beautiful rings which will be treasured for years to come and worn through whatever life throws your way. The I Love You eternity ring also has this style of setting, so if you're not quite at proposal stage yet but you want something to show your commitment this is ideal.
The row of stones on those rings looks so lovely on the hand that we thought these Cross My Heart rings, one with amethysts and the other with topaz and iolite, would be good candidates for an unconventional engagement ring. The mount style creates little kisses between each stone adding to the romance factor, but they are still delicate enough to wear every day and with other jewellery without detracting any attention from your other pieces.
Finally, this Quirky Blue ring would be a lovely engagement ring. It does tick off the single stone and precious metal mount boxes but with a modern twist. This is a lovely ring which would be ideal for free spirits and people with a bohemian style and there's the added bonus of it being something blue for the wedding day itself.
We have a large selection of rings, so if none of these catch your eye there will be something that does in our collection. Have a look at our site and while you're there why not check out our pearl wedding jewellery for the big day, too.