Wedding Ideas

Wedding Ring 101: Modern Engagement Rings

Posted At : July 7, 2009 12:09 PM   |  Posted By : Bridal Network   |  Views: 65,513
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Traditionally, the bands on engagement rings and wedding rings seldom came in colors other than yellow gold. Those brides who didn't particularly like yellow gold rings didn't have to worry too much, though - because traditional engagement rings often placed very little emphasis on the bands, which were often plain, thin, and obscured by scatters of diamonds and other ornate detailing.

Then there's the diamond itself: with traditional engagement rings, it's always front and center and secured by claws, a look seen in such traditional styles as the "Tiffany".

triangular diamond engagement ring

So, What Makes an Engagement Ring "Modern"?

In this context, we're using the word "modern" to describe the style of the ring rather than the era in which its made. Not all rings designed over the last decade are necessarily modern, and many traditional engagement ring styles are considered classics, and still going strong. But engagement rings that can be characterized as modern usually display one or more of the following features.

  • Asymmetry: What happens on one side of the ring doesn't necessarily happen on the other - while one side may feature swirling, unpolished platinum, the other side may be made of an entirely different metal and shaped in an angular design.
  • Clean lines: Although modern engagement rings place more of an emphasis on the band than traditional rings do, the lines of the band are still relatively free of decorative scrolls, filigree, and tiny encrusted diamonds.
  • Thicker and wider bands: Unlike traditional engagement rings that usually feature a band that's very dainty compared to the diamond, modern engagement ring bands are often just as wide if not wider than the diamond(s).
  • White gold, platinum bands: silver-toned metals are the most popular choice for modern engagement rings.
  • Tension settings: In keeping with the minimalism of modern engagement rings, many feature a diamond that is simply clutched on both sides by the band, with no claws to secure its underside or top edges. This is known as a "tension setting".
  • Futuristic design: Does the ring you're looking at sort of remind you of the control center of a spaceship? It's pretty safe to say it's probably modern!

Market Sampler: Modern Engagement Rings in Canada

triangular diamond engagement ring

A triangular diamond embraced in sleek, asymmetrical pieces of 19 k white gold creates an eye-catching, artsy piece. Designed by the Alberta Diamond Exchange.


asymmetrical engagement ring

This ring features the kind of asymmetry that is evocative of modern architecture. Diamonds hidden in unusual spots around the sides of the ring also make it a compelling piece of eye-candy. Designed by Kaleido Jewelry in Toronto

unpolished platinum wedding ring

An unpolished platinum band securing a diamond with a tension setting creates a stunningly sleek "floating" effect. Also designed by the Alberta Diamond Exchange.

princess-cut platinum enagement ring

This platinum, princess cut engagement ring features a swirling-style band that is a bit futuristic without being over the top. Designed by Goldart Jewellery Studio in Ottawa.

double-diamond wedding ring

Although this engagement ring set was custom created by Toronto's 18Karat, they can still re-create the piece to suit any size or style requests. Featured here in 18k white gold, this set displays two princess cut diamonds on the engagement ring and diamond encrusting on the band.

diamond ring

Here we have big, bold proof that modern engagement rings are not without bling! The ring's band parts on both sides of the diamond, encasing it in a rounded, polished setting. Also designed by Toronto's Kaleido Jewelry.

tension-set, industrial-style enagement ring

Another great 18k gold engagement ring by Ottawa designers Goldart Jewellery Studio, features an eye-catching tension setting. The industrial style of the band contrasts so strikingly with the diamond it holds in place that the ring is just as much modern art as it is jewelry.

ultra-modern engagement ring

A combination of both circular and square settings adds an asymmetrical quality to this ultra-modern engagement ring, Meanwhile, the dazzling cut of different-sized diamonds flash like lights on the front grill of a futuristic car. Kaleido Jewelry.

eco-chic engagement & wedding ring

Vancouver Artist, Alisa Nakatsuru designed this engagement ring and band set which features swirling wood designs at the center, creating a modern eco-chic look.

Overlapping-band wedding ring

Overlapping on the band creates an interesting visual effect that highlights the ring's dazzling diamond. Also designed by Kaleido Jewelry, in Toronto.

elaborate diamond rings

Here we have more proof that the sleek design which characterizes the modern engagement ring doesn't necessarily mean it's always lacking in bling. These engagement rings from Toronto's AST Jewellery feature layered square and circle platforms topped with a dazzling diamond at the center and tiny diamonds around the band.

ultra-modern, minimalistic wedding diamond ring

The fact that the diamond featured in this engagement ring is the exact width and shape of the band gives it a streamlined, ultra-modern appearance. This piece is available in 14k gold, 18k gold and platinum at Vancouver's Diamonds West.

Story by G. Melanson

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