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".
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.
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.
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
An unpolished platinum band securing a diamond with a tension setting creates a stunningly sleek "floating" effect. Also designed by the Alberta Diamond Exchange.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on the band creates an interesting visual effect that highlights the ring's dazzling diamond. Also designed by Kaleido Jewelry, in Toronto.
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.
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