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2 years, 2 months ago  |  Get Dressed

Put a Ring on It #GS

By Gretta Monahan

One of the biggest question-popping holidays is coming up, and fast. (Need I mention the pull that Valentine’s Day has on wedding engagements?)

But before anyone says “I do” too fast, let’s take a moment to pause to explore the ring options. Of course there’s the classic diamond solitaire ring — always a strong, solid choice. But these days, just as more couples are choosing a ring together (it’s the safest way to make sure you get exactly what you want), the classic diamond is no longer the only way to go. From unexpected metals and stones to designs ranging from ornate vintage to cutting-edge cool, the only rule that truly matters is that you love it enough to wear it every day for the rest of your life. Here are a few of my nontraditional favorites.

Antique rings are an easy way to guarantee your ring won’t be the same as everyone else’s, and will have a unique charm. Some of the best quality are those made before 1950 (some jewelers call them “vintage engagement rings”), and many come with intricate details like beautiful filigree on Edwardian-era or art deco designs. You can find them at antique stores, jewelers, estate sales, pawn shops and online.

For more modern tastes, upscale jewelers such as Cartier and Tiffany give the classic round engagement stone a fresh makeover in a bezel setting. Tiffany does one with a gorgeous pink center diamond, surrounded by a sprinkling of alternating white and pink diamonds. Lovers of David Yurman’s signature cable design will oooh and ahh over his champagne citrine and diamond ring in gold — two bands of cable swirling around a cushion-cut gemstone. The style is highly modern, but also incredibly delicate.

Considered the blueblood engagement setting of choice (a la Princess Diana and Kate Middleton), the oval sapphire surrounded by a cluster of diamonds is a great choice if you’re looking to stay in the classic realm but depart from the traditional center diamond.