If you're looking to pop the question this year, then you may be interested in hearing all about the year's hottest engagement ring trends, just in case they can make your proposal a little bit easier.
We asked Laura Lambert, Founder & CEO of Fenton & Co - which specialises in unique and responsible rings - to share her insights.
Colourful Engagement Rings
'People are becoming more confident about expressing themselves and their emotions using colour and non-diamond centre stones to steer away from tradition and write their own love stories,' Laura says.
So it's worth thinking about investing in coloured gemstone rings, offering an alternative to diamonds, for example rubies, sapphires (blue, pink, yellow), aquamarines and garnets.
Vintage Oval Big Pink Sapphire Platinum, £3,950
Celebrity-Inspired Engagement Rings (e.g. Kate Middleton's/Diana's ring)
Laura says, 'iconic styles from the past continue to inspire future jewellery trends. Engagement rings are no fashion item, they're a modern heirloom and we love crafting pieces that we know will stand the test of time in every way'.
Vintage Oval Blue Sapphire Platinum, £2,750
Look out for Fenton's The Star ring on Jan 27th - a gemstone of your choice is set in a halo of starry diamonds (main picture).
Symbolic of your relationship's past, present & future, three-stone rings are one of the major engagement ring trends for 2021. Two perfectly matched diamonds are selected to flank and complement the centre stone - tripling the sparkle, for a truly notable ring. A vintage style that was made popular recently by Meghan Markle and 'can be used for engagement or for any momentous occasion or celebration'.
Trilogy Aquamarine Oval 18kt-Yellow-Gold Original - 8x6, £2,100
Personalised engagement rings
'Customers are becoming more educated about their products and choices and want to add meaning to every level of the engagement process from choosing the centre stone, to the metal colour, to adding a special secret engraving inside the band,' Laura says (Fenton offers over 5,000 ring possibilities).
Sustainable engagement rings
Laura says, 'We've all seen this year that conscious consumption is something that each of us have to be increasingly aware of, for ourselves and for future generations. We are committed to creating pieces in a responsible and sustainable environment and being open and honest with our customers'.
Remote try-ons (digital only)
With the pandemic, more and more people are turning to social media to shop for engagement rings, with 60% of new customers get in touch via Instagram DM, FB messenger or Whatsapp, and 75% of Fenton's sales last year were virtual.
Laura explains, 'our team have done everything they can to adapt to the challenging circumstances and still make shopping for an engagement ring or special purchase feel celebratory. Virtual appointments have been a great way to keep that personal touch under lockdown and we will keep offering them to anyone who wants going forwards.'
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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