I Do Dream Rings

Given that engagement and commitment rings are perennial best-sellers in many stores, this category has no shortage of new designs. While there will be plenty to see at JCK Las Vegas, some manufacturers offer a sneak peek here.

Asian Star

Asian Star Group has been super busy; in the past six months, it has “introduced more than 250 new bridal designs,” according to Erica Wadia, vice president of marketing and corporate communication. This sea of styles also allows buyers to pick and choose parts between rings to make custom ones. Options include hidden halos—“in between the prongs or around the prongs,” she notes—French pavé on shanks and fancy-shape side stones, even lesser-known Cadillac cuts and trapezoids.

Coincidentally, KP Sanghvi has also created 250 new designs—“From high-end trend bridal to mid-range classic styling,” says Jennifer Dressing, senior vice president of merchandising and product development. “We are spending more time on our model execution and the quality of our designs,” she explains.

IDD Luxe will soon unveil engagement ring designs with petite frames, floral motifs, modern channel settings, an updated three-stone series, and more eternity bands. “These designs cater to current demands and showcase elegance and sophistication for modern brides,” observes Brad Campbell, chief partnership officer.

Lab-grown diamonds have driven up demand for larger center stones—up to 5 carats in different shapes. Plus, hidden halos remain a frequent request.

        IDD Luxe

Color, too, plays a role in the engagement category. That’s why Shefi Diamonds has added morganite and aquamarine to its offerings. “Retailers are showing a preference for colored stones in bridal jewelry,” confirms Surbhi Jain, marketing director. Color also allows clients to add a “personalized touch and symbolize emotions while offering an alternative to traditional diamond rings,” says Jain.

Wadia agrees. “The price point [of colored gems] provides participation in the allure of an engagement ring while staying light on the wallet. This is not three months of paychecks!”

The rise of color in bridal is also a trend that Goldstar Jewellery is tracking. For the past three years, Adam Gerber, executive vice president, has watched color “become part of a traditional bridal assortment.”

Not surprisingly, platinum is a popular choice given the high price of gold. It offers a “higher perceived value,” according to Wadia.

Dressing has seen an uptick in demand for it, and in response will soon unveil a new collection of platinum engagement rings. “We went in two directions—classic styling and some more trendy,” she says.

And while personal preferences change over time, so, too, do the mindsets of ring shoppers. Today’s clients do a lot of internet research—they are definitely “more educated,” says Wadia. Many don’t hesitate to buy online either.

Shefi Diamonds

“More and more are buying online as returns are made easy,” she continues. “It’s a matter of which store, or online platform becomes the choice for purchase.”

Those who do seek out brick-and-mortar stores arrive ready to buy because of all the online digging.

“Some 70% are prepared to buy—unlike counterparts a decade ago,” says Campbell. “The sales associate’s role now focuses on identifying the perfect ring based on the customer’s internet research and preferences, simplifying the purchasing process.”