By Brecken Branstrator
Marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamonds are surging in popularity once again, as a new generation of brides give these long-stalled cuts a second look.
Once thought of as the bridal baubles of the older generations, brands are presenting marquises and pear-shaped diamonds so that the consumers of today see them in a new light, combining them with other hot trends like colored stones and halo settings and setting them in an east-west style, meaning they sit on the hand horizontally instead of vertically.
Many of these styles are speaking to the Millennial generation’s interest in finding unique rings that identify their personal style, which has led them from classic round solitaires toward fancy shapes that can show their personality. Both marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamonds are great aspirational diamonds for consumers who might consider themselves more fashion-forward or trendy.
As is the case for many trends in fashion and accessories, celebrities also are pushing these shapes to the forefront, says Stuller’s bridal product manager, Lauren Garvey. Actress Katherine Heigl, fashion designer and singer Victoria Beckham, singer Christina Milian, actress Elisha Cuthbert and many others have rocked the shapes back in recent years, and consumers have noticed.
To cater to the modern bride, Garvey says Stuller is focusing on finding new ways for marquises and pears to be used, including new designs and settings.
“I think the key is that you want to get everyone’s mindset away from solitaire or more ‘boring’ looks to let them know that there are new ways to wear them now,” Garvey tells National Jeweler.
For Stuller, this means combining both marquise and pear diamonds with other popular styles and settings, including adding a halo. They’re using marquise stones in bands and as accents to give a ring a whole new look.
While the demand for marquise-cut diamonds hasn’t picked up quite as much for bridal brand Kirk Kara, customers are clamoring for the pear shapes. For many clients who initially are skeptical about the shape, seeing is believing.
“In many cases, once they see the designs, that’s when they change their mind,” master jeweler Kirk Kara says.
Since color also is hot trend right now, especially when it comes to engagement rings and other bridal accessories, gemstones are popping up as accents to both shapes, in three-stone settings or as accents on the side.
Allison Goodman, director of merchandising at Frederick Goldman says, “Adding a hint of color on the halo or the band or having a colored stone is an easy way to be fashion-forward and unique.”
Another popular way for brands and manufacturers to reinvent the marquise is by playing with how the stone is set. More and more engagement rings have marquise diamonds set in an east-west, or horizontal, fashion rather than the more traditional north-south, or vertical, orientation.
Kwiat says its clients increasingly are looking for these kinds of unique mountings to set them apart.
“As the engagement ring marketplace becomes more and more homogenized and customers are increasingly looking to express their unique style, it’s no wonder that they are looking for ways to enhance their engagement rings with a bit of stylistic flare,” says partner Greg Kwiat.
Brides also are learning more about customization, according to Kwiat. As they realize they can create their own looks, the young people of today are venturing into new shapes. In addition, floral and vintage designs also are trending in bridal jewelry, contributing to the rise of fancy cuts, which pair perfectly with these styles.
For some, though, their diamond resembles those commonly seen in vintage rings because that’s exactly what they are. Zaven Ghanimian, CEO of the Simon G. brand, says they’re seeing a lot of brides with stones that belonged to parents or grandparents, and they want to add their own flare with a new setting and design.
Brands and manufacturers also say baguette diamonds are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, especially as the trend of larger accent stones around the center diamonds continues to swell.
“We’ve got a whole collection based on baguette diamonds, which are trending in clean and contemporary designs,” Ghanimian says.