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luxury lessons: how to find the perfect engagement ring

Thinking about popping the question?  You aren’t alone – ‘tis the season to get engaged. You read that right, dear reader: December through Valentine’s Day has officially become known as engagement season. We asked our Style Council to share their insights on how to find the perfect engagement ring. Even if it’s just to dream a little dream, why not have a look at the height of luxury?

december is the month for marriage proposals

According to a survey conducted in 2017, December is the most popular time for proposals, with 40% of all marriage proposals take place between December 1 and  and February 14. The week of Christmas is especially popular.

And it makes sense, right? Family and friends are often already gathered to celebrate, so why not add something even more sparkling to the celebration?  It certainly makes for a holiday that won’t soon be forgotten.

The basics of diamonds and engagement rings are readily available online. For convenience, here’s a chart that summarizes most of what you need to know.

The “4 C’s” of diamonds

Once you’ve mastered those basics, though, then what? For starters, have a look at what the very highest-priced engagement rings look like. Maybe you’ll buy one. Or perhaps you’ll just use them for inspiration.

To get you started, and just in time for peak engagement season, we’ve rounded up the most iconic and luxurious brands specializing in jaw-dropping engagement rings.

With everything from square cut to pear shaped, there’s something for every couple in luxury diamond land.

best luxury brands for engagement rings

Tiffany’s.

The home of the little blue box is arguably one of the most famous jewelry brands when it comes to engagement rings. It’s a classic for a reason. Tiffany & Co. is responsible for the most commonly used engagement ring setting: a solitaire diamond held in place with six equidistant metal prongs called the Tiffany Setting (from $12,999).

The Tiffany Setting in Platinum

This simple and classic style allows the maximum amount of light into the diamond, while still keeping it securely in place.

You can never go wrong with something classic, but if you think your intended would like something with a little more sparkle, consider the Tiffany’s Pavé Setting (from $29,300). It features the classic 6-prong setting, with a striking pave band to match.

The Tiffany’s Pave Setting in Platinum

Cartier.

An engagement ring from Cartier is the epitome of luxury, thanks to a long-standing connection to royalty and celebrities. They include the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) and King Edward VII, who commissioned 27 tiaras from the house for his coronation in 1902.

The brand’s 1895 Solitaire Engagement Ring Collection honors timeless designs that have been a mainstay in the business for centuries.

Cartier 1895 Solitaire Ring in Platinum

However, Cartier also offers contemporary designs, like the Trinity Ruban Solitaire (price upon request).

The Cartier Trinity Ruban Solitaire in Platinum

Harry Winston.

Since 1949, when Marilyn Monroe sang the famous words “Talk to me, Harry, Winston, tell me all about it” in Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, Harry Winston has been a mainstay when it comes to engagement rings.

If by chance you can’t spring for the brand’s newest $50 million acquisition, the Pink Legacy Diamond, your soon-to-be best friend could be the Classic Winston Emerald Ring with Tapered Baguette Side Stones ($23,400).

Harry Winston Classic Emerald Cut

Or  dare to be different, and opt for the Classic Winston Emerald-Cut Emerald Ring (price upon request).

Winston Classic Emerald Cut Emerald

Bvlgari. 

No luxury list could be complete without the red carpet mainstay Bvlgari.  And if you and your future spouse count conflict-free as one of the qualifying credentials for your diamond, look no further. This brand takes all things regarding sustainability seriously.

Given the brand’s Italian heritage, Bulgari has named one its most popular engagement ring styles Dedicata a Venezia (price upon request), after the country’s most romantic city.

Bvlgari’s Dedicata a Venezia in Platinum

Another brand favorite is the Bulgari Griffe (price upon request) with a center princess cut diamond and two side diamonds.

Chopard.

Swiss brand Chopard has achieved its fame by making ladies’ timepieces – many of which feature a free-floating diamond. The brand’s Happy Diamond Collection contains unique engagement rings like the Happy Spirit Ring ($14,100). It features the same floating diamond style as the iconic watches.

Chopard Happy Spirit Ring in 18K White Gold

However, if you’re looking for something a little more classic, the Chopard For Ever Rings collection ($4,210 and up) offers platinum bands with anything from a round diamond solitaire to a less traditionally-cut diamond.

The Chopard For Ever Ring

Graff.

Like Cartier, Graff counts many of the world’s royalty among its customers. It’s client list includes Princess Charlene of Monaco.  Top picks include the namesake Laurence Graff Signature Round Brilliant Cut (price upon request) and the signature parted pavé band styling of the Legacy Collection (price upon request).

Laurence Graff Signature Diamond

Graff also crafts bespoke diamond engagement and wedding rings for interested customers. It helps to have the budget of a princess, of course.

Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef & Arpels is the jeweler behind some of the most significant style icons in history. Think Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.

If you’re in search of a bauble fit for a empress, consider the brand’s Perlée Solitaire ($3,650 and up). It’s an emblematic example of the maison’s creations, with its feminine beaded contour.

Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Solitaire

Alternatively, if something classic is more your style, the Couture Solitaire ($8,200 and up) evokes the elegance of vintage French couture.

The Van Cleef & Arpels Couture Solitaire

De Beers.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include this iconic brand on our list. After all, DeBeers is the reason why diamond engagement rings are A Thing. While the tradition of wearing wedding or engagement rings existed long before De Beers did,it wasn’t until the brand launched the marketing campaign “Diamonds are forever.” 

And with that the De Beers Classic Solitaire (price upon request) forever cemented its place in history.

The DeBeers Classic Pave Solitaire

Jessica McCormack

If you or your intended have creative visions that you want to see rendered in a unique way, you might also consider a trip to the chic London townhouse of Jessica McCormack. Her collections are stunning. And she also works with clients to design bespoke rings that express their dreams.

The Jessica McCormack Bridal Collection “Wide at the Hips” Ring

Now that you know where to go for the ring, you’ll have to decide where and when to propose.  For sure, the first question after seeing the ring will be “How did he/she propose?”  Happy planning!

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