Elegant engagement

Wedding Planning

Engagement rings are as unique as the couples who are betrothed. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind expression, with today’s design choices more brilliant than ever, from elegantly simple, to bold and prominent.

Maybe it’s a colored gemstone or heirloom piece you want custom made. Taste, and often trend, emerge to help select your perfect band. The left ring finger has traditionally adorned the handsome jewel, as along this finger runs the vena amoris, or vein of love, flowing directly to the heart.

In recent years social media has had a heavy impact on engagement-ring styles. Instagram’s presence is shaking up and transforming the engagement-ring market, insider.com says. Couples can follow brands and trends, ultimately finding jewelers to make their dream ring a reality. Andrea Bragg, owner of Forsythe Jewelers in The Shops at Sea Pines Center, says, “Today’s trends seem to be driven by different influencers on social media.”


Young people are looking for a more prominent solitaire and will sometimes complement that stone with halos on the side(s).

Halos are a ring, or other designs of gemstones surrounding the center piece: some looks are more outstanding than others.

“We are having more requests, like the styles that were popular when I got engaged 30 years ago, like the yellow gold mountings with solitaires,” says Bragg. “They are planning their budget more for the diamond than the mounting.”

Yellow is certainly trending. A ringspro.com survey found 60% of jewelers mentioned that yellow gold is the preferred choice. Platinum was second. Round, oval and radiant cuts are among their most popular inquiries.

The Knot 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study, which surveyed more than 5,000 recently engaged couples, found oval engagement rings are growing in popularity.


Jennifer Lance, owner of Heritage Fine Jewelry at Shelter Cove Towne Centre along with her two brothers, has seen engagement ring trends ebb and flow throughout the years.

“Fancy-shaped stones like the oval, pear and marquis are pretty popular right now,” says Lance. “The settings have become a little less ornate, often with just a solitaire band.”

She too believes a return to yellow gold is again emerging, and says individualized requests are gladly received. “People often want small details in their settings,” she says. “But the diamond itself now seems to be the focal point.”

She finds colored diamonds are not typically requested for engagement rings, but more often desired for anniversaries or second marriages.


Family rings are full of sentimental value and are often a ring favorite. A tip from Southernliving.com: Special meaning isn’t just tied to a traditional ring; necklaces and earrings can also be turned into an engagement ring.

CONSIDER COST The cost of engagement rings varies, but the average is about $6,000. The factors that might affect price include the Four C’s: cut, carat, color and clarity.

The Knot had a survey that found the average cost of an engagement ring in the South was $5,300. Business Insider said the average ring in South Carolina is $7,874; but overall, rings can start around $1,500-$2,000. Part-time resident, Jake Plowman, 22, and his soon-tobe fiancée Helaina Imhoff, plan to work as a team in their search.

“We will probably go together,” says Plowman. “I’m not sure of exactly what she would want, so it would benefit us to see different diamond cuts in person.” Imhoff agrees: “It would be helpful for the jeweler to point out popular styles and help us determine the final look.”

Current supply-chain issues and shipping expenses impact the overall cost of purchasing this forever symbol. “The demand for luxury goods like engagement rings, since Covid, has boomed,” says Bragg. “People decide that they didn’t want to wait until next year to show that person they love that they want to be with them forever.”