By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Before setting the date and selecting the cake, or shopping for the great white dress, most couples seek that emblem of a husband-to-be’s intentions — the engagement ring.
Marvin Grier is a graduate gemologist with years of study and decades of service to jewelry customers in Etowah County.
When someone selects an engagement ring – the ring most women wear throughout their married life — there are a number of options for women to exercise their preference.
A simple solitaire is always a popular choice among many couples, sometimes embellished with diamond accents along the band of the ring, or in the currently popular halo style.
Grier said halo rings are popular now with all gemstones and in all shapes. The rings feature a central stone surrounded by smaller diamonds.
Estate sale or vintage-looking rings are very popular now, Grier said. He said rose gold is making a comeback of sorts now.
“Rose gold was what we had before yellow gold,” Grier said. It’s common to see rings or other jewelry that incorporated rose gold into its design now.
Curved bands are another popular choice for ring-buyers. Platinum, rather than gold bands became widely popular some years ago, and Grier said a lot of platinum rings still are sold. In the precious metals market — platinum prices have been falling.
Grier said people are interested in diamonds in a variety of colors now — black, chocolate, yellow and others.
While the stone is another color, it is still a diamond, Grier said. And despite any changing trends, diamonds remain the top choice when engagement rings are selected.
“You see some people go with sapphires,” Grier said, and he chalks that up to royal influence.
“Kate (Middleton, Duchess of York) had a sapphire ring,– her mother-in-law Diana’s ring.”
Another trend in jewelry sales involves keeping stones in the family, if not in the same piece of jewelry.
“We sell a lot of semi-mounts,” Grier said, which look like a ring setting that has lost its stone. People can then take a stone from another piece of jewelry — often a piece that’s been handed down in the family — and have it mounted in the semi-mount.
Grier said diamonds are not the end-all of wedding-related bling.
Glencoe Jewelry Sales has a fine selection of pearls, he said, and pearls are a traditional gift for brides.