From big breath-taking stones to the precious metals used to accent them, Canadian jeweller to the stars Mark Lash gives us the scoop on the biggest engagement ring trends of 2011 and tells us why now is the time to invest in a diamond.
SELECTING A STYLE? GO BIG "A lot of people are putting their money into centre stones as opposed to lots of smaller stones," says Lash. "I think this is because our dollar is extremely strong right now. All diamonds are bought in US dollars and no there’s no more excess tax to bring them into the country so diamonds are actually quite reasonable right now compared to a few years ago. People are getting a lot more diamond for their money right now so it’s really an exciting time to buy. I find a lot of people are getting something more substantial than they envisioned or are bumping up the clarity and the colour."
THE CUSHION CUT: A NEW CLASSIC Many people opt for traditional cuts, according to Lash, but there are a few new standout shapes that are gaining momentum. "Round is always very brilliant and timeless," he explains. "I do also see quite a few people asking for rectangular and radiant shapes – they’ve been popular for quite a while now – and the cushion cuts, which have been the shape for the past year are still going strong. I think people like the cushion because it’s sort of a combination between square and round."
YOU CAN AFFORD A COLOURLESS DIAMOND "A lot of our clients are looking for a very white diamond as opposed to something that’s slightly off-white," says Lash. "Colour today isn’t that expensive to buy compared to clarity. You can still get an incredibly beautiful colourless diamond, which would be “D,” “E,” or “F,” for a reasonable price. A lot of my stones are in this colour range and when I show my clients a D colour they say 'oh, but that’s the top colour, I’m fine to have an E or an F.' What they don’t realize is that sometimes it’s only a few hundred dollars a carat difference for an improved colour."
"We’re getting quite a few calls for coloured diamonds right now as well," says Lash. If you're interested in a coloured diamond he recommends going with yellow. "The yellow stones are still fairly affordable because there are a number of different degrees of shades," says Lash.
THE RETURN OF YELLOW GOLD "White gold and platinum are still the number one choices for engagement rings," explains Lash. "Because most of my clients are choosing very white diamonds, the white metal really shows off the stones beautifully." he adds.
"Yellow gold has also made a comeback in a lot of jewellery and we are doing some engagement rings, especially when a yellow diamond is chosen. Often when we make our mountings for the yellow diamonds we’re introducing some yellow gold close to the yellow diamond to enhance the colour or to accent the diamond."
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