Celebrity engagement rings that rock: Lily Collins to Emma Stone

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Emma Stone isn’t the type of gal to announce her engagement with a flashy emerald-cut rock, à la J.Lo. But it still came as a surprise when the actress posed for a low-key engagement announcement — on (now husband) Dave McCary’s Instagram — brandishing a ring not with a diamond in the center but a lustrous white . . . pearl.

“I think it’s a very cool and unique look,” says Scott Udell, vice president of London Jewelers, referring to Stone’s ring, which was created by Tokyo-based jeweler Kataoka. The $4,780 piece does include some small diamonds, forming the brand’s signature snowflake motif around the pearl. But its milky-white center orb is the star.

“That trend is in, but I don’t think the look is for everybody,” says Udell, adding that pearls can be a perilously delicate option for a ring that most women wear every day. (You’ll probably want to take off a piece with a pearl when swimming, working out or sleeping.) But he agrees that Stone’s idiosyncratic choice aligns with trends he’s seen over the past year.

“It’s just more subtle,” he says of the kinds of sparklers nabbing the spotlight since COVID-19 struck. “There’s maybe just a little bit more emotion or content that’s incorporated in [choosing] your engagement ring.”

Forget a diamond as big as the Ritz. Now, brides-to-be are looking for a ring that’s sweet, distinct and deeply personal. 

“I’m seeing more and more people looking for something unique and special, or wanting to design their own ring,” says Lucrezia Buccellati, co-creative director of Buccellati, who in 2014 designed the 100-year-old jeweler’s first line of engagement rings. While her collection does feature diamonds, she also works with clients who want to incorporate, say, a sapphire or ruby as the centerpiece.

“The other day, some customers came in, and [they] wanted a ring with a stone that comes from their country,” she says, adding that she’s happy to oblige. “An engagement ring is an emotional piece that lasts forever and that will be passed down and become an heirloom,” she explains. “There’s a sentimental factor.”

Look no further than Ariana Grande, whose fiancé Dalton Gomez popped the question with an oval diamond set at an angle next to a radiant pearl. Fans immediately noted that the pearl looked similar to the one included on a ring Grande’s “nonna” made for her out of a vintage tie pin worn by the singer’s grandfather — amplifying the emotional depth of the object. 

“It’s a beautiful, unique ring,” says Udell, adding that the oval-shaped diamond really makes the look.

“There’s nothing like a longer stone and the way it looks on the finger,” he explains. “It looks ‘spreadier’ and bigger and just lays really nicely.”

Jasmine Tookes has also been sporting an oval-shaped diamond. The Victoria’s Secret model took to Instagram in October to show off her $250,000 custom Ritani engagement ring, featuring a delicate gold band and the 7-carat jewel with a hidden halo and diamond-enhanced prongs.

“There have been a few celebrities in the past five years that have definitely put ovals on the map,” Udell says. “And it looks like they’re here to stay.”

Another trend Udell has noticed: bezel settings, like Lily Collins’ engagement ring. The one-of-a-kind piece — designed by Collins’ fiancé, director Charlie McDowell, with jeweler Irene Neuwirth — features a rose-cut diamond surrounded by a gold band that lets you see through the diamond. 

The flat rose cut isn’t as sparkly — or popular — as a brilliant or cushion cut, but the vintage design has a nostalgic vibe that’s particularly appealing right now.

“A lot of people are going back to antique vintage engagement rings,” says Buccellati. “That antique look has a lot of romance to it.” 

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