Trendy engagement and wedding rings will come and go, as styles and designs change constantly. Round diamonds will always be in demand, and “Princess Diana” sapphire rings will likely remain popular for decades to come. But, in this era of rapidly changing ideas and internet-inspired creativity, some jewellery designs will never stand the test of time.

Engagement and wedding rings are meant to last a lifetime, but some designs and gemstones are almost guaranteed to leave you disappointed in the long run. Let’s look at some of the most popular trends right now and why you should perhaps think twice before making a purchase.

“Floating diamond” wedding rings

We get it, we do. You want your ring to look as sparkly and diamond studded as possible, without seeing any of the pesky gold settings. “All I want to see is diamonds”, you purr, whilst asking the jeweller to make the claws as small as possible.

The challenge with this approach is that the less gold (or platinum) you use to set your diamonds, the more chance you have of the diamonds falling out or getting damaged. Diamonds, whilst incredibly hard, are still exceptionally brittle and can be chipped or cracked if not properly protected in a setting. One of the most popular wedding ring and eternity ring styles now is the “floating diamond” ring, where round diamonds are set with only one shared claw between them.

Have a look at the ring below (not our ring, it was brought to a colleague for repairs), which shows a single shared (albeit elongated) claw between each diamond. All six diamonds visible on the top of the ring are chipped on the girdles. It’s easy to see why when you look at how exposed the edges of the diamonds are. Not only are the girdles of the diamond susceptible to chipping, but it’s relatively easy for a diamond to fall out.

Floating diamond eternity ring

This trendy “floating” diamond ring is beautiful, but has 6 consecutive chipped diamonds, a result of poor design. Photo: Elna Swanepoel. 

Would you rather have a ring that looks fantastic but where you’re virtually guaranteed to lose or damage multiple diamonds, or would you rather have an equally beautiful ring that will last you much longer?

We recommend having at least two shared claws between each diamond to ensure they are safe in the setting. If possible, a 4-claw setting is an even safer choice.


This ladies’ wedding ring has 4 claws per diamond, ensuring a safe and secure setting for each stone.

Shared claw trendy wedding ring

Moss agate engagement rings

We love that clients are getting more adventurous with their engagement rings, from embracing coloured gemstones like sapphires and experimenting with geometric cut gemstones. Not all gemstones are ideal for engagement rings though. An engagement ring is theoretically worn every day for the rest of your life, so it’s got to be practical in design and set with durable, hard-wearing gemstones.

One trendy engagement ring gemstone that’s gaining popularity now is “Moss agate”. Like “salt and pepper diamonds” and “peacock sapphires”, “moss agate” is more of a marketing term than an actual mineralogical or gemstone name. Agate is a variety of chalcedony, which is, essentially fine-grained silicon dioxide (SiO2)– which you know as quartz.

Quartz is one of the most common minerals on earth and has a hardness of 7 out of 10 on the mineral hardness scale. Moss agate is thus a form of quartz with green dendritic inclusions (that look like moss) formed by trace amounts of iron and chrome. Given that moss agate is relatively soft on the gemstone hardness scale, your moss agate engagement ring has a very high chance of being scratched, chipped, or damaged when you wear it every day.

If you love the look of moss agate, use it for earrings or pendants or, if you must put it in a ring, make sure it’s a ring you’re going to wear only occasionally.

Moss agate gems

Moss agate is a very soft gemstone, best suited to earrings and pendants, but not engagement rings. Source: Alison Giguere, Flickr.

Ring designs with exposed gemstone points

Engagement rings aren’t cheap and, technically, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. So why would you choose a design that doesn’t protect the most valuable part of your ring? There are currently many trendy engagement ring designs where we just know that the gemstone is going to get damaged.

In any gemstone (irrespective of the hardness), the sharp points and angles of the gemstone are the weakest points and must be protected. Think of the point of a pear-cut gemstone, the 4 corners of a princess cut, the points of a marquise cut or a geometric cut like a kite or shield.

Trendy salt and pepper diamond ring

A salt and pepper diamond engagement ring by Katannuta Diamonds. Note how we’ve protected the top and bottom points of the hexagon shaped diamond with double claws.

Each of these sharp points must be protected by a claw or similar setting. Leaving the corners exposed, whilst providing a dramatic and catchy look, is almost guaranteed to result in a chipped or broken gemstone.

Look carefully at the corners of the blue marquise cut gem in this picture. They are not protected by any claws, making them susceptible to chipping and breaking. Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash.

At Katannuta Diamonds, we believe in manufacturing engagement rings and wedding rings that will last a lifetime. Our job is to guide and educate our clients toward the perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality in their rings. Not all jewellers feel the same way and, of course, you’re free to shop wherever you like, but please do bear our lessons in mind when you’re spending your hard-earned cash on your dream ring.

If you’ve got any questions about engagement ring designs, or gemstones you’d like to consider for a ring, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us. We’d hate to see you make an expensive mistake, and we’re here to help.