South African engagement ring trends are always fun to watch and, for 2023, we’ve got our predictions on what the local market will be snapping up. Katannuta Diamonds has been manufacturing South African engagement rings for 17 years and, because we custom-manufacture every ring for each unique client, it’s easy to see what’s popular based on the enquiries we get and the rings we manufacture most often.
Oval diamonds have been the top-selling fancy shape for the past few years, but we’re starting to see another shape edge up the popularity charts. Sapphires continue to capture South African’s hearts, and an “old-fashioned” metal sneaks back into fashion. Here are our predictions for our 2023 engagement ring top sellers, in no particular order.
Did you know that fancy-shaped diamonds are cheaper than round brilliant diamond cuts? And we’re not talking a few hundred rands, we’re talking thousands of rands (depending on the diamond size and quality, of course). The lower prices are just one of the reasons that oval diamonds have become so popular over the last five years. Pear-shaped diamonds are starting to gain traction again, for the same reasons that oval diamonds have. They’re cheaper than round diamonds and their elongated shape makes them look visually larger for the same carat weight. As is the case with all fancy-shaped diamonds though, don’t just pay attention to the carat weight of your diamond. The length-to-width ratio of your pear-shaped diamond can vary significantly, from shorter, fatter diamonds, to longer, more slender cuts. There are no correct proportions and the shape you prefer does come down to personal choice.
Sapphires are by far the best alternative to diamonds when it comes to engagement rings. Because engagement rings are worn daily and subject to significant wear and tear, you want a hard and durable gemstone. Sapphires fit the bill perfectly and the range in colours makes them exceptionally popular. Parti sapphires are sapphires that show distinct colour zoning within a single gemstone. Yellow and green are the most common colour combinations, but blue and green and blue and yellow are also popular. Other combinations are harder to find but equally stunning, like this blue and orange sapphire we set last year.
Sometimes, all it takes is a slight change in the orientation of a gemstone, or a slight change in the position of the claws, to give a ring a completely new look. Traditionally, fancy-shaped diamonds and gemstones are set with the length of the stone along the length of the finger (you could describe this as a North-South setting if you think of the orientation of a compass). By simply rotating the gemstone so that the length is across the finger, in an East-West orientation, you end up with a contemporary-looking design that will stand out from the crowd. We love this style of setting and have high hopes for it in 2023.
Peacock, and teal, sapphires have been best-sellers in South African engagement rings for the last few years, and we see this trend continuing through 2023. Prices of these gemstones have increased with their popularity, but they are still great value for money and will cost you significantly less than a traditional royal blue sapphire. The intermingling shades of green and blue in these sapphires mean that no two stones are ever the same. Some people prefer more blue shades, and others prefer more green shades. There is no perfect combination – beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
In its natural form, gold is a brassy yellow colour and 18ct yellow gold was always the engagement ring ideal. For the baby boomer generation, yellow gold was a symbol of wealth and opulence. The Gen X crowd, however, started to look at yellow gold as old-fashioned, staid, and boring and its popularity started to decline. The 1990s saw the rise of white gold and platinum as the most popular metal for engagement and wedding rings. Over the last 10 years rose gold has come back into fashion, but through 2021 and 2022 we’ve started seeing more and more enquiries for yellow gold.
Halos with a difference
Halo-style engagement rings have been a hit for as long as anybody can remember and now, discerning women are mixing them up to make more of a statement. A traditional halo engagement ring will feature a central gemstone (diamond or a coloured gem) surrounded by a halo of small diamonds (or other gemstones). These halos mirror the outline of the main gemstone and, if both the centre gem and halo are diamonds, give the appearance of a much larger gemstone. A diamond halo around a coloured gemstone adds contrast and sparkle in addition to giving a larger surface area for the ring. Over the last few years, there has been an upward trend in halos set with mixed-size and shape gemstones. Alternating sizes of round diamonds give a beautiful snowflake or flower shape whilst the incorporation of pears, marquise and baguettes in your halo gives your ring show-stopper appeal.
If you had to ask us what colour has been bubbling under for the last few years and is now poised to become the main attraction for South African engagement rings, it’s green. We’re talking about green in all its hues and tones, from the vivid greens of tsavorite and emerald to the mint and forest greens of sapphire and tourmaline. Many gemstones are green in colour, and emerald, tourmaline and sapphire are perhaps the best known. Tsavorite (green garnet), demantoid garnet, prasiolite (green quartz) and peridot are all semi-precious gems showing varying shades of green.
If you have a green engagement ring in mind for 2023, make sure you choose a gemstone hard and durable enough to be worn daily. Emerald has a hardness of 8 out of 10 on Moh’s hardness scale, but it isn’t a durable gemstone, and can easily get scratched and damaged in an engagement ring. Green sapphire is the best option and whilst green diamonds do exist, they are exceptionally rare and extremely expensive. If you’re open to lab-grown diamonds, they are available in green colours at a fraction of the price of natural green diamonds. Tourmaline is popular in South Africa and comes in beautiful shades of green. Both tsavorite and tourmaline have a hardness of 7 to 7.5, and are relatively durable, but should still be worn with care in an engagement ring.
There you have it – our top 7 engagement ring style predictions for South Africa, 2023. Stay tuned to our Instagram and Facebook pages throughout the year and you’ll see whether we’re right or wrong with our list. And remember, if you’re looking for honest, no-holds-barred advice, an extensive selection of gemstones and world-class engagement ring design and manufacture, look no further than Katannuta Diamonds. Drop us a line via our contact form and let us know how we can help create your dream engagement ring.