When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother's sapphire and diamond ring, it seemed women everywhere took a collective breath, then made haste to their local jewellery store, looking for replicas of the famous piece of jewellery.
The New York Daily News reports that when celebrities get engaged, it means big business for smaller jewellery retailers who create less expensive knock-offs of celebrity engagement rings — minus a carat or three.
Take Miley Cyrus as an example. When fiancé Liam Hemsworth recently presented her with a $250,000 dollar cushion-cut diamond designed by Neil Lane, it took a mere 24 hours for at least one Boston jeweller to produce a replica for just over $3,000.
In Kate Middleton's case, jewellers in Canada anticipated this country's love for British royalty would spur an interest in replicas of her ring, says Helen Faucher, vice president of marketing at Ben Moss Jewellers.
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"That was based mostly on the popularity of Princess Diana and I think everyone knew that when Kate got that ring there was going to be huge demand for that type of styling," she says.
But Kate's sparkling sapphire stunner aside, Ben Moss prefers to pick up on style trends from celebrity engagement rings, rather than create outright replicas. Solitaires have declined in popularity over the years, as pave settings and coloured diamond sales have been on the upswing, says Faucher. Although she points out colour diamonds are less in demand for brides-to-be than they are for general fashion wear.
"If you look at a lot of celebrity engagement rings, they have a large diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds," says Faucher, who also says that pave settings are particularly hot right now. A quick glance at the company's website shows evidence of that trend.
Interestingly enough, it might have been style-setter and fictional character Carrie Bradshaw who sparked the trend towards out-of-the-box engagement rings when she was presented with a black diamond engagement ring from Mr. Big in the second "Sex and the City" movie, says Faucher.
"It definitely raised awareness that there are some great looks out there that didn't include the traditional diamond," she says.
In fact, BlastMagazine.com has compiled a list of the five biggest trends in engagement rings this year and none of them are focused on being solitaires. Yellow and rose gold, emerald cut diamonds, coloured gemstones, micro pave and halo, and vintage glam round out their list of popular trends in rings.
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