Of course Kourtney Kardashian is on trend with her engagement ring
First they came for our bottoms, then our lips but now the Kardashians are applying their bigger is better philosophy to engagement rings, with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker’s proposal to reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian sealed with an oval-cut diamond, estimated to be worth $US1 million ($1.35 million).
The elongated stone, set on a diamond-accented band, is the latest case of a Kardashian surfing the crest of the Zeitgeist, with Australian jewellers emerging from lockdown facing customers demanding diamonds with greater carat value and rings with custom features.
“In our industry, travel is one of our biggest competitors. So, we are finding with restrictions on travel, people are being a lot more generous when it comes to rings. A lot,” said Irene Deutsch, chief executive at Fairfax & Roberts jewellers.
By saying “yes” to Barker after dating for less than a year and selecting from the enticing oval pile of diamonds, Kardashian is successfully ticking two other trend boxes.
“We’ve all been through a lot with lockdown, and we are noticing that timelines have shifted. We are seeing earlier proposals in a relationship journey and couples are doing something more special than they would have originally planned,” said Joshua Rogers, Fairfax & Roberts’ sales director.
“Oval diamonds have definitely surged in popularity. They stand out by being less conventional than a traditional solitaire cut and elongate the finger in a truly attractive way.”
Actress Blake Lively set the bar high with her 12-carat, pale pink oval-cut diamond from Ryan Reynolds, revealed in 2012 and reportedly costing $US2 million ($2.7 million). Fortunately, for those of us without Hollywood contracts, music royalties and endorsement deals, oval-cut diamonds don’t require a debilitating trip to seven-figure territory.
“You get a much greater impact with an oval-cut for the number of carats. There’s a much larger presentation. We sit at the top end of the market and our clients would be looking at between $12,000 to $14,000 for an oval cut diamond ring. If you can go over $25,000, even better.”
Increasing demands from couples for bigger diamond rings has beloved Australian jeweller Nic Cerrone perplexed, although he is more than happy to help those lucky in love and money to find what they need.
“I have been in this business for 50 years and when I started people would look at half a carat for an engagement ring,” Cerrone said. “Today it’s two carats plus. The poor guys! It’s gone very, very high.”
“It’s the competition, demand and the media that is driving this. A diamond is a memory. You don’t need to look at the size and quality. It’s what you fall in love with. It doesn’t have to be big to be the best.”
Kourtney, are you listening?
It also doesn’t have to be a diamond when it comes to engagement rings. Lars Larsen from Larsen Jewellery has seen an increase in demand for Australian sapphires.
Coloured stones have drifted in and out of popularity since Princess Diana accepted a 12-carat blue Ceylon sapphire engagement ring from Prince Charles in 1981, now worn by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
“There once would have been a mix of Australian and Ceylon sapphires, but now everyone wants to buy Australian sapphires,” Larsen said. “It’s driven by the location and being more ethically produced, which is another important trend. More customers are asking about the carbon footprint of their purchases.”
Fingerprints are right up there with carbon footprints, with some couples focusing on the band of rings rather than stones. “Custom designs are increasingly important and couples are getting their partner’s fingerprint on the outside or inside of the ring to make it truly unique.”
If oval-cuts and fingerprints are not destined for your ring finger, other emerging trends might appeal.
“We are also seeing greater demand for bezel-set stones in engagement rings which really elevates their colour, along with yellow gold bands,” said Rogers from Fairfax & Roberts. “The eighties are back.”
Someone should let Kourtney Kardashian know immediately, so that she can order a Dynasty-era pouffe skirt wedding dress.
By Damien Woolnough
According to Sydney Morning Herald