When the Only Sure Descriptor of Jewelry Is Love


The shift toward personalized rings actually began before the pandemic, especially among millennials and Generation Z couples. But lockdowns and small ceremonies accelerated the change, Ms. Roberts of Euromonitor said. And although rules regarding gatherings have begun to ease in some places — weddings in England, for example, now allow up to 30 guests — many weddings are smaller than they might have been a few years ago, and are likely to remain so.

“I think what lockdown has done is just opened brides’ and grooms’ minds to, actually, weddings don’t have to be traditional,” said Hollie Harding, a buyer who oversees the selection for the London retailer Browns in several categories, including jewelry and accessories. “They can be what you want them to be.”

Early last year, Browns added a range of fashion-forward bridal options, many of which were not designed specifically as bridal wear but could be worn that way. Along with the white minidresses and lime green leather mules were jewelry like Spinelli Kilcollin’s cluster of bands, bound together with small loops. That brand, based in Los Angeles, offers many options; one variation, with a diamond-pavé ring in the mix, retails for about $5,000.

Engagement rings, in particular, have been moving beyond the traditional, with some couples choosing signets. Rachel Entwistle, in the London neighborhood of Shoreditch, sells custom versions, detailed with black diamonds or sapphires. Browns has them, too, from brands like Foundrae and Yvonne Léon. And Twist, a retailer with stores in Seattle and Portland, Ore., sells a slender matte-finish gold signet with a half-carat diamond by the Tokyo-based jeweler Shihara ($7,220).

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