Modern weddings are breaking with tradition, with jewellery no longer limited to the bride
Eternity diamond ring and Solitaire diamond ring by Gübelin Jewellery
Diamond necklace by Gübelin Jewellery
Coloured gemstone rings like those in Richline Group's LoveRocks line are redefining traditional bridal sets
The Duchess of Sussex is the picture of elegance with a minimalist look at her wedding (Blueskynet/Shutterstock.com)
Stacking bracelets such as these vermeil options by Monica Vinader are popular gifts for the wedding entourage
Symbolic pieces like Gübelin Jewellery's Premiere diamond ring make good gifts for the mothers of marrying couples
Links of London pitches silver jewellery for bridesmaids
Links of London offers its silver jewellery pieces as gifts for the wedding party
With the onset of June, the traditional wedding season has started. But while “June brides” remain a large part of the collective female consciousness, some of the other traditions usually associated with the big day – jewellery-related ones included – are increasingly holding less sway among younger couples in modern society.
Jewellery for the happy couple, for starters, is evolving. While most brides-to-be still arguably say ‘I do’ to a diamond ring, the promise is also often being sealed with coloured gemstone rings. In some cases, even silver rings with coloured gemstones or synthetic stones have been known to mark engagements.
Wedding rings though remain largely the purview of precious metal, with platinum gaining an edge in certain markets. The Platinum Guild International (PGI), in fact, expects the global wedding market to drive demand for platinum jewellery this year.
In its 2017 Platinum Jewellery Business Review, PGI noted that demand for platinum jewellery with relation to the wedding market grew in China, India, the US and Japan last year. This was attributed mostly to a strong preference for platinum among younger consumers to express love.
According to PGI, platinum has become the dominant precious metal for wedding rings in China. Growth in India is based on PGI’s creating a distinct positioning for platinum versus gold, tapping into modern couples’ desire for jewellery that better represents the bonds of love in a modern relationship between equals. PGI has even introduced a new branded segment, Platinum Evara, a modern platinum jewellery collection gifted to the bride and groom before the wedding day.
In Japan, platinum holds a 92 percent share of the engagement ring market and an 82 percent share of wedding rings. Platinum demand in the US grew by 11 percent amid strong sales in platinum bridal jewellery including engagement rings and wedding bands.
Diamonds and pearls meanwhile are often part of the bride’s ensemble on her wedding day, with jewellers offering a plethora of styles to suit every possible look and personality.
Gübelin Jewellery’s latest creations for commemorating engagements, weddings and other special events in life combine classic and modern elements. The jewellery pieces feature diamonds as these symbolise strength, eternity and beauty, the brand notes. The offerings include a number of variations on the solitaire, including necklaces, rings and earrings with the treasured brilliant cut as well as other cuts and shapes. Also available are Eternity rings lined with diamonds and options for stacking.
Bridal jewellery may also perhaps take a turn for simplicity, on the heels of the elegantly clean and minimalist look of Meghan Markle at the May 19 wedding of the year. The royal bride kept her veil in place with the Queen Mary Bandeau Tiara made of diamonds and platinum. She also wore Galanterie de Cartier white gold and diamond earrings and a Reflection de Cartier diamond bracelet. Cleave and Company produced the couple’s wedding rings – a platinum textured band for Prince Harry and a ring made of rare Welsh gold for the Duchess of Sussex.
In this modern setting though, jewellery is no longer confined to just the bride and the groom. With the wedding party also now partaking, the bridal jewellery segment could ostensibly now be better served by the term "wedding jewellery."
Indeed, jewellery gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents of the couple are increasingly becoming popular. Silver jewellery brands, given their lower price points, are capitalising on this trend. According to the 2017 Silver Jewelry Sales Results retail study by the Silver Promotion Service, bridal party jewellery and gifts for the wedding entourage accounted for 3 percent of silver jewellery demand in the US last year. While still a small proportion of total sales, the fact that this became a separate category last year indicates both its importance and its potential.
Stacking bracelets and rings, coloured gemstone pendant necklaces, stud or dangling earrings make perfect giveaways to members of the wedding party. Monica Vinader’s slim vermeil bracelets fit the bill of delightful tokens to bridesmaids. The current trend for personalisation and engravable items aligns too with wedding party gifts. Links of London’s Narrative and Timeless bracelets and pendants with engravable plates are charming, personal gifts to the ladies in the wedding entourage. Monica Vinader also offers silver friendship bracelets that can be engraved with names and special messages. Groomsmen would likewise appreciate engravable cufflinks and ID bracelets.
Parents of the marrying couple are also increasingly being feted with jewellery. Gübelin’s Premiere ring could be an option for the mothers – the ring has a diamond centre stone and set with a ruby and a sapphire to emphasise the close bonds parents have for their children.