The Effect of Milgrain on Diamond Engagement Rings


The Effect of Milgrain on Diamond Engagement Rings

The Implications of Milgrain in Engagement Ring Settings

Diamond engagement rings have infinitely evolved in the last twenty years, but especially in the last 3-5 years. As diamond settings evolve, many preconceived notions from the past have become outdated. Many facts that may have been accurate 20 years ago are only partially accurate today, and in some cases have become completely obsolete. Among the concepts that were once true is the idea that milgrain is exclusively a design characteristic of antique engagement rings. The truth is that the margin of separation between antique and modern engagement rings has grown thinner. This means that today’s antique and vintage engagement rings contain an abundance of unique, modern and contemporary design elements. And vice versa, a substantial number of today’s modern and contemporary engagement ring settings boast what were once considered antique and vintage characteristics.

Today’s Milgrain Engagement Rings are Found Among Modern & Contemporary Settings

What was once found in antique settings has become a common characteristic among some of the most popular engagement rings in all of the major categories. Consider a classic side stone halo diamond setting, boasting all round cut diamonds. While the antique version of this design would likely contain heavy filigree, heavy milgrain, possibly an artisan shank and so forth, modern halo engagement rings are now frequently produced with light milgrain and sometimes even light filigree, to enhance the effect of the overall design, as well as to emphasize the halo. This brings us to what is arguably the most pivotal role of milgrain in modern engagement ring settings - to accentuate the design. This role is vastly different from the role milgrain plays in antique and vintage engagement rings, in which milgrain and filigree often become the essence of the design, as opposed to being in the background.

The Modern Halo Engagement Ring with Milgrain

When you think of a modern halo engagement ring, what comes to mind? Is there a particular halo shape, gold color, shank design or any other factor that constitutes a modern halo engagement ring in your eyes? This particular round halo setting features a bezel, lined with milgrain, further embellished with five round cut side stone diamonds on each side of the shank. Note that the side stones are also lined with milgrain. Let this halo engagement ring serve as one of countless illustrations of the manner in which milgrain is utilized in modern and even contemporary diamond settings. And even though vintage engagement rings are a spectrum, it is reasonable to argue that this particular setting would not make it anywhere on that spectrum.

The Modern Solitaire Side Stone Diamond Setting with Light Milgrain & Filigree

In previous issues, we discussed the fact that more and more frequently modern solitaire engagement rings are being produced with side stones, to help accentuate the center diamond. In the case of this engagement ring design, nine round cut side stones, set in prong settings, converge on the four prong round brilliant center diamond. Notice that the side stones are lined with milgrain and the sides of the shank boast light filigree. It is not surprising that many buyers and sellers place this engagement ring on the vintage spectrum, and rightfully so. Essentially this diamond setting represents a modern solitaire engagement ring with a light touch of vintage. Even more important is the fact that modern engagement rings with a light touch of vintage are almost at the point of going mainstream, as the demand for this niche of diamond settings continues to remain steady.

Infinity Engagement Rings with Milgrain

The term modern infinity engagement rings is redundant, since infinity settings, a byproduct of split shank engagement rings, have entered our industry in the modern era. For this reason, modern infinity engagement rings are nothing more than a reminder of the novelty of this concept. As such, today’s infinity designs are seeing a consistent use of milgrain, being embedded into various aspects of the infinity itself as well as the lining of the side stones, the halo and other elements of the design. This infinity engagement ring displays a unique characteristic, where the infinity is entrenched in the round halo, as opposed to being on the sides and converging on the halo. Additionally, despite being a modern setting, this design demonstrates a relatively heavy use of milgrain, contained in the lining of the entire infinity, which includes the halo, as well as the lining of the side stones. It is rather rare to see a heavy use of milgrain in modern engagement ring settings, but the milgrain plays a vital role in garnishing all of the aspects of this elaborate design.

Viva La Milgrain - Diamond Engagement Rings Couldn’t Have Done it Without You

The use of milgrain today is deeply rooted in most of the major categories of diamond engagement rings. While vintage and antique engagement rings frequently contain milgrain, it is important to remember that not all engagement rings with milgrain are antique or vintage. The modern era has introduced an overwhelming number of present-day diamond settings with various levels of milgrain, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. If anything, we anticipate the use of milgrain to expand even further, and may even incorporate it into the novel two stone engagement ring design in the foreseeable future. Perhaps the only uncontested variable in this equation is that milgrain is not for everyone. Whether or not it renders a modern, vintage or antique engagement ring design, it simply doesn’t match certain tastes. However, be sure to check out a wide variety of milgrain engagement rings, so that you can make an informed decision.