Modern Love: Rings

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive

Tradition: Diamonds, baby

Trends: Conflict-free diamonds (try; gemstones other than diamonds; generational gemstones; design-your-own

Bling is still the thing, but the source of the shine is changing.

Scott Cevasco is a third generation jeweler based in Akron who opened up his second location of Scott's Custom Jewelry in Dublin last January. The shop creates customizes designs for engagement rings.

"My engagement sales have never been stronger than they are now," he said.

Cevasco attributes part of that spike to the desire to save money. When the economy dipped several years ago, the store "saw a huge resurgence of using Grandma's old diamond … it's a lot more practical, a lot more sentimental. They bring the stone to us, and we'll design a ring with it in their style."

Another trend he's seeing is rings with a central stone that is not a diamond. He has customized rings using sapphires, yellow sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

"Colored stones on engagement rings," Cevasco said, "has definitely hit an all time high."

Couples doing this should consider how to best protect a colored gemstone depending on its toughness and hardness. Cevasco recently made an engagement ring using opal, a weaker stone. He set it low into the ring so it would be guarded during daily wear.

"People definitely want what they want," he said. "Just like their tattoos. People spend a lot of time deciding what it is they want to do. It's personal."