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updated 8/25/2010 8:59:48 AM ET 2010-08-25T12:59:48

It's a familiar sign: a guy leaning over a glass counter, eyeing endless rows of engagement rings. If you're about to pop the question, don't head to the jewelry store until you know the newest statement-making ring trends.

Ring by K Brunini

Trend #1: Geometric shapes
Get ready for a high-school flashback: Today's trendy rings are all about geometry. From teardrops to sunbursts, part of the allure of these architectural rings is the eye-catching angles. Innovative shapes, like a bezel or halo setting, work double-duty — they create a lot of visual interest and add extra shine.

Image: An eye-shaped diamond ring by Lunessa
The Knot/Lunessa

Trend #2: Nontraditional designs
The standard solitaire will always have its place in engagement-ring fashion, but this season we're seeing more detailed designs. Delicate spiraled bands, sophisticated eye-shaped diamonds, and Etruscan-inspired settings for anyone with an artsy or vintage style. Many of these rings are one-of-a-kind designs, so the look will be solely your own.

Trellis rings by Megan Thorne

Trend #3: Trellis bands
From braids to basket weaves, intricate trellis bands are becoming a popular way to give your ring an elegant level of texture. Whether you choose a diamond-encrusted, chain-link style or let the elaborate metal detailing stand on its own, we love how the look is both classic and complex.

The Knot/Gabriel & Co.

Trend #4: Swirled bands
Ropy, swirled bands are an understated but stylish way to give your ring a custom look. Try a single band or two multicolored strands swirled together, but don't forget the wedding band — if you want to go for the stacked look, consider buying the rings as a set to ensure a perfect fit.

The Knot/Timeless Designs

Trend #5: Split shanks
An increasingly popular alternative to an eternity band, split-shank rings feature a solitaire diamond framed by two track-like bands. The look complements both square and round gems and can be embellished even further with a halo setting and pave stones (tiny, fully cut stones placed close together on a setting) along each band.

Ring by Timeless Designs

Check out wedding dresses, wedding cakes, wedding invitations, wedding hairstyles, wedding flowers, and more on TheKnot.com!

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300+ engagement rings you'll love
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Video: With these rings, TODAY’s couple will wed

  1. Transcript of: With these rings, TODAY’s couple will wed

    MATT LAUER, co-host: We are back and ready to get down to business on TODAY'S WEDDING , MODERN LOVE . Let's put a ring on them. Just a couple of minutes ago we announced the winning couple, Melissa and Jeremy , who are going to get married live on our plaza coming up in just a couple of weeks, September 30th . And now we start with our first vote, the wedding bands . Avril Graham , the executive fashion and beauty editor for Harper's Bazaar , is here with four fantastic choices. Avril , good morning to you. Melissa , good morning to you again.


    LAUER: Jeremy joining us live from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan , which has got to be a real kick for him, kind of surreal I would imagine. Anyway, before we talk about this, are you OK? I mean, have you come to terms with the idea that you're going to have basically no control over this process over the next several weeks?

    Ms. McMILLIN: I'm excited about that. I'm excited to see what other people are going to choose for me. I don't really care, I'm just so happy it's us.

    LAUER: Even when we get down to something like this, what you're going to wear for the rest of your life ?

    Ms. McMILLIN: Yeah. I mean, it's our wedding. Why not?

    LAUER: OK.

    Ms. McMILLIN: We'll go big or go home, so.

    LAUER: All right. That's great. And, Avril , let's talk about -- not only in their situation because this is accelerated.

    Ms. AVRIL GRAHAM: Yes.

    LAUER: Generally speaking, a couple getting married, how quickly or how early do they need to start picking out wedding bands ?

    Ms. GRAHAM: I think you should start picking out wedding bands straight away, as soon as possible. I mean, that's going to be your biggest expense at the end of the day .

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: And it's something you're going to be wearing forever, so you have to get it right.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Yeah.

    Ms. GRAHAM: I thought this was a huge responsibility choosing this for you...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: ... and I really wanted each one to have a story behind each one.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: And our first one that I went with was from a company called Brilliant Earth and they are a very green eco-conscious company. And they wanted to be sure -- they -- well, they do, they -- in their line, make sure that everything is ethically mined, it's recycled platinum. So they ensure that every stage of the jewelry-making is all conflict-free and eco-conscious and absolutely green.

    LAUER: And actually they donate a percentage of their profits each year to causes that are -- that are very great.

    Ms. GRAHAM: To causes, yeah. To the communities in Africa that have been affected by bad mining practices. So that's a really good, you know, great one.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Beautiful.

    LAUER: And we're looking at these. The guy's band is beautiful and the -- and the woman's, the bride's band is a little bit more elaborate.

    Ms. GRAHAM: You'll be able to see this closer up on the Web site and on Facebook , but it's a scrolled vine story, lots of diamonds . Absolutely beautiful .

    LAUER: Next is Neil Lane . This is very popular. He's a very popular guy in Hollywood .

    Ms. GRAHAM: Yeah, absolutely. I'm on this show talking how fabulously he dresses everybody on the red carpet after the big awards seasons. Neil knows about style, he knows about elegance and he dresses, you know, everyone from Barbra Streisand to Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Lopez , all the big names. He's a celebrity jeweler, so it'll be very glittery. It's 116 diamonds ...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Beautiful.

    Ms. GRAHAM: ...set on three sides on this particular band.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    LAUER: Can you see Jeremy wearing that band?

    Ms. GRAHAM: So...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Yes.

    LAUER: ...the guy's band there? Yeah?

    Ms. McMILLIN: I absolutely could.

    LAUER: OK.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Love it.

    Ms. GRAHAM: And it's all designed and individually signed by Neil Lane . So this is a real sparkly celebrity number.

    LAUER: Next you've chosen Diamonds For a Cure . Tell me the story behind this company.

    Ms. GRAHAM: Yes. This was founded by expert goldsmith Neda Behnam , who is a cancer survivor . And she wanted to -- she obviously makes gorgeous jewelry, and in this particular setting we have seven beautiful princess- cut diamonds set in platinum. And even your husband-to-be will have some diamonds in his ring, there's three set in here, too. And she really wanted to let us think about diamonds as -- are precious and so is life.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: And so, again, proceeds of every sale that she ever has from her line go towards a cure for cancer . So again, anyone that's been affected in your family from that disease...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: ...you know that you're giving something back when you're wearing this.

    LAUER: And they have a laser etching of the logo on each piece...

    Ms. GRAHAM: Yes, inside each one, so gorgeous.

    LAUER: ...as a support.

    Ms. GRAHAM: So far, are you excited?

    Ms. McMILLIN: No, they're beautiful . Oh, my gosh.

    LAUER: Now your accent's going to fit perfectly with this next one. Go ahead.

    Ms. GRAHAM: OK. This one has a very royal connection.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: This one is an English brand and they have had a great connection with royalty from -- since Queen Victoria gave them a royal warrant in 1862 , and she had a very sort of long and fabulous marriage to her husband.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: They currently have a warrant from no less than His Royal Highness Prince Charles , Prince of Wales.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Wow.

    LAUER: We haven't said the name of the company yet, it's Asprey .

    Ms. GRAHAM: It's Asprey .

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: It's a very prestigious brand. And incidentally, there's a connection there, too, Prince Harry also, son of Prince Charles , fought in Afghanistan , too...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Oh.

    Ms. GRAHAM: ...so there is a connection. And in this particular one you're going to be getting sapphire and diamonds interspersed throughout the bands.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Beautiful.

    Ms. GRAHAM: So on each of these stories there's something quite interesting behind each of these brands and they're really gorgeous.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm. They're...

    LAUER: And you're not allowed to tell me which is your favorite, that's taboo here during this process, but you're happy with the selections?

    Ms. McMILLIN: They're all beautiful . It's more than I could ever ask for. You did such a good job. They're...

    LAUER: Jeremy , I know there's a big delay to Afghanistan , but have you been able to see any of this? And what do you think?

    Mr. JEREMY GEBHARDT: Yes, I have the printouts right in front of me and they're all absolutely gorgeous. And like you said, they all go for a good cause, so any one of these would be more, like Melissa said, more than I could ever ask for and it also goes out to help other people across the country. So they're all -- they're all beautiful .

    LAUER: He's so easy to get along with. He's really -- he's great. That's terrific.

    Ms. McMILLIN: Easy-going, yes.

    LAUER: Yeah, he is.

    Ms. GRAHAM: I mean, this is something you're going to wear for the rest of your life .

    Ms. McMILLIN: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GRAHAM: You know, possibly giving birth in, everything...

    Ms. McMILLIN: Yeah.

    Ms. GRAHAM: ...you know, all of these things, so it's a big responsibility for us to get this...

    LAUER: You're getting a little ahead of yourself there, Avril .

    Ms. McMILLIN: Yeah, I was like, oh!

    LAUER: Let's get them hitched first, all right?

    Ms. GRAHAM: That's the -- that's the next thing, that's the next thing. But anyway.

    LAUER: All right. Avril , thank you so much for the selections. We appreciate it. Melissa , we can't wait to see you more in the coming weeks, all right?

    Ms. McMILLIN: Thank you. Yes.

    LAUER: Jeremy , you hang in there. We'll see you in a couple of weeks as well. And to vote, you can go to our Web site at todayshow.com and you can vote for the set of wedding bands you want to see Jeremy and Melissa exchange vows on -- in on their wedding day. You can also text in your votes to 622639. Text one for Brilliant Earth , two for Neil Lane , three for Diamonds For a Cure , and four for Asprey . You can also go to facebook.com/todayshow. And don't forget to like us on Facebook to follow our wedding progress. We already have some dedicated staffers checking our page for your comments and votes. We're going to reveal the winning rings next Wednesday. A little later this morning, we're going to check out the latest wedding favor trends. But up next, Nate Berkus shows you how to pick up some great design elements at a local garage sale or even on the curb. But first, this is TODAY on NBC .


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