Celebrity engagement rings: Jewelry designer Neil Lane dishes on designing for the stars

"Years ago, a guy used to buy a ring for a girl without consulting her — those days are over,” says Neil Lane, jewelry designer to the stars.

He's a Hollywood veteran who has been in the business of love and diamonds for more than 20 years.

From Jessica Simpson to Miley Cyrus to Nicole Richie, the Brooklyn-born craftsman has designed every kind of ring imaginable – princess, cushion, square cut, marquise, emerald, you name it – for some of the world’s most glamorous and choosy clients (including many of the rings seen on The Bachelor!).

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Over the years, Neil has noticed a few trends. More than ever, engagement rings are a fashion statement – especially for their celebrity wearers, who always want to be a step ahead of the style curve with a truly “unique” sparkler.

Read more: The best celebrity engagement rings of 2013

“At the end of the day, people just want to have a beautiful ring that feels special. It’s the symbolism of the unity, of the affection, of the love,” says Neil. “It’s a really bonding thing, and I love being a part of it!”

Read on for Neil’s stories behind some of the world's most famous and most photographed engagement rings.

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