While diamonds have been touted as the “traditional” engagement ring for many years, the fact is that this “tradition” was established by a diamond company wanting to sell more diamonds! Because of many issues surrounding diamonds, whether it be cost, humanitarian or environmental concerns, many brides are choosing alternative engagement rings. Fortunately, there are many beautiful options available.
Cultured diamonds are diamonds created in a lab, and are available in several different colours. Despite being cultured, they are not going to be any cheaper than natural diamonds, in fact, they will probably be more expensive. Cultured diamonds are a good choice for couples with money to spend, or who have their hearts set on a diamond, but don’t want the ethical or environmental burden of buying a mined diamond.
Moissanite Engagement Rings
Moissanite is a lab-created stone that is found nowhere on earth–it has only been found in meteorites from space. It is several times more brilliant than a diamond, and almost as hard as a diamond. Moissanite also tends to be less expensive than diamonds, making a moissanite engagement ring an excellent choice for couples who want a bit of sparkle without an enormous price tag.
Precious and Semi-Precious Stones
Precious and semi-precious stones are growing more and more popular as choices for an engagement rings. Stones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds and alexandrites can all be seen on the ring fingers of future brides, and are a beautiful and meaningful way for couples to express their personal tastes. Either natural or lab-created stones can be used in these engagement ring settings.
Antique or Recycled Diamonds
Many brides who want a diamond but are concerned about the ethics of it are turning to antique engagement rings. Antique engagement rings can be used in their original settings, or disassembled to create a new ring entirely. Wearing a piece of jewelry from the bride or groom’s family lends the engagement ring even more special significance. For couples without an heirloom in the family, there are jewelers who specialize in repurposing gold, diamonds, and gemstones.
Pearl Engagement Rings
Very traditional and elegant, pearl rings are available in a variety of colors. However, since the pearl is much softer than diamonds or other gemstones, it is much more vulnerable to damage. For this reason, those with pearl engagement rings may want to consider not wearing their ring every day in order to protect it.
No Gemstone At All
Not every woman wants a gemstone in her engagement ring. There are many gorgeous rings without a gemstone setting, from intricately patterned silver rings to rings crafted from wood. Checking local craft markets can give couples an idea of what is available in their immediate area, and has the added bonus of supporting local artisans.