Diamond Engagement Ring Alternatives: What Are Your Options
Ever since my boyfriend and I have discussed getting married one day, I’ve been dreaming of engagement rings. But I can’t justify the cost of walking around with several thousands of dollars in diamonds on my hand. It’s just not me – I’m a simple kind of girl that hardly wears jewelry. I only began wearing small diamond stud earrings this year after not wearing earrings for over 15 years.
I’ve been entertaining diamond engagement ring alternatives not only because of the cost, but because I want something that is completely unique to me that reminds me of our relationship. And it’s not only me, according to this article by CNN, more brides are choosing non-traditional diamond rings over the standard white diamond counterparts.
I’ve been seriously drooling over the ring above for over a year now. It’s simple, unique, dainty and I love the setting. But I’m not sold on Topaz. And while I think I want something slightly bigger, I don’t want the big cost associated with a big diamond. I can’t justify it – nor can I justify the outlandish cost of a huge wedding, but that’s another post.
Historically speaking, diamonds haven’t been the standard for engagement rings. Over the hundreds of years of history we’ve seen simple bands of gold, thimbles, poesy rings and colored gemstones such as sapphires, rubies or emerald used as engagement rings. The traditional diamond engagement ring isn’t so traditional – it was only made popular around WWII when DeBeers pushed a major marketing campaign with the now famous phrase “A Diamond Is Forever”. But it wasn’t always considered such. Before this campaign, only 10% of engagement rings were diamonds.
So, I began doing research on engagement ring alternatives – what can possibly match the brilliance of a diamond without being a diamond?
Moissanite Engagement Rings
Originating as a meteorite that fell to earth, natural moissanite is now incredibly rare. Mossanite now is a laboratory-created mineral composed of the substance silicon carbide. It is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. As far as hardness, it ranks 9.2-9.25 on the Mohs scale. Making it just under a diamond (which is a 10) and just higher than a sapphire (9), ruby(9) or emerald (7.5-8).
Sapphire Engagement Rings
Ruby Engagement Rings
Rubies are red – the color of love and romance. Rubies fall on the Mohs scale of 9 as well, making them just under diamonds and moissanite and on par with Sapphires. I love the uniqueness of a ruby ring, the pure bright red can’t be mistaken for anything else. The antique style ring above reminds me of my grandmother’s engagement ring.
A bold and fiery ruby takes the center stage, carefully bezel set in 14k white gold. The intricately carved Victorian motifs studded with diamond accents further heighten the allure. A polished band that tapered towards the center finally holds the low and secured mounting, completing the vintage inspired ruby engagement ring
Emerald Engagement Rings
Emeralds are much softer on the Mohs scale ranging from 7.5 to 8, making them not as durable as diamonds, sapphires or rubies. But Emeralds have a certain allure to them, the rich green promises good luck and enhances the well being. It is my favorite cut, and in my opinion the only cut to have if you’re buying an Emerald Ring. At under $500, this engagement ring won’t break your budget either.
I love the meaning behind the trinity knot, which is traditional in Ireland for a man to give to a woman signifying his affection toward her. The trinity knot represents the = three promises of a relationship: to love, honor, and protect. I love how this ring combines the trinity knot design with the symbolism of the claddagh ring which means love, loyalty and friendship. Combined with the emerald heart, it is a beautiful symbolic engagement and wedding ring. Just be sure to wear it the correct way: if you’re engaged it is worn on the left ring finger with the heart facing out. It is reversed with the heart facing in, once you’ve tied the knot.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my alternative engagement rings. I know I’ll still be shopping for the “perfect” ring that will suit us. What will you choose?