When you picture an engagement ring, you probably imagine a silver band with white diamonds. This type of engagement ring has long been the traditional norm but for many couples within the past decade the traditions surrounding engagement rings have become more fluid and colored gemstones, with unique designs, are now becoming more popular.
A lot of jewelers now offer a wider range of engagement rings, with some featuring rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Your engagement ring should be something that makes you happy when you look at it, so it doesn’t need to follow rules or stick to traditions.
Diamonds became synonymous with marriage when Tiffany & Co. created their iconic solitaire engagement ring back in 1886, but unique and non-traditional engagement rings are becoming more popular and, in some instances, are even outperforming traditional diamond rings. Couples are choosing something more colorful, or pieces that are reflective of their own personal style. With that in mind, let’s look at 3 reasons why non-traditional engagement rings are here to stay.
Tastes in gemstones are becoming broader and as a result, both jewelers and consumers are growing more concerned about the social and environmental impacts of engagement rings. Lab-grown, synthetic and conflict-free gemstones, and diamonds are becoming more sought after, with jewelers also looking to emphasize sustainability with their pieces. A lot of jewelers also use recycled gold to further their contribution to their sustainability mission.
The market for vintage and antique engagement rings is growing exponentially, as more and more people are shopping for these types of engagement rings due to the fact that they are more sustainable. Why create the demand for the creation of a new piece of jewelry when there are plenty of beautiful and unique pieces already available?
Engagement rings that are original and bespoke is one of the most modern approaches to jewelry design. Couples don’t always want designs that can be found in any traditional jewelry store, so if they can either buy a second-hand vintage ring or create their own bespoke design, then they likely will.
By using colored gemstones, non-traditional settings, and designs, engagement rings can be highly personal and unique to the couple. Perhaps a certain gemstone symbolizes something meaningful to the couple, for example, emeralds connote fertility and new beginnings, which could be significant to a newly married couple, whilst opals are strongly associated with emotions such as love and passion. Most antique and vintage engagement rings will use a mixture of different stones and gems as opposed to diamonds, meaning that couples will be highly likely to find one that means something special to them, without the need to create demand for a brand new ring.
The unwritten rule of buying an engagement ring is that you need to spend 3 months of your paycheck on the ring. But, did you know that this was actually coined by a marketing strategy by American jewelers De Beers during the great depression to get more people to buy diamond rings as businesses were struggling? At first, just 1 month’s salary was suggested by De Beers, but in the 1980s this then increased to 3 months. However, as so many people believe this to be true, this can then put a lot of financial strain on partners in the run-up to popping the question.
With diamond prices so high in recent years, one of the benefits of buying a non-traditional engagement ring is that the different gems and stones are more fairly priced. Inexpensive alternatives to diamonds typically consist of softer gemstones, such as aquamarines, amethysts, and morganites. However, as these gemstones are beautiful in their own unique right, as they are not as hardwearing as diamonds, they might be more prone to damage over time.
As well as choosing different stones, there are other ways in which you can choose a ring that is more fitting within your budget. From second-hand rings and antique bands to lab-grown diamonds, moissanite, and colored diamonds, there are some alternatives available for all budgets to suit exactly what you are looking for.
There are no rules when it comes to choosing an engagement ring – it is all dependent on your budget and what you are looking for in terms of an engagement ring. Although diamonds are still one of the most popular gemstones for engagement rings, non-traditional engagement rings are becoming more mainstream.
From ethical alternatives to antique investments, there are many alternatives to traditional diamond rings and what matters is that you and your partner love it.
If you’re looking for more pros to diamond ring alternatives, here are some more concluding points:
- Your engagement ring will be unlike anyone else’s and if you choose a gemstone, then it will be both unique and vibrant
- Non-traditional alternatives to diamond rings are usually much less expensive than diamonds
- Diamond alternatives are often steeped in history and can date back hundreds of years, making them a priceless heirloom to inherit
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer with a particular focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living. Whether you’re looking for a new meditation method or some facts on plastic pollution, she’s your girl! When not writing, Natalie can be found heading to the gym or walking her dog. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.