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Sparkle Beyond Diamonds

May 1, 2024 (0) Comments

Sparkle Beyond Diamonds

Exploring Alternative Stones for Engagement Rings

Header photo by: Lilly Magnolia Photography

Picking out an engagement ring is such a fun process! Whether you’re looking for yourself so you can pass along tips to your future fiance, or you’re browsing before you pop the question, there are a number of factors to consider, from budget and style to stone choice and longevity.

That’s right: Diamonds aren’t your only option!

More and more, couples are gravitating toward alternative stone options whether it be for budgetary purposes, ethical considerations, or simply aesthetic preference. We chatted with the team at Fink’s Jewelers to get their advice on factors to consider when choosing an alternative stone for an engagement ring.

“Sapphires, ruby, emerald, morganite, and aquamarine are examples of alternatives we have worked on,” explained Craig Barnett, Store Manager at Fink’s Jewelers in Lynchburg. “Some people want something different than the traditional diamond and/or prefer different stone options.”

From vibrant colors to unique symbolism, different stones can offer different representations of everlasting love.

  • Sapphires: Sapphires evoke a sense of royalty (we all remember Princess Diana’s stunning sapphire engagement ring that is now worn by Princess Catherine). Sapphires range in colors from deep blues to vibrant pinks and are renowned for their durability and brilliance.
  • Rubies: Rubies are thought to symbolize love and vitality—a perfect goal as you go into marriage. Rubies exude a fiery charm that is both captivating and meaningful. Whether set in a classic solitaire (single stone) or an intricate design, ruby rings make a bold statement of love and devotion.
  • Emeralds: The rich green hue of an emerald is often thought to symbolize rebirth and renewal, making them a perfect choice for a new chapter in your lives.
  • Morganite: Morganite has such a touch of soft romance. With their delicate pink hues, morganites symbolize love, compassion, and tenderness. These gems add a subtle yet captivating sparkle to your ring, embodying the gentle beauty of your relationship.
  • Aquamarine: Capture the serenity of the ocean with aquamarine engagement rings. Their tranquil blue tones symbolize harmony and peace, perfect for couples who share a deep connection and understanding. Radiating a calming energy, aquamarine rings are a refreshing alternative to traditional choices.

“According to old traditions, wearing aquamarine promises a happy marriage and brings the person who wears it wealth,” noted Barnett.

Of course, according to the Fink’s team, there are other factors to consider beyond aesthetics and symbolism. Namely, durability.

“Stones such as sapphire and ruby are a nine on the hardness scale,” Barnett advised. “[Stones of that durability are] fine for everyday wear. The emerald and aquamarine is a seven to eight. It requires some special attention for wear and cleaning.”

Barnett also advised that different stones require different upkeep—something to consider as you’re shopping for engagement rings.

“For example, an emerald should not be steamed or cleaned by an ultrasonic machine,” he said. “We always recommend getting rings periodically checked. Every six months at a minimum and more if you have bumped the ring or noticed something does not look like it used to.”

As you’re shopping for alternative stones for your engagement ring, consider your lifestyle or the lifestyle of your future fiance. If they work in healthcare, for example, or in an environment where they’re working with harsh chemicals, opt for a stone that is as durable as possible. Those are also factors to consider when selecting a setting—if your betrothed is constantly taking gloves on and off in a healthcare environment, opt for a setting that is free of prongs, like a bezel set, so they don’t have to worry about the stone getting loose over time.

“Any stone can be used as an engagement ring as a symbol of one’s love,” Barnett said. “Choose a stone based on hardness that won’t easily become abraded or chipped. Sometimes it depends on the wearer.”

When exploring alternative stones for your engagement ring, consider not only the aesthetic appeal but also the symbolism that resonates with your relationship. Each gemstone carries its own unique meaning and energy, adding depth and personalization to your ring.

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring. Whether you opt for a traditional diamond or a captivating alternative stone, what truly matters is the love and commitment it represents. Embrace your individuality, celebrate your unique love story, and let your engagement ring sparkle with the beauty of your everlasting bond.