You know the saying: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. But we disagree, and so do a growing number of jewellery lovers.
The traditional solitaire diamond is falling out of fancy with modern couples. This is especially true among those who value a more ethical approach or who don’t feel the need to play by others’ rules.
My custom jewellery consults often start with a customer saying, “I don’t wear a lot of jewellery and I’m not interested in any of the designs I’ve seen in shops. What kind of engagement ring should I choose?”
If this sounds like you, here’s why an untraditional engagement ring might be the right choice.
5 reasons to consider an alternative engagement ring
1. You’ll get more bling for your buck
We all know that diamonds are pricey. This means you may need to fork out more cash for the diamond you want, or compromise on the design of your dream ring so it fits into your budget. However there are alternative gems to consider that give you a bigger stone for your money.
Sapphires, for example, come in a range of colours including blues, pinks, oranges, yellows, whites and greens, and are a great choice as a diamond alternative. They are one of the hardest mined gems in the world (second only to diamonds) and are highly suitable for long-term wear.
Other non-diamond stones to consider are moissanite (a durable, lab created gem with even more brilliance than a diamond), salt and pepper diamonds and spinel.
If diamonds are still your go-to, lab grown diamonds offer a more budget-friendly alternative. Here are a few things to consider when choosing between a mined and lab created diamond.
2. Your diamond could be dodgy
Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie, Blood Diamond, shone a light on the ugly truth of “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds”, which are diamonds mined in areas controlled by rebel forces and sold to fund wars.
Fortunately, we now have the Kimberley Process, which certifies rough diamonds as “conflict-free” (stones that do not finance insurgencies). However the Kimberley Process doesn’t cover ethical mining and working conditions nor the use of child labour. It’s also possible for conflict diamonds to be smuggled into the legitimate supply chain, where they are then indistinguishable from diamonds from legitimate sources.
If getting an ethically sourced gem is important to you, consider sapphires obtained via small-scale mining, sustainability-rated diamonds or diamonds that are traceable right to the source.
3. You can go bright and bold
Bespoke and original is the modern approach to jewellery design. Alternative couples are now looking for designs they’re not going to find in their local shopping centre. I work with plenty of customers who say they can’t find jewellery that they like anywhere. If this sounds like you, you are the perfect candidate for a custom engagement ring that is tailored to your personality – quirks and all!
4. You can be even more romantic
An engagement ring is an opportunity to create a piece of jewellery that is intensely meaningful and symbolic. Trends fade. Your story as a couple doesn’t. So why not incorporate that story into an engagement ring that is customised to you?
It could be a subtle symbol or birthstone that holds special significance. Or it could be something hidden so it’s your little secret as a couple.
The Fish Ring, for example, looks like a standard ring from the top, but it turns into an adorable fish with a diamond eye when you look at it from the side!
5. You can tailor it to your lifestyle
High settings and diamonds held in claws don’t suit everyone. Remember, you’ll wear this ring every day for the rest of your life. A bespoke engagement ring offers the opportunity to create a ring that matches your lifestyle.
Think about the clothes you wear and how you spend your time. If you’re outdoorsy or work with your hands, choose a low profile ring where the gem is protected.
If you prefer bold colours, neutrals or – like Wednesday – are allergic to colour, think about a design that feels cohesive with your wardrobe. After all, this is the one ring you might wear for the rest of your life.
What are the most popular non-traditional engagement rings?
Customers who want a ring that fits in with their personality (and often their values) frequently choose one of the following:
- Rustic or salt and pepper diamonds with interesting inclusions and features
- Black diamonds for a bold look that is the antithesis of everything a traditional engagement ring stands for
- Sustainability-rated lab created diamonds that have the durability and sparkle of mined diamonds, without the ethical implications related to mining
- Sapphire engagement rings in a plethora of beautiful shades, including gems that change colour in different lights, or have multiple colours in one stone
- Moissanite, a lab created gem that is even more sparkly than diamonds
- Tourmaline, spinel, aquamarine or morganite engagement rings for unique colours and a splash of individuality
Keep in mind that there may be pros and cons with each option. Choosing the perfect engagement ring for you is a highly personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer, as long as the decision is an informed choice.
If you have any questions about whether a particular gemstone, design or colour is right for you, send a message and I’d be happy to help.
Want to chat about a non-traditional engagement ring?
I am a big fan of what I call “rule-breaking, story-making jewellery“. What does this mean? Well, first of all, it isn’t about flaunting a flashy diamond or choosing something generic out of a chain store window.
Creating a rule-breaking, story-making piece is about exploring what makes you “you”, and using that to design something so personalised, it couldn’t have been made for anyone else.