Although engagement rings have existed for centuries, the tradition has evolved over time. Exchanging rings with one’s betrothed dates back to the Middle Ages, but for a long time, diamond rings were only available to nobility and the upper class. As the production of South African mines increased in the late 19th century, more people with less money were able to hop on the diamond bandwagon.
Following WWI and the onset of the Great Depression, the popularity of diamond engagement rings among Americans plunged. However, in 1938, De Beers launched an advertising campaign to educate the masses around the four C’s (cut, carats, color and clarity) in order to drive sales.
The recommendation that a man pay several months salary wasn’t just marketing. At the time, a woman’s life prospects were dependent upon marriage. An expensive diamond ring provided financial assurance against a broken engagement.
These days, young women don’t have to marry to succeed. Many women out-earn their male partners. The result is that engagement rings have become less an insurance policy against cancelled weddings and more about the bride-to-be’s personality and style. Here are 6 alternatives to the traditional diamond ring that are certain to make a style statement.
1. Morganite & Diamond Halo Cushion Ring in 14k Rose Gold
A close cousin of emerald and aquamarine, morganite takes its soft, feminine color from the presence of manganese in its chemical makeup. Set on a narrow rose gold band and surrounded by diamonds, this morganite stone looks slightly oversized — just like your love.
2. Opal & Diamond Ring in 18k White Gold
In the Middle Ages, opal was believed to bring good luck. If you believe in the power of precious stones, an opal engagement ring should encourage a successful marriage.
3. Oval Ruby & Diamond Halo Ring in 18k White Gold
In ancient China, as well as India, rubies were set below the foundation of buildings to assure solid construction. Bring the same promise of a secure structure to your future home with a ruby engagement ring.
4. Peridot & Diamond Ring in 18k White Gold
You wished upon a shooting star to find true love; choose your engagement ring accordingly. Peridot is one of the few gemstones whose crystals have been found on comets.
5. Emerald & Diamond Ring in 18k White Gold
Believed in ancient times to improve intelligence, memory and eloquence, an emerald ring is a smart choice for the strong, modern woman.
6. Oval Sapphire & Diamond Ring in 18k White Gold
A symbol of truth, sincerity and faithfulness, a sapphire ring tells the world that you are deeply in love and strongly committed.
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