Did you know that engagement ring simulators exist online where you can design your perfect diamond ring and then even see it on your finger? If you did know that this exists... welcome home, this is a safe space. In 2022, an overwhelming 80% of engagement ring sales had a diamond as their prominent center stone. But let's not so quickly discount the other 20% of rings that feature other precious and semi-precious stones. Let's take a look at a few alternatives to diamonds, in case you're looking for a new best friend.
What is moissanite? It’s a lab-created stone that does not need to be mined and offers beautiful quality and aesthetic with minimal environmental impact. The Moissanite gemstone is named for French scientist Henri Moissan and although he thought he had discovered diamonds, what he really found were crystals composed of silicon carbide. While a diamond is a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, Moissanite stones clock in at a 9.25 so they are still suitable for every day wear. Not only are they are more eco-conscious choice when compared to a natural diamond, but they can also be dramatically lower in price. A moissanite stone can cost about one-tenth of a natural diamond of equal size and quality.
It may have been a minute, but Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring really sparked a trend a number of years ago. The demand increased for engagement rings to forgo the typical diamond sparkler and many imitation royal rings started to become increasingly popular. Kate's ring consists of a stunning 12-carat oval sapphire with a halo of surrounding diamonds. This may not be entirely feasible for all of us, but retailers like Local Eclectic carry independent jewelry brands with one-of-a kind pieces that will make you feel like you, yourself, are a duchess. Whether it’s a sapphire or an emerald or ruby, the possibilities of a precious stone engagement ring are endless.
Speaking of Kate Middleton.. Not only is her engagement ring a non-diamond stunner, but it is also a family heirloom. Her engagement ring once belonged to the late Princess Diana, which makes it a lovely way to honor a legacy. Jewelry that is passed down is yet another option that does not rely on being "traditional." While we know that not everyone has a ring sitting dormant for them, the idea of a “something borrowed” becoming a “forever borrowed” is a beautiful sentiment that can speak to how a couple got to where they are today.
One of my personal favorite ways to express personality through jewelry is to rely on those tried and true birthstones. Maybe it was the display of birthstone-related jewelry that dominated the 1990s, but there's something intimate and personal about wearing a stone that was meant just for you. Birthstones are usually a less expensive option when compared to a traditional diamond (sorry friends, unless you're born in April) and a fantastic way to celebrate both your birth month and your engagement.
Whether you wear a solitaire or a band, an aquamarine or a pearl, the way you choose to show your love and happiness is expressly up to you.