They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and that has always been true about engagement rings. But why not break with tradition and be a little more creative when it comes to choosing an engagement ring.
We’ve come up with some ideas to change things up.
The history of the engagement ring
The giving of a ring to mark an engagement has been around since toman times. However, back then, an engagement ring wasn’t a mark or true love or respect but to signify ownership.
The first rings were made from materials such as iron or copper and later gold. Diamonds first appeared on engagement rings in the 15th century, but only for royalty or the very rich.
In fact, it was a 1947 advertising campaign by British company De Beers, who mined South African diamonds, who made diamond engagement rings popular. They used the line ‘a diamond is forever’ and the Hollywood personalities of the day to create a rush for diamond engagement rings. They have been the accepted style of engagement ring ever since.
So while a ring has almost always signified engagement and marriage, diamonds were only a more recent addition to this tradition.
The Claddagh is a well-known Gaelic symbol. It represents love and friendship. So what better way to get engaged than with a Claddagh engagement ring. If either of you has Gaelic roots, it’s another great touch to represent this in your ring. The Claddagh can be set with a range of different stones depending on your taste and budget.
Unfortunately, not all diamonds are ethically mined. In some cases, the diamond industry is responsible for a lot of poor working conditions, suffering, violence, and trafficking, which is why some people won’t wear them.
A great alternative to this is lab-created diamonds. These are made using the same materials but created in a much faster timescale than naturally occurs. They look exactly the same as conventionally mined diamonds and can only be detected with specialized equipment.
If you have a favorite gemstone, why shouldn’t you be able to wear it every day as an engagement ring? Many engagement ring makers are now offering a full range of stones in their designs. So if you love emerald or sapphire, then an engagement ring set with these is a much better option than a diamond.
When married, some people wear both their engagement ring and their wedding band, others prefer just to wear a wedding band. In this case, an eternity ring is an excellent idea. Not only does it symbolize loving each other for eternity, but you also have it set with different stones, so it can be used as an engagement ring, wedding band, or both.
One of the great things about marriage and civil partnerships today is that anything goes. If you want a traditional engagement ring and wedding, that’s great. But if you want to ditch the traditional and do things your own way, that’s good too. So when it comes to engagement rings, forget about what you think is expected and go with what feels right to you.