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You hang on. And according to tradition, this ancient wisdom that everyone decided on without your input, you will need a ring. And this ring must have a big horn diamond above – no?
There are cultural expectations regarding engagement rings and the diamonds they contain: at what cost? What size? How shimmering? These material questions relate, correctly or not, to ideas about love, commitment, and security. So we’re not just digging diamonds here. We also unearth serious feelings.
That’s why it’s important to have an honest discussion with your partner about priorities before you commit. You may not need a ring at all, and if you do, diamonds aren’t the only option.
You are likely to spend a large amount of money on a diamond ring. It’s not uncommon to drop $ 3,500 on a one-carat diamond in a basic setting, and you can easily find diamonds and settings that cost more.
Few people regularly spend that much money, and it’s worth thinking about other ways to use it. The obvious: a down payment on a house. Or maybe you need to start your Pension saving or pay student loans. What could be more romantic: a shining rock or freeing your partner from debt prison?
If you want these expenses to stay related to the engagement, you can use them for the wedding.
What makes a statement about the kind of life you hope to build together? For some it is a diamond. But that’s not the only way to symbolize your commitment.
It boils down to this: what makes sense to both of you? What makes a statement about the kind of life you hope to build together? For some it is a diamond. But that’s not the only way to symbolize your commitment.
If you’re on an engagement ring but not a traditional diamond ring, there are other attractive – and cheaper – options. We spoke with Jenny Seeger, owner of San Francisco’s # 3 jewelry store, which specializes in alternative engagement rings. She presented us with alternatives to the traditional diamond.
1. Colored diamonds
If you are opposed to diamonds purely because of price – not in principle – take a look at colored diamonds. You know the “white diamonds”, the classic and colorless stones. But diamonds are also available in hues such as neutral grays, yellows, browns and blacks, and colorful greens, blues, reds, etc.
These diamonds are not considered as desirable as colorless diamonds for purely traditional and subjective reasons, so Seeger estimates that they can be nearly 65% to 75% cheaper.
2. Laboratory diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are just that: lab-grown diamonds. They are chemically indistinguishable from natural diamonds and you could save 20% over the natural equivalent, says Seeger.
3. Sapphires, emeralds and rubies
Pay attention to the Mohs scale ranking of alternative stones. This number describes how hard a stone is or how easily it can be scratched by another substance.
The hardest mineral, a diamond, is rated at 10. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. A mineral with a Mohs hardness of 5 can be scraped off with a knife. Sapphires and rubies rank at 9 and emeralds generally rank around 8.
If you go for one of these stones, make sure it is placed in the ring in a way that reduces its likelihood of being chipped.
4. Morganite, quartz and sunstone
These stones are also often found in alternative engagement rings. Again, pay attention to the hardness and durability of the stone and the setting, but don’t be afraid to jump on a darker stone if you like the look. Sunstone has the lowest Mohs ranking of these three minerals at 6, and you won’t want to go lower than that.
If you are looking for alternative engagement rings, you will likely find a mention of moissanite, which looks like a white diamond and has a Mohs hardness of 9.5, so it will not flake off like highly vilified cubic zirconia. Seeger, however, prefers not to sell moissanite, as it tends to lose its fire over time.
An earlier version of this article had an incorrect spelling for moissanite. This article has been corrected.