Diamonds are a girl's best friend... But what if they aren't?

What if you find the twinkle of a diamond overrated? What if a pop of colour is what puts the twinkle in your eye? What if a diamond just doesn’t fit in with your style, your personality, your general aesthetic? Or what if diamonds just aren’t your budget’s best friend, completely unattainable no matter which way you swing the numbers?

It’s true: not every woman is of the same mind as Marilyn Monroe. Diamonds are not every girl’s best friend.

Not every bride-to-be has her sights set on a traditional, conventional diamond engagement ring. Not every woman is completely enthralled by an icy sparkler, no matter how massive. Some, instead, prefer the multi-hued shine and unconventional shapes of more unique gemstones. Some prefer a simple band. Some prefer to go for a stone and/or style which has an intensely personal association. Some even prefer to forego an engagement ring altogether, instead choosing an experience, a holiday, or even a fancy fridge (true story) over a ring. (Side note: nine times out of ten, those who choose to eschew the ring for the holiday end up coming back for the ring at a later date. Fact.) But just because you don’t like or want diamonds, engagement or otherwise, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the ring of your dreams.

Whatever your reason for denying the diamond, there is an alternative for you. Here, we round up our top five tips for those who don’t die for diamonds and are hoping to choose a different stone for their ring, as well as the top five trends in alternative ring styles for those who like to stand out from the crowd.

Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Non-Diamond Engagement Ring

Tip #1: Strength Matters (Not Size)

One thing that diamonds really have going for them? (Full disclosure: we do subscribe to Marilyn’s view and we do love diamonds, so we think they have a lot going for them, but for the purposes of this feature, that is neither here nor there.) They are strong. And durable. And thus perfect for daily wear, able to withstand the knocks, scrapes and scratches of ordinary life. Which is important, especially for an engagement ring, which is generally worn 24/7.

But they are not the only stone as strong as your love. Sapphires too are a good option from this standpoint, as are rubies. Other potentials? Topaz is both durable and very unconventional. Emeralds, tanzanite, quartz, aquamarine, amethyst and tourmaline can all work as long as you look after them carefully: set thoughtfully to protect from knocks and environmental damage, and removed when in the gym, swimming, on the beach, doing housework, and so on and so forth.

Stones not ideally suited to rings? Opal, pearls, garnet, turquoise and amber are so very pretty, and undoubtedly unique choices, but they have a weak mineral structure, being either too soft – liable to chip, break or get surface damage with as little provocation as taking a shower!, or, as is the case with pearls, damaging or breaking down very easily in water.

Tip #2: Bigger, Better, Budget

If you’re wanting a bigger stone for your buck, switching out diamonds for gems is a smart – and still sparkly – choice. Gemstones cost less per carat than diamonds, so you will be able to get a much larger ring, if that’s your thing, for your money.

Keep in mind, though, as is the case with diamonds, the more brilliant and pure the color of the gem you choose, the more expensive it will be. As gemstones decline in price, so they decline in quality, getting smaller, cloudier, or both.

Tip #3: Quirky Can Wear Thin

Remember that this is a ring that will more than likely be worn every day… for life. So no matter how quirky the wearer, or how ‘on-trend’ the style, quirks and trends change. Wearers get older and wiser, styles change, trends disappear. If you pick a ring that’s too quirky, too different, too fashionable, you may get bored with it and/or it may end up looking dated.

In short: unless you’re absolutely sure it’s a look that will last a lifetime, always err on the side of classic.

Tip #4: Beyond the Bling

Engagement ring shopping, just like the act of getting engaged, is exciting. It’s got romance, sparkle, all the promise of tomorrow… It’s the bling to the blah of everyday life. But remember, this is only one half of the equation. Your wedding band – the actual symbol of your marriage, the promise kept – being the other half.

When dreaming of and designing your unique engagement ring – be it diamondless or not – think about what you’re going to be wearing with it. What will the style of your wedding band be? Just as with the engagement itself, think big picture. Think beyond the first flush of romance and sparkle. Think long term: will your engagement ring go together with your wedding band in the same way that you and your partner will fit together as husband and wife?

Tip #5: Set the Stage

Your ring’s setting can make all the difference, taking any stone from mediocre to mind-blowing. Don’t be afraid to take the simple band and turn it into a talking piece: triangle-shaped, wave-shaped, a dramatic vee, a band featuring a prong setting with different gemstones of uneven shapes and sizes; heart-shaped; 3-D… If you can dream it, somebody can design it. That being said, do see tips 3 and 4 above before making your final decision.

Top 5 Trends for Non-Diamond Engagement Rings

Trend #1: Color Me Beautiful

Not only are colored gemstones the more affordable engagement option, but the rainbow is the limit! Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, tanzanite, quartz, aquamarine, amethyst and anything else you can think of…

More than adding a budget-friendly pop of color to your life though, gemstones can also help you add to your personal love story: a birthstone, the color of the sky under which you got engaged, a color of significance to you both… Gemstones, in all their multi-colored glory, afford couples the opportunity of creating an engagement ring that’s truly one-of-a-kind and completely idiosyncratic.

Trend #2: Black Hearted

Not technically a ‘non-diamond’ trend, as it does involve diamonds of some sort, black diamonds are increasingly popular, as much for their stark beauty as for their dramatic, unique, look-at-me appeal. Plus, in Italian culture, touching a black stone is believed to bring good fortune to a marriage, helping couples to overcome any marital issues they may have in the future. Sure, not something you want to think about in the first flush of your engagement, but there’s no harm in forward thinking!

Black diamonds are also tougher than any other stone: they are a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them as indestructible as your marriage under their watch!

PS: Did you know that the colored diamond for Scorpio is a black diamond? Now you do.

Trend #3: Ruby, It’s You

Rubies, another strong alternative (both physically and literally) to diamonds, are greatly undervalued in the world of engagement rings. For one thing, rubies range from dark pink to bright red, giving you a multitude of hues to choose from. For another, if there is one gemstone that represents the passion of love, it is undoubtedly the ruby.

Trend #4: Band Together

Another interesting trend, in keeping with the idea of making your setting the star, are gemless engagement bands. Intricately carved and detailed wedding bands, that go completely bling-free, can make for simply exquisite, and completely unique, engagement rings.

Whether you add monograms for that personal touch, sculptural details that create depth and dimension, or intricately twisted metal that symbolizes your unbreakable bond as a couple, a band that has no gem to detract from its significance may be exactly what the love-doctor ordered.

Trend #5: It’s Not You, It’s ME!

By keeping it personal – incorporating your birthstone, your and your partner’s initials in a uniquely designed band, a color that means something to you; or designing a dainty ring to match your delicate features, a bold ring to match your louder than life personality – you are creating a piece that will mean something to you no matter who, or what, may change over time. Brides who make their rings intensely personal, choosing stones, design features, band styles or colors that have personal meaning, are brides who wear rings that will stand the double-test of time and trends.

Whether you’re wanting a classic diamond or to ditch the diamond for something completely unique, at Keezing Kreations we can create the ring of your dreams, to match your personal story. We cater to the specific design interests of each client with a specialty in unique, handmade contemporary jewelry design that is destined to meet the approval of all generations.

Contact us today: Call 617-650-9934 or email dkeezing@keezingkreations.com.