If you’re planning on proposing to that special person in your life or be proposed to, you’ll have no doubt looked at the selection of Engagement rings lining the windows of the local jewellery store. Rows of little rings sparkling and shining in the artificial lights with umpteen different styles and sizes of diamonds, yet all looking remarkably similar. A white, yellow or rose gold ring with between one and several diamonds, with costs ranging from a few hundred pounds through to several thousand, and although the engagement rings may look beautiful and tempting, you might be looking for something a bit different, something a bit less common. A word of caution, please ensure your partner is happy to not receive a diamond engagement ring, they might surprise you with how traditional they are when it comes to marriage. Having said that, check out our list of engagement ring alternatives.
Engagement Ring Alternatives
1. A pearl engagement ring makes for a spectacular alternative. Before you write off a white pearl ring as something dated and boring, consider the ever-growing list of pearl colours that are now available and styles to match. You can easily pick from a traditional White pearl ring but you can just as easily choose a Gold, Black, Purple, Blue, Grey, Turquoise or even Pink, with varying degrees of hues and contrast, the selection available to buyers has never been better. Considering that every pearl is unique you’ll be able to own an exclusive pearl engagement ring and know that there isn’t another one like it anywhere in the world. Brilliant!
2. A Gemstone engagement ring offers a splash of colour and sparkle with many of the benefits of a diamond engagement ring but with many more colour options. All the gemstones below have their own special meanings and might just show your loved one that you’ve thought long and hard about the ring you’ve chosen.
· Agate: symbolising strength, protection and truth
· Apatite: bringing together the old and new
· Aquamarine: courage to overcome whatever happens and protection for life’s journey
· Blue topaz: courage to overcome obstacles — linked with fidelity, friendship, gentleness and integrity
· Garnet: devotion to a loved one and passion
· Onyx: deflects the negativity created by others
· Opal: zest, love, passion and spontaneity
· Rose quartz: all things love, gentles and peace
· Ruby: happiness, love, fire and friendship
· Turquoise: natural friendship
3. Before the diamond engagement ring rose to fame the Claddagh ring was a very popular choice especially for those with a Gaelic heritage. Dated to the time of the Romans, the Claddagh ring features the three main components, a heart, a crown and two hands, these symbolise love, loyalty and friendship respectively. This style of ring was used as an engagement ring during the Renaissance and throughout the Middle Ages. Tradition dictates that the ring is worn on the woman's left hand, very much like today, with the heart pointing towards her fingertips when she is engaged and then changed to point towards her once married. These rings are a wonderful alternative to a rich heritage to boot.
4. For those looking for a simpler ring with more symbolic meaning the Knot Ring could be an ideal choice. The symbolism stems from the knot forming the symbol for infinity, and the fact that the two strands of metal used are free to move around but are forever bound to each other, which is a rather lovely analogy of a marriage. There’s also the fact that young couples in the olden days would tie two limbs of a young tree together if the knot held and even grew over the course of a year it would show that their love would last.
5. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a family heirloom then this might make the perfect choice for an engagement ring. Perhaps granny has a 2-carat sapphire tucked away in dusty jewellery box just waiting for the day when their ageing grandson announces that they intend to marry. If you don’t ask, you might never know!
If you have any suggestions for engagement ring alternatives, Otomo would love to hear from you.