Diamonds Aren’t Your Only Friends

Diamonds are beautiful, yet unbreakable. Perhaps this is why they are a popular choice for engagement rings; the best symbol of your relationship with your (hopefully) future spouse. However, it wasn’t always this poetic. Although the aristocracy have been using diamond engagement rings in 1447 – when the Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy – the general public only embraced this tradition thanks to a marketing campaign in 1947. Marketing company, De Beers, launched its now classic slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” encouraging hopeful young men to propose to their steady girlfriend. Eventually, the diamond came to symbolise the depth of a man’s commitment to the woman he loves in practically all corners of the world. But does that mean that a diamond engagement ring is exactly what you want?

More recently, either due to the expense of diamonds, or just personal preference, more couples are choosing different stones as a declaration of their intent to marry. Some of these stones are just as lovely as diamonds, but without the large price tag. This might be one of the most significant purchases of your life, so it’s worth doing some research into all the stones available, their meaning, and the price.


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Sometimes it’s nice to stick with tradition (however recent it is in the grand scheme of things). Nevertheless, buying a diamond ring can be a bit mind-boggling if you’ve never bought expensive jewelry. A lot of research needs to be done before you exchange any money, whether you find it online at the home page, by looking for clues on her Pinterest or other social media pages, or trusting her friends and family to give you some clear direction. When you go to buy a diamond, you need to know about the cut, clarity, carat, and color. The 4 C’s are important to know because that’s how the price of the ring is determined. It’s also worth noting that you don’t actually have to spend two to three month’s worth of salary on the ring, but you also shouldn’t buy the first one you see within your budget. Take your time, be a little flexible, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.


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However, the engagement ring market is now expanding to include different types of stones, and therefore designing amazing and unusual engagement rings. Amethysts are well known for their purple hue and supposedly metaphysical qualities, so they do make wonderful rings for those who love color and magic. They have also been widely regarded as healing stones as far back as 2000BC when the ancient Egyptians wore amethyst amulets shaped like animals. Later, the Hebrews believed amethyst stones could help them have vivid dreams and visions and the Greeks used amethyst as a way to ward off drunkenness. Whether you believe your future spouse could benefit from the amethyst’s power to soothe frazzled nerves, combat insomnia, or you just know they’ll love the color, this stone can be cut into a beautiful piece of jewelry. Amethysts may not be quite as hard as diamonds, but they’re still very durable and hold a quality of magic that is present in all happy relationships. Not to mention amethyst is also a fraction of the price of a diamond.


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They might have been considered old-fashioned a few years ago, but opals are making a comeback as a classic addition to any jewelry. There is more to an opal than you might think; for one thing, they aren’t just available in white. Depending on their vibrancy, opals can reflect the entire rainbow, or they come in black, white and crystal. In Mexico, you can also find ‘Fire Opals’ which have a reddish hue. You can find out more about opals at, but the point remains that each opal is as unique as your loved one. The Romans believed that, like the rainbow that shone in the stone, opals brought good fortune to their owners, so they wore them as good luck charms. You won’t need good luck in your future relationship, but a classic opal ring will get you off to a charming start. To make your engagement ring really stand out, avoid choosing a dull stone and look for gems with pretty patterns and antique settings. Bare in mind that opals aren’t as unbreakable as diamonds, so avoid wearing them during hard labour.


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If you want something that looks close similar to a diamond, then aquamarine might be the stone for your ring. According to legend, aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of fabulous mermaids, and has since ancient times, been regarded as ‘the sailor’s lucky stone’. Legend has it that aquamarines were the prized possessions of many mermaids and would thus protect sailors from the dangers of sea, including warding off sea-sickness. The Greeks and Romans must have believed in mermaids too, as they believed that aquamarine would ensure a safe passage across stormy seas. Perhaps this stone will see you through the storms of your long marriage. Aquamarines have beautiful clarity, making them look expensive, and this ‘lucky stone’ might be the perfect charm as you enter married life.


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You can tell a good quality emerald by the deep green color of the stone; the greener the emerald, the finer the stone. Since ancient times the emerald has been viewed as a symbol of rebirth, as was believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and youth. Ancient Romans dedicated emeralds to the goddess Venus, because green represented the reproductive forces of nature. If these are the kinds of things you hope to inspire in your future marriage, then emerald is the perfect stone for your engagement ring. They can either be the main feature on your ring, or you can set them against diamonds for a timeless look.

No matter which stone you might prefer, make sure you choose it with your future spouse in mind.

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