Yay, engagement season is upon us. Break out the wine and self-loathing and prepare to see no less than 10 engagements on your combined social media channels. If you’re the one getting engaged and are dropping hints left and right for your idiot partner to pick up, it may be time to explore options outside the normal engagement ring, i.e. not necessarily a diamond. Don’t @ me—if a sapphire ring is good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for you. Let’s explore some diamond alternatives, shall we?
One of the four precious stones (along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds), emeralds are the birthstone for May, super green, and perfect for the unique betch. JFK actually proposed to OG Betch, Jackie, with an emerald ring. Word of warning, though—emeralds are softer than diamonds, rubies, and other stones, so be careful which setting you choose.
Princess Diana chose her 12-carat sapphire ring from a jewelry collection available to common folk, but it’s still arguably the most well-known engagement ring ever—especially now that Kate Middleton is sporting it. Sapphires are said to promote tranquility and symbolize faithfulness, so they’re a nice choice for a ring signifying that you’re going to forever put up with the same person. They’re typically blue, but they can come in green, white, pink, and even yellow. They’re also super durable, so they’re good for those of you prone to slamming your hand in drawers.
Moissanite is a gemstone that literally came from space à la meteorites, so if you’re v into your horoscope and the phases of the moon and its effects on whether you’re being a psycho or not, this could be the stone for you. Naturally occurring moissanite is super rare, so a lot of what you’ll find today is lab created. However, it’s nearly as hard as a diamond and can be cut well enough to fool everyone. Plus, it’s cheaper and shinier, so yay!
4. Lab-Grown Diamonds
Okay so this doesn’t technically fall under diamond alternatives, but it does in the sense that lab-grown diamonds are not your traditional diamonds. If you aren’t super pumped about blood diamonds and are doubtful about your rock being conflict-free, it could be time to explore lab-grown diamonds. They’re usually about 15 to 20 percent cheaper than natural diamonds and chemically are EXACTLY the same. The biggest difference is that they aren’t billions of years old and weren’t found in a mine by an underpaid worker; they were grown in a lab by nerds. Clean Origin is a company that launched earlier this year, and the majority of their lab-grown diamond rings are 30 percent cheaper than their natural diamond counterparts. They’re graded exactly the same way, are just as gorgeous, and are, still, literally, a REAL DIAMOND FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE COME ON PEOPLE.
Rubies can actually be just as expensive as diamonds. #Themoreyouknow . Sarah Ferguson, kind of former Duchess, had a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Mark Zuckerburg, reptilian overlord, proposed with a three-stone ring with a ruby at the center flanked by a diamond on each side. Rubies are said to symbolize passion and love with their rich red color (aww). They’re also pretty tough and can survive being banged around at SoulCycle or while washing dishes.
Not into stones and diamonds? That’s chill—maybe think about telling everyone you’re engaged with a ring with a knot tied in it. Maybe you’re just a super literal person, and you’re super serious about TYING THE KNOT so you need a KNOT ring. C’mon guys, this is so fun.
7. Claddagh Rings
If you and your intended just, really, LOVE Irish and Celtic culture (maybe you’re living in Ireland or met in Ireland while studying abroad or you’re Irish), think about proposing with (or asking for) a Claddagh ring. The traditional Irish ring dates back to Roman times (cool story, Hansel), and was actually used as an engagement and wedding ring in the Middle Ages.
For the low, low price of probably free, you can guilt Grandma into forking over her vintage two-carat emerald and diamond ring so that you can strategically give it to your fiancé-to-be and force him to propose. On the other hand, dudes, you can get Aunt Diane’s classy heirloom sapphire ring and promise to “finally marry that lovely Jenny girl.” Heirlooms can be much more meaningful than just heading to the store and picking out something totally new, so it’s worth thinking about.
Images: Anne Edgar, Unsplash; Glencara; 1stdibs; Audrey Rose; Jeen Jewels; Clean Origin; Brilliance; Overstock; ShyGems
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If there’s something we all can agree to love, it’s a big-ass, bougie-looking engagement ring that costs enough to pay off our student debt. If there’s something we love just a little bit more than that, it’s talking shit about the rings that look, well, mediocre (and that’s being nice). Wedding season is almost upon us, so whether you’re anticipating on seeing your mans get on his knee soon or you’re trying to start a Pinterest board out of boredom (like the rest of us), you’ll need to know the good and the bad when it comes to this year’s engagement ring trends. Here are the ones we honestly love and here are the ones that are just, “no, honey, nuh-uh.”
Engagement Ring Trends We Love
1. Open Rings
These are the rings of our future, tbh. As if the midi ring trend hasn’t already given us a preview of the next engagement ring trends to come. Open rings are a modern style, but they’re expected to be a hit for this year’s proposals. An open ring has more than enough opportunity to be customized in terms of size, color, and hello, you get two stones instead of just one.
Brilliant Earth 18K White Gold Wren Diamond Ring
2. Colored Stones
This is always the move for those who tend to stay away from being basic af and prefer something with personality and deeper meaning. We’ll probs see more of this alternative option this year. Sapphire, emerald, ruby, you name it. Colored stones are all like, seriously stunning and def blinding with the right band.
James Allen 1.01 Carat Blue Sapphire Round Cut Halo Engagement Ring In 14K White Gold
3. Rose Gold
Will we ever get sick of the pink gold we’ve grown to obsess over, thanks to Apple? Definitely not. Speaking of colored stones, a pink gem like Morganite will def be selling out this year as well as the perfect rose gold band to accompany it. This combination is a must-have.
Zales Precious Bride™Oval Morganite and 1/5 CT. T.W. Diamond Frame Engagement Ring in 10K Rose Gold
4. Oval-Cut Diamonds
I feel as though any round shaped diamond looks good on most hands, honestly. If you’re not to keen on squares, you’ll probs want to stick with an oval. The elongated shape works for just about any stone and actually makes both your hands and fingers look that of a hand model. Yes, that is a thing.
VRAI&ORO The Oval Pavé Engagement Ring | 18k White Gold
Engagement Ring Trends We Hate
1. Weird Shapes
Everyone wants to be different, yet we’re all still choosing the Rose Gold iPhone, french manicure, and carrying the same Michael Kors tote around. You might as well put all of that energy into something worth wearing everyday that isn’t cringeworthy. This trend is spiking for future brides who don’t want to have a traditional shape so instead, they opt for something like the shield cut.
2. East-West Settings
This is an emerald cut, just turned horizontal, and it looks stupid. Sorry, too harsh? Why make things complicated, though? A traditional emerald cut looks (mostly) fine as is. And although you can technically have any cut in an East-West setting, you’re better off not doing it in the first place.
3. Engagement Eternity Bands
Unsure why anyone would want a band for an engagement ring when you’re just getting another band after you’re officially husband and wife? I mean, isn’t being engaged when you’re allowed to show off a giant rock on your finger for once? I’d take advantage of the traditional diamond thing if I were you.
4. Chevron Bands
Okay, guys, you only get engaged
a few times once. So like, please don’t go for some stacked ring style that looks something out of Zara. Sure, maybe it looks cute, but it definitely sure as hell doesn’t make you look engaged. The title you should at least be somewhat proud of showing off.
Anna Sheffield Chevron Band Yellow Gold & White Diamonds
Images: Colin Maynard / Unsplash; Brilliant Earth (1); James Allen (1); Zales (1); Vrai & Oro (1); Apres Jewelry (1); Ritani (1); Bluefly (1); Anna Sheffield (1)