While many women dream of their perfect diamond engagement ring, others desire something more unconventionally eye-catching. Brides who wish to stand out from the crowd have a variety of options to consider when choosing an alternative engagement ring. Here are three of our favorite options for couples who choose to forgo the traditional diamond ring.
Technically speaking, any diamond ring over 50 years old is considered vintage. This means that the vintage engagement ring category encompasses a wide range of styles to fit any bride’s personality. Not only do vintage pieces offer unique designs and inherent charm, but they are often made with exceptional craftsmanship and tend to be more affordable than their modern counterparts.
Furthermore, vintage engagement rings make instant heirlooms that can be passed down to future generations. They often appeal to couples who don’t have an heirloom ring in their families, but who wish to start their own family tradition.
Stackable rings allow for a new level of personalization in bridal jewelry, as well as more options for wear. Stackables are completely customizable — perfect for women who like to regularly change up their look. These styles allow the wearer to mix and match different stackable ring styles depending on her mood or outfit. They’re supremely stylish and fashion-forward — take it from designer Diane von Furstenberg, who wears 26 diamond bands that her finacé surprised her with to represent the 26 years he knew her before they were married.
One thing that sets stackable rings apart from other styles is that you can continue to add rings to mark important milestones in your life. While this stacked wedding ring look is fairly new to the U.S., it has been popular in other parts of the world for a while. In Scandinavia, for instance, it’s common for women to wear three rings: one for engagement, one for marriage and one for motherhood.
The words “diamond” and “engagement ring” have been nearly synonymous for almost a century. These days, however, many brides-to-be wish to stand out with an alternative stone in their engagement ring. But some gemstones are better suited than others for the task.
While diamonds are the hardest and most durable gemstones, sapphires and rubies are a close second, making them a logical choice for the daily wear of an engagement ring. They are the most resistant to scratches and chips and, with proper care, will retain their luster the longest.
At 9 on the Mohs Scale, sapphires are the second-hardest mineral and about a third of the price of diamonds. Sapphire engagement rings have recently skyrocketed in popularity, perhaps due to Kate Middleton‘s stunning blue sapphire engagement ring, which was previously worn by Prince William’s mother, the late Princess Diana.
While sapphires are typically blue precious stones, they also come in other colors, such as peach, pink, yellow, green and white. In fact, Princess Eugenie of York (daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York) recently became engaged to longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank with a gold ring featuring a halo of diamonds surrounding a coral pink padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka.
Rubies are also an extremely popular choice for engagement rings due to their rich, romantic red hue. Like sapphires, they rank 9 on the Mohs Scale, but unlike sapphires, rubies often cost more than their diamond counterparts. Sarah Ferguson, mother of Princess Eugenie, once sported her own pink ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew, who chose the stone to match his bride’s red hair.
To view an exquisite selection of vintage, stackable and gemstone engagement rings, visit Eiseman Jewels at NorthPark Center in Dallas.