Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but they just aren’t your style. You and your future spouse agree -- you both want rings that reflect your individual values, not strict tradition. At the same time, you ARE getting married, and you like the idea of wearing a wedding ring. Fortunately, there are many alternatives for rings for both you and your future spouse that reflect your style and still let the world know that you’ve found the love of your life.
If you’re not into diamonds, consider a ring with a semi-precious stone instead. A pearl engagement ring has the elegant look of a diamond while still looking distinctive. A romantic alternative is to design your own ring with your birthstone and your future spouse’s birthstone substituting for the diamond solitaire.
Alternatives also exist for wedding bands. Tungsten is ten times harder than 18 carat gold and four times harder than titanium, which makes it a practical choice for rings that you and your spouse will be wearing every day. Titanium is light, shiny and easily polished if you happen to scratch the band of your ring. Cobalt chrome is as shiny as platinum and has the look of white gold, but it’s much more durable and scratch resistant. If you’re on a really tight budget, consider stainless steel rings, which are just as shiny as silver but never tarnish.
An eco friendly alternative for an engagement ring or a wedding ring is to recycle an inherited ring into something more modern. Not only is remodeling an existing ring often cheaper than buying a new ring, you have the added element of incorporating a family heirloom into your new life. A recycled ring also doesn’t involve any additional mining for wedding band materials or gems. If you don’t have a ring to recycle, many jewelers feature rings made with recycled metals and stones among their offerings. Wood rings are another eco friendly alternative. Although they’re not as sturdy as other material choices, they make a striking visual statement.
Conflict-Free and Fair Trade
If you’ve seen the movie Blood Diamond, you may be horrified about wearing a traditional diamond engagement ring or a gold wedding band. The good news is that you don’t have to give up diamonds or gold to be at peace with your conscience. Many jewelers feature conflict-free diamonds and fair-trade gold bands, both of which are certified to have no association with child labor or other human rights abuses.
When your heart is set on diamonds but your budget says cubic zirconium, cultured diamonds allow you to have a real diamond for a fraction of the price of mined stones. Cultured diamonds are created from a carbon-graphite core and a diamond seed that are subjected to super-high pressure for four days. The result not only looks like a diamond, it is a diamond.
However, where a one-carat yellow mined diamond would set you back more than $20,000, a cultured yellow diamond of the same size only costs about $6,000. Cultured diamonds are also totally conflict free and don’t involve mining rare natural resources. Cultured diamonds are available in nearly every carat size and in a wide range of colors to suit the preference of nearly every bride-to-be.
Claire Windon is a freelance writer and wedding planner. To learn more about personalized jewelry visit SorellaJewelry.com.