Engagement Rings: Diamonds Are No Longer A Girl’s Best Friend

Traditional engagement rings were typically adorned with a stunning white solitaire diamond which made women melt when someone popped the big question.

Now more couples are opting for a less traditional approach to engagement rings. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the rings being chosen are gemstones, plain bands, or colored diamonds, according to CNN Money.

Another surprising fact is that the trend is not being driven by younger people; older women are the drivers in the trend.

Amanda Gizzi from Jewelers of America said older women want an engagement ring which speaks more to who they are.

“They know more of who they are and want something that doesn’t fit the norm and what all their girlfriends have.”

Style isn’t the only factor in determining which type of jewel will or won’t adorn engagement rings. Price is usually a huge factor in the decision. According to Cross Map, Michael Arnstein, president of the Natural Sapphire Company, claims to sell around 200 sapphire engagement rings a month, which cost much less than comparable diamonds.

“It’s well agreed in the trade that a sapphire engagement ring will cost about half of what a comparable diamond would cost.”

Some couples just can’t stand the thought that a diamond might have been mined in Africa to fund conflicts in certain areas. While a person can’t ever be certain about where a diamond originated, often a person can trace another gemstone’s origins.

Could it really be too good to be true that diamonds are truly out in engagement rings and more affordable options are stepping in? Unfortunately, there is a caveat.

When it comes to durability, nothing is going to outlast a diamond. Diamonds are a timeless classic that will probably always be considered beautiful and valuable. Unfortunately for nontraditional engagement rings, trends may come and go, and they may not survive decades of normal wear and tear.

diamond solitaire ring
A diamond solitaire ring will most likely outlast other engagement rings with different types of gemstones.

Couples need to think about the long term in engagement rings, and weigh the pros and cons when deciding whether to choose a diamond engagement ring or another type of engagement ring, suggests Jim Rosenheim, CEO of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C.

Rosenheim advises customers their engagement rings are to represent a lifelong commitment and not the trend of the moment. “You don’t want to look at your ring in a year or two and think, ‘What was I thinking?'”

[Images via Wedding Engagement Rings and Zales]