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Alternative stones and artificial diamonds as replacements for traditional engagement rings

Today, diamond engagement rings are the most popular type of engagement ring in the world. They have become so popular that some people feel a diamond is practically a necessity for any engagement ring, and that anything else is an inferior alternative. Diamonds came to dominate the market during the early 20th century, as a number of jewellery companies introduced extremely clever marketing campaigns to sell diamond engagement rings. For almost a century, diamonds have been the dtone of choice for those who can afford them.

However, there are some people who do not want a diamond engagement ring. This might be for a variety of different reasons. For some people, diamonds are just far too expensive and so they need to look for a cheaper alternative. There are also people who are uncomfortable with the environmental and ethical issues associated with diamonds, including exploitation of workers and environmentally unsound diamond mining practices. Then, of course, some people just don’t like diamonds very much. They might prefer a stone in a different colour or perhaps with an entirely different appearance.

Engagement Ring

Alternative stones

In recent years, the popularity of coloured gemstones in engagement rings has increased hugely. A number of the world’s leading jewellery designers now offer alternative stones in their engagement rings. This gives people far more scope to choose a ring that is very personal and individual.

Some people might want their engagement ring to contain a stone that is completely different to a traditional diamond. For example, both opals and rough cut stones have become increasingly popular in engagement rings. Alternative stones are a particularly big hit with people who choose to buy an engagement ring from small independent jewellers, rather than the more traditional companies, which still tend to favour diamonds.

Artificial diamonds

For people who dislike diamonds for ethical or environmental reasons, but still like their appearance, artificial diamonds are an excellent alternative. They are chemically and physically identical to natural diamonds but are created in a lab instead of being mined from the earth. This gives the look and feel of diamonds without many of the problems associated with them. Artificial diamonds are generally also far more affordable, particularly coloured diamonds, which are extremely rare in nature.

Fake diamonds

Another way to imitate the look of diamonds in engagement rings is to use fake diamonds. These are stones which have some superficial similarities to diamonds but are chemically very different. One popular example is cubic zirconia, which is of much lower quality than diamond but can look similar when used in small stones. Fake diamonds tend to be much cheaper than real diamonds so they are a perfect alternative for couples on a budget. When designed carefully, fake diamonds can look absolutely beautiful on an engagement ring, but they are not a convincing replacement for a large focal point stone.

Something completely different

Who says that engagement rings have to include any kind of diamond at all? The most important thing is that your engagement ring reflects your personal style and is something that you’ll love to wear. Sure, an elegant gold band set with a single diamond is a classic engagement ring style, but it isn’t for everyone. It’s possible for an engagement ring to look completely different! They can contain multiple stones, or even no stones at alll. Elegant minimalist rings might look far better with no stone, for example. Rings with patterned or textured bands, such as rope patterns, or imitation golden twigs are popular styles which do not require any diamonds or other stone.

Do you think that engagement rings should contain diamonds, or is their popularity just a result of clever marketing? Which diamond alternatives do you like best?

20 Jan 2017

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