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To Diamond or Not to Diamond: Are Non-Diamond Engagement Rings a Wise Choice?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Whether they’re round brilliant cut, princess cut, or pear-shaped, diamonds are a timeless emblem of love and longevity. Diamonds signify a deep-abiding love between two people.

However, the use of diamonds for an engagement ring is a relatively recent development.

Engagement bands date back to Ancient Egypt, but the first recorded exchange of a diamond engagement ring was not until 1477 by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. As a result, diamond engagement rings became popular among the aristocracy, but were not feasible for the masses until approximately 1870. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the idea that diamond engagement should be the standard type of ring exchanged became prominent in mainstream American culture.

Given the extremely abbreviated history of the diamond engagement ring, it’s not surprising that some would consider non-diamond engagement rings an acceptable alternative. While diamond rings are the standard now, it does not mean that every couple must follow the diamond standard. In fact, many celebrities are currently opting for more diversity in their engagement ring choices.

Some celebrities have put a new twist on the diamond tradition, such as Rebecca Romijn who altered the setting of her yellow diamond engagement ring so that it dangles ever so seductively from her finger. Other celebrities have veered away from diamonds as the center stone of their engagement ring. Kate Middleton’s gorgeous designer jewelry engagement ring features an oval sapphire as the center gemstone. Middleton’s ring also holds sentimental significance since the ring Prince William presented her had belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.

It’s important to ask yourself a few questions when determining whether or not you wish to select a diamond engagement ring. First, do you actually like the aesthetic quality of a diamond ring? If not, then consider something more your style that you will enjoy gazing at. Second, am I choosing a diamond engagement ring because I think I should? If you are opting for a diamond ring because you feel it is expected of you, don’t. There is nothing worse than capitulating to social or familial pressure on such a big decision. Third, is a diamond engagement ring reflective of my personal style? As you will be expected to wear your engagement ring every day, the biggest disservice you could do to yourself is to choose a ring that clashes with your individuality. Choose a unique ring that is representative of you and the love you share with your partner. And, lastly, ask yourself, will I regret choosing a diamond ring? If yes, then you have your answer. However, if you feel there is any chance that you would regret not having a diamond engagement ring, it is important to consider your options. It’s always possible to incorporate diamonds into your engagement ring even if it is not as your center gemstone.

The most important thing to take into consideration when debating the possibility of a non-traditional engagement ring is you. You are the person who will be wearing the ring, so don’t be afraid to consider all possibilities.