Culture & Entertainment

6 reasons to forgo a diamond engagement ring

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

6 reasons to forgo a diamond engagement ring

Photo courtesy Abdul Rahman/FlickrCC Not long ago, I tried on engagement rings for the first time. My boyfriend and I were outlet shopping when we wandered upon a jewellery store. I jokingly told him we should go inside to price my future engagement ring. Surprisingly, he thought it was a good idea. I looked at cushion-cut diamonds on white gold bands. They were simple and classic, but not quite my style. I certainly didn’t want to pay thousands for a stone that was far too dainty for my rather large hands. (His money is my money.) And while I don’t go out of my way to be different style-wise, I’m far from traditional. Part of me even wonders if I should even partake in a cultural convention such as marriage. But for whatever reason, I’ve always known I would eventually opt for a simple city hall ceremony should I meet The One. And I did. And a couple years later, in a big-box jewellery store in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., I found a ring to my liking : a single morganite stone on 14-carat rose gold. The amber stone and soft pink band complemented my pinkish-white skin perfectly. And the price? They ranged from a few hundred to $1,400; on the high end, that's a pretty honking stone. The best part: Morganite stones vary in colour, so you can pick one that suits your tone and taste best. If pink isn’t your thing, there are countless other alternatives to diamonds . And there are plenty of reasons why you should consider them, too. Happily ever after. Men who spend less money on an engagement ring have longer marriages, so a cheaper stone could mark the beginning of your fairy-tale ending. Savvy shopping. In what was quite possibly the best marketing campaign of all time, De Beers’ “A diamond is forever” slogan forever changed the way we look at jewellery. Since its launch in 1947, diamond rings have been the epitome of romance. Blood diamonds. Unless you’re buying Canadian-mined, the money you spend on your rock could be funding war abroad. Diamonds aren’t that rare. If one were to judge the value of a stone based on its rarity, diamonds wouldn’t rank all that high. More valuable, rare stones include tanzanite, taaffeite, black opal, jadeite, alexandrite—the list goes on. Just think about it: Practically every married or engaged woman you know probably has one, so how rare can it be? Bigger means better. You can get a bigger stone—or more stones—for less money if you opt for another gem, such as sapphire, quartz or tourmaline. Other gems are symbolic of love and marriage, too. Topaz, said to ensure fidelity, is a symbol of love and affection; ruby is associated with love and passion; and garnet symbolizes loyalty and devotion. Selected your stone? Now design your own custom engagement ring with these 10 easy tips. Photo courtesy Abdul Rahman/FlickrCC
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6 reasons to forgo a diamond engagement ring

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