Just a few short years ago, if someone proposed marriage and didn’t have a diamond ring to back it up, it likely wouldn’t be considered a serious proposal. Things are changing, though, and they are changing quickly. Perhaps it is a failing economy, a different generation coming of age, or a new attitude about tradition. Whatever the cause, those who are asking for someone’s hand in marriage are turning away from tradition, deciding to think outside of the box and design your own engagement ring.
In the past, there have been all sorts of rules about how to buy a diamond for your fiancée. Calculations have been defined about how much you should spend, and there is still an illusion that the size of the diamond equals the size of the love or commitment. A new age of wedding promises is forever altering what the engagement ring has come to mean and how men (or women) decide to pop the question and display their commitment.
“Diamonds are forever” is supposed to be the mantra, but the reality is that diamonds are like cars. Once they’re purchased, they lose most of their value. Also, with the exception of the three Cs (cut, clarity, and carat), diamonds are what they are. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you are typically not going to find a one-of-a-kind design that doesn’t look like any other ring.
Perhaps it is price or personality, but for whatever reason, there is no longer the expectation that an engagement ring has to be of a diamond. It also doesn’t have to take three months’ salary to show love. All different types of rings are being chosen by engaged couples around the world. And those who propose are looking for something unique, more than price and status.
It isn’t just about the cost and the tradition of a diamond; many are now concerned about the environmental impact that diamond mining has on our world. Considered an ugly business, those who are socially conscious and environmentally friendly are opting not to display their love from the fruits of other people’s labor. With so many new options to make a ring that gets its shine from something other than a diamond, men and women alike are okay with simulated diamond rings or other ways of saying “I love you.”
Technology has put a whole new twist on traditional diamonds. The jewelry industry has tried to discourage the use of simulated gems and jewels, obviously out of a supply and demand mentality. If you can produce the same quality of diamond in a lab, then what is the purpose of spending so much on something that is no longer as rare as it once was?
Only a handful of diamond labs exist, but what they are proving is that maybe nature doesn’t always know best when it comes to creating beauty. Synthetic diamonds can have higher clarity and shine brighter than most diamonds formed over hundreds of millions of years. Engineered diamonds are also lab-created under the same conditions as the earth’s crust has displayed over centuries. Their beauty really comes from the fact that there is no environmental impact from mining them.
Other gems are also taking the place of diamonds. For those who are looking for a little more color and something more exotic, simple white diamonds don’t really showcase their personality. Gems of various types, both expensive and lower-cost, are becoming an acceptable substitute for the engagement ring market.
Going more for the custom one-of-a-kind look, many ring buyers are much less concerned with showing their love with something expensive, and are more into finding the perfect “look” to capture the imagination and personality of the person they want to be with “as long as they both shall live.”
The good news for those in the market for an engagement ring is that there are many more options for buying something to propose with. What that means for high-end jewelers and the diamond mining industry has yet to be seen.
A new tide in engagement ring attitudes is turning. Why spend your life savings and pay off a ring for years, when you can use that money as a down payment on a house? Also, why give someone you love a ring that is nothing but an ordinary diamond cut, when you can give her something that is spectacular and exactly what she really wants?.