When we think of the conventional engagement ring, there’s usually a colorless diamond at its center. But lately, more brides-to-be are opting to defy convention and stand out instead, by tying the knot in vivid color.
Millennials, now at the age when most first marriages begin, are more likely to defy convention than previous generations, prizing individuality above all else. Brides marrying for a second time often turn to colored stones for similar reasons. They want to try a less conventional approach this time, because they know themselves better and trust their own unique sense of style.
Today, let’s take a look at the more colorful alternatives for the newly betrothed, from a dealer long known for colored-stone engagement rings.
This post was sponsored by a partner of The Jewelry Loupe.
Helping pave the way for the colorful engagement ring choice, more and more celebrity brides are announcing their engagements with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and colored diamonds on their left hands. In many ways, they’re not breaking new ground so much as returning to a time-honored tradition.
Napolean Bonaparte proposed to Empress Josephine with a ring featuring a one-carat pear-shaped sapphire and diamond pointing in opposite directions, a popular setting in the 18th century known as toi et moi. Sold at auction a few years ago for nearly a million dollars, that ring looks modest compared to the betrothal bling of today’s celebrities. Kate Middleton, for example, wears the 12ct Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring that Princess Diana wore.
Famous American brides are now just as likely to show up with engagement rings of ruby or emerald.
Actress Grace Kelly, American-born royalty, received a ruby-and-diamond eternity band from Prince Rainier when he proposed. Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson and Victoria Beckham have followed in her footsteps with ruby-and-diamond engagement rings of their own. Victoria’s ruby is a recent update, one of more than a dozen engagement rings David Beckham has given her over the years, featuring emeralds, sapphires, and yellow diamonds.
Given its blood red color, ruby has long been associated with the heart and passion. For many centuries, it was believed to be a powerful protective talisman if worn on the left hand, the side of the heart. Here’s a sample of the range of ruby engagement rings available to today’s bride.
While diamonds are notoriously hard – you can’t beat a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale – the other top three precious gems are unusually hard as well. Sapphires and rubies are extremely durable and scratch-resistant (each rate 9 on the Mohs scale), and emeralds rate 7.5 – 8. Not only do they deliver a punch of color and a rich history, all are practical for a ring you wear every day.
In the tradition of fashion icon Jackie Kennedy, who received a 2-carat emerald in an elaborate diamond setting from JFK, actresses Halle Berry and Olivia Wilde both wear stunning emerald and diamond engagement rings in unusual settings.
Emerald, the rare green form of beryl, was long believed to be the most powerful curative in the gem kingdom, for heart and spirit as well as body. In ancient Rome, emeralds were dedicated to Venus and believed to bestow faithfulness and undying love – making it a fitting choice for an engagement ring.
You can find all these emerald rings and more here.
If you’re a bride who loves color or a husband-to-be looking for the perfect ring for an unconventional woman, take some time to look beyond the colorless diamond. You’ll find beautiful engagement rings come in every color of the rainbow.