Why You Should Try An Unconventional Engagement Ring

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White diamonds have always taken centre stage but why not try something different that reflects you and your love’s uniqueness? The simplest twist on a traditional engagement ring is an alternate stone or diamond colour.


Coloured diamonds “…but square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” — Marilyn Monroe 

CHAMPAGNE

Fashioned by celebrities such as the foreverbeautiful Marilyn Monroe in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, champagne and yellow diamonds are for the glamorous bride. These diamonds reflect a sense of joy and prosperity in a couple’s life. It is also said that these rocks bring luck and victory as they initiate ingenuity and creativity. When deciding on what style to purchase, pay particular attention to the four Cs (cut, colour, clarity and carat) as these diamonds are physically coloured. The concentration of their colours plays an important role in their valuation. Colours can range from dusty, almost-brown champagne to a bright canary yellow. An oversized cocktail-style design has been the most popular over the years, however, due to its brightness, a smaller pear shape is also quite stunning.

BLACK DIAMOND

Increasingly popular, the black diamond is the perfect ring for the sleek, modern bride. The diamond’s dark features allude a sense of mystery said to represent the endless depths of your feelings and the unknown possibilities of life together with your betrothed. Most black diamonds are treated in colour, allowing you to choose from a light grey to an almostopaque-black stone. Due to its opaque nature, the stones do not sparkle like a white diamond as they can’t refract light. Therefore, the stone is generally finished in a round opal or princess cut to enhance the intensity of its colour. Many women opt to include a halo of white diamonds to truly offset the dark stone and give the ring an overall art deco look. These diamonds are also signifi cantly more affordable than their white counterparts.

PINK DIAMOND

Think pink for the princess bride! These little rocks are extremely rare and come with a hefty price tag, but their magnifi cence is surely worth it. An engagement ring with a pink stone is a special way to convey the love between you and your beloved — the pink hue refl ecting the flushed pink cheeks one experiences when in love. The brightest pink rocks come from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia and are thus often considered to be the Australian diamond. Their colour is due to a natural deformation in the crystalline structure of the stone, which is what makes them so rare. However, it is possible to fi nd synthetically enhanced pink diamonds for a more affordable price. Ranging from soft pastel pinks to strong magenta, these stones represent a feminine and romantic gesture of the heart.

Precious stones Emeralds, rubies and sapphires — oh my!

SAPPHIRES

Contrary to many beliefs, there are only four precious stones in the world: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. The rest are considered semi-precious stones. The wonderful thing about choosing one of these stones for your special ring is their unique grandeur and meaning. Sapphires have a special place throughout history and within many religions. According to Jewish tradition, Moses was given the Ten Commandments on a plate made out of sapphire to symbolise the heavens. This biblical story brings a sacred association to the stone and the origins of its healing and protective powers. In medieval times, the stone was believed to bring good fortune as it was a symbol of strength and kindness. In more contemporary stories, the sapphire has been fashioned in movies such as the Heart of the Ocean necklace in James Cameron’s Titanic. Blue is considered to be the true colour of the sapphire, although it can come in a range of different colours. The most popular shade is a velvety cornflower blue, but royal blue will really stand out when coupled with your white gown!

EMERALD

The sacred stone of the Roman goddess Venus, the emerald is the love-preserving stone. In Christianity, these stones are a symbol of faith and hope, often used in medieval times as protection against the evil eye and bad spells. Green stones are for peaceloving brides as their colour reflects the tranquil beauty of nature. Opt for a radiant or baguette cut on a gold band to really make the colour pop.

RUBY

For the fiery-spirited bride, choose a red ruby! Considered to be the queen of stones and the stone of kings, the ruby has many myths attached to its regal properties. In many cultures, red is considered the colour of passion and vitality. To many, red rubies represent the sun — its shine glowing an inextinguishable flame like the love for your betrothed. The price tag is dependent on the intensity of the colour, the bright blood-like red being the most expensive. All natural rubies have imperfections from colour impurities as well as inclusions known as “silk”, which occur as patchiness or cloudiness. For the more classic bride, choose a deep-red ruby with a gold band to complement the warmth of the red. Alternately, for the more contemporary bride, balance the ruby with a crisp silver band, this will give the ruby a glossy raspberry finish.

Custom designed and era inspired “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel

ALTERNATIVE BANDS

The focal point of a ring has always been the stone but why not opt for a unique wedding band? Generally, wedding bands of gold and silver have been the most popular but there has been an increasing interest in rose-coloured gold and blackened wedding bands. The colour and shape can work to enhance the centre stone — a halo of white diamonds and a gold band will offset a dusty champagne diamond. Gimmal and puzzle ring designs have recently made a comeback too. Gimmal rings are bands of usually two or three that fit together to make one complete ring. A puzzle ring is made up of several interconnected rings that make up one whole. Both these rings symbolise the special connection between you and your betrothed. Other options include a textured band such as a linking silverchain design or add some more bling and encrust extra diamonds. Get the vintage look with a wovenmetal design that adorns the central stone. Or go ultra modern and choose a sleek wide band with a small single diamond. The possibilities are endless.

CULTURAL HOMAGE

Weddings bring families together so a ring that reflects the unity or continuity of cultures can be something extra special. Pick a ring that resembles a family heirloom or one that is culturally specific such as the Irish Claddagh ring. The Claddagh is a traditional Irish ring in the form of two hands holding a heart, symbolising friendship and love. The ring is so symbolic that even the way one wears it has special importance. Wear it on your left hand with the point of the heart away from you to symbolise engagement and towards you when married.

SPECIAL DESIGNS

Ultimately, the most unique ring will be one you design from scratch. Consider the qualities of your relationship, memories or special moments and what can be used to symbolise them. Construct acoustic rings by using several stones to spell out the name of your partner or be inspired by the jazz era and opt for darker stones. Whatever you decide, it will be something so unique to your love, it will bring you happiness for years to come.

 Words: Steph Dunbar

 

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