Nope, I’m not engaged! But I will be.. sometime. When we do get engaged, we will be picking out the ring together. Like many women, I always thought of a colorless diamond solitaire as THE default / traditional engagement ring.
I’ve mentioned before that I’d rather have a great trip than an engagement ring. Then my friends started getting engaged (one in particular has an especially gorgeous ring!) and I was surrounded by diamonds. What’s wrong with having a great trip AND a ring, right? In a moment of bling-induced weakness, I told CB that, er, perhaps I DO want a diamond. I believe my exact words were: “I know I am a sucker for all the marketing, but they are so shiny…”
Say what you will about the diamond industry and its many problems (and let’s be honest, I don’t think mining for any type of gemstone is sunshine and roses), DeBeers is a branding genius and market maker and credit must be given where credit is due. Diamonds are fiery, precious, and hard enough for every day wear, and just beautiful from an aesthetic perspective.
Upon closer reflection, however, I realized that while I like and appreciate diamonds, I just don’t want a diamond enough to spend $5,000 or $6,000 it will take to get something that we like or to spend $1,000 and get a diamond of lower quality. A little voice inside me says, “$6,000 amortized over 50 years of marriage (optimistic one, aren’t I?) will be just a little more than $100 a year! So if you really want a diamond, go for it.” Then another little voice chimes in, “but do you really, really truly deeply do want a diamond?”
Once I started to move beyond the “diamond = engagement ring” paradigm, I started thinking about something a little bit more nontraditional. For example, how about something colored AND not a diamond? When I was growing up, ruby was my favorite gemstone. Red is my favorite color, and is, conveniently for me, also the color associated with love. When started googling ruby rings. I’ve found a picture of the ring I really like (see above): a large ruby surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. Best part is, many gemstones can be created in labs, which means they are cheaper than mined stones and free from the ethical issues that might arise with mining.
I am not 100% confident, but it’s looking more and more likely that I will be sporting a nontraditional engagement ring.