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Buying an Inexpensive Engagement Ring - Alternatives to a Diamond Engagement Ring
Everyone knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Well, not this girl. I have always wanted to have an engagement ring with a different stone in it – maybe my birthstone or a gem that reminded me of a favorite trip. To me, there are so many different alternatives to a simple diamond ring.
Although many diamond rings are indeed very beautiful, if I am going to commit to staring at something the rest of my life, I want it to be interesting. Not every girl is going to be interested in a non-diamond ring, but the alternatives can be inexpensive and very unique. Here is a sampling of the types of elegant engagement rings that are out there for those looking for a little more pizzazz in an alternative engagement ring. Just make sure that your fiancé is someone who would appreciate a different style of ring than the traditional engagement ring!
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Amethyst is February’s birthstone. Amethyst is a purple crystal that is a form of quartz – it can range in color from a light violet to a dark purple. The name comes from the Ancient Greeks and Romans and means “not intoxicated” because they believe the crystal would protect the wearer from getting drunk. Medieval warriors wore amethysts as jewelry in order to protect them when they went into battle. An amethyst engagement ring would be great for a creative, passionate and sensitive kind of girl.
Aquamarine is one of the birthstones for March. The color of this delicate-looking gemstone can be any type of blue – from pale, almost clear blue to a deep, rich blue. Most of the stones, especially the rarest types, come from Brazil, but aquamarine can be found from Kenya to Russia. Historically, aquamarine has been thought it increase intelligence when you were wearing it. Sailors also used it to cure seasickness! An aquamarine engagement ring would be great for a gentle, friendly and easygoing kind of girl.
Citrine is one of the birthstones for the month of November. This variety of quartz can range widely in color, but the prettiest is the pale yellow stones, which is usually natural citrine. Citrine can also be manufactured artificially by heating lower-quality quartz at a high heat. Most of the citrine produced in the world comes from Brazil, and is extremely similar in look to the yellow topaz, which is much more expensive. A citrine engagement ring would be great for a cheery, lighthearted kind of girl.
Emerald is May’s birthstone. Emeralds are regarded as a very valuable gemstone – they are not very tough stones, but their beautiful, rich green color and rarity will set it apart from other stones. Emeralds have been around for centuries – they are found all over the world and they were originally mined by Egyptians. The emerald has been a part of pop culture and history from the Bible to The Wizard of Oz. An emerald engagement ring is versatile – it would be great for an elegant kind of girl or a wild child, depending on the style!
Garnet is January’s birthstone. The garnet is a form of quartz and can occur is most every color, but is best known for the deep red variety – the rarest color is the blue garnet! Because of the hardness of the stone, one of garnet’s uses outside of jewelry is as an abrasive. The gemstone is believed to have healing powers, helping to regulate blood flow and cure depression. A garnet engagement ring would be great for a practical, logical, intelligent kind of girl.
Onyx is the birthstone for February and also an alternate stone for December. Onyx is a banded form of quartz, which means if you were to look at a slice of it, you would see bands of different colors, which can be pretty much any color in the rainbow. The word onyx comes from a Greek word that means “fingernail” because of its fleshtone color in some varieties. Onyx was used by Ancient Greeks and Romans – they incorporated it into art – and by the Egyptians as pottery. An onyx engagement ring would be great for a hardworking, spirited, action-loving kind of girl.
Opal is the birthstone for October. While opals can be almost any color on the spectrum and many of them have multiple colors within each stone, my favorite for an elegant engagement ring would be the milk opal because of its delicate, creamy color. The vast majority of the world’s opal can be found in Australia and it is the country’s official gemstone. In olden times, the opal was said to give someone to power of invisibility if it was held in the hand wrapped in a bay leaf. An opal engagement ring would be great for a sleek and elegant kind of girl, especially a black or creamy one, or a mysterious kind of girl if you chose a colored opal.
Peridot is the birthstone for August. This gemstone is a form of olivine, which is a material usually found in lava, and it is the most common mineral found inside the Earth! Centuries ago, Egyptians used peridot in their jewelry, although sometimes they have been mistaken for emeralds even in the possessions of royal families. Peridot, unlike other gemstones, occurs in one color: yellow-green. It can be light or a little darker olive color, but there is less variation than other stones. A peridot engagement ring would be great for a refined, feminine kind of girl.
Ruby is the birthstone for July. The name ruby comes from the Latin word for red, reflecting the brilliant hues that rubies are known for around the world. Rubies are second only to diamonds in their hardness and are graded similarly based on cut, clarity, color and carat. There are recorded transcripts talking about transporting rubies in China as far back as 200 B.C.! One of the world’s largest rubies was an amazing 23.1 carats and is housed at the Smithsonian. A ruby engagement ring would be great for a gentle, loving and protective type of girl.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September. Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum and can occur in every color except for red because then it would be a ruby (the red version of corundum.) Sapphire is an extremely hard gemstone and has many uses because of it, including watch crystals. The sapphire is probably best known for its bright blue version, but there are yellow and pink sapphires that are also very beautiful. The 45th wedding anniversary is known as the sapphire anniversary so maybe that will give you a little bit of luck! Sapphires are also said to be powerful gemstones with healing powers and the ability to get rid of envy. A sapphire engagement ring would be great for a bold, outgoing kind of girl.
Tanzanite is naturally a brown color, but when treated with high heat, the beauty of its purple-blue color comes out. Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania, mostly at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and it considered a very rare gemstone. Tanzanite is not an ancient gemstone like some of the others on this list and was discovered fairly recently in comparison. Because of its rarity, a tanzanite engagement ring would be great for a one-of-a-kind girl who is fun loving and craves adventure.
Topaz is the birthstone for November and December – yellow for November, blue for December. Originally, topaz is crystal clear, but different impurities in it can make topaz any color from orange to pink to brown. Topaz is one of the hardest minerals on Earth and the crystals can grow up to several hundred pounds! It is also said to help improve your financial status. A topaz engagement ring would be great for a focused, hardworking and emotional kind of girl.
There are many other options for engagement rings if you do a little research – many of these alternative engagement rings are less expensive than traditional diamonds because there is not as much of a demand for something different.
You could investigate turquoise or coral, which are great looking gemstones that would work for a girl who is a little more natural – both of these gemstones come in a wide variety of styles, not just the standard, traditional style of engagement rings. Pearl is another option for a unique engagement ring. Pearls are an elegant choice, are versatile similar to diamonds for wearing every day (they go with every outfit!) and they come in a wide variety of colors from pure white to pink to black.
The thing to remember is that the most important aspect of the engagement ring is that it will be something special that your fiancé will want to look at for their remainder of her life. An alternative engagement that reminds you of a favorite memory or shared experience is a very distinctive way to show your love and commitment.