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A diamond, or not a diamond that is the question: Reflections on engagement rings

A diamond, or not a diamond that is the question: Reflections on engagement rings

By, Tabitha Miki Head Floral Designer for Jolene Kaneshige Photography

I don’t claim to be GIA certified at all, at best a hobby hack gemstone lover, so please don’t think I am some sort of gemstone authority. I am not. I have always loved how sparkly diamonds are and other gemstones as well. Which got me thinking…before couples start planning their mini vacation to destination – Hawaii, which could turn into a surprise marriage proposal *hint hint,* why not start looking at shinys?  Since I love gemstones, maybe there are other women out there who enjoy all sort of sparkly stones. So if there are so many gorgeous gemstones out there why not let them take center stage? Be different, yet maybe keep with tradition with having diamonds in the setting to have that statement, “I want you forever!” So I started thinking, if I could have a different stone as the center stone what would it be?

Personally, I adore blush zircon and Morganite. (Zircon NOT cubic zirconia which is a synthetic stone, where as zircon is a natural stone. Morganite, in the beryl family, also called the pink emerald was named so after JP Morgan). Which stone will I choose? So hard! For me, I have time before that all has to be settled,but for you couples out there starting that conversation, it could be something you learn about together and see in a new light! A new fascination and education for you both!

A few years ago, I had the privilege of seeing someone beat against convention in person! I met a potential client who had a blue topaz for her center stone with real diamonds on the band as her engagement ring. When I asked her,” why topaz,” she simply replied because she loved blue, bright blue! She was described by one of her friends as someone who was not about convention, and marched to the beat of her own drum! It showed me that there were real people out there who were taking the opportunity to enjoy all the other beautiful stones out there!

The client that I met shifted my whole mind set, as beautiful as diamonds are, I don’t have to be stuck in that  conventional way of thinking. If I like Morganite and/or Zircon, why not tell the person who is my best friend and who I want to be partners in life with, I really prefer Morganite, or Zircon to be my center stone. In fact, its such a happy,carefree feeling! I am free from being locked in with, ”it has to be a diamond!”

Now, what other stones are out there? I have mentioned a few last week, but there are more! Want a royal example of someone choosing something besides diamond as the main act? Princess Diana (now Princess Kate Middleton’s ring), was presented a beautiful sapphire and diamond engagement ring! Sapphire, part of the corundum family but not same as ruby is a 9 on MOH’s hardness scale, making it a perfectly lovely choice for everyday wear! Royal blue not your cup of tea? Prefer something light pink to lavender to almost fushia in color stone? Try kunzite, part of the spodumene family; running at a 6.5 to 7 on MOH’s Hardness Scale. If your significant other works with her hands a lot, consult a jeweler on the durability of your gem of choice!

Now that we have gone through a few of the other choices out there, let’s talk price! So before you gentlemen begin to do your football dance that it may not cost as much as a diamond, you may need to think again! It is true some alternatives are not as costly as diamonds per carat like Topaz; Tanzanite, however, which hails from Tanzania, Africa is just as costly as diamonds! High quality Tanzanite rings can still start at $550 per carat and go upwards from there! So what is the pro of using other gemstones? Being in charge of the color of the ring and design of the ring! It may be such a fun project for you both! Whether you choose a pre-made setting or sitting down with a jeweler, remember – different, fun, beautiful, and unconventional is possible! Also, remember to drop us a line, let’s get started on planning your dream destination surprise engagement proposal in Hawaii!

note: Gem information acquired from: GIA

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