Debunking Wedding “Have To’s” | Diamond Drama

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This post is part of a series where I address wedding “Have To’s” that really aren’t anything anyone HAS to do at all. I offer what I have seen and what I know as proof to you – the people out there wondering if you belong in this Wedding Industry, wondering if what you envision for your wedding can actually work – that yes YOU DO and yes IT CAN. And eagerly accept feedback and comments about these Have To’s and others you’d like to talk about.

Wedding Have To: Diamond Engagement Ring

I am lucky to have a friend who is also a Graduate Gemologist and expert in all things sparkly. A few years ago, she wrote a blog post that I shared on this blog about non-traditional engagement rings, which I love, because the whole expectation of diamond engagement rings is painfully eye-roll-inducing. (Incidentally, according to this article, the whole diamond engagement ring trend can be attributed to a 20th century marketing campaign.) I would argue that the diamond engagement ring is just one more aspirational product created by the Wedding Industry. And while I do love a ring as a symbol of a commitment (my own ring has my wife’s birthstone and her ring has mine), I also love seeing rings that are unique and stand out among the thousands of diamonds one encounters in the wedding world.

So as we find ourselves again in mid-February, a busy time for proposals and engagements, I thought my friend Aimee’s tips for choosing a non-traditional engagement ring were relevant once again. Read on for more and check her out at


When you think of an engagement ring you probably envision a clear, sparkling diamond, maybe with a few smaller stones around it. But today, many couples are looking for something more individual, a ring that speaks to their own interests and lifestyle.

Here are recent trends in engagement rings, as noted by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):

  • Geometric shapes: Move over, circles and ovals, and make way for rectangles, triangles, and pears.
  • Whimsical designs: Off-center stones; uncut natural stones with rough surfaces instead of facets.
  • Unique bands: Instead of a simple band, rings have split and bejeweled bands. Plus, we’re seeing more mixed metals, like rose gold and white gold, in the same ring.
  • Stackables: More than just an engagement and wedding ring set, people are adding 2 or more bands for extra effect.

One of the biggest trends: Colored stones

While the traditional engagement ring had a clear diamond, there have always been other gems, like sapphires and emeralds. Today the use of colored stones has exploded. In 2017, even Tiffany featured an engagement ring with a large aquamarine, surrounded by two circles of diamonds (they still offer it, but don’t feature it as an “engagement ring.”)

More and more couples are choosing from a rainbow of stones:

  • Fancy yellow/brown/black/pink/blue diamonds (diamonds yes, but not the traditional clear diamond)
  • Tanzanite, with a bright blue/purple hue
  • Topaz, in blue, yellow, green, pink, purple, vibrant orange, and red
  • Alexandrite, which turns different colors in the light
  • Moonstones
  • Sapphires or other birthstones
  • Even pearls!

If you’re thinking about using a stone other than diamond:

  • Consider the stone’s durability. Rings that are worn for decades will be banged and bumped and scratched. Something like opal, for example, may be breathtaking but it’s not as durable as others.
  • You love the ring now, but think about the future. A super-trendy ring may not stand the test of time. Maybe simple is better?

If you choose to have an engagement ring, it will be a sign of your commitment for decades to come. Make it yours, and make it spectacular!

Aimee Berrent, a GIA Graduate Gemologist and owner of A Matter of Brilliance. Aimee is a jewelry expert!  Whether it’s helping you with the stones you’re considering, appraising your engagement ring, or supplying you with the documentation you’ll need when it’s time to insure it, you can go to Aimee for all of your jewelry-related questions. 


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