Must you select a Diamond Wedding Ring?
Submitted Wedding Ring Question:
My fiance and I would like to get engaged and are looking for the ring. Do we have to go with a diamond for my wedding ring?
Your engagement ring is a symbol of the commitment you would like to make to your partner. It’s a very personal choice that should reflect such a statement.
The diamond industry would like for you to believe that a diamond wedding ring is the *only* choice, when in fact it’s simply one of many choices available to you. If you do decide to go with a diamond, you don’t have to “buy into” another favorite of the diamond industry: you absolutely do NOT have to spend two month’s salary on it. As a former salesperson in the jewelry industry, I can let you in on a little secret…there’s nothing jewelry salespeople like more than an uninformed customer. It allows them to meet their sales quota by selling you a diamond of sub-standard quality for a marked up “sale” price. So, the best thing for a consumer to do is study up on the subject before they even go looking for the ring.
If you’re looking for diamond specific advice, a good place to start is Peter Mlynek’s Engagement Diamond Faq which has some excellent advice or you can take a look at Jim Kokernak’s diamonds faq which is also a good resource. If you decide that you don’t want a diamond…there are actually more options available to you than if you do. Visit a few jewelry stores to find out what you like, and go from there. If you like the look of a diamond, but not the price…Cubic Zirconia is a good option. Very few people can tell the difference, and you can get a larger stone for your wedding ring at a smaller price if you’d like.
If you decide on a colored gemstone, you still need to do a little research and can start with International Colored Gemstone Association’s site or you can visit the Gemstone Reference Library or even Amethyst Galleries’ Mineral Gallery which is an extensive site and even allows you to search their database in a number of different ways. The choices in colored gemstones are endless. You can choose a birthstone, favorite color or even a stone that has gem-lore associated with it.
A good place to find out about gem-lore is through Benjamin Mark’s e-mail newsletter Tidbit’s. Of course, if you choose, you don’t need a stone on your wedding ring at all. It can be a plain (or fancy) gold or silver wedding band. If you decide on this type of engagement ring…my best advice would be to get it at a discount department store (Wal-Mart, Ames, K-mart are some examples) as it will cost you less and the quality is comparable…if not the same..as a similar band at a jewelry store. Another option is no ring…you can choose wedding jewelry. A bracelet or necklace with no clasp has the same sentiment as a wedding ring: an unbroken cirle of love. Truly, the options are unlimited and you and your partner are the only ones who know what represents you best. Even after all of the above advice, the choice is entirely yours…and you don’t have to go with *anything* unless you want to.