Why Couples Are Choosing Semi-Precious to Make Their Promise
You’ve met the one. You’re planning forever. You’re daydreaming about your wedding day and, secretly, he goes out and buys you a ring uncannily like the one you happened to have sent him by mistake. He drops to the knee, opens the box and what’s inside? A huge sparkling diamond.
But why a diamond?
Some people adore diamonds, and fairly so. They’re a spectacular stone with the rigour to survive our modern lifestyle. Their legacy can be traced back to Ancient Greek civilisations who revered their beauty and mythical influence.
It’s also fair to say that the idea of diamonds being rare and covetable was sold to us by De Beers in the 1930s, who to this day continue to own the majority of the world’s diamond mines. De Beers monopolise the market and actively ration diamonds, creating the illusion that they are in limited supply and thus driving up their price. It was De Beers who collaborated with a New York advertising agency and commissioned the well-established folklore marketing campaign, diamonds are forever.
So, do we need to keep buying into this campaign? It seems that more and more couples are opting out.
The changing trend is no doubt hugely influenced by the success of social media in showcasing the work of emerging jewellery designers, who are challenging the big manufacturers in considered, unique ways. These artitsans are taking reign of their own advertising campaigns and breathing fresh life into an industry that has followed a formulaic strategy for decades. Designers like Natalie Marie, Grew & Co. and Mania Mania are just a few of the designers paving the way with curated, pastel feeds, sparkling with soft and vibrant colourful gemstones. Ruusk is another brand to watch; diverging onto their own route of stripped-back, signet-heavy designs which rebel against traditional sparklers altogether.
Another reason for the shift away from diamonds? The Price. As costs mount all around us, we’re forced to consider each little hike and critically assess whether it’s worth it. Shifting money into one bucket means shovelling it out of another. When you consider that the average cost of a diamond engagement ring is in excess of $5000, managing that huge expense along with the mountain of bills attached to everyday life may be overwhelming. How long do you want to be shovelling money into that ring bucket?
Even with costs aside, semi-precious stones encompass a plethora of possibilities, not as accessible with traditional pricey diamonds. Especially if your dream ring needs more than one stone. As society steers away from mass manufacture, consumers are beginning to see the appeal in making a bespoke promise.
Each gemstone comes with its own lore. A crystal is a product of the earth’s vibrations, created over thousands of years by all the mystical, pulsating forces that make up this wild world we live in. Sometimes what the earth creates is pink; an amalgamation of compassionate, healing and assured energy. Sometimes it’s vivid blue, channeling currents of wisdom, sincerity and faithfulness. Sometimes it uncovers an ethereal grey; a psychic, synchronised awakening.
Semi-precious stones give you the opportunity to ask yourself, who is your partner and what do they mean to you? What does eternity look like with this person? Perhaps its a little different to what you’ve always been sold. Perhaps its unique.
Wrap these lush colours in platinum, yellow gold or rose and *swoon* - not only are you giving a heart-felt promise, you’re giving a piece of art.
So for anyone curious about stepping away from tradition, below is a collection of just a few of our favourite semi-precious engagement stones.
Rocking drool-worthy shades of blush, morganite is arguably the most popular gemstone for contemporary engagement jewellery thanks to its affinity with millennial pink. Morganite engagement rings range from $200 to $2500; small change compared to the eye-watering price of a pink diamond. Morganite is a symbol of divine love and healing, ensuring that you seal your engagement with a promise of compassion.
Cool, coastal blue and oh-so-striking, sapphire is a symbol of wisdom and faithfulness. Sapphires are incredibly durable, coming in behind diamonds as the toughest stones for jewellery.
Honey-hued and happy, citrine is a joy to behold thanks to its playful yellow tone. Traditionally an anniversary stone, citrine is skipping to the front of the queue and joining the ranks of engagement jewellery thanks to its promises of health and prosperity.
Lustrous, iridescent and unique, the opal ring promises whimsey and mystery. The power of an opal is said to release inhibitions, leading to their association with love and passion. We think this means honesty, and isn’t that the basis of any great relationship? Opals are also truly rare, much rarer than a diamond.
Each labradorite stone is truly unique and magical; unearthly in its varying, ethereal shades. Labradorite is said to aid in understanding and clarity, and dispelling negative associations. While not as durable as other stones, a labradorite is an engagement ring as unique and honest as the love you have for your life partner.
ARTICLE BY: Cat Goss