Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Semi-Precious Engagement

One day on the train I noticed the girl next to me had on an engagement ring. 

At least, I think it was an engagement ring. The diamond on it was a microscopic fleck. 

I perfectly understand that when it comes to finances, one should always stay within their means, especially when it comes to something unnecessary like an engagement ring. However, where is it written that it must be a diamond? What if, by choosing something more affordable, like semi-precious, one could have a larger stone? 

I love colored stones. I also love large stones. If I had to choose between a huge emerald-cut "something" or a teeny diamond, I'd rather go with the "something."  

The world is filled with a bright, rainbow array of beautiful stones! Yet why do we covet the colorless ones?  ("They sparkle so," Ma says longingly . . .)

Semi-Precious Options

Citrine (quartz family) is my top love. It has a warmth to it that flatters the skin, and looks beautiful with yellow gold.
Garnets' deep red evoke "Her price is far above rubies." 
Peridot is usually an olive green, but can vary in intensity.
Topaz can be clear like diamond, but has a large range of hues and tints. There is Caribbean-beach blue, barely-there green, or citrine-like yellow, just to name a few.  
Blue Topaz
Yellow Topaz
Tourmaline also comes in many shades, and I happen to like their pinks (and I am not even a pink person). Green tourmaline can look similar to an emerald. There are also "ombré" stones that change colors.
Pink Tourmaline
Kunzite is a pale pink-violet. 

Iolite is a rich, deep blue with violet undertones.
Morganite (or "Pink Beryl") is a pale pink. 
Aquamarine (beryl family) is usually turquoise. 

Amethyst (beryl family): purple. 

Green Amethyst (quartz family) is actually regular amethyst that has been treated with heat, morphing the lavender shade to that of a refined barely-there green. 

Pearl: With a variety of prices, quality, and colors, one can have a lot of fun there. 

Alexandrite (chrysoberyl family, which is not the same as beryl): contains more than one shade in its greens and pinks.

Ametrine (quartz family) combines the two shades of amethyst and citrine, hence its name. 
Avail thyself of rainbow hues to profess thy love.


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Well there's always diamonelle...

tesyaa said...

I love these!

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea to try stones other than diamonds, but one of the best things about a diamond ring is its hardness. A lot of these other stones are much more fragile and would probably not hold up well to everyday wear.

Princess Lea said...

MGI: Faux? In my jewelery box? NO.

Tesyaa: Aren't they? All those bright, festive colors!

Anon: I wear semi-precious every day and they seem to wearing well on my fingers. And if something happens to them, it isn't a fortune to replace.

FrumGeek said...

A Green Lantern ring would make the best engagement ring!

Sporadic Intelligence said...

PL: With your Heimish tradition, how can even suggest an Engagement not recognized with a diamond - That's what the engagement is about, no?

But really - I think half of the engagement ring, is not for ourselves, but to let other people know that we're spoken for (and depending on the size of the diamond, how well we're spoken for). A semi-precious stone, while beautiful (love the Ombre) won't convey the same message - "I'm taken"

Princess Lea said...

FG: Form and function!

SI: To defend the heimishe background, I sincerely hope this diamond mishagaas came after our people! I think it was a stunt by DeBeers. If Kate can have a non-diamond (albeit sapphire) why shouldn't we have some fun?

And as for my being spoken for, with my sheitel hair everyone thinks I'm married anyway.

"So how many children do you have?"

"It's in a high ponytail, for God's sake!"

Maya Resnikoff said...

The diamond thing is created by the outside culture- it isn't Jewish in origin at all. If we hadn't had an engagement ring coming from my husband's family, I might well have encouraged a non-diamond ring. (That said, I totally love mine for its origins.) I like having the engagement ring- but my parents never had one, and it doesn't seem to have hurt their marriage any... (Dad used to joke about getting Mom an engagement ring for their 25th anniversary. He didn't do it, but it was pretty funny, as an idea.)

Princess Lea said...

Maya: I like bling as much as the next person, but I like there to me a rhyme/reason to it. To get a diamond ring strictly for an engagement seems rather limiting and forcing the matter. (I like it when I come across something pretty, rather than going out and purposefully purchasing something for an occasion).

Probably I will end up with a diamond engagement ring one day, or else I will be disowned, but to make it a necessity - it isn't remotely!

ZP said...

I truthfully think that the size, shape, and color doesn't really matter. It just matters who gives it you and they picked it out with love. I personally love the idea of a family heirloom because it means that they are integrating you into the family, etc. But as long as its given with love and thought was put into it, what matters is what it represents and the person who you are iy"H building the rest of your life with.

Anonymous said...

Love this! No reason for diamonds, and there are enough expenses as it is. Would I have said this as a blushing bride? Hmmm...

tovah said...

I got a diamond necklace for my engagement raher than a big ring. I do love my simple gold band.

Whenever I see those little tiny diamonds, I get kind of teary-eyed thinking of the guy working so hard to get his beloved a diamond ring.

Anonymous said...

i recently got engaged, and between my boyfriend and me there is juuuuust about enough money to live off wackymac till the end of time. there were people who suggested we wait until he could afford a "nicer" ring, with bigger bling. but we didn't want to wait that long. i wasn't sure what he was going to do.

the ring he eventually proposed with is beautiful - but untraditional. there is a square-cut sapphire in the center, and two small diamond studs on either side. i love it because the sapphire shines many different colors in the sun, and it makes me feel unique - i have yet to see someone else with a ring like mine. it also reminds me that just because we don't have enough money to afford some of the things other people take for granted, doesn't mean we can't still have something beautiful together.

that being said, i have been shocked by some of the comments people seem to feel appropriate to make. one woman who knew i had gotten engaged made a big show of looking for a ring on my hand, and when she found it, exclaimed, "is that all he could afford? i have bigger stones than that on my everyday earrings!"

Princess Lea said...

ZP: I would rather if I picked it out! I have very particular tastes. He doesn't even have to be there. "Go on, I'll get you some cufflinks while I'm there."

RK: THAT's the question. How many young kallahs are able to think "out of the box"? :D

Tovah: That's why I'm all for getting more bang for your buck.

Anon: Sapphire! How very Kate Middleton! I love sapphires. I didn't mention them in the post since they can cost as much as diamonds.

Isn't it fun having a colored stone for your engagement ring? It must add so much zest to an outfit!

iRiR said...

I like the yellow topaz, especially because it looks like a yellow diamond which is worth even more than a clear one, in many cases.

I got a very large diamond in my ring (my in-laws are in the diamond business) and the comments I get on that is just as unfun. Like "woah, you have a rock" with this accusing look like I took something away from them...

Princess Lea said...

iRiR: My cousin just wants a yellow diamond. She doesn't care about a wedding at all, she just wants a yellow diamond. The Louis Glick ads make her drool.

I have some family on 47th Street, so I can understand the "insider" status, to some vague extent.

But if someone chokes when seeing your bling, please be understanding. We hurt inside, that is all. :D

Sparrow said...

My objection to diamonds comes as much from the blood diamond controversy as the rest of the factors. That, and when a guy I was dating seriously mentioned that he was thinking of saving up for a ring and mentioned an amount he thought was appropriate to spend to get it.
I choked out, "you want to spend that much, on a rock?!" At this stage of life, I'd rather have something pretty and most of that money go to something needed.

Princess Lea said...

Sparrow: Although it is possible to get a "blood-free" diamond, one that is hopefully not from the war-torn area of the Congo.

If a guy said he would spend a hypothetical amount on bling, I don't think I would be strong enough to turn him down.

Sparrow said...

It wasn't hypothetical. Trouble was, this was a man who has issues affording gas money for his job/internship and was trying to save up for it. (He's a student) I can't accept a gift that takes money from something needed.

Well, yes, but I usually don't like them very much either - not enough color for me.
What do you think of opals?

Princess Lea said...

Ooh, then we have a problem. Got no money for gas? The ring goes on the back burner.

Opals are also pretty, but one has to tread carefully because sometimes they can look like a lost relic from the original Star Trek series.