Understanding Jewelry Making And Care

Break Tradition With These Unique Engagement Ring Ideas

Engagement rings have been around for centuries. Traditional standards with a single diamond and a gold band are beautiful, but they aren't necessarily unique enough for every couple. Whether you're a trendsetter, or you simply don't care for the look of gold, breaking with tradition is a fantastic way to individualize your ring and get the look you want. After all, most people will wear their rings every day for the rest of their lives--why not wear something you love? In this short guide, you'll learn about six exciting fashion trends helping to ensure that people everywhere get to wear the perfect ring.

Mixing Metals

For decades, fashionistas have considered mixed metal jewelry to be tacky. Mixing silver with gold, brass with silver, or pewter with bronze was sure to raise the ire of jewelers everywhere. Fortunately, that's no longer the case. Trendsetters now see mixing metals as a way to create more visual interest, adding a touch of color or highlighting the beautiful white sparkle of a solitaire.

Look for rings made from a mixture of white and yellow gold, or pieces that use rose gold in combination with silver. These work best for engagement rings, as they impart a bit of tradition while still breaking the mold. Or, for men's rings, look at mixing white gold with tungsten, a ruggedly durable black metal that's becoming extremely common in themed rings.

Using Other Gemstones Instead of Diamonds

Diamonds may be forever, but they're also very expensive. Furthermore, some people really just find them too plain. If you're the type of person who prefers a semi-precious stone instead, don't be afraid to take the dive and choose a ring that forgoes the diamond altogether. It's becoming more common for jewelers to use stones like the following instead:

  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Amethyst
  • Garnet
  • Aquamarine
  • Topaz
  • Quartz

Even though these stones tend to be more budget-friendly than diamonds, they are still every bit as beautiful if they are cut by a talented jeweler. For the ultimate shimmer and shine, look for stones with a princess or round cut. Finally, if you can't decide on a color, feel free to use more than just one. Just be sure that your color palette matches.

Picking Themed Rings

Weddings are all about finding someone to spend your life with that shares--or at least supports--your passions, hobbies, and lifestyle. This is just one of the reasons why themed rings are becoming so popular. Video game rings, some of which borrow influence from major video game and movie titles, are becoming more popular in geek culture. Similarly, baseball and basketball themed rings are becoming a fun choice for sports lovers.

You don't always have to pick a specifically branded ring for this purpose, either. Choosing rings that incorporate elements from your favorite theme, whether it's sports or steampunk fashion, is fairly easy. In fact, a smaller trend that uses flowers and vines on the side band of engagement rings is a fantastic way to add subtle elements from the fantasy or storybook world.

For men, sports-themed rings are also becoming popular. Simple bands with tire markings, soccer ball patterns, or embellished stitching are a fun alternative to simple, traditional bands. Rings with camouflage stone patterns along the band are perfect for hunters and avid outdoorsmen, too.

Skipping Metal Altogether

Traditionally, metal was used for jewelry simply because it was seen as more permanent and able to withstand the test of time. During the early 1900s, this made a great deal of sense--rings would often cost a few months wages, and they were frequently passed down to the oldest child in the family. In modern times, many people are returning to greener, more natural alternatives instead, like wood.

If you're both supporters of the environment, repurposed wood rings are a fun way to highlight your passion. Better still, they're the perfect alternative for partners who are allergic to metal or find it uncomfortable to wear.

Most designs use wooden inlay within a coated clear band. If the word "inlay" is giving you nightmare flashbacks to station wagons from the 1980s, have no fear: the way they are laid into rings is much different. Instead of cheap paneling, you'll find most rings use a variety of rich, fine hardwoods varnished to a beautiful sheen. Mahogany, cherry, and maple are all rich, beautiful choices for an engagement ring.

Don't be concerned about wood rings breaking down over time, either; most are sealed using an epoxy or clear layer, so they'll withstand the test of time if cared for properly.

There's nothing like being in love to make you want to break all the rules. With the changing face of marriage in the United States, many people are choosing to break with tradition and make customs that suit their personalities best. If you've been searching for the right ring, but can't quite find a unique choice that you love, contact your local jeweler and make an appointment for a showing. He or she can guide you through some of the amazing new styles and options coming out each year.