Get ready for the season of pearl engagement rings! The gem of the sea is making its way onto many a ring finger, and we can't be more in love with this timeless, yet contemporary look that is anything but your grandmother's ring.

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but there's no denying the lustrous elegance and glamour of a pearl engagement ring. As more brides are defying the traditional norms of the diamond for their engagement ring and embracing a gem that best suits their style, many have come to lust after the ocean's deepest treasures.

And who can blame them? Incandescent and timeless, pearl engagement rings shine in their own right and offer a unique but equally stunning option for the alternative bride. In fact, pearl-loving brides certainly seem to be on to something — the pearl was once known as the "Queen of the Gems," a prized possession among the Egyptians and Romans alike, made highly valuable by their rarity.

Although (thankfully) more accessible in the modern era, the oyster's gem hasn't lost its brilliance. If anything, the options are bountiful. Don't be fooled — pearls are more than glowing white orbs. From baroque to elliptical and peach to silver, they come in a variety of shapes and colors, allowing brides to perfect that personalized look they covet.

Despite their ancient history, today's pearls aren't fashioned into a style you'd catch your grandmother wearing. Think they're not alternative enough for you? Forgo their traditional shape and opt for a ring with a pearl inlay for a contemporary twist. And if you're desiring both pearls and diamonds, there are plenty of designs that accommodate both, whether it's a diamond setting or a pearl and diamond cluster. Go big or go home, right?

As an extra sweet touch, the pearl is said to symbolize harmony , purity (in true wedding tradition), and, in ancient times, the moon. And you know what they say — "live by the sun, love by the moon." How fitting.

Behold, 25 riches from the sea that look just as nice on your finger as they do in the mouth of an oyster.

Photo: "Reverse Attelage Suite No.1" ring set with akoya pearls and champagne diamonds in 14K yellow gold, $6,300, Anna Sheffield

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Sheffield

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