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Diamonds aren’t necessarily a millennial girl’s best friend. Whether they have economic limitations, concerns over conflict diamonds or a desire to express themselves with a more boldly colored gemstone, more and more brides are looking for non-diamond engagement rings.
Young couples in love want a ring that represents who they are, the life they want to build, and their unique love. “Sometimes that uniqueness is expressed through a colored gemstone or a precious metal band,” explains Lisa Bridge, CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler. “A gemstone could be selected because it is a favorite color, it is from a meaningful place, or it represents a special connection.”
Meet the Expert
Lisa Bridge is a gemologist and the first female CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler, a company that has been in her family for five generations. In 2015, Ben Bridge launched the Lisa Bridge Collection, a jewelry collection designed by Lisa.
Bridge cautions that the primary consideration when selecting a non-diamond ring is its durability: “The ring should be able to stand the test of time and be worn and enjoyed every day. Looking for a strong and durable gemstone is key. Some gemstones can be easily scratched or need special care, it is important to keep in mind how the gemstone will match their lifestyle.”
Sapphire is one of the most popular alternative stones for an engagement ring. Since Princess Diana revealed her stunning sapphire engagement ring, one that Kate Middleton now wears, these gorgeous gemstones have become more sought-after. According to Bridge, sapphires are next to diamonds on the scientific MOHS hardness scale. “Diamonds score a 10 in terms of hardness, sapphires score a 9,” she says. “Sapphires come in a rainbow of colors and are a great option for an engagement ring.”
Ahead, some of the loveliest non-diamond engagement rings that can be treasured for a lifetime.