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Not Engaged Yet

non-diamond engagement rings?

Hope I'm putting this in the right place!

My boyfriend and I are not yet engaged, but we plan to be within a couple of years.  We're both 20, I'm in college and he's looking for a job (couldn't afford to go to college, got laid off of his job in this awful economy).  Because of the fact that he doesn't have a job and I'm not sure when he'll get one/how much money he'll be making, I'm considering telling him about non-diamond engagement rings (something he likely wouldn't think of!).  Plus the fact that I think gemstones are beautiful as well.  Trouble is, I'd want a gemstone that still has some meaning - as beautiful as many of them are, I'd prefer having a connection to it other than it being pretty, though that's okay too.

My first thought was that my birthday is in November, so I was thinking about a citrine/yellow topaz ring, but 1) they're kind of hard to find, and 2) I'm unsure about their durability for everyday wear.

My other ideas were ruby (both his and my Mom's birthstones), or an imitation diamond (white sapphire, topaz, etc).

I've found a few on etsy I really like, since I lean towards vintage-inspired rings, and would prefer one with a matching wedding band.  Any suggestions?  Do any of you have gemstone e-rings?

Re: non-diamond engagement rings?

  • edited December 2011
    If you're considering this, talk to your BF about it, then together think of what would be a good possibility.  I was thinking about gemstone rings, and I got really excited about it, only to have my BF tell me that he wouldn't even consider it because he thinks it would be a negative reflection on him, like he couldn't afford the regular thing.  Idk, boys are strange.
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    Me! I do!

    I have a sapphire e-ring and I absolutely love it. I don't particularly like diamonds all that much and my mom had a sapphire e-ring and I always loved it. So when DH and I started talking about getting married and he asked what kind of ring I wanted I told him that I would really prefer a gemstone instead of a diamond. TK is being kind of picky right now so I'll try to upload a picture in a bit but I think I have a picture of it in one of my bios

    Oh and welcome!
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  • atfiveamatfiveam member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    thanks for  the welcome!  Yeah, it is definitely something that I will talk to him about because he can be silly and might think it HAS to be a diamond - in which case, I'm okay with that.  I'm not really sure what I want anyways, I'm happy either way :)
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to non-diamond engagement rings?:
    [QUOTE]Hope I'm putting this in the right place! My boyfriend and I are not yet engaged, but we plan to be within a couple of years.  We're both 20, I'm in college and he's looking for a job (couldn't afford to go to college, got laid off of his job in this awful economy).  Because of the fact that he doesn't have a job and I'm not sure when he'll get one/how much money he'll be making, I'm considering telling him about non-diamond engagement rings (something he likely wouldn't think of!).  Plus the fact that I think gemstones are beautiful as well.  Trouble is, I'd want a gemstone that still has some meaning - as beautiful as many of them are, I'd prefer having a connection to it other than it being pretty, though that's okay too. My first thought was that my birthday is in November, so I was thinking about a citrine/yellow topaz ring, but 1) they're kind of hard to find, and 2) I'm unsure about their durability for everyday wear. My other ideas were ruby (both his and my Mom's birthstones), or an imitation diamond (white sapphire, topaz, etc). I've found a few on etsy I really like, since I lean towards vintage-inspired rings, and would prefer one with a matching wedding band.  Any suggestions?  Do any of you have gemstone e-rings?
    Posted by atfiveam[/QUOTE]

    No matter what advice you get in terms of gemstones.  Remember that if you are both planning on waiting a couple of years to get engaged, bring it up when the time is right.  Focus on your relationship for now.  Focus on the gemstone later. 

    Sapphire brought up a good point.  She mentioned it when THEY were talking about getting married and HE asked what kind of ring she would like.  That is a big difference from doing lots of research on your own and bringing it to your boyfriend. 

    You have lots of time, so why the worry now?  Getting engaged is not about the gemstone.  It is about the marriage that comes after the wedding. 
  • atfiveamatfiveam member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh, I know it is definitely about the wedding and not the gemstone.  But he is very traditional in that he'll want there to be a ring before we're "officially" engaged - which is the only real reason we aren't yet (he wants to pay himself, and he won't get something cheap thinking it will reflect poorly on him).  I do have time, but I was just curious because gemstone rings are less common so I wasn't sure how they compared with diamond rings.  I'm doing research because he probably won't.  We've already discussed rings but the thought of gemstones just came up so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: non-diamond engagement rings?:
    [QUOTE]Oh, I know it is definitely about the wedding and not the gemstone.  But he is very traditional in that he'll want there to be a ring before we're "officially" engaged - which is the only real reason we aren't yet (he wants to pay himself, and he won't get something cheap thinking it will reflect poorly on him).  I do have time, but I was just curious because gemstone rings are less common so I wasn't sure how they compared with diamond rings.  I'm doing research because he probably won't.  We've already discussed rings but the thought of gemstones just came up so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
    Posted by atfiveam[/QUOTE]

    I will point out the obvious to you. 
    1) You are both 20. 
    2) He does not have a job.
    Ergo, you should not be thinking about rings yet.

    You originally said that you are waiting a couple of years to get engaged but now you are waiting until he can afford a ring.  Stick to the first part and the second part probably won't matter anymore.

    Wait.  I get that you are curious, but just wait.  Like I said before, focus on your relationship instead of the ring.  Please. 
  • edited December 2011
    I think that is a great idea! I've actually pitched to my boyfriend the idea of doing the stone for our anniversary month (we started dating in August).
    I'm probably going to get hated on for this (my mom always hates on me for this idea!), but another great alternative is just to go with a high quality cubic zarconia if you dont want to worry about the color clashing with everything. It's a great option because you get all the sparkle of a diamond for a fraction of the cost. Honestly, no one will really be able to tell with the naked eye that its fake unless they are a jewler/gemologist and anyone that would ask would certainly be a tacky person.

    At the end of the day though, it's doesn't matter what kind of ring you have. You aren't any less loved/engaged/married because you have a round piece of metal with some shiny pebbles. Congratulations on your impending engagement!Smile
  • zaneopalzaneopal member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My uncle got my aunt a pretty ring for their vow renewal a few years back. They had both of their birthstones (garnet and ruby) set side by side. They then had 3 tiny stones of their kids' birthstones set on each side in channels (sapphire, diamond, and amethyst).

    So possibly a side-by-side like that? It was custom made, so it was a little pricey, but as you said, you all are a few years out. Obviously you wouldn't need the channel stones, since you don't have kids.

    Wish I had a picture. It's really pretty.

    But as Mutley pointed out...enjoy being 20. Enjoy your relationship. Don't worry about all of this right now.
  • edited December 2011
    I think I missed the part about you guys getting engaged in the next couple of years and it might be a good idea to put this on the back burner for a little while lest you find yourself getting frustrated with the waiting and wondering.

    Mutley is absolutely right about bringing this up when the time is right - for now enjoy your relationship. You'll have plenty of time to work out the other stuff later when the time comes but the time you spend together now you can't get back.
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  • atfiveamatfiveam member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for your input.  This was not supposed to be super serious - I know I'm 20 and I have another year or 2 to go, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was in the market for rings or what-have-you.  Perhaps I shouldn't have even brought it up - curiousity killed the cat, apparently.  Rings are definitely something that's on the back burner, and I'm certainly not in any rush to get engaged or married!   I do love where we are in our relationship now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: non-diamond engagement rings?:
    [QUOTE]Thank you all for your input.  This was not supposed to be super serious - I know I'm 20 and I have another year or 2 to go, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was in the market for rings or what-have-you.  Perhaps I shouldn't have even brought it up - curiousity killed the cat, apparently.  Rings are definitely something that's on the back burner, and I'm certainly not in any rush to get engaged or married!   I do love where we are in our relationship now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
    Posted by atfiveam[/QUOTE]

    Good.  That is just where you should be.

    Everything will fall into place as it should.  When the two of you start talking seriously about getting engaged and the topic of rings comes up, then mention your curiosity about gemstones.  This can be something you research together when the time is right.
  • atfiveamatfiveam member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    you're right - I was just looking for personal experience, but it doesn't really matter right now.  Thanks again.  Hopefully I'll be back at a later date!
  • edited December 2011
    Me and my boyfriend went to look at rings just to see how much he would need to save. We went to Helzberg. They have an excellent collection with so much to choose from, even diamond rings that aren't too expensive. While we were looking they told us about their 12 month same as cash card. Which is like a credit card. Also, you can put rings in layaway. Since my bf discovered he could do this and the ring I wanted wasn't going to break the bank, he bought the ring that day!! You should definitely check Helzberg out and go try on rings. What you love may not be that terribly expensive after all.
  • yellowroseFRAyellowroseFRA member
    100 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    My dad's a geologist who has this pet peeve about diamonds being held in a monopoly and overpriced, so all the jewelry he has bought my mom has been gemstones. Unfortunately, at least from what I know about my mom's stones, they can be every bit as expensive as a diamond, or even more. Rubies definitely = $$$$$.
  • 202987202987 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't care for diamonds as the main stone, so when BF started asking, I told him they are OK as side stones, but I wanted my main one to be color.  I also said no to opal and emerald (because I heard they are really soft and won't last day-to-day).  Last time we talked, he told me to pick blue or purple (and for once I picked blue), so I don't know what stone he has in mind, but I do know it's blue, then diamonds for the side stones.
  • edited December 2011
    Just to add - some men would like 2 years advance notice to start saving for a ring, so if you guys are both on the same page about things, it's not bad for him to have a savings timeline. Obviously saving for basic necessities take priority, but I know my FI would even put $20 in a savings account here or there as he saved. 

    Also, FI and I both agreed to get a moissanite ring. It's much more durable than a lot of gemstone options and you can easily get one for under 1k. FI is like your BF, he wouldn't propose without having a ring to go with it! You can check out some settings at moissaniteco.com
  • edited December 2011
    My BF and I are also going the moissanite route.  We've been working with a private custom jeweler to come up with exactly what I want, and it will be FAR less than what I was going to get in a mall-jewelry store (I'm talking about 4K less!)  It's a totally beautiful stone, without all the conflict/political worry, just as durable and beautiful as a traditional diamond, and waaaaaaaaaay more affordable.
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  • edited December 2011
    You want something on that's a 9/10 on Mohs hardness scale. That generally makes the stone very durable. Diamonds are a 10, ruby, sapphire and I believe topaz are a 9. You should take a geo class, they are very interesting and you can research and learn at the same time.

    However, this is about marriage, not a wedding not a proposal. And you are young! Have some fun. Oh and on the advice side, if he can't afford college, but can't find a job, he might be better off using loans to continue his education to make his income bracket higher later. Trade school, college, whatever his industry may be, get some more education there.
  • edited December 2011
    ^What hetshup said!
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  • edited December 2011
    Ditto Hetsup and Mutley.  If you are waiting a couple years to get engaged (good idea!), then all of this doesn't matter right now.  Your BF will (hopefully) have a job by then and able to save up money.  Then, you can have a discussion about which type of stone is best for both of you.

    Also, to whoever said emeralds are soft: while they aren't the hardest gemstone, they aren't super soft either.  They have a hardness of 8 (diamonds are 10, and the hardest gem stone).  In comparison, opals are 5-6 on that scale.  So if you like emeralds, I'd say they're pretty durable for everyday wear. Just not as much as diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
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  • edited December 2011
    Ditto hetshup and Mutley

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  • 202987202987 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: non-diamond engagement rings?:
    [QUOTE]Also, to whoever said emeralds are soft: while they aren't the hardest gemstone, they aren't super soft either.  They have a hardness of 8 (diamonds are 10, and the hardest gem stone).  In comparison, opals are 5-6 on that scale.  So if you like emeralds, I'd say they're pretty durable for everyday wear. Just not as much as diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
    Posted by noelle24[/QUOTE]

    Sorry-I have no idea about gemstones.  I didn't know that about them.  My mom had an emerald ring she wore for decades, and the emerald crumbled out of the setting not too long ago.  She told me it was because it was a soft stone.  I also only knew about opals because she told me they needed treated with olive oil every so often.  That was what I was going off, which isn't very scientific...

    My bad!  I didn't do so hot in science... :-)
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