Mention the words “engagement” and “ring” to a girl, and you’re likely to see her jumping up and down squealing about diamonds. While a large majority of the female population do go gaga over these sparkly rocks, not every girl would consider diamonds her best friend forever. How do you proclaim your undying love for the girl who isn’t all that interested in a diamond?
By showing her you understand her colourful and unique personality, of course. A trend popularized by the likes of the late Princess Diana and style icon Jackie O, engagement rings showcasing a beautifully coloured gemstone have been sparkling in the limelight of late. With their bright colours offering jewellers a brilliant myriad of creative opportunities, coloured gemstones appear in many different design combinations. And because sapphires, rubies, emeralds and semi-precious stones occur naturally in an almost infinite spectrum of hues, the unique colour of a chosen gem is a fitting tribute to that special woman in your life.
Like Halle Berry’s custom-designed emerald and diamond ring inscribed with code about her and husband Olivier Martinez’s love story, an engagement ring is a declaration of commitment, and a perfect opportunity to express a couple’s unique journey together. With so many different kinds of precious stones and the increasing availability of diamonds and sapphires in fancy colours like pink, orange, and violet, there’s no reason not to stand out from the crowd with this most treasured of jewellery. SingaporeBrides explores four facets to choosing a ring that isn’t just the biggest and the flashiest, but a ring that’s special, just like your girl.
1. Reflect a birthstone
One of the most popular ways to choose an engagement gem is to go for the one representing her birth month. Gifting her with a ring personalised with her birthstone tells her that you think the day she arrived on earth was the luckiest day of your life. Presenting her with your own birthstone can symbolize the entrusting of your life into her care. Or include the both of you in this token of love—choose a stone that represents the month in which you both commit to spend the rest of your lives together.
2. Highlight her personality
Choose a jewel that best represents your girl’s unique personality. Is she a fierce, passionate go-getter with a burning wit? Get her a deep red ruby to match her flashing eyes and snappy wisecracks. Perhaps she’s more of a tree-hugging, tofu-eating yoga enthusiast who rescues every kitten she sees; she’ll appreciate you not spending thousands on a blood diamond when an emerald in the rough, set in recycled gold, more truly expresses her dedication to nature. If she’s a girly girl who adores all things frilly in every shade of pink, giving her a sapphire in her favourite colour is sure to earn you high-pitched squeals of feminine delight.
The design of the ring should also reflect your darling bride’s personality. The interplay of hues in rings with coloured gemstones allows for creative styles that can reflect any bride’s taste. Art Deco rings, for instance, are rising in popularity with their geometric designs in jewels of vivid, contrasting colours—perfect for the woman who likes making a bold fashion statement. Celebrate her individuality with vintage jewellery or a different gemstone cut, such as a pear-shaped or baguette-cut gem, or make a promise that stands the test of time with a three-stone setting that represents past, present and future.
3. Signify with a stone
Precious and semi-precious stones have historically been associated with certain meanings. Sapphires are a symbol of fidelity, rubies of yearning and understanding, emeralds of faith and wonder, pearls of purity and wisdom, and topaz of strength and success, to name a few. Representing enduring love and loyalty, the magnificent 18-carat sapphire surrounded by 16 diamonds on Kate Middleton’s finger is Prince William’s way of remembering his mother as he pledges to love and honor the Duchess.
Gift your artistic beloved with a beautiful Paraíba tourmaline in neon turquoise, a rare precious stone from the heart of Brazil, to tell her you admire her creativity and intuition. Profess your steadfast commitment with a sapphire ring stunning in its vivid blue sparkle—and its likeness to the royal jewels—and earn brownie points by making your lady feel like a queen.
4. Zoom in on quality
Because coloured gemstones form in a myriad of conditions, grading them is a highly complex process with countless variables. Although coloured stones do not have a standard grading system such as GIA’s International Diamond Grading System, geminologists also value them according to the 4 C’s—Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.
Generally, colour is the most important criterion when selecting a gemstone, with intense, vibrant hues in medium to medium dark tones being the most sought after. Judging a gemstone on clarity varies according to individual type; aquamarines have naturally few inclusions (characteristics enclosed within a gemstone’s formation), while it is perfectly acceptable for emeralds and rubies have some. In fact, certain kinds of inclusions actually enhance the beauty of a jewel, such as the natural phenomena of star sapphires and star rubies. These rare gems are cut in a cabochon to showcase the milky inclusion shining through in the shape of a star.
While coloured gemstones can be shaped in the sparkling brilliant cut so popular with diamonds, jewels with a vivid, beautiful colour can be better shown off with fewer facets, such as with the step or emerald cut. When searching for the perfect ring for your beloved, do not hesitate to ask your jeweller about the particular properties of the stone you want.
One ring to bind them
Choosing an engagement ring doesn’t need to be a daunting task, regardless of the many hints she has sent your way. What truly matters to a girl is the thought and care you’ve put into the hunt because you want to show her what you see in her, and just how much you like what you see. You want her to know how much you adore the way she sniffles during sappy commercials about eating rice with family, how you’re still amazed that her resourcefulness unearthed that vintage camera lens you’ve been dreaming of, or how you admire her adventurous spirit, that gamely tries all kinds of things in the great outdoors with you.
An engagement ring is a symbol of your conviction that this woman, with all her personality ticks, is the one you can’t live without, so choose a ring that shows her you’re marrying her for who she is.
La Vie Celebration Collection (H) from Goldheart