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Unconventional Engagement Rings – Part 1

In this blog, we’ll discuss some alternatives to traditional engagement rings.
Rings have been used as tokens of love, devotion, and fidelity for millennia. But why settle for conventional engagement and wedding rings? A raised diamond set in gold or platinum is only one option!
In this blog, I will discuss some alternatives to traditional engagement rings to get you thinking about what you want to use to symbolize your commitment to your partner.

  • Stones set low into bands
  • Hand-engraved bands without stones
  • Poesy rings with engraved messages

Option 1: Low Profile Rings
For couples who like the look of classic gold, platinum, and diamond engagement rings, but feel that an old-fashioned solitaire will just get in the way, a terrific option is to go low profile.
Instead of having a large stone placed above the finger in a vulnerable setting, check out styles that use smaller stones set low into a wider band. Often branded as “right-hand rings,” these pieces can be just as glamorous as a single large diamond and are usually less expensive.
Metal bands without stones are also elegant and easy-to-wear. Hand engraving is a wonderful art form that can elevate a simple band into something truly special. And for those do-it-yourself couples, many enterprising goldsmiths are willing to help novices craft rings from scratch in their workshops.
Option 2: The Message Matters
Those who wish to express their love in words should consider a “poesy ring” that combines a classic band of precious metal with a short and tender sentiment.
Popular from the Middle Ages onward, poesy rings can have their message hidden inside the band or inscribed on the outside for all to see. Some are engraved in the script and embellished with fanciful designs while others appear outwardly plain. Small gemstones and enamel can also be used to decorate the band.
Historical examples of poesy rings are on display in museums worldwide with inscriptions in several languages, such as:

  • “True Love Is Endless”
  • “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love conquers all)
  • “Vous et Nul Autre” (You and no other)

Poesy rings are gaining in popularity and many modern-day jewelers offer them in designs that replicate historical examples. Those with bigger budgets can purchase genuine antique poesy rings. And, of course, a couple can choose to design an engagement and/or wedding ring with their own words.
In my next blog, I’ll discuss a few more options for unconventional engagement rings.

About the Author
C. M. St. John is a Graduate Gemologist and Appraiser at The Provident Loan Society. Gems and jewelry are a lifelong interest and much easier to collect than architecture, which is her other great passion.

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