When it comes to tradition, gold and platinum remain the most popular choices for both men’s and women’s engagement and wedding rings. Yet our best-selling metals, especially for men, are alternatives like tungsten, cobalt, black zirconium, and titanium. Not only do they make a unique (and decidedly masculine) statement, these metals are rising in popularity because they are less expensive than precious metals AND are more durable.
We’ve been noticing an uptick lately in customer requests for diamond-alternative gemstones that radiate eye-catching colors and sparkle. We’ve had a long-time love affair with many of the stones that are trending now. Here are five of our faves that are getting a lot of attention these days:
True or false? A synthetic gemstone is a fake gemstone.
False! Many people often confuse the word synthetic as meaning “not real.” But when it comes to gemstones, the natural ones dug from the earth and the ones that are made in a laboratory have the exact same structural, chemical, and optical properties. As the Gemological Institute of America explains, gemstones are grown in the lab using chemicals that, under proper conditions, arrange themselves into crystals -- in the exact same way they form in nature. The only differences between the two are whose hands created them--Mother Nature’s or a human’s--and the time it took to form (eons in nature, much less in the lab).
“How much art and science…and what care is necessary to render the sun-beams which are imprisoned in a tiny polyhedron of pure carbon, brilliant and sparkling!” -- French art critic Charles Blanc, 1875
Oh, what some guys will do for love.
With the rise in social media, popping the question these days has become a far less private affair. Some people go to great lengths to turn it into a theatrical performance, or a spectacle: the elaborately orchestrated flash mobs, impossibly exotic locales (think Seal proposing to Heidi in an igloo on a mountain peak, or William and Kate while on safari in Kenya), or in the middle of extreme activities (on a roller coaster, sky diving, swimming with sharks). So romantic! So wild at heart!
The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh. - Rumi (1207-1273 A.D.)
What do we mean when we say a diamond or a gemstone is “guilt-free” or “conflict-free” or “fairly traded”? And why should we care?
These days, more and more couples do care, very deeply, that the precious gems they wear to symbolize their love come from a place of love. Studies indicate that Millennials are even more idealistic than their Baby Boomer parents, and more pragmatic: They are marrying their social consciousness and values with their wallets, and insist that the products they buy are fairly traded, ethically produced, conflict and guilt free.