We’ve seen so many precious stones and gems adorning left hands in lieu of the more traditional diamond this year. For whatever reason, many ladies are opting for non-traditional styles and center stones for their rings, so I decided to dig into this topic and find out just what these “new” stones stand for…and what their origins in jewelry are!
First of all, let’s chat a little about why and when the diamond became the popular option for engagement rings.
History tells us that Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave the first diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The trend soon caught on, but only the wealthy and famous could purchase such an elusive, expensive stone. This all changed when miners discovered many diamond mines in Africa in 1870. In a classic economics scenario, the increased supply of available diamonds caused the cost to lower dramatically. Diamond engagement rings became the preferred option nationwide in America during the 1930s, when the United States became known as the best marketplace for top-quality diamonds. Seen as a beautiful opportunity for family heirlooms, the trend stuck, despite the hard times of the Great Depression. People saw the diamond as a steadfast, reliable way to store wealth that the following generations of their family could enjoy for years.
Thus, the diamond symbolized eternity and strength.
That doesn’t mean that the diamond reigned alone at all times, however.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, it is said that diamonds were frequently paired with rubies to symbolize both eternity and love.
The rich contrast was a favorite among many wealthy, powerful couples, and the trend is starting to come back today, much to my personal enjoyment!
With that being said, what all does a ruby symbolize in an engagement ring? Read on for meaning and care tips!
The ruby has long been seen as the gem of passion, love, and courage for its vibrant red tone.
People born in July have this gem as their birthstone. The deeper and clearer the ruby, the more valuable it is. The women who opted for rubies throughout history often were passionate about life and had a certain flair for the dramatic. Legends say that rubies are hardened fire with powers to kindle desire in the heart.
For these reasons, a ruby engagement ring symbolizes undying, passionate love.
As for settings, most prefer to see the vibrant tones of the ruby paired with the rich colors of yellow or rose gold, although platinum and silver options are quite popular too. Keep in mind that a ruby engagement ring tends to command attention, so be sure that the rest of your bridal jewelry complements it on your big day, rather than clashes.
To care for your ruby engagement ring, always ask your jeweler for specifics. He or she may suggest using a soft-bristle brush with warm water and a few drops of mild dish detergent. Your ring will sparkle just like the day you got it! While the ruby is a very resilient stone, you will want to protect its setting by not wearing it to sleep or during sports, so store it in your jewelry box each evening for safe keeping to cherish it for a lifetime.
If you’re searching for a nontraditional engagement ring that embodies the passion you and your future hubby have for each other, a ruby engagement ring might just be the one for you!
Get more tips and planning ideas for your wedding via a Pink Bride Magazine and by attending a Pink Bridal Show this season!
Images obtained via the Sam’s Club website.