Whether showcased alone or set alongside diamonds, alternative stones offer a fresh take on a tradition that can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. And while these first ancient rings were made of leather, bone, or ivory, metals such as iron and copper soon began to gain popularity for their strength. Similarly, the use of diamonds in wedding rings arose from a practical standpoint. Chosen foremost for their inherent hardness, diamonds would ultimately become the ubiquitous choice, with the first diamond wedding ring recorded in the will of a woman who passed away in 1417.
Colored stones first appeared in commitment jewelry during Medieval Times when Europeans symbolized passion with rubies and the heavens with sapphires. They were also known to pair these colored stones with diamonds, the stone signifying strength, to create vibrant combinations rich with meaning.
Many of today's designs return to this trend, showcasing multiple hues in one ring. And like the mixing of stones, there is also a mixing of metals and an embracing of less traditional rose and white gold. Pink-orange morganite pairs beautifully with rose gold for an unexpected yet romantic look, while light blue aquamarine paired with white gold delivers a striking look. No longer relegated to flanking the central gemstone, sapphires in arresting shades from blues and teals to pink are taking center stage in bold, iconic designs.
Delicate ring designs showcasing pearls are also growing in popularity. Often set with diamonds, these dainty rings deliver a light, feminine look that must be worn with some care as real pearls can be scratched by harder gemstones.
For customers seeking ethical options when it comes to their commitment jewelry, the American Mined™ Collection offers a clear, documentable path from the mine to your bench. From the fiery red of Lake County Fire Opal™ from Oregon to the incredible clarity of Arkansas Ice Quartz™ mined in Blue Springs, Arkansas, each stone in this collection has been chosen specifically for its quality, clarity, and presentation of color. And your customers can be assured that hat every stone is mined, cut, and processed under conditions that meet all standards for worker safety, environmental protection, and responsible production.
For those customers still seeking the brilliance and clarity of diamonds at more affordable prices, today's market offers a variety of options for achieving a traditional look using alternative stones. At a 9.25 on the Mohs scale, Moissanite, a cost-effective diamond alternative, is suitable for everyday wear and offers more fiery brilliance than any other gemstone. Lab-grown diamonds offer the exact gemological properties of natural diamonds, but ring in at much lower prices, delivering more sparkle for your spend.
Finally, for those customers still seeking the tradition and durability of a diamond with a colorful twist, treated diamonds in shades like black, blue, yellow, and brown offer new takes on a classic.
Whether set with a deep blue sapphire, a peachy morganite, a brilliant diamond or even all three, the wedding ring is a tradition that shows no signs of fading away anytime soon. A timeless symbol of eternity, fidelity, and devotion, wedding rings have evolved over the centuries into increasingly more personalized signifiers of love. Explore our selection of colored stones, settings and bands and find your next design’s perfect match.