Pearl Engagement Rings: The Perfect Substitutes for Diamonds

If your loved one is not a fan of diamonds, or you’ve both simply decided that it was too much money to spend for a ring, there are many options left for you. You can always buy a ring with some other precious or semi-precious stone, but if you have a sophisticated taste, you could opt for pearl engagement ringsContrary to common belief, pearls do not bring bad luck.

Pearl Engagement Rings Are Beautiful Gifts From Nature

Pearls have always been attracting attention with their beautiful reflection and mild diffusion of colors. Beauty of pearls cannot be compared to anything else in the world.

People had recognized the value of this beautiful creation of nature a long time ago. History is filled with stories and legends about beauty, value and elegance pearls bring along. Different civilizations assigned them various magical features, and for a long time pearl wedding rings were a privilege of royal families.

A pearl is a symbol of faith, love, happiness and abundance

In most of the cultures pearls had a symbolic character. In China and Japan, pearls symbolize fortune, wisdom and dignity. In India, pearls represent blessing with children.

In the Islamic cultures pearls symbolize virginity. Old Greeks and Romans also highly appreciated pearls. Pearls are referred to as gemstones in spite the fact that they are minerals. Pearls come from deep under the sea, with no human assistance and they symbolize purity and faith.

Pearl Facts

There are two main types of pearls:

  • Natural pearls
  • Only 20 sorts of oysters may, under certain conditions create a pearl. It occurs when a foreign object (sand, piece of shell, or a parasite) get into an oyster which activates its defense mechanism. The oyster then excretes pearly matter which, in a year or two creates a pearl. It is reasonable to say that pearls procured in this way, at the bottom of the sea, are rare and very hard to find. In the 18th century the demand exceeded supply so pear findings became exhausted. During 19th century it was almost impossible to find pearls. On Mosh’s hardness scale, pearls range between 3.5 and 4.
  • Conch Pearls are extremely rare, natural pearls found exclusively in Caribbean waters
  • Abalone pearls are some of the most unique and rare pearls on this Earth
  • Cultured pearls
  • Cultured pearls are not fake, they are made of the same material as natural ones, but under other conditions
  • Fake pearls are made of glass or plastic
  • The most famous among cultured pearls are Mikimoto pearls
  • Cultured pearls are divided into freshwater (from lakes and rivers) and saltwater pearls (cultured in salty waters)
  • Cultured pearls are divided into three further categories according to types of oysters and location of farms
  • Akoya (Pinctada fucata oyster)
  • Tahiti (Pinctada margeritifera oyster)
  • South Sea Pearls (Pinctada maxima)

Pearl Engagement Rings

Those exquisite pieces of jewelry are not so easy to find, they are created for refined customers. Not everyone can wear a pearl engagement ring. Pearls symbolize harmony and purity, even though pearls are not meant to last forever; they are associated with eternal love and fellowship.

What to Look for When Buying a Pearl Engagement Ring

If you decided to buy a pearl engagement ring for your loved one, there are several things you should pay attention to:

  • luster and nacre (luster is pearl brilliance which distinguishes pearl one from the other: nacre is the very essence of a pearl)
  • surface quality (natural pearls are not perfect, they have slight imperfections which make each pearl so unique)
  • color (pearls come in wide range of colors, choose according to preferences of the woman who will wear it)
  • size (price rises with size of pearl, bear in mind lifestyle of the wearer, too big pearl could be and obstacle for everyday wear
  • types: there are slight differences between saltwater and freshwater pearls, not to mention natural ones; natural ones are the most expensive, followed by saltwater pearls

Distinguishing Pearl Engagement Ring Styles

Black pearl engagement rings are attractive but sometimes not easy to wear, due to their size. They are glamorous and ideal for sensual and gentle women who will know how to wear these exquisite pieces of jewelry. Pearl engagement rings are not intended for those with adventurous lifestyle because extreme conditions might damage sensitive pearl. You should take the ring off before you go into shower, bath or for a swim.

How to Care for Pearl Rings

According to Mohs’ hardness scale, pearls belong to soft gems category, so they are prone to damage and wearing out. Pearls are safe in bezel settings which will prevent them from falling out.

  • Freshwater pearls are softer than Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian pearls, and do scratch much more easily. Salt water pearls would be best choice for wear as they consist of 100% nacre. So, choose smaller pearl in fairly protective bezel and pearl engagement ring will last as long as any other.
  • Pearls are half drilled then inserted the bar of setting, secured by glue. That is why pearl ring should not be washed since water and other chemicals can get into the pearl and damage its nectar.
  • Never, ever use ammonia or vinegar to clean your pearls, as this will damage them. Only adequate way to clean your pearl engagement ring is to rub it with a soft cloth. For professional cleaning, consult your jeweler
  • Be aware that a pearl will change its color during time, due to the fact that pearls are organic materials and they absorb your bodily oils

What to ask Your Jeweler when Buying Your Wedding Ring?

  • Always ask to identify the pearl (it is essential to know whether the pearl is natural or cultured, because it affects the price greatly)
  • Ask for money back guarantee, warranty and possibility for repairs
  • Be sure to get a proper certificate of authenticity

Opal Engagement Rings: Everything You Need To Know

ORIGINS OF OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS

What is Opal?

The story behind all opal engagement rings begins 100 million years ago in central Australia which was covered with water.  This beautiful gemstone contains up to 10% water, as remains of the sea it originated from. Opal is made from silicon and water. The word ‘opal’ comes from the Greek word “opallos”, meaning “to see changes of color”.

There are several kinds of opal gemstones:

  •  Precious opal, which brings a full spectrum of rainbow colors
  •  Semiprecious opal is also beautiful, but not as shiny. It is suitable for jewelry making.
  •  Crystal opal is transparent-translucent and all it’s color layers are  visible to a naked eye.
  •  Pearl opal has a very distinctive milky color which diffuses into various hues, depending on the angle.
  •  Fire opal may be yellow, orange, even bright red.
  • Black opal is by far the most valuable and appreciated. Its base is black, dark blue or dark grey, and it displays a broad spectrum of various colors .

A HINT OF HISTORY

The Crown of the Holy Roman Emperor was decorated by an Orphanus Opal stone and legend says that although white as snow, it shimmered in all colors of red wine. This stone was looked upon as a guardian of the emperor’s honor.

The ancient Romans thought of opal stones as signs of love and hope. Oriental nations called it “the anchor of hope”.

  • Opal Brings Love to the Faithful Ones

Throughout history Opal never stopped to amaze with its unique sparkling array of color. Opal is considered to be as “beautiful as sin” and it’s believed to bring love to faithful owners.

  • The Burning of Troy 

The old Greeks believed one who carries opal can foresee his future.

The Burning of Troy, named upon the old Greek legend, was a beautiful black opal stone with hint of green and red fire burning inside of it. It is probably one of the most famous pieces of jewelry because it was given to Josephine by Napoleon, as a sign of his eternal love. Today, opal can also be found among French Crown Jewels. Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, allegedly wore opal in order to attract Marc Anthony. In the Middle Ages, people believed that opal protected them from infections, bad influences and that its colors pointed out to the owner’s good or bad health. In 18th century it fell out of fashion, until Queen Victoria started wearing it.

DECIDING WHAT TO BUY?

If you are a history fan, a person looking for a deeper meaning of a precious stone you are going to give to your loved one, then you should definitely go for opal. Diamonds may be girl’ s best friend, but opal is so original, authentic and uncommon that it will leave her breathless. Not to mention that it is much more affordable.

Opal engagement rings are not only a great alternative to diamond rings; they are really astonishing pieces of jewelry. Opal does not have to be multi-faceted like diamond, nature already made them as perfect as they can be.

WHAT IS GOOD TO KNOW WHEN BUYING OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS

  • Always pick a bezel setting, it is necessary to protect the gem from damage and to secure it in place. Setting needs to be valuable, and in a color which goes well with opal color.
  • Not all opals have same wearing-resistance, black, white and crystal opals are suitable for rings, but a boulder opal seems to be the ideal choice for an engagement ring due to its robust nature and beautiful original shapes.
  • Always pick stones with convex cut top, smooth domed and polished, because it would be less prone to impact damage.
  • The cost of opal engagement rings may wary depending on opal size, color and bezel setting.
  • Genuine opal goes well with both yellow and white gold.
  • The best opal engagement rings are those with greatest display of colors.

WHAT IS A BOULDER OPAL?

Boulder (Australian) opals are considered to be second most appreciated opal variation. Boulder opal stones display beautiful color games due to brow ironstone layer at the back of the stone. The most appreciated opals are black and fire.

TIPS WHEN BUYING OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS

  • First of all, be cautious where you plan to purchase the ring, many fake (lab created) gems are sold nowadays.
  • If it is cheap, it is not real (you cannot buy natural stone for $100).
  • Establish authenticity (reputable jewelers will provide you with a certificate of authenticity, together with a photograph of the stone and its detailed analysis). This is essential for insurance purposes, or in case your ring gets stolen..
  • Check twice and be sure you are getting adequate value for the price you are paying.
  • If you are buying an opal engagement ring online, be sure to get money back guarantee and secure card processing for payment online.

The best jewelers that we have found for opal engagement rings are Zales.com. They are authentic, very reputable and their prices are a steal!

GET AN OPAL ENGAGEMENT RING NOW

 

HOW TO CARE FOR OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS?

Opal engagement rings are not indestructible like diamonds, they are bit softer than ruby engagement rings and from time to time should be gently washed in mild water without chemical’s. You have to treat it with care and respect.

Opal is prone to cracking from drying caused by extensive heat and from sudden changes in temperature. Opal engagement rings are delicate and should be taken care of But do not worry, opal is as hard as jade and amethyst and it ranks five or six on scale of mineral hardness, whereas diamonds rank at 10.

WHEN TO BUY OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS?

An Opal’s energy is amplified in October and November so now is the perfect time to choose one for your loved one.

If you decided to propose to your loved one with a gorgeous, antique looking opal engagement ring, you would cherish her unusual nature, sensibility and elegance.

Not everyone can wear an opal. Opal is sensual and gentle, just like your fiancé.

If you a looking for a more vibrant ring to represent your partner then check out rose gold engagement rings

Say Yes to Gemstone Engagement Rings!

When you propose to your loved one, she is supposed to say “yes” to you but also to the ring she is going to wear every day, till the end of her life. First and most important ring you will ever buy is the engagement ring. You might think it was easier to find the perfect woman than the perfect ring. The engagement ring signifies your promise for long and happy life.

When the Day comes, every woman wants to wear a beautiful engagement ring which reflects her taste and character.

Every ring has its story and it is waiting the right woman to tell it to. Engagement ring should be subtle and different than other rings.  It’s simple round shape indicates endless love. Engagement ring may be made in various colors: white, yellow, matte, decorated with precious or semi-precious gems. It has to be tasteful and practical.

Why Practical?

Engagement ring is supposed to be worn every day, with all outfits and on all occasions. Therefore, it has to be made of quality materials (it has to be gentle yet strong).

Gemstone Engagement Rings

These days, engagement rings are decorated with gemstones. Engagement rings are very sentimental pieces of jewelry, and by adding a precious stone you will give a personal touch and deeper meaning to it.

First record of the engagement ring dates back to 15th century when Austrian Archduke Maximilian gave a ring to his fiancée before the wedding. Since then, that tradition has never been disrupted, and it is believed that 70% of women in the world are proposed with a specially selected ring.

Diamond engagement rings

Before we get into gemstone engagement rings, lets talk about diamond engagement rings, especially one with a single stone in a solitaire version. It symbolizes love, loyalty, durability and perseverance.

When buying a diamond ring you should always follow the rule of 4C’s:

Cut

  • A diamond can be cut into various shapes: Princess, Emerald, Marquise, Oval, Heart, Pear or  Baguette whereas the most popular is Round Brilliant Cut. Cut quality is very significant because ideal proportions better reflect light towards the eye giving the stone its famous diamond shine

Color

  • Diamonds come in wide range of colors, colorless diamonds are extremely rare. Colored diamonds are called “fancy” diamonds. Among fancy diamonds, pink diamonds are the most popular fit for gemstone engagement rings

Carat

  • Diamond’s size is weighted in carats. Bigger the carat weight is, t is more expensive.  A carat weights 0,20g. Always choose quality over quantity. Number of carats does not always mean you will get the most beautiful stone

Clarity

  • Perfectly clear diamonds are extremely rare , and they as all other precious stones have small inclusions

Why A Diamond Is Not Always The Best Choice?

Simply put, not everyone likes diamonds or is willing to spend a fortune on gemstone engagement rings, but there are numerous beautiful precious and semi-precious stones that could perfectly compliment the beauty of your future wife.

Even if you are on a budget, a small ruby, sapphire or opal can make a huge difference.

Each of the gemstone engagement rings are beautiful in their own way and it is important to know what message you will send with each.

These rings tend to be less expensive and sometimes more beautiful than diamond ones. They could even look more exclusive and authentic.

Gemstone engagement rings have character

Gemstone engagement rings have to correspond to a woman’s character and to compliment her.

If your loved one has an unusual nature, sensibility and elegance, then opal engagement ring would be the right choice.

Ruby engagement rings

They are perfect for passionate natured women who appreciate honesty and freedom. Rubies are usually presented in a round, cushion, or princess cut. They are also very hard, durable and not prone to damage.

Pearl engagement rings
They are unusually worn by delicate women, sensual devoted to family life. Pearl is a symbol of faith, innocence and honesty. Pearls may be natural and cultured. Cultured may have saltwater and freshwater origin. All are beautiful since they are all entirely organic, the only gem grown inside a living creature.

Sapphires

Sapphires come in several colors, green sapphires symbolize faithfulness, blue sapphires represent purity and spirituality whereas pink gems highlight wearer’s feminine nature. Sapphire rings are commonly cut in a round, oval, or cushion cut. They are hard almost as diamond.

Emerald Engagement Rings

Emerald engagement rings are not so common, even though during the history they had been very popular and appreciated by the royal families. They are softest among the precious gems and no flaw can diminish their beautiful green color. Emerald symbolizes faith and hope.

Show Some Effort, Look for a Birthstone

Many women would be flattered if they were proposed to with a gemstone engagement ring decorated with their birthstone.

A Birthstone is a gem which has a special meaning for a person born in a specific month.

  • Garnet for January (Commitment, honor,)
  • Amethyst for February (Spiritual contentment)
  • Aquamarine for March (Harmony)
  • Diamond for April (Eternity, purity)
  • Emerald for May (Faith and hope)
  • Pearl for June (Innocence, purity and wisdom)
  • Ruby for July (Liveliness, and a deep understanding)
  • Peridot for August (Grace, good fortune, and luck)
  • Sapphire for September (Fidelity/loyalty)
  • Opal for October (Artistic expression, intuition)
  • Citrine for November (Happiness, laughter)
  • Blue Topaz for December (Strength, creativity, success)

Style & Shine

Once you have chosen a gemstone engagement ring, you’d have to decide on the rings style.

Depending on a stone there is a variation of setting most suitable for it. Do you want only one stone, or should it be surrounded by smaller stones? Diamonds are beautifully complemented by rubies, but you would not want your opal to be over shadowed by another gem. For these matters ask for a professional advice at the store.

Also, you’ll have to choose the ring’s band. Yellow gold is more classic and elegant. It is durable and does not wear out. White gold is more expensive, but looks flashier. It wears down in time and needs to be re-plated.

If all this seems to be too confusing, remember this. According to many years of experience, jewelers claim that the first ring that men touch is the perfect one. Call it love at first sight.

You can go shop for gemstone engagement rings at Zales

Aquamarine Rings – Beauty Like You’ve Never Seen Before

One of the reasons that aquamarine rings are cherished by people far and wide is a direct result of their shocking magnificence. I think it is the profound blue-green hues of aquamarine rings that are absolutely beautiful. These are the birthstones of all the March babies out there as well as the zodiac sign for you Pisces.

A Quick History of Aquamarine Rings

The word aquamarine is derived form the Latin aqua marina meaning water of the sea which was adapted from their mesmerizing maritime color.  Aquamarine is a part of the beryl family which includes other popular gemstones such as emerald and morganite. Aquamarine stones can be found in countries such as Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the darker version (maxixe) can be found in Madagascar.

To guarantee that each aquamarine ring can withstand ordinary wear and little bumps, they are often accompanied by gold settings or sterling silver settings but white gold settings are getting to be exceptionally prominent. Vintage aquamarine rings are also seeing a revival in the recent years. Most vintage rings will either be set in white gold or platinum. Another type worth mentioning is emerald cut aquamarine rings which show of the gorgeous colors perfectly.

How to Care for Your Aquamarine Ring

It is imperative to be cautious with aquamarine rings because they can get small cracks in them. These cracks can get much more serious if the stone is hit with a hard objects. It is crucial to know that aquamarine wedding rings fade over time if they are worn outdoors for long periods of time. They fade slowly over time so it may be difficult to notice.

After a few days or weeks of showing off your new aquamarine ring, it starts to lose it’s sparkle and begin to look a bit dirty? Don’t stress, it simple just needs to be cleaned. You can use any of the jewelry cleaners available today, but our suggested homemade jewelry cleaner would do just fine; just plain soap and water. Avoid soaking your ring for too long in any liquid which ranges from water to ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.

Buying Aquamarine Rings

Simulated aquamarine is very uncommon, because it really costs more to create a simulated aquamarine ring than it does a true one. Despite the fact that simulated aquamarine engagement rings aren’t around much, you should still request a certified gem report to make sure that your ring is genuine.

These rings are available anywhere you can think of and will surely compliment your existing jewelry collection. As always, we recommend purchasing rings from reputable providers, and aquamarine engagement rings are no exception. Head over to Zales to purchase a high quality, and affordable aquamarine ring.

Amethyst Rings: The Power Of Purple Gemstones

Amethyst rings are glorious purple colored gemstones that sit upon beautiful settings from gold or silver, to platinum. Amethyst rings are said to hold many various powers and benefits, which is why they have been loved for so many centuries by powerful nations and church leaders alike. Read further to find out the history and background of the gem and then get the best advice for buying an amethyst engagement ring.

WHAT ARE AMETHYST RINGS?

These beauties are made from the amethyst gemstone of course. This
stone’s color ranges from ranges from dull lilac colors to strong royal purple and are found in a few different continents around the world, including Africa, South America, and Australia. Amethyst is a purple variant of quartz and is of high quality. Amethyst rings are durable because the gem has a rating of 7 on Mohs scale which makes it a pretty hard stone.

Amethyst is the birthstone for those who are born in February or fall under the Pisces zodiac sign. Many people who wear amethyst rings do so because it’s their birthstone and because it’s a gorgeous companion to any piece of jewelry.

HISTORY OF AMETHYST RINGS

AMONG THE GREEK

The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethustos” which means “not drunken”. The Greeks believed that the stone would help against drunkenness by preventing intoxication. The story of it’s origins is said to be:

The god of wine, Dionysus, was angry and swore vengeance against mortals who refused to get drunk and celebrate. His mode of revenge was by tigers and these tigers almost ate a young woman by the name of Amethyst. She survived because the goddess Diana turned her into crystallized quarts which the tigers couldn’t claw through.

Dionysus cried tears of wine at the sight of the crystallized young woman and the tears of wine caused the quartz to turn purple upon touching it. This began the myth that amethyst protected them from intoxication and till this day, the color purple still represents sobriety.

AMONG LEADERS

Amethyst jewelry was worn by many high officials because the color purple was considered a royal color. Queen Catherine The Great from Russia wore amethyst jewelry and even to this day, purple can still be found within British crowns.

THE POWERS AND BENEFITS OF AMETHYST

Like other gemstones, amethysts have healing powers that are said to be given to it by mother earth. For this gem, the myth is that it has the powers to heal the mind, body and soul and acts as therapy for stress, pain, and depression. Placing an amethyst gemstone under your pillow is said to help you rest peacefully because it aids in eliminating nightmares.

They are also said to have physical healing attributes and can be used as remedies against toothaches, bone and joint problems, stomach pains, and even hearing problems.

TIPS FOR BUYING AMETHYST ENGAGEMENT RINGS

 That’s enough with the history and background of these gorgeous gems. Lets get down to what’s important for you; what to look for when buying amethyst rings.

COLOR

Amethyst rings are most loved for their gorgeous dark purple color but they can also have a very light purple hue. It isn’t extremely rare to come around a green amethyst ring but they don’t seem to be special to those who love amethyst rings.

TRANSPARENCY

It is highly recommended to get a clear amethyst ring because translucent, or semi-transparent, stones are of a lower quality. A clear amethyst gem allows for the most amount of light to pass through which creates a beautiful purple glow. A translucent amethyst stone is still beautiful but should be less expensive because of the slight drop in quality compared to a transparent one.

DURABILITY AND CARE

The stone itself is already fairly hard and durable but that doesn’t make it immune to breaking or wear and tear. We recommend paring it with a silver or gold setting, preferably a 10K or 14K gold setting. This will provide the most protection for your ring and help against damage.

Use the usual best ring care practices to help keep your amethyst ring in the best shape that it can be. This includes keeping it from unnecessary sun exposure; washing with soap and water or using a jewelry cleaner; and obviously, try to not bang the ring on hard places.

Amethyst engagement rings offer many benefits beyond their gorgeous purple hue, according to history. Whether you’re interested because of their healing powers or just because they look beautiful, you can’t go wrong with amethyst rings.

Go to Zales now to purchase gorgeous and affordable amethyst rings.