A Colorful Engagement for the Alternative Bride

Rare Gemstones for the Non-Traditional Bride

Custom Engagement Ring Sketch

A sketch of my popular Lavender Fields ring design which has been customized in various ways for different customers.
Any of the stones discussed below would fit beautifully in this classic setting.

When dreaming of her engagement ring, the fashion-loving woman rarely has her heart set on a simple solitaire diamond. Rather than debating over princess and cushion cuts, diamond halos or 3 vs 4 carat diamonds, she dreams of rubies, blue and pink sapphires, green garnets or tourmalines. Only these fine-quality colored gemstones can stand the test of time and have the beauty to express the non-traditional bride, especially when featured in a custom-made jewelry piece. 

Take a look at three chic gemstones and rings to consider for your ever after.

1. High & Mighty Blue Sapphire

Custom Sapphire Ring

The large, natural, untreated blue sapphire featured in this ring took me over 6 months to find..it's that rare.

The rich history, quality and rarity of sapphires sets them apart from most other gemstones. Their ability to withstand scratches from daily wear and tear is practically unrivaled - except for the hardest material on earth, the diamond - and their excellent resistance to breaking and chipping evens surpasses that of a diamond! In other words, this is an extraordinary gemstone for a dream engagement ring.

Royalty have given blue sapphires over diamonds as engagement rings because they're known to be far rarer than diamonds. This stone is a symbol of nobility, sincerity, truth and faithfulness. It's striking blue is considered the most desirable and is the standard against which all other blue gemstones are measured against. Although sapphires come in a range of candy-colored hues, the most covetable of all remains the famous Kashmir blue sapphire. These stones were found in the remote Great Himalayan mountains of northwestern India in the 1800s and came mostly in a superb 'cornflower blue' color. Although that mine has been exhausted for quite some time now, there are other cornflower blue sapphires that can still be found today.

2. Stun in Spinel

Another unconventional, outstanding gemstone that is perfect for a custom-made fine jewelry piece, especially an engagement ring, is the spinel. A rare gemstone very few people in the West know of, and one that you don't want to miss out on. For centuries, spinel has been mistaken for ruby and regarded as such in Europe's crown jewels. The Black Prince's 'ruby' - or red spinel I should say - is set in England's Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London. Only much later did researchers realize that the main red stone in the crown was not a ruby, but in fact a spinel...

Like sapphire, spinel also belongs to the world's top gemstones, called 'fine-quality gemstones.' With a good resistance to scratches and breaking and chipping, a wonderful brilliant sparkle, great clarity, their common lack of treatments and a menu of dazzling colors to choose from, spinel is a favorite stone among gem dealers and collectors. 

The alternative bride may want to join that select insider group of spinel enthusiasts, especially when she likes colors such as intense traffic light red, neon pink, cobalt blue or the more romantic pink-orange hue. On the other hand, if she's more into light colors like glamorous greys, silver blue, lavender, lilac and pastels, spinel is also the right fit for her...and her dazzling engagement ring. 

Spinel Engagement Ring
Ice Princess Spinel Ring

This one-of-a-kind jewelry piece features a light grey spinel in the center with ice blue spinels on the sides.

3. Electric Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline

Minimalistic custom-made engagement ring set with the rare Paraiba tourmaline that I created with the bride-to-be. I only have a few of these beautiful stones in my collection.

Paraiba, a state in Brazil, was the place where this rare and gorgeous neon-colored gemstone was first discovered not that long ago, in 1989. 

The moment these stones were discovered, people fell for this incredibly vivid, blue, turquoise or green stone - which seemed to glow from within - causing the per carat price to go up pretty quickly. 

This was further intensified by the fact that the mine was exhausted quite soon after. Luckily, very similar material has been discovered in Mozambique and Nigeria around 2000 which is where most of this incredible gemstone material comes from today. 

To give you an idea of its rarity, for every 10,000 diamonds that are mined, they find 1 gem-quality Paraiba tourmaline. This stone can easily fetch five figures per carat.

Almost all the Paraibas you find now on the market are from Mozambique and despite this origin, gem labs around the world still have the right to call it a "Paraiba tourmaline' - even though it doesn't come from Brazil - when the lab gemologists regard the color of the stone as "electric" or "vivid" blue or green and when their lab tests conclude it contains the chemical elements of both copper and manganese (which are responsible for its incredible color). 

A note of care regarding this exceptional stone: it can have some 'inclusions' inside the stone (normal for this gem) - which means you'll need to be careful how and where you wear it but its hypnotizing color is not something the non-traditional bride would want to miss. 

If you're ready to embark on your bespoke engagement ring journey or if you'd like to take a look at magnificent colored stones for any custom fine-jewelry piece, set up a consultation and together we'll discover the perfect match for you!

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