Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. This week, we’re talking about foregoing a diamond for your engagement ring.

 

Question: My boyfriend and I have been out perusing engagement rings. I’m not really into diamonds. My favorite stone is a sapphire and I prefer vintage jewelry. Does my engagement ring have to be a diamond?

 

Answer: What a big step for you and your boyfriend. It’s wonderful of him to seek out your preferences beforehand and include you in the process. Fun fact: Diamonds haven’t always been the preferred style of engagement ring. According to the American Gem Society, “diamond engagement rings first became popular in the 1930s. By 1965, 80 percent of all new brides in the United States sported one.” Rings from the 1920s might be right up your alley, but regardless, you are free to wear whatever you like as your engagement ring. It’s a personal decision and should fit your style and your boyfriend’s budget. That said, it’s best to opt for stones not only high on the “hardness” scale (which, according to the International Gem Society, means the ability to resist scratching), but also (and perhaps more importantly) on the “wearability” scale (it will wear well). The IGS recommends colored diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, amethyst, tourmaline, citrine, garnet and opals in its list of the best colored gemstones for engagement rings. Congrats in advance on your engagement and happy ring shopping.