Choosing something different felt natural to Nashville, Tennessee, resident Stacy Arnold, who’s marrying her fiancé, Benjamin Roth, on December 13.
“I knew I didn’t particularly want a new diamond, partly because of the realities of diamond mining and partly because the current engagement ring trends just don’t appeal to me,” Arnold says. “I shopped for my ring on a website called Brilliant Earth, which specializes in vintage rings, and checked out other sites like Etsy and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for diamond alternatives.” Antique stores, estate sales, auctions and even some pawnshops offer shopping alternatives where couples can sometimes find unique nontraditional ring options and deals that don’t break the bank. For something truly one-of a- kind, a local jeweler can help plan a custom ring design.
She Said Yes!
When Roth popped the question, he surprised Arnold with an antique, Victorian-era ring sporting a blue topaz and a pearl flanked by accent diamonds. The stones are set in white gold, and the band is rose gold.
“I am definitely happy with his choice,” Arnold says, who plans on adding a simple rose-gold band once they wed. “Most people who see the ring comment that it suits my personality, and overall I’ve had positive reactions.”
While many couples opt for rings with nontraditional stones, settings and styles, some choose to skip the engagement ring altogether, taking a stance against the status quo or putting the money toward something else.
In caveman days, it is believed that men wove corded braids of botanicals around the wrist, ankle and waist of their intended mates. In ancient Egypt, rings were worn on the left hand. Rings appear throughout history, denoting intention to marry or, in some cases, ownership.
A 1940s marketing campaign by De Beers Jewelry is thought to be responsible for today’s diamond engagement ring standard. The campaign spread the idea that diamonds stand for love and included the well-known slogan still used today, “A Diamond Is Forever .”
By the 1960s, it’s estimated 80% of women received diamond engagement rings. But with time comes change. Today’s couples are making this trend their own with alternate stones, metals and traditions.
Start saving for your own tradition. Visit the First Tennessee Bank Savings section for more information.
Popping the Question
You have the ring, and now it’s time to get down on one knee and seal the deal. Consider these ideas.
- For the tech-savvy love of your life, propose via podcast, YouTube video or a custom website.
- Opt for a grand gesture by hiring a skywriter, organizing a flash mob, proposing on a Jumbotron or taking out an ad at your local movie theater.
- Propose via fortune cookie. Find recipes for baking custom fortune cookies from various websites, including PBS.org, FoodNetwork.com and AllRecipes.com.
- Go somewhere amazing. Visit a new scenic location or return to a much-loved spot, ring in tow.
- Get your friends and family involved. Have them hold up signs that read “Will you marry me?” when put together.
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