To begin with, historically speaking diamonds were not the sole gems used in engagement or betrothal rings. Early rings were made either from strands of strands of braided grass, hair, a single silver or gold wire. Stones used for the more complex rings were may be sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.
Engagement rings need not to be bedecked with diamonds. Since these rings are meant to be the symbolism of the beautiful, precious and rare love the couple hopes to share in their lifetime. The choice of stone must incorporate appropriate symbolism with lot of care and thoughtfulness.
Colors have been associated with symbols and meanings. Gemstones generally have a miscellany of colors. Some are red, while others are blue and other colors as well. With that, using the color symbolism various gems can be chosen as an alternative to diamonds.
Red symbolizes the heart it stands for passion and a zest for life. A popular red gem is ruby but there are other choices of red hued gemstone. There is the economical red garnet, the slightly pricey red tourmaline, and the more costly red spinel.
Similar choices are also available for other colored natural gemstones. The color green which stands for faithfulness and continuity includes but is not limited to emerald, green garnet, or tourmaline. For blue, which symbolizes spirituality and purity, aside from sapphire, there are blue spinel, iolite, and blue tourmaline. Other gemstones of different hues and varying symbolism are also available as an alternative for diamond.
Then there is the pearl. Traditionally, pearls are the gift of love. What is more symbolically appropriate jewel than this round, white, little gem? Aphrodite the Goddess of Love was believed to have come out of a large seashell when she came into being. Thus, she favored pearls among the rest of the gems. Pearls are associated with health and longevity, and also of purity, wisdom, and other values. Engagement rings need not to be pricey. And there are other choices other than diamonds. These rings are meant to symbolize something beautiful, rare, and precious loves of the couple who longs for symbolism in their jewelry for lifelong commitment.