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Engagement Rings | Manolo for the Brides - Part 8
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Putting a green ring on your finger

good gold

No, not a emerald. And definitely not some Cracker Jack bauble that leaves a green stain around your finger. I’m talking environmentally friendly precious metals and stones. According to GreenKarat,

Throughout history, jewelry has held a special place in the fabric of human culture. Unfortunately, industrial methods of extracting jewelryĺs precious metals and gems from the earth damage the land and endanger ecosystems. Further, industrial values frequently reduce the labor component of production to the level of a cog in a machine.

Their goal is to end destructive mining of gold and diamonds and so forth by encouraging people to buy jewelry that lives up to fair trade and positive ecological standards. I can definitely get behind that. Mining can be pretty dang destructive to people and living things. Certain types of mining inject the earth with poisonous and potentially lethal chemicals that then drain into water systems, killing wildlife and making people sick. To that I say, Bleah.

Being that I’m always tossing jewelry-related hints The Beard’s way, I can usually be heard pushing for fair trade metals and beautiful, eco-friendly Moissanite. Gotta keep this earth clean and green for the brides and grooms of the future!

What’s love worth?

Decidedly different ring

A great piece in a recently issue of the Indianapolis Star asks, Does love’s sparkle require a diamond? It includes a number of heartbreaking interviews with engaged couples who were simply not taken seriously because their engagement did not begin with the man presenting the woman with a huge chunk of ice. The article got me thinking. DeBeers would have us believe that one’s commitment should equal the cost of two months salary. The first thing anyone asks a future bride is, “Can I see the ring?

When Jordan Corbin and David Wentworth got engaged, he proposed to her with a mother-of-pearl ring that cost about $20. Corbin loved that it was an atypical engagement ring and named it her “magic ring.”

Buying a diamond engagement ring “is what a guy does when he has no imagination and is afraid you’re not going to love him,” she said.

Her family did not agree. When the couple flew to Corbin’s home in Texas, one of the first things her stepfather said was, “Let’s see the ring.” He took her hand and with a disapproving groan, threw it back down and walked away.

But what of students? People with lower incomes? Not to mention people who think that the diamond trade is exploitative and artificially jacks up prices.

I’d like to think that in this modern era, we’re all open minded enough to believe an onyx in a simple silver setting can mean commitment or even that a young couple just starting out might really rather put that those thousands of dollars into an IRA that will support them in their old age. But I guess we’re not.

Thoroughly Modern Matrimony


For the highly modern (or as us hip kids like to say, mod) bride, artist and designer Alissia Melka-Teichroew has created a line of acrylic, um, diamonds.

Highly hip!

Here’s how they look on the finger of the bride, post ceremony. In this case, the future husband has chosen the clear acrylic “diamond” engagement ring and the couple has decided to go for the non-traditional acrylic “ruby” wedding band with “diamond” accent.

I don’t know how I feel about this particular look, but I’m sure when we all have flying cars and robots doing our housework, anyone who isn’t sporting high quality acrylic matrimonial bling is going to feel pretty darn silly.

With this ring

I’m a simple broad with classical tastes, so when it comes to engagement rings – not that I’ve ever had the chance to try any on – I like a single diamond in a simple six-pronged setting.

The Oh Baby Ring

Sure, The Beard knows my preference, but the rest is up to him and I’ll cherish whatever ring he may choose. Such an archaic willingness to be surprised is not for everyone, however.

A future bride and groom I can easily conceive of, whom I will call the RibbonFingers, were engaged for months before said future groom ever put a ring on said future bride’s finger. The progression of their engagement went something like this:

1. The proposal

2. The announcement and the tying of a symbolic red ribbon around the future bride’s ring finger

3. The 30 days of shopping required in order for the future bride to pick out an engagement ring she really, really liked

4. The returning of the first ring so the future bride could choose a ring she really, really, really liked

This is not as uncommon as you might think. Color me old fashioned, but the idea of a nervous young man studying up on jewelry before timidly purchasing a bauble just appeals to me. The engagement ring is a gift and I’ve always believed that the nature of gifts should be left up to the giver.

I do understand that in these modern times perhaps every woman has the right to choose her engagement ring but according to Everything to Do About Weddings, the RibbonFingers still made one mistake.

Today’s brides and grooms often choose rings together; after the proposal (from either party) has been accepted privately. When the engagement ring is on the finger, then the announcement is made public.

Now if only The Beard would hurry up a little.

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