When you think of riches, valuable jewels, and engagement rings, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Diamonds of course; yet many people aren’t aware of the complicated and somewhat dark history and background to the modern diamond industry. Since the diamond rush in South Africa in the 1900s a family business called De Beers steadily gained more and more control over the world diamond market, eventually gaining what was essentially a complete monopoly. This allowed De Beers to control the price of diamonds and by creating a huge demand by only releasing a small amount of diamonds per year, the cost of diamonds is nearly unmatched as far as precious stones are concerned.
Prior to roughly 1940, rubies and emeralds were the prized stones for wedding bands- not diamonds. It was with the creation of the famous slogan, “Diamonds are forever” that the gift of a diamond became the ultimate symbol of love from a man to his soon to be wife. It has since then become ingrained in our culture as the expected gift of the groom to his bride- with increased size being associated with increased status or even love.
While diamonds are amazing stones, I will not deny, they are not the only stone to be considered a symbol of love, eternity, commitment, partnership, loyalty, soul contract, or even beauty. There are a number of other crystals and gemstones, varying in rarity and relative value that can be considered excellent choices for wedding rings and other significant jewelry.
Herkimer Diamonds are a variety of quartz native to Herkimer, New York. They can be between 7.5-8 on the Moh’s hardness scale and can be somewhat harder than average quartz. They are called diamonds because they carry an exuberant energy and tremendous amount of light, yet are small and prismatic- like diamonds. Very high quality Herkimer diamonds- meaning those with very few inclusions of other minerals, bright, and without any surface imperfections can be costly, but not nearly as much as diamonds. For this reason they would be a beautiful stone to give to one’s beloved set in a precious metal. Most Herkimers form naturally double-terminated, which means they have a point on each end. This allows energy to move in and out of the crystal in both directions. These qualities make Herkimers great enhancements to relationships because double terminated crystals can be used to enhance communication and bring balance between energies and partners.
Tourmaline- Tourmaline comes in a variety of colors, but to specifically hold the energies intended in sacred union, I see green or pink tourmalines as being an excellent choice. Tourmalines are also a relatively hard stone and form in beautiful long striated crystals. In comparison to other crystals and gemstones, excellent quality specimens can get pricey (though not diamond pricey). However, it really depends on your taste. A beautiful piece of raw tourmaline may not be entirely clear or ‘flawless’ in the traditional mineralogical sense, yet sometimes raw stones can carry exceptional unbridled energy. The colors of green and pink are both associated with the heart and the heart chakra, as well as with love itself. Green is a color of compassion, unconditional love, acceptance, and the connection with Gaia. Pink as well is especially associated with the heart and the high heart bringing sweetness, sensuality, acceptance, and affection. For this reason, these high-vibrational stones would bring an excellent energy and symbolism to the sacred union of partnership and/or marriage.
Rose Quartz- Generally no specimens of rose quartz could technically be considered a precious gem. Rose quartz does not usually form with a great degree of clarity or with true crystalline terminations. For some people this may make it non-ideal, yet it carries many properties that could make it a really beautiful, monetarily affordable, customizable, and wonderfully resonant choice for wedding rings or other sacred jewelry pieces. Rose quartz is often carved into various symbolic shapes which could make for a really unique piece of jewelry. Rose quartz is the quintessential stone of the heart chakra. It is always the stone we bring in for heart healing that is needed, to foster deep healing, heal relationships, stimulate forgiveness and compassion, and connect people together in love. For these reasons it is obvious why rose quartz could be a great consideration. If one might wish to use rose quartz but would like to incorporate precious gems as well, I can imagine rose quartz being set with possibly emeralds, diamonds, Herkimers, or other stones to make a gorgeous piece.
Beryls- I am grouping beryls together as opposed to listing each one individually. Beryls include emeralds and aquamarines which are the most valuable precious gemstones on earth when they are of high luster and quality. These stones, representing the blue (aquamarine) and green (emerald) color rays (as well as other colors) are THE most pure mineral representations of these color frequencies we have. This is because, when they are high in grade, they are completely transparent, yet totally pure of color. This makes them powerful channelers of the energies represented and carried in these colors. The pure green of emerald makes it perhaps the highest vibrational stone that resonates with the heart chakra. The stunning blue of aquamarine makes is the purest blue light associated with expression, truth, and creative energies. For these reasons, any of these stones, in their pureness of spectral color expression and light-carrying capacity would make truly amazing choices for important jewelry pieces intended to symbolize contracts and partnerships between people.
Moonstone- Moonstone is a cardinal water element stone, the quintessential stone of the moon, and a stone that completely embodies the feminine or yin essence. Because of these properties, it would be a lovely stone to give to a woman set in silver or even white gold. Moonstone, however, is not just a stone for women, but can help balance overly dominant ‘macho’ male energy and help a man tap into the balance of the feminine within. Moonstone is not only lovely for its feminine essence but also as a relationship soothing stone. Moonstone is calming which can ease arguments and increases intuition, sensitivity and calm, which would make it excellent for supporting good communication and maintaining a dynamic understanding between lovers.
Tanzanite- Though trust me, the list could go on and on, I will end with Tanzanite and let your imagination guide you to other possibilities. I see tanzanite in this list as an example of a stone that is somewhat more mystical and associated with the higher dimensional states. It would make sense that a partnership more centered in consciousness and spiritual pursuits would require a more unique ring possibly featuring mineral energies other than diamond. For partners or marriage occasions such as this, tanzanite is stunning and is also a very precious gem. It is a remarkable indigo-purple color and is associated with connecting the heart to the mind, empowering communication, providing protection in the other dimensional realms, and is a meditative stone. This stone, perhaps also paired with other stones, could be very fitting for those partnerships centered around service to the world and goals of expanding consciousness through sacred relationship.
I hope this quick exploration through the mineral realm has opened your mind to new possibilities and alternatives for the traditional diamond wedding ring. There are countless stones and gems to choose from and each one can offer unique and powerful energies to important love-binding jewelry pieces.