Selecting an engagement ring is a significant milestone. It's a symbol of commitment, love, and a shared future, making the choice of the stone in the ring an essential aspect. Two popular options are diamonds and aquamarines. These gems have different characteristics and cultural meanings, which can influence a person's decision based on their values, preferences, and budget. Here, we'll compare them in-depth to help you decide which might be the best choice for your engagement ring.
Aquamarine in society
Aquamarine, known for its stunning beauty and rich symbolism, has been a favorite among many famous personalities, especially within the realms of royalty and Hollywood. While it's difficult to track the personal jewelry collections of celebrities, several instances of famous individuals wearing aquamarine are notable:
1. The British Royal Family:
- Queen Elizabeth II has an impressive collection of jewelry that includes a remarkable set of aquamarine necklaces and earrings. One of the most notable pieces is the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure, a gift from the President and people of Brazil. The parure, known for its large, pale blue-green gems, includes a necklace and matching earrings, a bracelet, and a brooch.
- Princess Diana, known for her elegant style, also famously wore an aquamarine ring. This same ring made headlines when it was worn by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, during her wedding reception in 2018, making it a piece celebrated in contemporary fashion.
2. Hollywood Celebrities:
- Actresses often choose aquamarine jewelry for red carpet appearances because of the stone’s breathtaking color and clarity. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, and Jessica Biel, among others, have been spotted wearing aquamarine at various high-profile events.
- It's also not uncommon for celebrities to receive or purchase aquamarine jewelry to commemorate special occasions, especially those born in March, for whom aquamarine is a birthstone.
3. Historical Figures:
- Not limited to modern celebrities, aquamarine has been adored by historical figures as well. The members of various royal families and figures in high society have kept aquamarine in their collections, often passing down these precious items as heirlooms.
These instances underscore aquamarine’s lasting appeal, which transcends time and social status. Its serene coloration and symbolic associations with peace, clarity, and calmness may be factors in its selection by public figures who often live under intense scrutiny and pressure. Whether worn as a fashion statement, personal amulet, or symbol of commitment, aquamarine continues to hold a cherished place in the collections of many prominent individuals.
Aquamarines stones meanings
Aquamarine is famously associated with the month of March. It's the birthstone for March, linked to the zodiac sign of Pisces and later part of the period into Aries.
Aquamarine is a captivating gemstone many people around the world cherish, not only for its beauty but also for the various meanings and symbolic values it has been believed to hold throughout history. It's important to note that the interpretations of these meanings often stem from cultural lore, historical context, and the metaphysical community, and they don't have a scientific basis. Here are some of the key symbolic meanings associated with aquamarine:
- Soothing and Calming Energy: Aquamarine is often associated with tranquility, serenity, and peace. It's believed to have a soothing influence, with the capability to calm the nerves and reduce stress. This calming energy is said to be helpful in maintaining inner peace and enhancing clarity of thought.
- Communication: One of the most prominent symbolic meanings of aquamarine is clear and effective communication. It is thought to help overcome the fear of speaking, enhance articulation, and lead to better expression and understanding in relationships. This makes it popular among teachers, public speakers, and those involved in the communication field.
- Courage and Protection: Historically, aquamarine was used by sailors as a talisman of good luck, fearlessness, and protection. It was believed to be the treasure of mermaids, and sailors used it to protect themselves against ocean dangers. This aspect also expands to a general sense of courage and protection in many areas of life, not just sailing.
- Healing: In the realm of healing energies and chakra work, aquamarine is believed to be effective in healing emotional trauma, cooling high tempers or conflict, helping one release old wounds, and encouraging closure on all levels. Some also believe it supports physical healing, particularly with conditions of the throat, including the thyroid and pituitary, and ailments of the liver, stomach, and immune system.
- Love and Relationships: Aquamarine is also associated with trust and harmony, and is used to celebrate long, committed marriages. It's believed to encourage both partners to be more tolerant, understanding, and supportive of one another.
- Youth and Happiness: Some traditions hold that aquamarine embodies the vitality of youth, along with general happiness, warmth, and intelligence. It is often considered a stone capable of bringing about eternal youth and happiness.
While these meanings are rich and varied, they're largely based on belief systems and the subjective experiences of individuals. They are not universally accepted truths, but they do contribute to the cultural value and personal significance of aquamarine stones in societies around the world. Whether one believes in these symbolic meanings or not, there's no denying the unique beauty of aquamarine that continues to captivate people everywhere.
Diamonds, beyond their status as a prized gem for their brilliance and hardness, are also significant for their symbolic meanings and their association with specific months and life milestones.
- Birthstone: Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April. Those born in this month often wear diamond jewelry as a symbol of love, clarity, and strength. As birthstones are thought to bring good fortune and protection, diamonds are believed to provide a range of benefits for April-born individuals, from balance and clarity in thought and action to strength of spirit.
- Zodiac Significance: While the concept of birthstones is separate from astrological signs, diamonds cover the period of Aries (March 21 - April 19) and the beginning of Taurus (April 20 onwards). For Aries individuals, the diamond, with its representation of strength and clarity, is believed to enhance the ram's natural vigor and leadership qualities. For Tauruses, the stone's enduring nature is often seen as amplifying the bull's reliable, determined characteristics.
- Wedding Anniversaries: Diamonds are traditionally associated with the 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries. A marriage that lasts 60 or 75 years is represented by the diamond's eternity and strength. The idea is that the relationship, like the diamond, is unbreakable and precious. It's also common for diamonds to be associated with the 10th anniversary, known as the first major milestone anniversary, reinforcing the solidity and clarity of the ongoing commitment.
- Symbolic Meanings: Beyond its monthly and celebratory associations, the diamond is also a symbol of purity, love, and fidelity, making it a popular choice for engagement rings. Moreover, because it is the hardest natural substance known to man, it signifies unbreakable strength, endurance, and the invincible spiritual power that many people aspire to embody.
These associations do not have a basis in scientific fact but are instead traditional and cultural attributions that have been passed down through generations. They contribute to the lore and allure of diamonds, making them prized not just for their physical properties but also for their symbolic and emotional significance.
Historical and Symbolic Significance
Diamonds: Diamonds have long been used in engagement rings, with their use in this context tracing back to the Archduke Maximillian of Austria's proposal in 1477. Diamonds symbolize durability and strength, which is appropriate given their reputation as the hardest known natural substance. They are thought to represent eternal love, and their clarity is often associated with purity and commitment, ideals that are very fitting for marriage.
Aquamarines: Aquamarines, though not as commonly used in engagement rings, have a rich history. Known to be the sailor's gem, they were once believed to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. They are said to symbolize happiness, everlasting youth, and fidelity. Their soothing blue tone is associated with tranquility, harmony, and protection, qualities that resonate with couples looking to foster a peaceful and secure marriage.
Diamonds: The classic engagement ring features a diamond, which is prized for its brilliance, sparkle, and fire. These characteristics are the result of how diamonds refract and disperse light, and their neutral color allows them to complement any setting style and metal. They come in different shapes and cuts, from the traditional round, princess, and cushion cuts, to more distinctive ones like marquise, oval, or pear.
Aquamarines: Aquamarines are valued for their unique color, ranging from a pale blue to a deep teal, reminiscent of the sea. They are often found in larger carats with fewer inclusions, offering a clearer appearance than some diamonds. This gemstone's subtle color is less flashy than the sparkle of a diamond, which appeals to those who prefer a ring that represents serenity and understated elegance.
Durability and Maintenance
Diamonds: Diamonds score a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, making them the hardest known material. They are incredibly resistant to scratching, and their resilience makes them ideal for everyday wear. This durability means they're not easily damaged, so they don't require much maintenance besides regular cleaning to keep them shining brightly.
Aquamarines: Aquamarines score between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale, making them fairly hard, though more prone to scratching compared to diamonds. They require more careful handling and protection from knocks and harsh chemicals to avoid damage. Regular professional cleanings are also necessary to maintain their luster and color.
Diamonds: The diamond industry has faced criticism over ethical issues, including conflict diamonds, which are illegally traded to fund war in war-torn areas, and the harsh mining conditions faced by workers. However, changes are being made, with more jewelers ensuring their diamonds are conflict-free and adhering to strict labor and environmental standards. Lab-created diamonds are also rising in popularity as they require no mining, reducing the environmental impact and avoiding funding conflict areas.
Aquamarines: Aquamarines haven't been subject to the same level of ethical concerns as diamonds. They are less likely to be involved in conflict funding and often come from places where gemstone mining is a well-regulated industry. However, responsible sourcing is essential, and potential buyers should verify the origins of an aquamarine gem and the working conditions of the miners who retrieved it.
Price and Investment
Diamonds: Diamonds are typically more expensive than aquamarines, with prices varying widely based on the four Cs: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. They are a traditional choice for engagement rings and are more likely to retain or increase their value over time, making them a more secure investment.
Aquamarines: Aquamarines are generally more affordable, allowing for a larger stone for your budget or a more intricate setting. While they may not hold their value in the same way diamonds do, they are perfect for couples who prefer to prioritize the emotional value of their ring over its investment potential.
Diamonds: Choosing a diamond can reflect a desire for tradition, stability, and adherence to the marital symbolism it carries. It's a statement of lasting affection and a life together that endures as steadfastly as the gem itself.
Aquamarines: Opting for an aquamarine is often a more personal choice. It may reflect the personal significance of the gem's calming properties or a couple's love for the sea. It can also represent a desire to veer away from tradition and make an independent statement about their relationship.
The decision between a diamond or aquamarine engagement ring hinges on several factors: personal style, ethical considerations, budget, and what the stone symbolizes for the couple. Diamonds, with their unrivaled hardness, classic appearance, and symbolism of eternal love, are a traditional choice that exudes luxury and timelessness.
On the other hand, aquamarines offer a unique, serene appearance at a more accessible price point. They bring with them rich symbolism of peace, youth, and protection, providing a less conventional yet personally meaningful option.
Ultimately, the best choice is one that feels right for the individual or couple, aligning with their values, aesthetics, and what they envision for their future together. Whether they select the sparkling brilliance of a diamond or the cool allure of an aquamarine, the most important aspect is the love and commitment the ring represents.