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International Engagement Ring Alternatives

by Bridey Heing

Dec 13, 2014

Irish Claddagh Ring © Ondreicka | Dreamstime


Diamonds have had a hard time in the court of public opinion lately. More and more people are opting for more unique alternatives, be it for moral, economic or simply taste reasons. For the jet-setting crowd and the internationally minded, engagement ring ideas inspired by travel can help couples find a ring that perfectly suits their taste and sets them apart from the crowd!


Irish Claddagh

These are a traditional Irish wedding ring, and feature a heart, hands and crown. The heart stands for love, the hands for friendship and the crown for loyalty — the foundation of a strong relationship. Claddaghs are a great way to honor Irish heritage.


Simple Gold Rings

If you are looking for a way to include both you and your fiance in the ring-wearing tradition, a Nordic custom might be the perfect fit! In Nordic tradition, both parties wear a simple golden engagement ring. With lots of options for simple rings on Etsy, this can be a great, cost-effective option for the non-traditional U.S. couple.


Ancient Designs

Take a page from the Roman empire and find a ring with a key design. These rings used to be worn to signify that the wearer unlocked the heart of their beloved, and it’s a great callback for history lovers.


Puzzle Rings

These intricately designed interlocking rings have been worn in Turkey and China, signifying the bond between those being married. Puzzle rings can be made from complementary medals or from a single type, with plenty of room for customization in the design.


Play with Stone

If you would rather find something that is closer to rings we know and love today but want something a little different, opt for a different stone. There is plenty to inspire this minor deviation, including color and stone type. Red has significance in Asian culture, while blue has meaning in Celtic tradition. A ruby or a sapphire are great ways to merge those customs with modern Western tradition.



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