The 30 Best Pearl Engagement Rings That Give Diamonds a Run for Their Money
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. We can’t argue that. But you know what’s equally breathtaking? Pearls. Hear us out: These elegant stones may not be your first thought when it comes to engagement rings, but pearl jewelry is trending for a reason: it’s beautiful! Below are the 30 best engagement rings that give diamonds a run for their money (at a fraction of the price…).
What does a pearl engagement ring represent?
When you think of pearls, maybe they’re as something you clutch when something salacious happens. But, according to jeweler, Ritani, pearls also represent loyalty, integrity, generosity and purity—qualities that are key to any union. Engagement Ring History also reports that in medieval Europe, pearls were dubbed “the stone of sincerity” and were a popular choice for engagement rings up until diamonds permeated the zeitgeist in the 19th century.
What are the different types of pearls?
Natural pearls are rare, therefore expensive. But because there’s a demand for the little suckers, people are able to make cultured pearls which are considered just as real, but don’t grow without human interference. Unless your jewelry says otherwise, assume that any type of pearl you purchase is cultured, the pros at Gem Society state. There are five types of pearls you may encounter:
1. Freshwater Pearls: Historically, freshwater pearls could be found all over the world, says Gem Society. However, today they are mass produced in China and are on the affordable end of the spectrum for those who looking for a great deal. Freshwater pearls come in a variety of colors—white, cream, yellow, orange, pink and purple—but not black. Any black freshwater pearl you encounter has been dyed.
2. Saltwater pearls: These pearls are produced by oysters in the sea. Generally, only one saltwater pearl is found per shell, making them rare and, naturally, more desirable. Saltwater pearls have a superior luster and glossier appearance than freshwater pearls.
3. Akoya pearls: When you visualize a standard pearl necklace, odds are that what’s in your mind’s eye is a string of Akoya pearls. These types of saltwater pearls are mostly grown in the cooler waters around Japan and China, and they have the highest luster among all others. Their incomparable roundness and mirror-like shine make them highly appealing. Akoya pearls are known to have white, cream, yellow, pink or blue body colors with pink, silver, or green overtones, says Gem Society.
4. Tahitian Pearls: As you may have guessed, Tahitian pearls are commonly found in Tahiti, as well as other French Polynesian islands. Also a type of saltwater pearls, they’re the only kind that naturally occur in black but can also sprout in gray, brown, blue, green and purple hues.
5. South Sea Pearls: With the largest range in size, south sea pearls are the most expensive type of pearls. These saltwater pearls are cultivated in the warmer waters off the coast of Australia and the Philippines and come in white, cream, silver, yellow and orangey-yellow variations. Pricey as they may be, south seas pearls have a less brilliant luster than their counterparts. Their appearance has more of a satin look compared to the mirror-like shine of Akoya pearls, for instance.
The 30 Best Pearl Engagement Rings
- Why We Love It: Soft glam, romantic vibe, intricate details
- Why We Love It: Natural pearl, architectural shape, classic setting
- Why We Love It: Classic glam, beautiful rose gold, pave details
- Why We Love It: Chocolate diamonds, stunning finish, honey gold
- Why We Love It: Classic design, vintage-inspired, 10K gold
- Why We Love It: Freshwater pearls, 14K rose gold, sparkling diamond detailing
- Why We Love It: Edgy look, antique gold, designer ring
- Why We Love It: Toi et moi design, citrine stone, unique look
- Why We Love It: Drama, freshwater pearl, rubies
- Why We Love It: Textured setting, silver and gold mix, freshwater pearl
- Why We Love It: Akoya pearl, solid gold
- Why We Love It: Eye-catching stone, toi et moi setting, lab-created diamonds
- Why We Love It: Understated floral pattern, milgrain detailing, classic shape
- Why We Love It: Diamond halo, white gold setting, Akoya pearl
- Why We Love It: Freshwater pearl, diamond-lined halo, 10K gold
- Why We Love It: Teardrop setting, lab-created sapphires, classic band
- Why We Love It: Art-deco inspired, masculine design, ruby and diamond accents
- Why We Love It: Chevron-shaped band, delicate design, rose gold
- Why We Love It: Vintage-inspired, white diamonds, intricate detailing
- Why We Love It: Three stones, Akoya pearl, blue sapphire
- Why We Love It: Freshwater pearl, elegant vibe, multiple pearls
- Why We Love It: Tahitian pearl, white diamonds, eye-catching emeralds
- Why We Love It: Yellow gold, classic look, black enamel detailing
- Why We Love It: Openwork heart design, timeless setting, sterling silver
- Why We Love It: Understated, lab-created sapphires, environmentally-friendly
- Why We Love It: Yellow gold, round diamonds, freshwater pearl
- Why We Love It: Freshwater pearl, sculpted shank, white diamonds