Non-traditional Engagement Rings: What the Pearl Symbolizes

In my non-traditional engagement rings series thus far, we’ve covered those gems thought to be “precious” – meaning the diamond (introduced and detailed in the ruby post), ruby, sapphire, and emerald. However, many other “semi-precious” stones were long revered as extremely valuable throughout the years, and one such candidate for an ultra-chic and timeless engagement ring is the pearl.

I actually met a few ladies at last season’s Pink Bridal Shows sporting pearl engagement rings, and truly, it seems that the giver and receiver of such an engagement ring do, in fact, have a refined air about them. One young woman daintily displayed her left hand to me and exclaimed, “My engagement ring is unique; it features a pearl – and I love it!”

pearl wedding ring 3

While not really considered a gemstone by professional sources, the pearl has chiseled out its place in history and among more traditional gemstones in preference and in popularity.

Pearl jewelry is considered appropriate in many social circumstances throughout today’s society and was incredibly preferred by socialites in years past for its classy, timeless look and dainty appearance. This makes the pearl a perfect candidate as the center stone for your engagement ring!

As for symbolism, the pearl means harmony, humility, and purity.

Many cultures and beliefs feature the pearl throughout their histories, including the Bible, which mentions pearls in the Revelations.

Many sources state that the pearl was known as the “Queen of the Gems” in years past.

Centuries ago, a string of pearls in the same shape and size was considered the most valuable piece of jewelry in the world, peaking in popularity and value during the Roman Empire. Of all cultures, the Egyptians and Romans considered the pearl the most valuable, but they weren’t alone in their admiration for the natural luster of the pearl. In fact, pearls were so expensive into modern times because of their rarity and preference that only very wealthy people could wear them. That changed, however, when we began making simulated pearls in the 1900s.

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Natural pearls still carry a hefty price tag, however, and people still see them as wonderful, classy gifts and accessories. Their timeless beauty is what makes them such a gorgeous option to the bridal look, too!

To care for any non-traditional engagement ring, especially a pearl engagement ring, always check with your jeweler for the best care instructions.

Many sources online state that you should make sure you store pearls away from your other jewelry in a climate-controlled environment. Wiping them down gently with a warm cloth after each wear prevents harmful substances from building up and causing spotting, but if the string between the pearls gets dirty, you can wash them with mild liquid soap and warm water. To dry, dampen a cotton towel slightly, and wrap the pearls inside. Once the towel is dry, you should have a fully dry string of pearls that you then can put away. For especially gritty dirt or films on your pearls, using clear nail polish remover (acetone based) will get your pearls clean, but don’t leave them submerged in the substance for very long. The acetone can weaken the setting of your jewelry. Never, ever use ammonia or vinegar to clean your pearls, as this will damage them.


If you’re not into diamonds, and you have a refined, eclectic taste, then the pearl engagement ring just might be the best fit for you!


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