As a species, we’ve al­ways be­lieved in the myth­i­cal prop­er­ties of gem­stones, which is why we’ve long in­cor­po­rated them as tal­is­mans in our jew­ellery. These days, rather than go­ing for the pre­dictable di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring, many opt to per­son­alise their

Fairlady - - CONTENTS - By Lucinda Dord­ley and Tif­fany Don­son

Which gem res­onates with you?

Un­like many other gems – emer­alds, say, or hack­man­ite or sap­phires – di­a­monds are not at all rare, which means they aren’t in­trin­si­cally very valu­able. In fact, the mar­ket would be sat­u­rated with them if De Beers hadn’t stepped in and fe­ro­ciously reg­u­lated the trade as far back as the early 1900s. The di­a­mond com­pany also cre­ated what’s com­monly ac­cepted as one of the most suc­cess­ful ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns of all time, suc­cess­fully link­ing di­a­monds with love and eter­nity (the slo­gan ‘A Di­a­mond is For­ever’ has ap­peared on ev­ery sin­gle De Beers ad ever since). Be­fore then, en­gage­ment rings were hardly even a thing – and when peo­ple did buy them, only about 10% of rings had di­a­monds. But all that changed dra­mat­i­cally af­ter the De Beers cam­paign, and the di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring (ide­ally cost­ing two months’ salary, also a De Beers con­struct) be­came ubiq­ui­tous.

Time for a change? We think so! Here are 20 gem­stones of­ten cho­sen for what they sym­bol­ise – choose the one that speaks to you from our list.

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