Is a Pearl Engagement Ring a Good Idea?

The idea that pearls are a girl’s best friend has been floating around for some time and it’s easy to see why. Pearls are simply stunning and naturally catch your eye. With more people opting for non-diamond engagement rings, pearls may seem a great way to get off the beaten path.

But is a pearl engagement ring really a good idea? After all, this is a piece of jewelry that you plan to wear every day for the rest of your life.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of choosing a pearl engagement ring.

Gold Akoya Cultured Pearl Diamond Halo Ring
Gold Akoya Cultured Pearl Diamond Halo Ring. See this ring here.

The Pros: Why You Should Get a Pearl Engagement Ring

1- A Unique Choice

How many people do you know own a pearl engagement ring? Unlike diamonds, sapphires or rubies, pearls are a unique choice for an engagement ring and you’ll know that your ring will stand out. You’re bound to get questions and compliments on your engagement ring and you’ll probably be the only person you know who has one.

2- Beautiful Symbolism

For some people, symbolism is truly important when considering what gemstone to choose for their ring. Pearls symbolize wisdom, innocence, purity, harmony and peace, ideal characteristics for any relationship.

3- Pearls and Skin Tone

Most people tend to ignore this factor when choosing an engagement ring but it is something to consider. Certain gemstone colors look better with certain skin tones. The good thing about pearls is that white and black pearls (the two most popular pearl colors) go well with just about any skin tone.

4- Traditional but Avant-Garde

While pearls are a traditional choice and have that classic, sophisticated look about them, they can also be very avant-garde depending on the type of pearl and jewelry setting you choose. For example, instead of going for the classic perfectly round white pearl, you could opt for a ring that showcases a baroque black Tahitian pearl. You can always add a modern twist to pearl rings.

5- Competitive Prices

A diamond engagement ring can cost upwards of $5000 but a high quality pearl ring will generally cost you a fraction of that price. Depending on the variety and quality of the pearl as well as the quality of craftsmanship and metals used, you can find a beautiful pearl engagement ring upwards of $250.

6- Lots of Options

Say the word pearl and chances are you thought immediately of a perfectly round, white sphere. But think again. Pearls come in a range of colors and shapes. From Golden South Sea pearls to Black Tahitian pearls, there’s something for everyone. In terms of shape, today irregular shaped pearls are highly sought after and a popular choice. These kinds of pearls allow you to express your personal style. They also allow designers to get creative, using the color and natural shape of the pearl to inspire the ring design.

7- Complements Any Outfit

If you plan on wearing your engagement ring on a daily basis, you would normally want it to suit the different outfits and other jewelry you wear. Pearl engagement rings go well with any outfit, whether casual or formal. A white or black pearl easily blends in with other jewelry and complements your overall look.

Pearl engagement ring vintage ring
Pearl engagement ring vintage design. See it here.

The Cons: Why You Should Not Get a Pearl Engagement Ring

1- Pearls Are Soft

Despite all the wonderful things that pearls offer you, there are some downsides to having a pearl engagement ring. The most critical factor is that pearls are extremely soft. They rank between 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale. To put this in perspective, a diamond ranks supreme at 10 and is virtually scratch-resistant. Even sapphires and rubies rank at 9, while emeralds rank at 8.

What does this mean for you?

Basically, the extreme softness of a pearl’s composition means that it can easily get scratched and damaged. When worn daily without reasonable care, pearls can lose their luster or even chip and break. They require ongoing maintenance which can be difficult.

2- Not Like a ‘Real’ Engagement Ring

For most people, a ‘real’ engaging ring should have a diamond. This is a myth that has been populated by popular media and advertising campaigns by the diamond industry. So if you opt for a pearl engagement ring, be prepared to answer questions about why it isn’t a diamond. If this doesn’t bother you and a pearl ring is what you really want, then kudos to you.

If You Really Want a Pearl Engagement Ring …

Knowing the drawbacks of a pearl engagement ring doesn’t mean that you have to avoid it altogether. There are many people who have chosen pearl engagement rings and have been happy with their choice.

For many couples, having the pearl replaced is not a nuisance but rather a little trip down memory lane and a new commitment to the relationship. As long as you take the necessary precautions, your pearl ring can last a very long time.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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