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6 Alternatives to Diamond Jewelry

6 Alternatives to Diamond Jewelry

Every guy out there knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. However, he also knows that they’re a bank account’s worst enemy, as well. I won’t go into the whole origin of the diamond engagement ring (because I’d probably never stop complaining), but the Cliff’s Notes version of it is simple: diamonds aren’t really all that rare. The only reason they decimate our wallets is because we’ve been convinced they mean more than they actually do. Alas, I digress.

The point is, if you’ve managed to find a woman who understands the whole diamond debacle and would rather opt for something a bit more out of the ordinary (first of all, congrats! Second of all), here are some of your options:

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1. Lab-created “diamonds”

We are lucky enough to live at a time in which scientists can work wonders in a lab, even when it comes to replicating one of the most beautiful minerals on Earth. Diamond simulants duplicate the physical, chemical, and optical properties of actual diamonds. They are only discernible as “fakes” to trained professionals. Even those who know their minerals may have trouble noticing a difference between a real diamond and a simulant when viewed in passing with the naked eye. Of course, your significant other will always know the truth. You should definitely consult with her before going this route.

2. Moissanite

Moissanite is a silicon carbide compound that is similar in many ways to actual diamonds. Although moissanite has been found to occur naturally, scientists have been able to synthesize it completely (unlike diamonds, which, as stated, has only been replicated). Moissanite is about as durable as diamond, but it can withstand heat to a much greater extent. Not only that, but it also never loses its luster, which makes it ideal as an heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation.

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3. Knot rings

If you’re looking for a ring that symbolizes the notion that two lives have become forever intertwined, a knot ring is the way to go. Although knot rings generally don’t come with gemstones, they can be made with yellow and white gold that weave together, creating a unique piece of jewelry for your significant other to show off. Some knot rings are made so that each piece is free to move independently while remaining connected forever, which is much more meaningful than any diamond ring could ever be.

4. Gemstones

As I said in the intro, we’ve been beaten over the head with the notion that “diamonds are forever” our entire lives. However, you might not know that almost all gemstones have symbolic meaning to them as well. For example, alexandrite symbolizes prosperity and growth, while rubies symbolize peace and tranquility. Put some thought into the jewelry you buy your love, and it will be much more meaningful than simply buying a diamond because it’s a societal norm.

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5. Family heirlooms

I mentioned family heirlooms before, but the importance of a piece of jewelry that has been passed down throughout the ages cannot be overstated. When a ring is passed on to the next generation, the stories behind the ring come with it. All the accomplishments, struggles, hopes, and dreams of the past come alive and combine with an entire new set of stories to be passed on in the coming years. These inspirational stories are certainly more interesting than, “Your father bought this for me at the mall twenty years ago.”

6. Something Actually… Useful

Let me start by saying you should definitely check with your significant other before going this route. However, if you’re just starting out in your journey together, you might want to skip the ring altogether (at least for the time being). Think of everything else you can do with a few thousand dollars that will actually do something for your life as a couple. You could start putting money away for a down payment on a home or a new car, or pay off some of your significant other’s school loans. You could even opt for a more extravaggant vacation than usual, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Rather than spending money on an object that symbolizes your undying love, use that money to do something that will show your undying devotion to the love of your life.

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Featured photo credit: NUBIA AQUA BEACH RESORT HOTEL. / Kakha Kolkhi via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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