In the U.S. diamonds were popularized as the standard engagement ring in the 1930s due to the opening of DeBeers Mines in Africa, which made diamonds more accessible. Diamonds had been used in engagement rings for centuries before that in Europe and elsewhere, but the diamond was paired with other gemstones. It was not the sole gemstone in the engagement ring.
Diamonds are loosing popularity due to unethical practices which abuse human rights and fund war crimes. The Time article, How to Buy an Ethical Diamond, warns that blood diamonds still exists. The article insists that to buy an ethical diamond, the purchases must demand specifics and look for diamonds mined from Canada. Since this is an expensive route, perhaps it is better to consider alternatives to diamonds.
That leaves us to wonder could watches be an alternative to engagement rings?
For one couple, Sara and Spencer, watches were an obvious alternative to engagement rings. The couple has been dating since January 2015, when they met on Tinder.
Tell us about your love story
Sara tells us, "I was on tinder just looking to talk with people and he was on just to see what it was about. I was his first or second match and he finally convinced me to come to a game night he and his roommates were holding. He was super open and told me I could bring a friend or two if it made me feel more comfortable. I was nervous, but once I got to his apartment I almost bursted out laughing because there were already 2 people I knew from high school there.
"When I very first met Spencer one of my first thoughts was about how proud I would be to introduce this man to my family. He is very loyal friend and if he has chosen you to be in his life you best believe he'll do everything he can to keep you in it. He is dedicated and ambitious and isn't willing to compromise his dreams. He is currently getting very close to achieving one of his dreams by running for Kansas State Senate."
The two quickly fell in love and moved in together. It was then that Sara realized she couldn't live without Spencer. "
He made me grow up, so many people before him just let me stay immature and irresponsible, but he wasn't going to take any of it. Before we really even knew each other he was pushing me to follow my dreams and be a better person."
Spencer proposed on May 31st, 2016. Sara recalls, "I was actually at work and I randomly got a call from him, he asked if I was able to talk with him alone for a little bit so I walked outside and he asked me if I wanted to marry him. At first I asked him if he was being serious. When I realized that he was serious, and that he was getting really nervous that I wasn't answering right away, I told him yes. He had talked with his HR Manager and she was asking if we were getting married yet. (I was always around and she would joke about it with him, but this time it hit home.) He really didn't want to wait to ask me and he just wanted to do it right away, which is why he called me. A lot of people think it isn't romantic and he should have done it a different way but I love it, it's very unconventional, just like us."
The couple married on June 16. They had a intimate 14-person wedding under a beautiful archway on Spencer's family property.
We asked Sara, "How did you decide to use watches over engagement rings?"
And she explained that "Overpriced rings, the complications of the diamond industry, and having an entire industry price gouging people really doesn't sit right with my husband and his beliefs. So for awhile we deliberated and came up with some alternatives. At first watches weren't even a thought, we were mostly looking at engraved leather or titanium bracelets, but then I saw a couple Tree Hut watches, showed them to Spencer, and we both agreed that's what we wanted. They're personal as well as functional. (Spencer is allergic to most metals and since Tree Hut watches* are mostly wood and leather he is able to wear it all the time without worry.)
*Which Tree Hut watches can I wear with a metal allergy?
"We each picked out our favorite watch, I wanted something a bit more feminine and he wanted something minimalistic with a very clean design."
Sara choose the mod watch and Spencer choose the classic. They engraved, "
E duobus Unum S&S - 06/19/16" on the back of both watches.
Sara explained, "My husband picked [the engraving] out, its a play on the motto of the US "e pluribus Unum" which means - out of one, many.
E duobus Unum means - out of two, one."
For those who feel uneasy about the diamond industry and are looking for an alternative piece of jewelry to symbolize their love and commitment, take a page from Sara and Spencer's book. Engrave
something heartfelt and sincere on your own Tree Hut watch.
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