Pearl Engagement Rings: Meaning, Styles and Why You Should Buy Them

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For most people, pearl jewelry is too ‘old-fashioned.’ Pearl rings are something your grandmother would wear, they think.

On the contrary, everyone is buzzing about pearl rings, particularly pearl engagement rings. Celebrities like Emma Stone and Ariana Grande made their case for pearl engagement rings. The former, in particular, received a beautiful pearl engagement ring worth $4,780 from Dave McCary, her fiancé.

Freshwater pearls are one of the most delicate choices for engagement rings. Apart from being beautiful to look at, they also symbolize purity, generosity, integrity and loyalty, all of which are important factors in any relationship.

The best part about pearl engagement rings is that they’re more affordable than a diamond engagement ring!

With all of these in mind, using pearl as an engagement ring might seem like the best option for your loved one. But is a pearl engagement ring a good idea?

Pearl as Engagement Ring Material: Important Features

When it comes to pearl engagement rings, there are two main features to keep in mind: beauty and durability.

A pearl engagement ring is a beautiful choice for something as sentimental as a ring. Paired with the right materials, a pearl ring will look stunning. The pearl’s lustrous and opaque appearance is accentuated and enhanced when paired with vibrant gemstones like diamonds. It also suits any colored metal, whether yellow, white or rose.

In terms of durability, freshwater pearls are extremely fragile. Pearls are extremely soft. On the Moh’s scale, these organic gemstones have a hardness rating of 2.5 to 3, which means they can be easily scratched, especially if you keep touching the stone.

A pearl’s toughness is good but it eventually weakens over time due to dehydration and aging. Pearls can also become damaged and porous from acids and chemicals like perfume, hair spray and household cleaners.

Most engagement rings come with prong-set center stones. This means tiny pieces of metal secure the stones. With pearl engagement rings, jewelry makers use adhesive to secure the pearl to the band of the ring. However, these adhesives weaken over time, which means the pearl can easily fall off the ring.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Pearl Engagement Ring?

A Silver Pearl Ring
What is the best pearl engagement ring? (Photo by Anna Tis from Pexels)

Before you purchase a pearl engagement ring for your loved one, consider the pros and cons of this timeless engagement ring option.

Pros of a Pearl Engagement Ring

A Unique Choice

Most people propose with a diamond engagement ring. If you want to think out of the proposal box, go for non-traditional engagement rings like a pearl ring. With a pearl engagement ring, your loved one will surely stand out.

Beautiful Symbolism

Some people want their engagement ring to symbolize something. Pearls symbolize wisdom, peace, harmony, purity and innocence, which are ideal characteristics for relationships.

Traditional But Avant-Garde

While pearl engagement rings are traditional choices known for their sophisticated and classic looks, they can also be avant-garde choices depending on the type of jewelry setting and pearl you choose (Should you choose natural pearls or artificial ones?). For instance, if you want a round white pearl ring, go for a ring that uses Tahitian pearls.

Skin Tone and Pearls

Most people ignore skin tone when it comes to choosing their engagement ring, but it is an important consideration.

Certain stone colors look better with certain skin colors One of the best things about pearl rings is that black and white pearls go well with any skin tone.

Affordable Prices

With a diamond ring, you might spend more than $5,000. A beautiful freshwater pearl ring will cost you a fraction of that price tag. Depending on the quality and variety of the pearl, as well as the metals used and craftsmanship, you can find a beautiful pearl engagement ring for $250 and above.

Plenty of Options

A pearl engagement ring doesn’t mean just using a perfectly round pearl. Pearls are available in different shapes and colors. From the basic freshwater pearl to the South Sea pearl and Black Tahitian pearls, there’s always something for everyone. There are also irregularly shaped pearls that allow you to express your personal style.

Cons of a Pearl Engagement Ring

Pearls are Soft

As mentioned above, durability isn’t the strength of pearls. They can easily scratch, especially if you always wear your pearl ring. Pearl engagement rings require regular care to keep them from chipping and breaking.

What You Should Look for in a Pearl Engagement Ring

When shopping for a pearl engagement ring, you have plenty of options. The variety of choices might overwhelm you. So, instead of scrambling the Internet or choosing from way too many options, here are some questions to ask.

  1. What is the typical cost of a pearl engagement ring? You can buy a beautiful pearl ring for a few hundred dollars and go into thousands if you’re feeling a bit generous. There are different types of pearls, some rarer and have a higher demand, so size and species can affect pricing.
  2. Where do I shop for a pearl engagement ring? While pearls are rare, you can easily find them at different jewelers. If you want more choices, look for fine jewelry or heirloom pieces.
  3. What stones compliment your engagement ring the best? Round diamonds or tapered baguettes are classy ways to show off your pearl ring.

How to Find the Best Pearl Engagement Ring

When shopping for a pearl engagement ring, get the following things right.

The Ring Setting

This is the most important feature of any pearl engagement ring. The setting determines the level of protection your pearl gets. Choose an engagement ring that securely holds the pearl.

The bezel and halo are examples of ring settings that offer excellent protection for your pearl. Avoid solitaire ring settings to keep your pearl from getting chipped, damaged or knocked out.

The Pearl Color

Most pearls are milky white orbs. But as mentioned above, pearls come in a variety of colors, which includes black and yellow gold. When choosing the color of your pearl engagement ring, consider the following factors:

  1. Is it a natural color or has it been dyed?
  2. Does it suit your skin?
  3. Does the color match the rest of the design?
  4. Can you see yourself (or your loved one) wearing this color all the time?

Most people choose the traditional white pearl ring but there are others who love black pearls or prefer rose gold pearls that naturally blend with any outfit.

The Pearl Shape

As mentioned above, pearls aren’t always round. Most pearls have ridges, bumps and irregular shapes. These pearls are known as baroque pearls, which are increasing in popularity nowadays.

The Metal

Pearls have neutral colors, which means they can easily pair with any metal. Rose gold and yellow give most pearl rings a vintage look. On the other hand, silver-colored metals give your pearl engagement ring a chic style.

The Design

Instead of settling for a single pearl, why not have a cluster of smaller pearls for your ring? This minimizes the risk of a single pearl.

The Pearl

You have plenty of choices when it comes to pearls: freshwater pearl, golden south sea pearl, Tahitian and more!

How To Take Care of Your Pearl Engagement Ring

Once you have your engagement ring, maintenance is important to keep it from being damaged. Here are some basic pearl ring care tips:

  1. Avoid exposing your pearl ring to direct sunlight to prevent discoloration and fading.
  2. Store your ring carefully and separately in a soft pouch or fabric-lined box when not wearing it.
  3. Keep your pearls from coming into contact with chemicals like cosmetics, chlorine and household detergents.
  4. Put your pearl ring on last after applying makeup and getting dressed.


The diamond engagement ring might be THE classic choice for engagement rings. But if a diamond ring sounds ‘too basic’ or if you want to think out of the box, go for a pearl engagement ring. Before you plan the dream wedding, have the dream engagement ring first.

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