DIAMONDS might be a girl's best friend but more brides are leaning towards sapphires.
The latest Bride to Be Cost of Love findings show the popularity of stones other than diamonds is growing.
In particular the popularity of sapphires has doubled since the last survey in 2008.
Booval Hourglass Jewellers assistant manager Yvonne Otto said Prince William's choice of engagement ring for Kate Middleton was likely to be driving the trend.
The future king proposed to his girlfriend of eight years with the sapphire and diamond engagement ring that belonged to his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mrs Otto said cost-wise people could get a bigger stone for their money if they went the sapphire route.
“It is a nice alternative to the traditional diamond,” Mrs Otto said.
“It may become more popular as an alternative because of Kate Middleton.”
She said the ring had sparked a similar trend among brides-to-be before Charles and Diana married in 1981.
Likewise Pascoe Jewellers manager Di Kibbler said the princess-in-waiting had definitely started a trend.
“Anytime something like that comes up, people want the same thing,” Mrs Kibbler said.
“A lot of young ones are also going for white gold and a princess cut.”
She said sapphire engagement rings could range in price from $3500 to $10,000.
Invites to the highly anticipated April royal wedding are in the mail, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and partner Tim Mathieson on the official guest list of 1900.
Governor-General Quentin Bryce will also receive an invite.
More than 1000 of the guests will be friends of the prince, and his bride-to-be and will stretch to celebrities including David and Victoria Beckham.
Research by Citibank found 10 per cent of Australians would take out a loan of $3400 to buy an engagement ring, rather than save three month's salary as is the tradition.
The survey also found that 17 per cent would borrow on average $10,975 to pay for their wedding.
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