Are you planning out the best proposal for the love of your life? You’re probably thinking of getting the best engagement ring as a sign of your love. While a traditional diamond ring has been associated with engagements and for so long, it doesn’t fit every couple.
Depending on your style, personality, ethical reasons, and budget, there are many alternatives to a diamond ring. You can opt for gemstones that are in no way visually the same as a diamond or choose gemstones that aim to look as visually the same as it.
Below are some non-diamond engagement rings you should check out as you prepare for your proposal. Click on the images to see other options and price range.
Gemstone Alternative Engagement Rings
Morganite Engagement Ring
This pink stone comes from the beryl family. The pink hue gives off an aura of gentleness and femininity. While the most common hue is a light peachy pink, its color can range from orange to subtle pink. This color makes it look best in yellow golds or rose gold setting.
Although it is not as durable as diamonds and rubies, it is durable enough for everyday wear with a 7.5-8 score on Mohs scale of hardness. Compared to diamonds, morganites do not come with a hefty price tag.
Emerald Engagement Ring
Emerald is one of the big four gems, along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire. This beautiful green gem is durable and ranks 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Emeralds are rarer than diamonds and are among the most expensive stones in the market. Its value depends largely on nuances in saturation and hue. Emerald is also the birthstone for May.
Moonstone Engagement Ring
If you are on the search for a unique engagement ring, you can opt for a moonstone. Moonstone gives off a dreamy, magical iridescent color –no wonder it has been associated with magic and lunar mystery.
Depending on its thickness, this gem comes in a range of colors. The thinner the moonstone, the more light is refracted, and thus the more significant the iridescence. A transparent blue moonstone is more coveted than a white, thicker moonstone. However, the latter is more affordable. These stones look great on white gold, yellow gold and rose gold settings.
Tanzanite Engagement Ring
If you desire to have a unique engagement ring, you can choose this rare gem. Tanzanite can only be mined in Tanzania, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. This gemstone is rarer than diamonds.
Its color ranges from blue to bluish purple to bluish violet. It also shows off a rare color characteristic called trichroism, where the gem shows a perceptible difference in color when viewed along three different axes.
Tanzanite is also the birthstone of those born in December.
Ruby Engagement Ring
If you love to stand out, getting ruby jewelry will be a good choice! The color red symbolizes passion, boldness, wealth, and success. This eye-catching stone ranks 9 out of 10 on Mohs scale of hardness.
These beautiful stones are one of the most expensive gemstones in the market, reaching over $ 1,000,000 per carat. Its hue ranges from dark reddish-brown to bright cherry red. They are also the birthstone of those born in July.
Moissanite Engagement Ring
Moissanite is a nearly colorless gemstone that’s composed of silicon carbide. Its appearance can easily be mistaken for a diamond, making it a standard choice for people who want the elegance of a diamond ring but wants a less expensive alternative.
Natural moissanites are rare. Thus, most of the ones you see in the market are likely to be lab-made. The price of moissanite depends on the type (whether enhanced or not) and its size in millimeters. Its hardness of 9.25 on Mohs scale is also comparable to the hardness of diamonds (with a perfect score of 10).
Pearl Engagement Ring
Pearls, the “queen of gemstones,” is highly associated with weddings, either as inclusions in wedding gowns or as part of the bride’s wedding jewelry—no wonder this beautiful gem is considered a worthy investment for an engagement ring.
Natural pearls are extremely rare and expensive now, thanks to pollution and overfishing. Thankfully, cultured ones are highly available in the market. While affordable, a pearl ring with a rose gold setting looks both beautiful and elegant.
Sapphire Engagement Ring
Sapphires are known for their stunning, beautiful colors. Its hue ranges from a deep indigo blue to a lighter ocean spray blue.
Although Ceylon blue is one of its most sought-after colors, sapphire comes in a variety of colors. While any cut looks good on a sapphire ring, an oval cut shows-off its vibrant color the best.
Alternative Engagement Rings That Look Like Diamonds
Since a diamond ring is strongly associated with engagements rooting back in 1477, it is understandable if you still want a diamond ring. If you want the beauty and sophistication of the diamond but do not want the hefty price tag that comes with it, several gemstones offer the luster and beauty of diamonds at a fraction of a price.
Lab-created diamonds are identical in structure to those that are mined. Only, they’re created in labs and not under the ground. They are a much cheaper option, not to mention a more ethical solution.
These offer the same luster, elegance, and beauty that mined diamonds offer but are a lot less expensive. Despite this, lab-made ones are still the most costly alternative to mined ones.
Simulated Diamonds/Gemstones that looks like Diamonds
There are also what we call simulated diamonds, or diamonds simulants. These are lab-grown gemstones created to mimic diamonds. While they may look like diamonds, their chemical compositions are different from mined and lab-created diamonds.
Like moissanite, they look a lot like diamonds. However, they have their unique properties as well. Below are the more popular ones:
Cubic zirconia is designed to mimic the sparkle of a natural diamond. They are visually similar to real ones but are softer, scoring 8.5 on Mohs hardness scale. Its number one competitor, the moissanite, has more brilliance than it. However, moissanite is also more expensive.
Unlike other diamond alternatives, this could be made totally colorless, making them close to a real diamond. It is also the cheapest diamond alternative.
White topaz is another common diamond alternative. Scoring an 8 in Mohs hardness scale, it is softer than cubic zirconia and moissanite and is not as brilliant as a real diamond. Their relative softness means that they will acquire scratches over time, which will reduce the stone’s brightness.
White sapphire is colorless or pure corundum. It lacks trace elements that give its cousins like ruby and blue sapphire their intense color.
With a score of 9 on Mohs hardness scale, it is harder than white topaz and cubic zirconia. It doesn’t give off the same intense sparkle like a diamond and can sometimes have a white, milky, or cloudy body, but it comes the closest in brilliance to a real diamond.
You might want to check out the Gemological Institute of America to know more about gems.
Why Consider Diamond Engagement Rings as an Alternative?
If you opt for an alternative, there are various styles and different gemstones to pick from. These give off a personal style that stands out from the mainstream diamond monopolized society.
The personal touch it affords the wearer makes them feel that the ring is specifically designed for them, instead of something given merely to follow tradition.
It’s now a trend.
Choosing a custom engagement ring as an expression of one’s distinct style is a growing trend. A recent study even found out that millennials are opting for colored gems for their engagement rings.
You can see this even in celebrities. Say, for example, Emma Stones engagement ring features a stunning center pearl, and Kate Middleton is given by Prince William a sapphire engagement ring. You can even get a combination of diamonds with other gemstones like Kay Perry’s ring with an oval tourmaline surrounded by diamond halo rings.
You can have a ring of your favorite color.
Pick an engagement ring according to your favorite shade. If you like yellow, you can opt between topaz, citrine, tourmaline, and sapphire. If you love the simplicity and elegance that green radiates, you can select between emerald or jade. You can also pick one according to your birthstone.
If you love blue, there are various options available for you, depending on the hue and intensity you want. Tanzanite, aquamarine, zircon, turquoise, apatite, and azurite are just some of the blue-colored ones available in the market.
It offers a vast price range.
While diamond rings are stylish and timeless, many people prefer alternatives because they want a simple engagement ring. Not to mention, alternatives can be less expensive than a diamond ring depending on the gemstone if you are low on budget.
An alternative engagement ring price ranges from $400-$30,000, depending on the precious metal or stones it contains. Some, like morganites, are less expensive, while other gems, such as rubies and alexandrites, are rarer and more expensive.
Should I Get an Alternative?
More than a status symbol and jewelry, engagement rings symbolize a person’s promise, much like a wedding ring.
Since an engagement ring is worn long term, choosing one that suits the lifestyle, preference, budget, style, and unique personality is crucial.
Before buying one instead of a diamond ring, it is essential to do some research and prioritize factors such as durability, affordability, and beauty.