ICYMI, alternative diamond engagement rings are trending. Typically more unique and opening the door to a wider variety of styles—not to mention being oftentimes far more affordable—this modern twist on the classic engagement ring is well suited to anyone who wants something highly personalized without necessarily having to spends a pretty penny.
So what is an alternative diamond engagement ring? It's any ring that does not have a diamond as its center stone. But that doesn't mean they're without bling! Check out some of the most dazzling alternatives fitted with an array of richly colored gemstone options.
Best Alternative to Diamonds
Moissanite engagement rings.(Courtesy of Diamond Wish)
If you want the look of a diamond engagement ring, but not the exorbitant price, you're in luck! Moissanite—a recently discovered, brilliant white gemstone—looks very similar to a diamond but comes with a much lower price tag, typially costing around 90 percent less. This precious gem was discovered in a meteor crater in 1983 by the French scientist Henri Moissan, who originally thought he had found diamonds. Because of its origin story, moissanite is sometimes known as the Space Diamond or Stardust.
Today, most of the moissanite you'll find used in jewelry is lab-created, as natural moissanite is extraordinarily rare. These lab-grown stones have big advantages: They are of exceptional quality, more environmentally friendly, and are guaranteed to be conflict-free. Plus, did we mention they are super affordable?
Moissanite is the best diamond look-a-like if you want a diamond alternative engagement ring that still looks like the real deal. It's also great for everyday wear as it's quite durable, coming in at a 9.25 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
Moissanite engagement rings do have some visual differences from traditional diamond engagement rings, however. Most noticeably, moissanite has more brilliance and fire than diamonds do. (Fire is a term for the "rainbow" type of light emitted from a gemstone.) This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, as many people find that they love the higher brilliance and fire provided by a moissanite set engagement ring.
Like diamonds, moissanites are very versatile. This shimmering white gemstone looks lovely in every precious metal, including rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum.
Trending Non-Diamond Alternative Engagement Rings
Care for something more colorful? Choose a precious or semi-precious gemstone in a rainbow of colors.
A blue sapphire engagement ring.(Courtesy of Diamond Wish)
Blue sapphires are a classic gemstone option. Before diamonds became the most popular stone for engagement rings in the 20th century (it was De Beers' "Diamonds are Forever" campaign that popularized the gem), blue sapphires were the most highly desired choice. These classic sapphires have a rich, deep blue color unlike that of any other gemstone; they are luxurious, sophisticated, and have a regal feel—yep, this gemstone has always been popular among royals. In ancient times, blue sapphires were used in royal fine jewelry including engagement and wedding rings, and earrings. Of course, they still have a royal association today, thanks to Princess Diana's well-known blue sapphire engagement ring, which is now worn by Kate Middleton.
Aquamarine is a gemstone that has long been associated with the sea, thanks to its beautiful, crystal-blue color that resembles a glittering ocean. Aquamarine looks stunning in solitaire settings but is especially gorgeous in halo rings. Choosing to surround an aquamarine with a glittering halo of white diamonds enhances the overall brilliance of an aquamarine engagement ring, giving it a mesmerizing look.
A morganite stone set in rose gold with a diamond halo.(Courtesy of Diamond Wish)
Morganite is a beautiful, blushing pink gemstone that has become incredibly popular in recent years (perhaps because it's the same hue as the trendy "millennial pink"). A stunning and romantic choice for an engagement ring, morganite is particularly nice when paired with rose gold, though the gem looks lovely set in all precious metals. It's also popular to pair a center morganite stone with a diamond halo setting, which adds brilliance, glamour, and impact to the blush-colored gem.
You may know that diamonds come in many colors (including yellow, blue, and black), but did you know that sapphires also come in a rainbow of hues? That's right, sapphires are available in blue, green, white (another good diamond look-a-like), orange, purple, and pink. Pink sapphires are our favorite of the fancy colored sapphires. They are a richer shade of rose than the other popular pink gemstone, morganite, and re quite vibrant and brilliant for a gemstone. They also look stunning as stud earrings set with pink sapphires, especially in rose gold.
A ruby engagement ring.(Courtesy of Diamond Wish)
Rubies are known for their deep, richly red color. Rubies add a regal, luxe touch to any engagement ring and look particularly beautiful when paired with white diamond accents, whether they are on an engagement ring setting or on a paired wedding band. White diamonds have a bright, brilliant look that provides gorgeous contrast to the deep beauty of rubies.
Emeralds have been one of the most highly prized precious gemstones for hundreds of years and also one of the most expensive gemstones. Emeralds are known for their spectacular green hue, which can't be found in any other gemstone. Traditionally, the stones are cut into what is known as an emerald cut (which is now also used for diamonds)—an elegant, step-cut rectangular shape with cut corners. Today, however, the green emeralds used in modern engagement ring designs are cut into every shape, including round, cushion cut, oval, pear, and marquise. Emeralds also add a gorgeous vintage look to any engagement ring; to enhance the effect of bygone romance, consider mounting your emerald with a halo ring or vintage style setting.