Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not the only gem in town when it comes to engagement ring options.
The huge popularity of mined diamonds is actually the result of billions of dollars spent on marketing campaigns. Its popularity stems from a very slick marketing strategy, originated by—you guessed it—De Beers.
This well known diamond corporation worked with an ad agency, and together they became responsible for creating the public perception of diamonds symbolizing things like wealth, prosperity and royalty.
So how’d they do it? Good question!
They came up with a brilliant plan to “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”
Obviously their campaign strategy worked, because today, diamonds are one of the most sought after gemstones on the market. They are used in engagement rings and wedding rings alike, along with countless other jewelry items.
Though they are stunning and are never a poor choice if you covet diamonds, there are many engagement rings without diamonds that are equally as lovely for those that prefer something more unique.
An engagement ring doesn’t have to look “traditional” to be spectacular, and alternative gemstones used as a center stone is definitely attention-grabbing. Even better, many engagement ring gemstone alternatives are more affordable than diamonds, making them attractive to those on a tighter budget.
Keep reading for some suggestions on the best non-diamond engagement ring options available on the market today.
Moissanite Engagement Rings
Moissanite was first discovered by the Nobel Prize-winning French scientist, Henri Moissan. Though some may mistake Moissanite gemstones for diamonds, there are a lot of differences in appearance between the two such as their sparkle factor. In fact, Moissanite sparkles twice as much as diamonds giving them a disco-ball like appearance.
Though they do have their differences, like diamonds they also rank quite high in hardness. Moissanite gemstones rank a solid 9.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes them a touch behind a diamond, which ranks at a 10.
Why should you care about Moissanite’s Mohs rank? Well, the harder the gemstone, the less likely you are to accidentally damage it. That makes Moissanite a good diamond alternative for brides who want an extra sparkly engagement ring that is still budget-friendly.
Sapphire Engagement Rings
Sapphires happen to be another one of the strongest gemstones available, making them ideal for women on-the-go. In today’s culture, they were popularized by the British royal family. Both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton wore a sapphire ring on their wedding day.
The mere fact that sapphires are common in the royal household should be proof enough of their beauty and value, especially for brides that don’t want the classic diamond as an engagement ring.
Sapphires come in many colors, though the most preferred color is dark blue. They exude class and elegance, which makes them a perfect choice for more buttoned-down brides that prefer a subtle and understated look.
Fun fact: the only color you will not find a sapphire in is red.
Ruby Engagement Rings
Both rubies and sapphires are born out of the same mineral known as corundum. Rubies are the soul sisters of sapphires and are considered symbolic of great passion and love.
Rubies are commonly exchanged as gifts among people of royalty or high status. They are not always the most affordable choice if that’s what is most important for you, but they are fairly strong gemstones that hold up well to the daily demands of married life.
If budget is a concern, a lab-grown ruby engagement ring can be significantly more affordable than naturally occurring rubies. Considering everything, a ruby is an excellent non-diamond engagement ring option for couples who love the color red.
Fun fact: social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg proposed to his wife Priscilla Chan with a ruby.
Topaz Engagement Rings
Topaz is an excellent gem alternative to diamonds, as they are affordable and can be found in a variety of colors. Many couples love the look of an engagement ring made with blue topaz placed in a setting of white gold. When comparing blue topaz vs aquamarine, blue topaz is much more affordable and just as stunning. It’s both pretty and classy, without being over-the-top.
The only downside of topaz gemstones is that they sometimes lose their shine over the long haul. However, the upside is they have an incredible resistance to scratches, making them ideal for brides on the go.
Topaz gemstones are also the only gemstones that actually lose value the bigger they get. That’s good news for you because it means you can buy a higher carat engagement ring at a lower price.
Fun fact: the Braganza diamond, which is part of the Portuguese Crown Jewels, was originally believed to be a diamond (thus the name). On closer inspection, it turned out to be not a diamond at all, but a massive topaz gemstone.
Emerald Engagement Rings
The most famous member of the beryl family, emeralds are arguably one of the oldest gemstones ever to be mined. The earliest mention of this precious gemstone dates back almost 5000 years!
You might not be aware of it, but emeralds are actually rarer than diamonds. Surprisingly however, they are often more affordable.
The bottomless green color emeralds offer harmony and nature. It’s a sight for sore eyes and pleases many brides that love the outdoors. This precious gemstone is even believed to have a calming effect because of their color, which makes them a great option for couples who value serenity and peace in their marriage.
A one carat emerald costs just 1/4th of what a one carat diamond costs. Emeralds made in the lab are even more budget-friendly, making them an extremely popular choice for non-diamond engagement rings.
Fun fact: there are records of the emerald gemstone being the favorite of the famous Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.
Morganite Engagement Rings
Another member of the beryl family, morganite is a gemstone most famous for its pale pinkish color resembling a bride’s blush. Morganite stones are stronger than emeralds, making them a perfect choice for daily wear. Morganite gemstones are often placed in rose gold settings since their pinkish color compliments rose gold so beautifully. The warm look of morganite is a romantic choice sure to melt any bride’s heart.
Fun fact: the gemstone morganite is named after the financial legend J.P Morgan, to honor him and his enthusiasm for gems.
Amethyst Engagement Rings
An amethyst gemstone is the most serene and elegant member of the quartz family to be found. Universally known for its violet and purple color, this gemstone exudes spirituality and a slight air of mystery.
Throughout the ages, the color purple has often been associated with royalty, nobility and elegance. We’d say the amethyst completely embodies all of those attributes and more.
Amethysts are believed to activate higher levels of intuition and awareness in anyone who wears them. They are also said to offer spiritual protection and healing powers.
Some even believe they have the ability to cleanse the wearer of any negative energy that may be surrounding them in their environment.
For brides that are highly spiritual beings, an amethyst can be a stellar option for a non-diamond engagement ring.
Fun fact: the amethyst gets its name from the Greek word "amethystos,” which means "not drunken,” as this gemstone was thought to keep a person sober and drive away drunkenness.
Love Knot Engagement Rings
Is there anything that portrays the image of tying the knot better than a love knot engagement ring? Not much, we’d wager.
Love knot rings are minimalistic and are often chosen to symbolize friendship, togetherness and love. They are truly symbolic of the entire institution of marriage. After all, nothing says connectedness like two people coming together and becoming one, and nothing symbolizes connectedness more than a tightly tied knot.
Most popular knot rings are made of white gold, followed closely by rose gold and platinum. However, it’s really up to you and your bride what you love most. Love knot engagement rings are an affordable option for many couples that may not be in the best financial position, but still want to show they are committed and ready to be married.
Fun fact: 95% of proposers report paying for an engagement ring on their own, while only 3% say that they helped their partner with some kind of financial contribution.
We have countless non-diamond engagement ring options available at Diamond Nexus. Don’t limit yourself to what’s merely traditional. Look at your options and go with what makes your heart smile, even if it’s not a diamond!
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.