When it comes to engagement rings, diamonds have been the stone of choice for nearly 100 years. But these days, alternative engagement rings are more popular than ever, with lots of colorful gemstones taking the spotlight. Unconventional wedding bands are also gaining popularity; some are made with durable metals meant to withstand rugged use, and others serve as unique expressions of the bond between the couple who wears them.
Why Choose Non-Traditional Engagement Rings?
While brand new diamonds are still very popular, alternative engagement rings offer a unique solution for those who want a style that’s all their own. Whether you dislike the idea of paying top dollar for a brand-name ring or if you’ve got a moral objection to certain mining practices, you can still celebrate your love in a beautiful way.
For example, you don’t have to go with an alternative stone if you love the look of diamonds; you can easily choose a vintage diamond ring and use it in place of a traditional ring from a jeweler who specializes in brand new engagement and wedding rings in the latest, most popular styles. You can also buy vintage loose diamonds and have them placed in a new setting – perhaps one that you’ve designed yourself. This trick saves you quite a bit of money for other things, and as far as style goes, your ring is likely to be completely unique to those being worn by friends and family.
Alternative Stone Engagement Rings
There are quite a few things to look forward to in the event that diamonds aren’t your favorite stone. Alternative stone engagement rings typically cost less than diamond ones, and as far as size goes, you typically get a larger stone for less money. Sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are some very popular options, and these can be set as solitaires or surrounded with a halo of diamonds or other stones to create a lovely, contrasting look a la Princess Kate. Large rhodolite garnets are beautiful too, offering the look of rubies with a lower price tag. Similarly, a large piece of tourmaline has a pleasing green hue that might remind you of an emerald, at a price that is usually far less per carat.
For something far simpler, consider an opal; be sure to choose a protective setting though, as these stones are prone to chipping. A pearl is another alternative worth considering, but these stones are very delicate and require special care.
Diamond Alternative Engagement Rings
If you love the light, sparkling look of diamonds but don’t want to pay a premium, you might consider an alternative stone such as Moissanite, which is clear and perfectly beautiful. Lemon quartz serves as a nice alternative to yellow or canary diamonds, and pink amethyst has a unique color that might remind you a bit of a pink diamond – although with a bit less sparkle. Pale blue topaz makes an interesting alternative too; its light color might remind you a bit of diamond, but at a lower price.
Unique Alternative Engagement Rings
For something completely unique, consider something like Oregon sunstone. This is a lovely gem with a champagne-pink color and plenty of sparkle, and it looks absolutely fantastic set in rose gold. It’s just one example of a stone that looks beautiful in an organic or nature-inspired engagement ring, especially if you choose a hammered band. Morganite offers a similar rosy-golden color, and it is sometimes possible to find large pieces for surprisingly low prices.
Vintage and vintage-inspired engagement rings often make use of unusual stones, which are often mixed with diamonds or white sapphires. Black diamonds and dark blue sapphires are sometimes used to create incredible contrast, and colorful rubies, emeralds, and topaz sometimes make appearances in these settings, too.
The choice of stone isn’t the only thing to consider when looking for alternative engagement ring ideas. Cut can make a huge difference; for example, beautiful cushion cuts often bring out the best in colored gemstones, and they look amazing when surrounded by diamond halos. Pale green or pink sapphires look incredible this way, as do amethysts.
Sometimes it’s the setting itself that makes an engagement ring unique. For example, nature-inspired rings in flower shapes or with leaf-shaped elements add interest to any setting. Organic vines can wind their way around a band and showcase any stone you like, and a flower halo with a diamond or colored stone at its center can make an incredible visual impact.
The most important considerations when choosing an engagement ring include your relationship and your personal sense of style. Your engagement ring is part of your love story and the more unique it is the more you’re likely to treasure it as the years go by. Be sure to care for it according to the unique needs of the elements that make it so very special, and it will continue to give you pleasure throughout your lifetime.