Non-Diamond Engagement Rings: 12 Alternative Gemstones She’ll Love

non diamond engagement rings red-stones ruby rings on the finger
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He’s going to pop the question, obviously with a diamond engagement ring. But what about chic non-diamond engagement rings? Diamond rings is a tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, right?
Not quite.


Most modern wedding traditions trace their roots back to old world religious practices and some ancient folklore. Diamond engagement rings are an exception to this.

In reality, diamond rings owe their fame and popularity to a clever late-1940’s ad campaign from De Beers. They delivered lectures across the country explaining to future brides and grooms that diamonds are an absolutely non-negotiable part of the proposal process.

Fast forward and we have far more access to this story. Combined with Millennials and Gen Z’s desire for unique experiences, the demand for non-diamond engagement rings are on the rise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to Not Have a Diamond Engagement Ring?

Non-diamond engagement rings are perfectly acceptable. Any gem will communicate that you’ve entered into a social contract to formalize your union.

What is the Most Realistic Diamond Alternative?

Moissanite is the naturally occurring stone that most resembles a diamond. Lab-created diamonds are almost indistinguishable from the real deal.


Unique Non-diamond Engagement Rings

The further you go back in time the less focus on the 4 Cs and adherence to trends there was. Ring manufacturers were freer to make creative decisions, resulting in a greater opportunity for some very unique non-diamond engagement rings.

The Royal Family has been popular in North America for a long time now. Both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton flaunted their gorgeous sapphire engagement rings.

This is very likely the reason that sapphires are the #1 alternative to diamond engagement rings. Brides who love being a little different will also appreciate the timeless beauty of:

  • Rubies
  • Emeralds
  • Amethysts



Antique Non-diamond Engagement Rings

A newer trend that seems to be blossoming into a tradition is the preference for antique non-diamond engagement rings. Preserving hand-crafted rings and gemstones from past generations addresses a lot of today’s concerns with conflict diamonds and overcommercialization.

It also provides brides and grooms with a way to continue family heirlooms by passing on antique rings from generation to generation.

The word antique suggests that they’ve been around for at least an entire generation. As a standard these gems were cheaper to mine and far cheaper to manufacture, making them being less costly than their modern counterparts. The most popular choices are:

  • Tanzanite antique rings
  • Quartz antique rings
  • Garnet antique rings



Non-diamond Vintage Engagement Rings

Historically, It was much tougher to create gorgeous rings that follow the 4 Cs. The highest quality gems, especially if owned by noteworthy families, can be tremendously expensive.

Aside from the rare exceptions, non-diamond vintage engagement rings are less expensive compared to modern alternatives. The main reason that they hold their value is because of the stories they tell.

Throughout history, a lot of jewelry was stolen, smuggled, or has gone missing. The vintage ring on your finger has made quite a journey to get there. Between art deco, 19th-century unconventional non-diamond engagement rings, Edwardian vintage rings, Celtic Knot vintage rings, there are plenty of styles and stories to choose from.

  • White jade vintage rings
  • Topaz vintage rings
  • Tourmaline vintage rings



Simple Non-diamond Engagement Rings

One of the more powerful modern wedding trends is minimalist simplicity. Ceremonies are more modest. Receptions are less lavish. Decor and attire are stripped down and clean. This makes simple non-diamond engagement rings a very attractive option for many brides to be.

A smooth round or square-edge band with a solitaire stone has always been the most classic engagement ring style. Combine this style with any of these simple gemstones:

  • Opal simple engagement rings
  • Onyx simple engagement rings
  • Pearl simple engagement rings


Non-diamond engagement rings are, in a way, a return to tradition. Prior to the 1940s future grooms personalized their proposals with unique designs and a wide variety of gemstones that symbolize a huge range of emotions and meaning. We love diamonds, but we also love this revitalized focus on individuality.