29 Non-Diamond Engagement Rings That Make a Statement
Non-diamond engagement rings are having a major moment. More couples are looking to unique, nontraditional engagement ring options that fit their individual lifestyle and taste. So it's no surprise there's been a noticeable surge in non-diamond engagement rings featuring precious and semiprecious gemstones, either in lieu of or in addition to diamonds. This cool girl trend has even infiltrated the Hollywood set: Celebs like Meghan Fox, Emma Stone, Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow all rock alternative engagement rings with non-diamond center stones.
There are so many beautiful, colorful and unique non-diamond engagement ring options, and choosing one definitely has its pros. One of the big ones? Gemstones are often less expensive than diamonds of comparable size (translation: you can probably get a precious or semi-precious stone of larger carat weight for a lower price point). And if you love the idea of wearing an heirloom ring, there's a treasure trove of vintage non-diamond engagement ring options to choose from (alternative engagement rings aren't just a trend—brides of all eras coveted non-diamond center stones too). As long as you do your research to find a reputable source, you can look for non-diamond engagement rings on Etsy or at a local vintage jewelry store.
What Are Non-Diamond Engagement Rings?
There's no shortage of non-diamond engagement ring options. Choosing the right one for you is simply a question of personal taste—after all, your engagement ring should be a reflection of your style. When it comes to non-diamond center stones, precious colored gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds come to mind. (More on the benefits of sapphires and rubies in particular, below.) Otherwise, semi-precious stones like morganite, tourmaline, quartz, moonstone, topaz, garnet and opal—just to name a few—are right on trend. Another thought where diamond alternatives are concerned: synthetic options like lab-created moissanite or other diamond simulants mimic the look and sparkle of a diamond, and are extremely budget-friendly.
What Is the Best Alternative to a Diamond?
Diamonds have long been a symbol of commitment and eternal love, making them an obvious and coveted engagement ring stone (and don't worry, they're not going anywhere anytime soon). Beyond their radiance and romantic symbolism, they remain a popular engagement ring stone for more practical reasons: Diamond is the hardest material on Earth, ranking a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Considering most people wear their engagement ring every day (often ignoring the advice to remove it when working out, gardening, cleaning and so on) their ring's durability is super important. With that in mind, if you're considering a non-diamond engagement ring, you'll want to know which gemstones look stunning and stand the test of time and everyday wear. You and your fiancé should study up on gemstone hardness and think about how you, personally, live your life and wear jewelry. For instance, do you hit the gym every day? Does your job require you to use your hands a lot? Are you constantly knocking your hands against things? If you answered yes to any of these questions, softer and more fragile stones like emeralds, pearls and opals may not be the best choice for you—but that doesn't mean there aren't equally fabulous options out there.
Bottom line: If you're in the market for an alternative engagement ring but your lifestyle requires a sturdier center stone, consider a sapphire or ruby engagement ring. Ranking a 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, sapphire is one of the most scratch-resistant and durable materials after diamond. Kate Middleton's iconic sapphire engagement ring, made famous by Princess Diana before her, has definitely had a hand in sparking the blue sapphire engagement ring craze that just won't quit. Rubies also rank a 9 on the scale of hardness, because they're in the same gem family as sapphire, Corundum. This gorgeous crimson stone also has natural romantic associations, due to its rich, fiery hue.
The Best Non-Diamond Engagement Rings of 2022
Feeling a non-diamond engagement ring now? Shop some of our fave rings styles below.
If you're in the market for the moody look of a black diamond center stone, consider a more cost-efficient black onyx engagement ring set in contrasting rose gold—it's just as edgy and chic as pricier versions.
A pear-shaped emerald center stone plus a helix-inspired setting makes for one standout sparkler.
This ring gets its saucy name of the "Bend Over" ring due to its unique setting where a row of diamonds bends over the quartz center stone. It's a fashion-forward design that's all about good taste plus lots of personality.
Whether you were born in June or you love the luster of pearls, it doesn't get more classic than an Aokya pearl center stone in a diamond cluster setting.
Calling all boho brides. This Australian opal ring with an ornate setting is equal parts ethereal and glam.
A whole stack in and of itself, this showstopping emerald sparkler is all about clean geometric details.
While jade is usually associated with vibrant green hues, it actually comes in a variety of colors. This stunning white jade ring with a ruby-encrusted band gives off wedding-worthy vibes.
Made of a diamond simulant, this oval-cut sparkler in a vintage-inspired setting brings the glitz—but not hefty price tag of the real deal.
Inspired by the work of artist John Singer Sargent, this aquamarine and pearl ring by Kataoka mimics the subtle beauty of a watercolor painting.
A velevety yellow gold setting encrusted with fair mined diamonds plays up the stunning irridescent colors of this blue and lavender opal center stone.
Set yourself apart from the crowd with a bright green peridot center stone in a modern, east-west setting. Fun fact: Peridots traditionally symbolize harmony.
A trillion cut aquamarine center stone plus a diamond-encrusted knife edge setting band makes for one standout sparkler.
An emerald cut center stone in a simple setting is always timeless.
Fashionistas, this one's for you. This three stone morganite ring with leaf-shaped prongs feels totally of the moment.
Get in on the toi et moi setting trend (that's French for you and me) with this elegant pearl version.
A streamlined yellow gold setting puts the focus on a striking round cut green amethyst center stone.
Yaaas, queen. A gray spinel center stone with tiara-inspired halo of diamonds brings the regal vibes.
This isn't your grandmother's pearl ring. A mixed metal setting with textured beading gives this freshwater pearl alternative engagement ring a modern tilt.
A rose-cut moissanite center stone plus a knife edge setting equals instant heirloom quality.
A lucsious cushion-cut sapphire in a diamond-encrusted setting gives off red carpet vibes.
Harness the shine of the sun and the stars with a yellow citrine ring with gold celestial accent bands.
If there's ever a time to indulge your inner romantic, choosing an engagement ring is it. This rosy morganite center stone in rose gold setting gives us heart eyes.
Lightning Ridge black opals are a unique choice for two reasons: They're rare—exclusively found in Australia—and they give off a gorgeous luster.
What's better than one center stone? Three. A mystical twist on the classic three stone setting, this blue sapphire ring brings the subtle shimmer.
We've got one word for this ring: showstopper. A oval ruby surrounded by a diamond halo is pure, vintage-inspired glamour.
If color is really your thing, consider an engagement ring with an aquamarine center stone like this one by Selim Mouzannar—it's pastel blue tones are bold and beautiful.
Channel the drama of the Old World with an amethyst sparkler with a decadent geometric diamond setting.
Looking to mix it up? An oval paraiba tourmaline in a traditional three stone setting just feels fresh.
An elaborate yellow gold setting plays up the vivid red hue of this ruby engagement ring by Sylva & Cie.