Alternative brides will love these natural, earthy, and edgy diamond rings styles.

There are many ways to make an engagement ring stand out: From choosing a colorful gemstone to picking an alternative setting or mixing metals, there is no shortage of possibilities for personalizing your engagement ring. But a recent trend takes the idea of unique, non-traditional engagement rings even further — jewelers are using more and more raw, rough, or rustic diamonds to make engagement rings truly stand out.

These three diamond types are essentially untreated gems, giving them natural inclusions that add character. While they may not hit the 4 C's the way a traditional diamond we've come to know and love for engagement rings does, these naturally-occurring minerals truly are one of a kind.

So what's the difference between a raw, rough, or rustic diamond? Raw is exactly what it implies: It's the diamond exactly as it was found when it was mined. It's usually amorphous, and looks a lot more like a mineral than the shiny, translucent appearance of a fully treated diamond. Raw diamonds are set in a ring that fits their shape, rather than molding them to fit into a specific setting. Rough diamonds are similar, except they may be cut slightly, whether it's into a popular "diamond slice" style, or into a shape that's easier to work with.

Rustic diamonds are the most refined of these options. They're not rough or raw, but they are in a pretty natural state and unlike any of the white diamonds you know and love. Often more opaque, these are the gems that have a deep, almost milky color and have a large number of inclusions that would traditionally deem them less valuable. Whether it's gray, red, or an orange-plum, the benefit of choosing a rustic diamond is that you're really getting a precious piece of jewelry that is not only more natural, it has a story of its own and is completely unique.

Sold on raw, rough, and rustic diamond rings? Click through to see all of our favorites!

Illustration: Christina Park

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