5 Beautiful Alternative Engagement Ring Stones if You're On a Budget

It’s not all about white diamonds

Updated 11/30/18

Courtesy of Après Jewelry

When dreaming about your engagement ring, it’s hard not to imagine a flawless white diamond as the focal point. From glittering round shapes to elegant ovals and striking cushion cuts in yellow, white, rose gold, or platinum, every style of engagement ring is synonymous with white diamonds. But alternative ring styles in colored gemstones or pearl, moonstone, and opal variations are becoming more and more popular for modern brides—especially for those on a budget. But we get it, not every bride wants to eschew tradition to such an unexpected extreme. If you like the idea of saving some cash but want a ring that’s as close to a white diamond as possible, there are a number of spectacular white diamond alternatives for your engagement ring from champagne, gray, and salt-and-pepper diamonds to white sapphires, moissanite, and morganite.

If you’re dead set on a certain carat size for your engagement ring, there are plenty of gorgeous options in the diamond department that go beyond a classic white diamond (because let’s face it, it’s easy to get priced out of engagement rings that are above two or three carats). Champagne, gray, and salt-and-pepper diamonds are perfect solutions and come in a range of colors from slightly tinted to unique and saturated—it all depends on the cut, setting, and number of inclusions within the stone. Of course, smaller stones will be the most affordable in this category, but if you’re really hoping for white diamonds to be part of the design, you can opt for a colored diamond as the center stone and have white diamonds as accents such as a pavé band or halo, side baguettes, or as part of a cluster ring.

For the bride-to-be who's focused on carat size (zero shame in the game!) and doesn’t need to have a diamond, white sapphires, moissanite, and morganite rings are the perfect solution. Sapphires come in a wide array of colors: popular blue shades, pink, green, orange, and more. Because sapphires are such durable stones, they’re perfect for an engagement ring, making a white sapphire ring a flawless (and nearly identical!) alternative to a white diamond ring. For something a little more unique, moissanite (which is one of the a rarest minerals found in nature) and morganite (which is a pink colored gemstone) are affordable options that also look similar to white diamonds whether you go for a classic pear, round, oval, cushion, or emerald cut as a solitaire stone, with a halo, on a pavé band, or in a bezel setting.

If you have your heart set on a dazzling (and sizable) engagement ring but think a white diamond alternative is right for you, ahead scroll through the edit of stunning and more affordable engagement ring styles ranging from under $500 to those topping out at just under $8,000.

White Sapphire: Sapheena Emerald Cut White Sapphire Engagement Ring in 14K Rose Gold

Courtesy of Sapheena

SHOP NOW: Etsy, $334+

Jamie Park Jewelry White Sapphire Engagement Ring Set

Courtesy of Jamie Park Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Etsy, $695

Bario Neal Radial Cluster White Hex Sapphire Ring

Courtesy of Bario Neal

SHOP NOW: Bario Neal, $1,958

Luna Skye 14K Gold and Diamond Solitaire Oval White Sapphire Eternity Ring

Courtesy of Luna Skye

SHOP NOW: Luna Skye, $3,650

Gemvara Emerald Cut White Sapphire Ring

Courtesy of Gemvara

SHOP NOW: Gemvara, $4,210

Salt-and-Pepper Diamond: Alexis Russell Custom Natural Salt + Pepper Rose Cut Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Alexis Russell

SHOP NOW: Alexis Russell, $1,595

Sofia Kaman Hexagon Ring With Salt-and-Pepper Rose Cut Diamond North South Setting

Courtesy of Sofia Kaman

SHOP NOW: Sofia Kaman, $1,850

Margaret Cross Salt-and-Pepper Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold

Courtesy of Margaret Cross

SHOP NOW: Love Adorned, $2,500

Jennie Kwon Designs Salt-and-Pepper Balance Ring

Courtesy of Jennie Kwon Designs

SHOP NOW: Jennie Kwon Designs, $2,500

Lauren Wolf Jewelry Three Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Lauren Wolf Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Lauren Wolf Jewelry, $5,800

Morganite: Olive Avenue Jewelry 14K Gold Bezel Morganite Solitaire Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Olive Avenue Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Etsy, $540

Capuccine Solitaire Peach Morganite Ring

Courtesy of Capuccine

SHOP NOW: Capuccine, $580

Après Jewelry the Kaia Ring

Courtesy of Après Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Après Jewelry, $2,400

Ken & Dana Design Delphine Peach Morganite Solitaire Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Ken & Dana Design

SHOP NOW: Ken & Dana Design, Priced From $2,450

Anna Sheffield Pear Rosette Ring in Yellow Gold with Pink Morganite

Courtesy of Anna Sheffield

SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $3,200

Gray Diamond: Point No Point Studio 2.98 Carat Gray Geometric Diamond Engagement Ring, 14K Rose Gold

Courtesy of Point No Point Studio

SHOP NOW: Point No Point Studio, $2,762

Ephemeral Jewelry Gray Pear Cut Natural Diamond Half Halo Ring, 1 carat

Courtesy of Ephemeral Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Etsy, was $2,550, now $2,295

Cathy Waterman Gray Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Cathy Waterman

SHOP NOW: Ylang 23, $4,430

Gillian Conroy 1.18ct Cushion Pale Gray Diamond and Rose-Gold Diamond Pavé Bezel Ring

Courtesy of Gillian Conroy

SHOP NOW: Gillian Conroy, $5,250

Polly Wales Rapunzel Gray Diamond Solitaire Ring

Courtesy of Polly Wales

SHOP NOW: Catbird, $5,860

Moissanite: KAT Jewelry Studio Moissanite Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring

Courtesy of KAT Jewelry Studio

SHOP NOW: Etsy, was $420, now $357+

Charles & Colvard Forever One 2.10CTW Oval Colorless Moissanite East-West Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14K Rose Gold

Courtesy of Charles & Colvard

SHOP NOW: Charles & Colvard, was $1,849, now $1,479

Brilliant Earth Luxe Odessa Diamond Ring with 7mm Super Premium Princess Moissanite

Courtesy of Brilliant Earth

SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, starting at $1,290

Stone Fox Bride Oval 3 Carat Moissanite Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Stone Fox Bride

SHOP NOW: Stone Fox Bride, $6,250

Lauren B Jewelry Moissanite Pear Shape White Gold Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Lauren B Jewelry

SHOP NOW: Lauren B Jewelry, price upon request

Champagne Diamonds: Kate Szabone Bezel Set Champagne Diamond Solitaire

Courtesy of Kate Szabone

SHOP NOW: Etsy, $1,995

Mociun Rose Cut Champagne Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Mociun

SHOP NOW: Mociun, $2,800

Mania Mania Radiance Ring 14K Rose Gold with Champagne Diamond Ring

Courtesy of ManiaMania

SHOP NOW: ManiaMania, $2,900

Blanca Monrós Gómez Champagne Diamond Solitaire Ring

Courtesy of Blanca Monrós Gómez

SHOP NOW: Catbird, $4,695

Rebecca Overmann Champagne Rose Cute Baguette Diamond Bead Ring

Courtesy of Rebecca Overmann

SHOP NOW: Rebecca Overmann, $7,605

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