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Diamonds aren’t necessarily a millennial girl’s best friend. Whether they have economic limitations, concerns over conflict diamonds, or a desire to express themselves with a more boldly colored gemstone, more and more brides are looking for non-diamond engagement rings.
Young couples in love want a ring that represents who they are, the life they want to build, and their unique love. “Sometimes that uniqueness is expressed through a colored gemstone or a precious metal band,” explains Lisa Bridge, CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler. “A gemstone could be selected because it is a favorite color, it is from a meaningful place, or it represents a special connection.”
Meet the Expert
Lisa Bridge is a gemologist and the first female CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler, a company that has been in her family for five generations. In 2015, Ben Bridge launched the Lisa Bridge Collection, a jewelry collection designed by Lisa.
Sapphire is one of the most popular alternative stones for an engagement ring. Since Princess Diana revealed her stunning sapphire ring, one that Kate Middleton now wears, these gorgeous gemstones have become more sought-after. According to Bridge, sapphires are next to diamonds on the scientific MOHS hardness scale. “Diamonds score a 10 in terms of hardness, sapphires score a 9,” she says. “Sapphires come in a rainbow of colors and are a great option for an engagement ring.”
Ahead, some of the loveliest non-diamond engagement rings that can be treasured for a lifetime.
Angara Ruby Solitaire Engagement Ring
Rubies are second to diamonds and equal to sapphires on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, making it an excellent gemstone for engagement rings. The lustrous, deep red hues give this ring understated elegance, and the 14-karat yellow gold band complements it perfectly.
This ring's flawless blend of sapphires and tanzanites is inspired by a sea of blue, just as its name suggests. The band is made of 14-karat recycled yellow gold, making it an environmentally conscious choice.
The romantic delicacy of this white onyx and mother-of-pearl ring still brings a traditional feeling to this non-diamond choice. It's set in an 18-karat rose gold and 18-karat white gold band.
Romance radiates from this baguette-cut watermelon tourmaline lined with shades of tourmaline pavé detailing. The stones are hand-picked so no one ring will look the same, making it a true one-of-a-kind piece.
Inspired by eternal love and faith, this princess-cut blue diamond Celtic knot ring makes for a unique choice. The band features the traditional Celtic knot motifs and is crafted from 14-karat gold.
Romance radiates from this baguette-cut watermelon tourmaline lined with shades of tourmaline pavé detailing. The stones are hand picked so no one ring will look the same, making it a truly one-of-a-kind piece.
While it might be an atypical choice for an engagement ring, Opals have a shimmering multi-color effect that make for an eye catching stone. Opals have been tied to happiness and faithfulness. Just keep in mind that Opals are a softer gemstone, so they must be treated with extra care.
This non-diamond engagement ring features a sunset tourmaline center stone encased in an intricately etched branch 18K rose gold band.
Peridot is often associated with strength and balance and holds a unique olive-green color. This ring features the vibrant stone in a tension setting with a 14K white gold band.
This ring combines the elegance of a pearl with the boldness of an emerald stone. The two come together on an 18K yellow gold band with chain detailing.
Black diamonds are a bold and sleek option, and this one encompasses just that. The princess cut stone is set in a 14K yellow gold band.
The various eye catching details in this ring are all memorable in their own way. The ornate detailing in the 14K white & rose gold band give the ring a vintage feel, and the 2ct blue diamond set in the center makes for an unforgettable heirloom.
Relatively new to the jewelry industry, salt and pepper diamonds are a mystifying stone. This particular ring was inspired by one of the stars in the winter hexagon constellation, and it highlights the salt and pepper hexagon rose cut center stone with a black diamond pavé band.
This honey quartz stone beams of warmth and happiness. It is set in a 14K solid gold band.
While diamonds are sparkly and captivating, pearls are a sophisticated, lifelong treasure. This cultured freshwater pearl is held on a textured 18K yellow gold band.
This emerald and yellow diamond ring is truly a showstopping piece. The center stone is encompassed by yellow diamonds in a halo setting with a pavé split band.
What to Look for When Buying a Non-Diamond Engagement Ring
“The ring should be able to stand the test of time and be worn and enjoyed every day. Looking for a strong and durable gemstone is key. Some gemstones can be easily scratched or need special care, [and] it is important to keep in mind how the gemstone will match their lifestyle," says Bridge.
If you are looking for a gemstone or other colored stone, it is important to make sure that the metal of the band complements the stone. As a general rule of thumb, yellow gold or platinum typically go with most stone options.
Since your engagement ring is a piece you will be wearing every day, it's important to make sure the color of the stone you choose goes with your everyday lifestyle. You want your ring to be a timeless jewel that you will never grow tired of.
Are non-diamond engagement rings less expensive than diamond engagement rings?
Why have non-diamond engagement rings recently become so popular?
Alternatives to diamonds may be more personal and unique to a relationship, and they're usually a more eco-friendly option, as well. Additionally, with non-diamond rings, there are endless style options to choose from.
How do I clean a non-diamond engagement ring?
While most diamonds are cleaned the same way, non-diamond stones may have different methods to keep them in tip-top shape. Make sure to talk to your jeweler about the best method for your particular stone.