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.
Bridge cautions that the primary consideration when selecting a non-diamond ring is its durability: “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, it is important to keep in mind how the gemstone will match their lifestyle.”
Sapphire is one of the most popular alternative stones for an engagement ring. Since Princess Diana revealed her stunning sapphire engagement 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.
Gemvara Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Carrie Engagement Ring
This glittering, emerald-cut aquamarine ring was inspired by the delicate beauty of the sea. The blue sapphires that line the gold band are a dramatic contrast to the emerald-cut aquamarine gemstone.
SHOP NOW: Gemvara, $1,440
Era Trio Sapphire Cluster Ring
The three 1.9 carats special cut sapphires at the center of this ring are eye-catching. They are set in a 14-karat yellow gold band. This ring has a regal feel, and, placed together, the stones together form a shape that could be mistaken for a subtle crown.
SHOP NOW: ERA, $1,287
Gillian Conroy Pear Ring with Emerald
The vibrant, pear-shaped emerald is a sight to behold in and of itself. The ring with its 18-karat yellow gold band completes the clean, elegant, and minimal look.
Shop Now: Catbird NYC, $1,800
Anna Sheffield Celestine Orbit Engagement Ring
The recycled yellow gold band of this stand-out engagement ring splits into a double band forms a V shape to cradle a striking, blackened rutilated quartz. It’s a great choice for brides who want a ring that’s truly different.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $1,300
Sofia Kaman Antique-Inspired Ruby Flowers Ring
Sweet and reminiscent of antique floral jewelry, Sofia Kaman’s whimsical ring features rubies that are set in the shape of a forget-me-not flower that wraps around the finger. Emeralds form the leaves of the flower and it has a 14-karat rose gold band.
SHOP NOW: Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels, $1,260
Natalie Marie Amber Honey Quartz Ring
The vintage-style rose-cut of this honey quartz ring is encircled by a halo with a six claw setting. The natural, untreated honey quartz sparkles with 14-karat yellow gold, rose gold, or white gold band.
SHOP NOW: Natalie Marie Jewellery, $1,933
Yi Collection Aquamarine and Emerald Spring Ring
The bold contrast of the aquamarine center stone that’s over 3 karats and the gorgeous array of emeralds that line the thin band would catch anyone’s eye. It sits in an 18-karat natural white gold band.
SHOP NOW: Yi Collection, $1,995
No. 3 Emerald-Cut Green Sapphire Wisp Ring
For something simple but special, consider this emerald-cut green sapphire ring with a thin, handmade 14-karat gold wire band. The effect is that it draws the eye directly to the stone and its beautiful color and cut.
SHOP NOW: No. 3, $683
Ruta Reifen All of Time Ocean Ring
The All of Time ring features blue and green sapphires set in a diamond shape around a larger blue sapphire. The 14-karat yellow gold band is a perfect aesthetic fit and was responsibly sourced.
SHOP NOW: Ruta Reifen, $860
Angara Ruby Solitaire Engagement Ring
The lustrous, deep red hues of this ruby draw one’s eyes directly to the ring. Its understated elegance is complemented by 14-karat yellow gold band.
SHOW NOW: Angara, $3,104
Oval Tanzanite Engagement Solitaire Ring
Tanzanite is a gemstone with a true color that lies somewhere between deep purple and dark violet, and it gets its name because it can only be found in one place: Tanzania. The oval tanzanite is set off by the 14-karat white gold band.
SHOP NOW: Jewelry Point, $3,400
Tiffany & Co. Love Ring
For something centered on the word that’s at the heart of any engagement, the Love ring of Tiffany & Co. is stunning in 18-karat rose gold. It features the word “love” written in designer Paloma Picasso’s own handwriting.
SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co., $550
Sofia Kaman Double-Banded Green Garnet
Garnets might usually be red, but the striking yellow-green hues of this one help make it a conversation piece. It’s set between two twin 18-karat gold bands.
SHOP NOW: Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels, $3,600
Lauren Wolf Morganite Octagon Ring
Octagon engagement rings are considered lucky, and this ring’s beautiful morganite stone in its octagon-shaped halo has a classic look and feel. Its rose gold band adds a perfect contrast and a modern touch.
SHOP NOW: Lauren Wolf Jewelry, $540
Yi Collection Jade and Ruby Globe Ring
The large, white jade gemstone at the center of the ring is set off perfectly by the rubies that line its band. The white jade was selected by the jeweler for its purity and strength, and its 9-karat gold band was handmade for durability.
SHOP NOW: Yi Collection, $1,450