Stainless Steel Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide

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Courtesy of Marimor Marquise

Courtesy of Marimor Marquise / Design by Bailey Mariner

When you think of an engagement ring, stainless steel probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Traditional engagement rings are typically made of yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum—but stainless steel? Not so much...until recently, that is. Technology has made it possible to turn stainless steel into beautiful fine jewelry and these engagement rings are quickly becoming a more affordable option.

What Is Stainless Steel?

“Stainless steel is an alloy that is often made of primarily chromium, iron, and nickel,” says certified diamontologist, Kim Kanary. “The high chromium content in combination with a low carbon content makes for a particularly anti-corrosive, anti-tarnish material.”

While it might not sound quite as fancy or luxe as some of the other popular metals out there, stainless steel is a solid option with plenty of advantages. We consulted with experts Kim Kanary and Anubh Shah to share everything you need to know about stainless steel engagement rings.

Meet the Expert

  • Kim Kanary is a certified diamontologist and vice president of community development and engagement at JTV, an online jewelry shopping destination.
  • Anubh Shah is a gemologist and the co-founder of With Clarity, a custom jeweler based in New York.

Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Rings

Maybe the biggest advantage of a stainless steel ring is how durable it is. “Whereas other metals like gold and silver are at about a 2.5-3 on the Mohs scale of hardness, stainless steel is in the range of 5.6-5,” Kanary says. “Its stability, or resistance to chemical attack, is also important because this is what prevents tarnishing and corrosion, which in practicality means that it has a long life span and is easy to maintain.”

That’s a pretty big deal: “Meaning it will not rust and likely will not need as much polishing and maintenance as other fine metals,” says Shah. “Stainless steel also does not need to be rhodium plated to preserve its shine and color.”

Aside from the fact that stainless steel is ideal for everyday wear, it also has a look that's remarkably similar to white gold.

Additionally, a nice bonus is that it’s environmentally friendly. “It’s 100 percent recyclable, and it takes a relatively low amount of energy to manufacture,” Kanary says. If finding a sustainable ring is important to you, this could be a great choice. And, of course, it’s cost-effective and is considered a low-cost alternative to other popular metals, like platinum and gold. “It is not as risky to wear, and if lost, it’s not as expensive to replace,” Shah points out.

Although this metal might sound pretty good, it’s worth pointing out the negatives to it as well. Stainless steel rings may sometimes pass for white gold, but it’s never going to look exactly like the other luxe metals. “Stainless steel has a stark metallic shine that certainly looks a bit less premium than the softer glow of white gold or the patina of platinum,” Shah says.

And since you’re paying less for stainless steel, it only makes sense that it doesn’t have a high resale value either. Since it’s not considered a fine metal, it’s typically not thought of as an heirloom.“From a long-term investment vantage point, they don’t uphold their value quite as well as some other materials such as gold or platinum,” Kanary says.

What to Look for In a Stainless Steel Ring

  • Where should I shop for this type of ring? Stainless steel engagement rings are just starting to become more popular, so there aren’t as many options out there. If you’re set on diamonds, this might also pose a challenge. “It’s uncommon to find diamonds set in stainless steel, so you may have to go with an alternative like cubic zirconium instead,” Shah says. Despite this, a few places that specialize in stainless steel rings are Blue Steel and Etsy shops.
  • How can I tell if the ring is high quality? If you think stainless steel is for you, Kanary recommends finding a trusted jeweler. “There are over 150 types of stainless steel, not all of which are suitable for jewelry,” she points out. “It most often has a neutral silver luster, but it can have a brushed antique look, geometric patterns, and anodized coatings.” Research what you want before you look, then work with someone you trust to find it.
  • How much do stainless steel rings cost? Stainless steel engagement rings are a budget-friendly option and are much less expensive than precious metals. Prices can start as low as $30, but there are higher-end options available as well.

How to Care for a Stainless Steel Ring

Stainless steel doesn’t require a ton of maintenance, but you will want to clean it sometimes. Kanary recommends using a soft polishing cloth to wipe away fingerprints and grease. “Do remember that many cloths have microfibers that can actually scratch materials, so make sure that you get a proper polishing cloth,” she adds.

Shah recommends that when you remove it, you should store it on its own and away from other jewelry pieces. “This will ensure that it doesn’t get scratched or damaged and that the prongs stay secure.”

Ahead, scroll through 20 stainless steel engagement rings.

01
of 20

The Steel Shop Classic Halo Engagement Ring

The Steel Shop Classic Halo Engagement Ring

Courtesy of The Steel Shop

This is an inexpensive take on a classic engagement ring with the halo and center stone. A simple stainless steel band and CZ diamonds make it really accessible.

02
of 20

Blue Steel Simply Yours Ring

Blue Steel Simply Yours Ring

Courtesy of Blue Steel 

This highly polished stainless steel ring is full of little details. The center CZ stone and surrounding smaller CZ stones on the band make this a budget-friendly version of a classic engagement ring.

03
of 20

Stainless Steel 316 Pear Cut 1.08 Carat Zirconia Halo Engagement Ring

Walmart Stainless Steel Ring

If you want something with an antique flare, opt for this pear-cut solitaire ring. The center CZ stone sits in a halo setting and is highlighted by smaller round cut stones surrounding it.

04
of 20

Three Tone Round Cut Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Three Tone Round Cut Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Aroch Silver

This ring features a round center stone in a tall six-prong setting. It also comes with coordinating wedding bands so that you can match perfectly on your wedding day.

05
of 20

Etsy Personalized Quality Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Personalized Quality Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Etsy 

This simple engagement ring features a center CZ stone on a stainless steel band. It also has the option to add your own message to the inside of the band. 

06
of 20

Etsy Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Etsy Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

An oval-cut stone sits on top of this stainless steel band, accompanied by two pear-cut CZs on either side. This is a dazzling engagement ring look that is sure to sparkle.

07
of 20

Marimor Marquise Engagement Ring

Marimor Marquise Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Marimor Jewelry 

With a marquise CZ stone, an intertwined band with smaller CZs, and a sparkling halo, this stainless steel ring looks like it could be made of true fine metal.

08
of 20

Blue Steel Divinity Ring

Blue Steel Divinity Ring

Courtesy of Blue Steel 

This incredibly thin stainless steel band is covered in tiny CZ diamonds for a super dainty and elegant look. It’s finished with a large cushion-cut CZ stone. 

09
of 20

The Steel Shop Round Trinity Engagement Ring

The Steel Shop Round Trinity Engagement Ring

Courtesy of The Steel Shop 

This trinity ring features three large CZ diamonds in the center and plenty of small ones flanking either side for extra sparkle. This works nicely with the stainless steel band.

10
of 20

Blue Steel Sea Blue Milena Ring

Blue Steel Stainless Steel Ring

The sea blue CZ stone set in the middle of this stainless steel ring is truly what sets it apart from the others. If you are looking to add a pop of color into your engagement ring, this is a stunning option.

11
of 20

Blue Steel More Than Words Ring

Blue Steel More Than Words Ring

COURTESY OF BLUE STEEL

Go bold with this wide band engagement ring! Wider engagement bands are great because they are more durable than a traditional thin band. This one stuns with a 3.87ct. CZ in the center.

12
of 20

The Steel Shop Stainless Steel Round Solitaire Engagement Ring

The Steel Shop Stainless Steel Round Solitaire Engagement Ring

COURTESY OF THE STEEL SHOP

This stainless steel engagement is an elegant and timeless option. The center CZ is accompanied by pavé CZ's.

13
of 20

Blue Steel Rose Gold Adornment

Blue Steel Rose Gold Adornment Ring

COURTESY OF BLUE STEEL

If you are looking for an alternative to the silver-colored stainless steel band, opt for this rose gold ion-plated option. The center solitaire stone stands out amongst the rose-colored band.

14
of 20

Inspired Silver Stainless Steel Two Tone Engagement Ring

Inspired Silver Stainless Steel Two Tone Engagement Ring

COURTESY OF INSPIRED SILVER

This two-tone stainless steel engagement ring offers a modern style. The center CZ is held in a four-prong setting with two smaller CZ's on either side. The three rounded stones are accented with pavé CZ's.

15
of 20

Etsy Stainless Steel Solitaire Ring

Etsy Stainless Steel Solitaire Ring

COURTESY OF ETSY

You can't go wrong with this dazzling stainless steel engagement ring. The center CZ is complemented by pavé CZ's, adding a hint more of sparkle.

16
of 20

Marimor Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

Marimor Stainless Steel Engagement Ring

COURTESY OF MARIMOR

This simple and sophisticated stainless steel option features .64 round-cut CZ and smaller rounded CZ's on a split shank band.

17
of 20

Marimor Stainless Steel Round Cut & Baguettes Cz Engagement Ring

Marimor Stainless Steel Round Cut & Baguettes Cz Engagement Ring

COURTESY OF MARIMOR

For a modern and chic design, try this stainless steel band with an eye-catching center CZ flanked by baguette diamonds.

18
of 20

Blue Steel Francesca Ring

Blue Steel Francesca Ring

COURTESY OF BLUE STEEL

This gold stainless steel gold ion-plated holds a striking marquise-cut solitaire CZ in a six-prong setting.

19
of 20

Blue Steel Loveable Ring

Blue Steel Loveable Ring

COURTESY OF BLUE STEEL

This glamourous ring is sure to make a statement. The stainless steel band is donned with a center round-cut CZ and four princess-cut stones. The band also features filigree detailing for a unique touch.

20
of 20

Blue Steel Miriam Ring

Blue Steel Miriam Ring

COURTESY OF BLUE STEEL

If you are looking to combine sparkle and simple elegance, look no farther than this ring from Blue Steel. The stainless steel ring draws the eye to the two ivory pearls set on a petal design with CZ's. More CZ's are held on the band in a channel setting.

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