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Diamond Engagement Ring Alternatives

Updated on July 16, 2016

"No Diamond" Engagement Rings

Nothing says the modern bride has to have a diamond ring on her finger just to follow tradition. In fact, diamonds in engagement rings only became popular after World War II so it's not a very old tradition. The choice of the ring (or whether to have an engagement ring at all) is up to the couple and ultimately up to the woman who is going to wear it (hopefully) for the rest of her life.

Why chose a non-diamond engagement ring?

Reasons for choosing an alternate ring style are numerous:

  • Cut down on costs. Men who proposed in 2016 spent an average of almost $6,000 on the ring. Most couples getting married are fairly young, and that can put a huge dent in your budding savings account. Especially if you now have a wedding coming up.
  • Ethics. The diamond business is infamous for tightly controlling demand so prices inflate. You might not want to look at that on your finger every day.
  • One of you has a meaningful heirloom. One of you might have a ring from a beloved relative that was left to you for this purpose.
  • You want to stand out. This is the one piece of jewelry and maybe the one physical item that represents how you feel about each other and the commitment of your lives, it should be special to you two.

If you decide to opt for a no diamond ring, there are many options out there:


Ethiopian Opal Engagement Ring

Non-Traditional Gems

Isn't this opal gorgeous? A high quality opal can be really stunning and they are definitely unique as an engagement ring. There are quite a few varieties if you're looking for an even more unique color.

Choosing a gem that isn't a diamond allows you to stand out of the crowd and set your own budget for the ring you want.

Birthstone Engagement Ring

Another alternative to diamond is using your birthstone in an engagement ring. This gives the ring a more personal meaning. Each gemstone type typically has a special significance. Another idea is to have both birthstones mounted next to each other in a ring as a sign of the union. Of course, if one of you has an April birthday then you will end up with a diamond anyway!

The Diamond Look Alike: Moissanite

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Moissanite Rings

If you want the look of a classic diamond without the price a moissanite engagement ring is usually the answer. They are often the smaller stones set beside a diamond to make a lower budget ring. Rings with Moissanite as the only stone are becoming more and more popular among brides and women looking for a ring with a conflict-free gem.

This stone is rare and hardly naturally occurring anymore so almost all of them are grown in a lab. It is comparable to a diamond in hardness and actually outshines it in brilliance.

Knot Engagement Ring

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Knot or Infinity Ring

Knot engagement rings symbolize two lives intertwined. Rings featuring a simple delicate design like these with no stone are another great choice for a bride. A knot or "infinity knot" can add a little style to the ring without being overstated.

An Heirloom Gemstone

Parents or grandparents often save gems from their history that are intended for their daughter or their son's fiance and they aren't necessarily diamond rings. Don't worry if your style doesn't match that of your great great aunt. You can take a stone from a beloved piece of jewelry and choose the style, metal and size to have it reset in. This saves you the bulk of the expense of buying a ring yourself and allows you to preserve an heirloom that can still be passed on to future generations when it's their turn to tie the knot.

Leave Your Mark

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Customize a Ring with Fingerprint or a Love Note

There are quite a few companies out there specializing in custom engagement or wedding rings. You can get a plain ring with a custom fingerprint of your loved one on the outside or on the inside of the ring. Or have him write "I love you" or "You're just okay" or whatever special note you choose and send it in to be put on the ring. Options for engraving heart beats or the waveform of your partner's voice are also on the market. These can be very meaningful for the wearers because they are unique and allow them to carry around a piece of their partner with them.

What do you think?

Would you wear or propose with an engagement ring that didn't have a diamond?

See results

© 2016 Katy

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