When picturing an engagement ring, your mind likely draws images of diamonds. Despite the popular belief that an engagement ring must feature a diamond, non-diamond engagement rings have become a trendy and fashionable alternative. Whether you’re looking for an added pop of color or are simply wanting to go against the grain, a colored gemstone is an excellent option for a unique engagement ring.
Diamonds have been preferred for engagement rings not only for their beauty, but their durability. They are the hardest natural substance on Earth, after all. When considering a non-diamond engagement ring, you’ll want to be sure to opt for something that can withstand everyday wear. Certain gemstones make better center stones than others because of their hardness, making them a preferable choice for engagement rings. There are many colored gemstone alternatives for diamonds. Here, we’ll discuss some of the more popular options.
Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings
The most highly recommended substitute for diamond is sapphire. Moh’s Scale of Hardness rates the sapphire as a 9 out of 10, meaning the only gem tougher than sapphire is diamond. Once the preferred gemstone for wedding rings, sapphire is a symbol of both wisdom and royalty and has been worn by the most elite for centuries. Though most recognized for their deep blue hues, sapphires can be found in an array of colors like yellow, pink, and even red. With many color options available, there is a sapphire for every skin tone. These stones are frequently seen in platinum or white gold settings, and are often paired with smaller diamonds to offset the center sapphire. One of the most famous sapphires is the ring once worn by Diana, Princess of Wales. Her son, Prince William proposed to wife Katherine with his mother’s stunning 12-carat ring, keeping this precious stone in the royal family.
Rubies, which are of the same mineral family as sapphires, also have a rating of 9 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making them equally as great an alternative to diamonds. Rubies are one of the rarest of the colored gemstones. Their rich red color makes them the perfect symbol of love and passion. For a more romantic look, pair rubies with yellow or rose gold. This will make your ring appear vintage or antique, even if you bought it brand new.
The subtle pink tones of morganite have made this stone an attractive alternative for the contemporary bride. Morganite fairs pretty well on Moh’s Scale of Hardness with a rating between 7.5-8. This precious stone is commonly set in rose gold and can be accented with smaller diamonds for added brilliance. The delicate, blush pink coloring of morganite is perfect for the feminine bride-to-be who wants her ring to reflect her girlish style. Like diamonds, it also complements nearly any outfit, so you don’t have to stress about your engagement ring clashing with what you’re wearing.
Antique or vintage engagement rings
In addition to contemporary styles, you could opt for an antique or vintage non-diamond engagement ring that features a colored gemstone rather than a diamond. Many vintage and antique pieces are made with stones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires as these stones were highly coveted in different cultures and time periods. These pieces are often one-of-a-kind, with a history of their own that makes for an extra special choice of engagement ring. Oftentimes, vintage and antique jewelry costs much less than modern designs, but is made from quality materials and perhaps even made by hand.
Rather than a diamond for a center stone, you could opt for a diamond band instead. Since diamonds are valued based on weight, several low carat diamonds will cost much less than a single larger one. Diamond bands can be customized with special details to make a ring that is entirely your own. Though these wouldn’t technically be considered non-diamond engagement rings, they are an affordable alternative to a diamond for a center stone.
Non-diamond Engagement Rings San Diego
If you’re looking for the perfect non-diamond engagement ring, look no further than Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Rings Store in San Diego. We carry a wonderful selection of colored gemstone rings, as well as vintage and antique engagement rings. Leo Hamel’s has something for every taste and budget.