People have been giving each other engagement rings since ancient Egyptian times. The Egyptians saw circles as symbols of eternity.
Some cultures (ahem, ancient Rome) viewed the ring as a symbol of the man’s ownership of the woman. Thankfully, our view in modern times is a little rosier.
Diamonds didn’t appear on engagement rings until 1477 in Europe. But diamonds and other gems were only used by European nobility.
In the late 1800s, the use of diamonds was popularized by DeBeers Mining Company. Are you surprised that the use of diamond engagement rings is so young? Maybe using alternative engagement rings isn’t that strange after all.
Do you want to stand out from the crowd and give your sweetie something a little different? Check out these ideas that will be sure to take her breath away.
How about a shard of the stars for her finger? Can you get any more romantic than that?
In 1898, Frenchman Henry Moissan discovered the mineral in a meteorite crater in Arizona. As such, naturally occurring moissanite is extremely rare and is not often used in jewelry making.
However, lab-created varieties are just as gorgeous — as long as you choose the right lab.
For those who love diamonds, but perhaps would rather avoid the controversy surrounding them, moissanite is the perfect substitute. The gem looks strikingly similar to diamonds, is equally as durable, and is far less expensive.
A diamond look-alike is nice for budget and socially conscious individuals who love diamonds. But what if you want to branch out from the traditional look?
Let’s start with morganite.
This gorgeous stone comes in peach tones, soft pinks, and a slightly purplish pink color. It pairs well with rose gold and creates the perfect delicately feminine piece.
Morganite has plenty of brilliance and is very durable. This gemstone will be sure to last as long as your love!
For the regal, mysterious lady, tanzanite rings are an excellent choice. The rich purple-blue hues of the stone are tantalizing and exotic.
This stone is only mined in one place on earth. As you may guess from the name it is found in Tanzania, not too far from Mount Kilimanjaro.
The supply of Tanzanite is estimated to last for only about 30 more years. Thus making it a rare stone for the rare woman that has caught your eye.
The stone has excellent clarity and is sturdy enough to cut into large stones. When you want to give your lady a dazzling rock with a flair decidedly different from a diamond’s, tanzanite is a great option.
Diamonds are prized as being the hardest naturally occurring mineral on earth. This is part of their appeal for engagement rings. But the third-hardest gemstone at a significantly reduced price isn’t too shabby either.
Sapphires have long been prized and their use in engagement rings stretches back farther than diamonds.
You can get colorless sapphires which are sometimes used to mimic diamonds. But if you prefer a more colorful ring, sapphires don’t disappoint. They come in a large range of colors with everything from blue and green to pink, orange and yellow.
Here’s another stone from the sky for those who love the legends behind the stones. The story goes that the Inuits saw labradorite fall from the aurora borealis. If that isn’t a lovely backstory, we don’t know what is!
It has an interesting speckled appearance and this dark stone can range from blue to brown to black. In jewelry, you’ll see the gray-brown hues most often.
Although it would be cool, moonstone is not actually made from moon rocks. Instead, it’s been dubbed as such because of its otherworldly appearance.
If we had to describe its color, we’d say it is white, but it has cloudy hues that keep it from looking like a diamond. Its opalescent luster is more reminiscent of opals, but the engineered stone takes on a very different look from the traditional October birthstone.
Dare we call it…celestial?
We can’t talk about moonstone without talking about sunstone. Unless you live in Oregon (it’s the official gemstone of the state) you might never have heard of sunstone.
The joyful colors of the sunstone are perhaps what lends it the name. Most commonly you’ll see brilliant peachy tones. However, there are also red, pink, orange, and even green sunstones.
Nervous about popping the question? Consider adding a bit of luck to your endeavor by choosing an aquamarine. These gorgeous pale blue stones have been nicknamed “the lucky stone”.
Its delicate color is perfect when you want a colored stone that will still accent nearly anything your loved one chooses to wear. It’s a cousin to the more commonly known emerald and is a hard, durable choice for long-term wear.
Tourmaline is another lightly colored stone. There are a few different varieties, but the most popular for jewelry making is pale green.
This lovely pastel shade is less commanding than a rich emerald, but also is more wearable. The gem is a little cloudier, which can actually help to cover any scratches. Although you’ll have to work hard to scratch it because it’s still quite a tough little gemstone.
10. Rough-Cut Stones
What if you don’t want the shiny, polished look of a cut stone? Maybe your partner is raw and real and you want a stone that will reflect her natural beauty.
You can choose many gemstones in rough cuts. This means that they are not cut and faceted to reflect light like the traditional gemstone used in jewelry. They look more like colorful rocks instead.
This look won’t be for every would-be bride, but if your love likes natural beauty, a raw or rough-cut stone could be a great choice to reflect that.
The Best Alternative Engagement Rings
There are many more gemstones out there to choose from. But here we’ve given you our list of favorites for making the finest alternative engagement rings.
The important thing is choosing a stone and style ring that is as unique and gorgeous as your beautiful relationship.
Looking for more advice? Check out some of our other blog posts!