there is a reasondiamondsthey are considered such a classic choice when it comes to engagement rings. One of the strongest natural substances on Earth and capable of withstanding almost anything, diamonds symbolize the kind of love and eternal commitment that comes with marriage. But for all their durability and beauty, diamonds are not the best option for everyone. If you are looking for something cheaper or moreexclusive engagement ring, you might want to consider a diamond alternative.
After all, there certainly isn't a rule that saysterhave a diamond as the center stone in your engagement ring. There are many other gemstones out there that make beautiful rings that are ideal for everyday wear and stand out from the crowd. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria and Halle Berry are just a few who have opted for others.colored stones, and the British royal family has been known to do the same - just take a lookKate Middleton's stunning sapphire engagement ring.
If you're trying to decide whether or not to go the diamond-free route, here are some key things to remember, with insights from jewelry experts and designers Jillian Sassone and Collen Montague.
meet the expert
- Jillian Sassone is a jewelry designer and founder of the jewelry line.Marrow, which reinvents fine and bridal jewelry through design and material.
- Colleen Montague is the owner ofMoissy Fine Jewelry, located in Canada and the United States, and was recently on the cover of the magazinecanadian jewelry magazine.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Diamond Alternative
When opting for a diamond alternative, the most important thing to keep in mind is that some gemstones are not suitable for everyday wear. Montague strongly recommends taking your lifestyle into consideration when choosing a stone. "Some gemstones are more delicate and need to be used more carefully to ensure they don't get damaged," she says. "Choose a gemstone that has the durability that matches yourday to day activities.” Be sure to discuss this with a jeweler or do your own independent research to see how strong the stone of your choice is.
You must also take into account the color. Diamonds are transparent and colorless, which means they go with everything. Many diamond alternatives, however, are colorful and bold, which means they might not be as versatile. "Make sure it's a color you love and don't get tired of," advises Sassone.
Advantages of diamond alternatives
The biggest advantage of a diamond alternative is that other gemstones are generally more affordable. Diamonds are expensive and theirprice tagis what turns off many potential buyers. Sassone points out that, when looking for an alternative stone, it is possible to spend less and get something bigger. "Of course, it depends on the quality and species of stone that ultimately speaks to you," he adds.
Another advantage of a non-diamond ring is that it automatically makes your ring stand out more. "It means you're going to get something unique and different from the traditional looking engagement ring," says Montague.
Lastly, a diamond alternative might look a little more fun. "It can add a pop of color to your jewelry, which can really impress everyone who sees your beautiful piece," says Montague.
Cons of Diamond Alternatives
Probably the biggest disadvantage of a non-diamond is that while other gemstones can be very strong, none are as strong as a diamond. Some other options you love might not be durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. For example, Sassone points out that stones likeopalyPearlthey are very soft and hard to wear all the time. "These stones need more than practical care for a ring you'll never want to take off," she says.
Some people might not like a non-traditional option, so if you're looking for something more classic, your best bet is something like moissanite.
Moissanite vs. Diamonds: What's the Difference?
Learn more about some of the most popular diamond alternatives for engagement rings below.
In the last years,moissanitahas become one of the most popular diamond alternatives and it's not hard to see why. Moissanite not only looks a lot like a diamond, it costs a fraction of the price of diamond and is almost as durable. "Moissanite gems are the second hardest gems used in jewelry making today," shares Montague. "They're super durable for the busiest bride-to-be."
Because of their light color, they are incredibly versatile. They also have an incredible shine, which is really hard to achieve even with the highest quality diamond. As Montague points out, they are alsolab-created, making them a more ethical and sustainable option than many diamonds.
Light blue aquamarine stones are a cool and elegant choice that can also make your engagement ring your go-to."Something Blue"(and an excellent family heirloom). Part of the beryl family, aquamarine is part of the same species as emeralds and morganite. "They have a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8, so diamonds and sapphires would scratch them," notes Sassone. "You would want to keep them separate from your other jewelry, and the stone may need to be polished over the years.
Still, aquamarine is a pretty long-lasting option that is sure to become a favorite.
Aquamarine Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide
With their beautiful green hue, emeralds are a classic choice that will really add something to your jewelry collection. Montague points out that they come in a variety of forms that can be easilycustomto fit in the ring of your dreams.
Like aquamarine, emeralds have an approximate value of 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, so they will require a little more attention and care when using or storing them. "When purchasing an emerald, the most attractive stones will be a beautiful green with a very transparent appearance," notes Montague. Ultimately, the best emerald color to look for is neither too deep nor too light – look for one that is medium in intensity and very transparent.
Asking about the level of oil applied to your emerald is also crucial, as the appearance of stones with high levels of oil treatment is likely to change over time.
Emerald Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide
A feminine pink stone that almost looks ultra-luxuriouspink diamond, morganite is a modern diamond-free option right now. The light color makes the stone versatile and easy to use, and there are many different options for it.
Sassone points out that morganite belongs to the same family as aquamarine, so the two are extremely similar. Both have approximately the same hardness of 7.5, which means that morganite is suitable for everyday use, but still needs to be handled more gently than a diamond.
Morganite Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide
Rubies are a great alternative to diamond because they manage to be classic and bold at the same time. As Montague points out, they are the gemstone of love and come in a variety of shades, from deep pink to red, creating a beautiful contrast when paired withwhite and yellow metals.
Rubies are durable and suitable for everyday wear, which is certainly a plus. However, they are not as cheap as other options. "Rubies are priced higher per carat than any other colored gemstone," says Montague. She recommends looking for the most desirable deep red rubies when shopping and making sure the gem is clean to the eye.
Ruby Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide
Sapphires are another elegant and classic option that come in a variety of different shades. These colored gemstones are one of the hardest diamond alternative stones and are ideal for everyday use. "You can live your life wearing a sapphire," says Sassone. "There's less maintenance with these stones."
When shopping for a sapphire, Sassone recommends working with a reputable resource, as the market for colored stones isn't as regulated as the market for diamonds. "We are looking for a good crystal, which is the stone's ability to pass light at a molecular level", he explains. "Irradiation can lower a sapphire's luster factor a lot, so you want to see how shiny the stone is."
The heart treatment, on the other hand, is common among sapphires and entirely acceptable; Pure heat treatment, without adding chemicals or substances, can enhance the color and clarity of many sapphires.
Sapphire Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide
Amethyst's intense violet hue makes it the perfect stone foreccentric girlfriend. Considerably cheaper than a diamond, you can get a great amethyst for a cheap price.
However, as beautiful as the color is, one important thing to note with amethyst is that it is not as strong as other colored gemstones. It's a 7 on the Mohs scale, so Montague doesn't recommend it for everyday use. It is more delicate and can be more easily damaged. But if you are willing to take care of it and be more cautious, amethyst can still be your choice.
Amethyst engagement rings: the complete guide
"If your style is morevintage feel, or if you want an heirloom look, opal gemstones can do it," says Montague. These beautiful milky white stones have an interesting iridescence and are quite versatile.
However, opals are not one of the strongest stones out there. "Opals are super soft and porous," says Montague. "With prolonged use, you're likely to experience chips and scratches, and the stone can change color over time." That said, opals are not a good choice for everyday use; In addition to being soft and porous, they may also not react well to sudden changes in temperature or long periods of direct exposure to the sun.
What is a good alternative to a engagement ring? ›
- A ring on a necklace. ...
- Charm bracelet. ...
- A tattoo of a ring. ...
- Locket. ...
- Alternative-stone engagement ring. ...
- Metal bands. ...
- Eternity bands. ...
- A new piece of art for your home.
Moissanites or white sapphires are most comparable to a diamond. While there are visible differences, these gems will look the closest to a diamond while offering a more affordable price. These stones are also high on the Mohs scale of relative hardness, making them suitable for everyday wear.Which stone is the best substitute for diamond? ›
Quartz. As one of the most common gemstone minerals, quartz or rock crystal makes a very affordable diamond alternative. While its beauty will never rival that of a well-cut diamond, some lapidaries can polish a quartz so that it looks better than a mediocre diamond.What sparkles more than a diamond? ›
Moissanite has unparalleled sparkle! It has a higher refractive index than diamond, resulting in greater brilliance than diamond. Moissanite also has greater dispersion (fire) than a diamond, so you will notice more rainbow flashes of light.What is not diamond but looks like diamond? ›
Sapphires are the most popular diamond alternative, but few know that they come in colors other than cobalt. Made of corundum, the most diamond-like stone is white sapphire, which is pure with no metal oxides to give it color.