5 Alternatives to the Diamond Engagement Ring

A diamond ring is a timeless symbol of love, but it’s also expensive. There are other ways to express your commitment without breaking the bank or stealing someone else’s inheritance:

The “moissanite rings” are a type of diamond that is cheaper and more durable than the regular diamond. The “moissanite rings” have 5 different alternatives to the Diamond Engagement Ring.

Vintage illustration man and woman looking at diamond engagement rings.

So you’ve discovered the lady you want to spend the rest of your life with and are ready to propose on one knee. The next step is to decide on the kind of engagement ring you’ll present at that specific time. The decision seems to be self-evident: a diamond, of course. The more opulent and blingy, the better.

But this wasn’t always the case.

The concept of engagement rings equaling diamond rings is a relatively new one, born of a clever marketing gimmick by De Beers. Diamonds are neither unique nor remarkable, despite the mystique that surrounds them. The De Beers cartel has succeeded in regulating both supply and demand, therefore they are pricey.

Diamonds were a popular choice for engagement rings in the early 1900s, but they were seen as simply one of many options, and people were selecting diamonds less and less. People who did buy diamonds did so in little, affordable quantities, preferring to spend their money on other things. De Beers started a decades-long, multi-million dollar publicity and advertising campaign in 1938, hoping to infuse the gems with romantic significance and social rank, in order to entice people to purchase the piles of diamonds they were sitting on. Their stated purpose was to transform the diamond into “a psychological requirement capable of competing effectively at the retail level with utility items and services,” as well as “continuous advertising to prove that only the diamond is universally acknowledged and recognized as the emblem of betrothal.”

To that end, the agency arranged for celebrities to be photographed wearing the gleaming rings, had them featured in films, had radio shows discuss the new “trend” of diamonds, and even sent lecturers to high schools to speak to young women about the importance of selecting the right diamond for their engagement rings.

The phrase “A Diamond Is Forever” was created not just to convey everlasting love, but also to discourage people from reselling their jewels. With over 500 million carats of diamonds in the public domain, if individuals constantly sold them for cash, the market for fresh diamonds would plummet.

Vintage de beers ad advertisement most valued symbol.

De Beers is here to remind you that “a diamond is a symbol of your success,” just in case you forgot. And the most valuable token of your devotion…is a cartel-controlled, expensive rock.

De Beers also worked hard to boost demand by capitalizing on the public’s appetite for flashy consumption and making the diamond into a status symbol for both the man who gave it and the lady who received it. “Promoting the diamond as one tangible thing that may represent, in a very personal manner, a man’s… achievement in life,” according to their marketing agency’s research. They proposed that the advertising “had the fragrance of tweed, worn leather, and polished wood that is distinctive of a fine club” to appeal to males who desired to join the upper crust.

The blitz was, of course, one of the most effective advertising efforts of all time: when it comes to getting engaged, the great majority of people now consider diamond rings, and only diamond rings.


However, some modern females aren’t satisfied with the existing quo. Whether it’s a rejection of the diamond’s sleazy commercial history, an aversion to the way they’re mined (though “conflict-free” diamonds are an option), a desire for something more unique or meaningful, or a belief that spending three months’ salary on a rock is ridiculous (read: keeper), your gal may want to think outside the box when it comes to the engagement ring you’ll get her.

If that characterizes your soon-to-be fiancée, there are a variety of non-diamond engagement rings to explore.

First and foremost, make certain.

Before we go into some of the alternatives, it’s crucial to note that you shouldn’t propose to your girlfriend with a non-diamond ring unless you’re quite certain she’ll accept it. The expectation of a diamond engagement ring has been deeply established in our society, despite the fact that it originated as a marketing push. Even though your girlfriend is unconventional in many ways, her desire for a diamond can surprise you (and even herself). You want her to be proud of the ring she’ll be showing off to her friends after your proposal and possibly wearing for the rest of her life, so you want her to be pleased with it rather than disappointed when she looks at it.

So, before you choose a ring, talk to your partner about her goals and expectations.

5 Engagement Rings That Aren’t Diamonds

1. Diamonds that have been created artificially

Man-made diamonds are an alternative for the lady who doesn’t want a real diamond but doesn’t want to wander too far from current convention.

While most people associate synthetic diamonds with cubic zirconia, there are really a few other types of synthetic diamonds.

Diamond “simulants” include cubic zirconia and related materials like moissanite. They seem to the human eye to be almost similar to genuine diamonds, however they are made of a different material.

The benefit of “CZ” (and other simulants) is that they are far less expensive than actual diamonds. However, unless your girlfriend is completely on board with this plan, I’d advise you to avoid it. She’ll be thinking to herself, “it’s false,” whenever others compliment her “diamond,” which is a big relationship killer.

Now, the second option in this category is somewhat different – a more recently created alternative that I had no idea existed until I looked into it for this essay. These are diamonds that have been “cultured” or “made” in a laboratory. Because they’re made by an atom-by-atom crystal growth process that precisely mimics the physical, chemical, and visual qualities of naturally found diamonds, the term “synthetic” isn’t quite correct. Unless sophisticated spectroscopy is used, it is hard to tell the two apart. A lab-created diamond is, for all intents and purposes, a diamond.

Because lab-created diamonds can be manufactured indefinitely, their price is lower than real, mined diamonds, albeit not by as much as you would imagine; De Beers has already taken measures to dominate the market and inflate the price! They’re a terrific pick for a lady who thinks “responsibly sourced” doesn’t go far enough and wants to reduce her environmental impact even further.


2. A Knot

Eternal knot love symbol ring diamond ring alternative.

Indulgent Designs created this ring. This knot is ideal for an engagement (or wedding) ring because it represents infinity – everlasting love.

A great choice for a simple-minded lady. What better way to convey a girl you’re excited to marry her than with a bouquet of flowers?

True lover's knot engagement ring diamond alternative.

Another kind of knot that might be ideal for an engagement ring is this one. This ring’s creator explains what it means: “The ‘real lover’s knot,’ as it was known, was a favorite ring style for sailors who were separated from their loved ones. It’s constructed by interlocking two overhand knots in two parallel wires, allowing one to travel around the other while remaining separate. (Aw!) Another interesting truth about this knot is that in Victorian times, a young couple would tie a lover’s knot on a little branch of a tree to see whether their love would continue. Their love would remain genuine if the tie held and flourished for around a year.”

Two color knot engagement ring placed on black stone.

A knot ring composed of two distinct hues of gold is ideal for an engagement ring since it represents the entwining of your life. TND Creations ring

3. A Valuable Gemstone

Antique, opal and pearl engagement ring from the Victorian era.

Victorian period antique engagement ring with opal and pearls. 

Beyond the diamond, there are a plethora of magnificent jewels, each with its own historic significance. As a result, selecting a gemstone that has particular importance for you and your girlfriend provides a one-of-a-kind ring with a built-in layer of meaning.

The meanings of a few gemstones that may be especially appropriate for your special connection and the feeling you want to portray when you propose are as follows:

  • Truth, protection, and strength are all attributes associated with agate.
  • Apatite is associated with communication and the merging of old and modern.
  • Aquamarine symbolizes fortitude in the face of adversity, as well as safety on trips.
  • Blue topaz is connected with faithfulness, companionship, tenderness, and honesty, as well as the ability to overcome anxieties and hurdles.
  • Garnet symbolizes zealous loyalty and devotion.
  • Onyx is a stone that is supposed to repel negativity and is connected with tenacity and endurance.
  • Love, passion, lightness, inspiration, creativity, and spontaneity are all qualities associated with opal.
  • Harmony, humility, purity, and value are all qualities associated with pearls (which are organic rather than gemstones).
  • Rose quartz is connected with the eradication of negativity and the healing of emotional scars because of its soft compassion, tranquility, and quiet.
  • Ruby symbolizes friendship, fire, love, royalty, happiness, and heart opening.
  • Turquoise is a stone of friendship and is connected with nature (the blue sky and green earth)

Gemstones may, of course, be used in a number of ways, including as a single stone or in a grouping with other jewels. Here are two unusual ideas that we both enjoy:

His hers birthstone engagement ring diamond alternative.

Birthstone rings for him and her: A birthstone ring for you and your girlfriend is a beautiful way to communicate the notion that you were meant to be together. Peridot Mountain has a ring.

Two pearl peapod silver engagement ring.

Two peas in a pod: This ring is ideal for people who believe they’ve discovered their soul mate. Peapod Jewelry is a company that makes jewelry.

The Claddagh Ring is number four.

Gold Claddagh engagement ring placed on table.

Lagnole’s Claddagh ring.


The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring with a long history and symbolic meaning. It is based on European “fede rings,” which are named after the Italian phrase mani in fede (“hands [connected] in trust” or “hands [joined] in loyalty”). It dates back to Roman times. Two hands, a heart, and a crown adorn the ring, signifying friendship, love, and loyalty, respectively.

Claddagh bands were worn as engagement and wedding rings throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the joined hands signify the pledge of vows. They are still an excellent option for this purpose today, especially for a girl of Irish ancestry.

Ruby claddagh engagement ring placed on table.

The Claddagh may be combined with a jewel, such as a ruby. nellyvansee created this ring.

When a woman is engaged, she wears the ring on her left hand with the point of the heart facing out, and when she is married, she wears it on her right hand with the tip of the heart facing her.

It’s also customary to link the phrases “This is my heart, which I offer to you adorned with my love,” and “Let love and friendship rule,” with the ring, so use them liberally when proposing with a Claddagh. 

5. A cherished family heirloom

5 carat sapphire engagement ring.

Who can say… Perhaps Grammie has a 5-carat sapphire ring hidden in her jewelry box. She’d be delighted to present it to you now that you’re ready to “Stop waiting and ask that lovely Jennie to marry you!”

Check with your family to see if there are any heirlooms ready to be handed down before you spend a lot of money on a diamond ring or any of these other options. This choice not only saves you money, but it also makes the pieces much more relevant and significant. Even a ring that has been passed down through the generations becomes much more meaningful than one bought at Jared. When I proposed to Kate, my mother-in-law handed me a diamond ring that had belonged to her grandmother. It was the ideal match for her, and she couldn’t have asked for anything more.

You may have an heirloom ring resized or the gemstone removed and placed in a different setting if the size or style isn’t suited for your fiancée.

Vintage man making smoke ring for the lady, both sitting on chairs.

You don’t need a diamond or any of these alternatives if you’re really suave. It’s only a cigarette. “Dollface, here’s a smoke ring.” “How about we tie the knot?”




The “engagement ring stones other than diamonds” is a topic that has been discussed many times. There are 5 alternatives to the diamond engagement ring.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best alternative to a diamond?

A: The best alternative to a diamond is carbon, which has many uses in the fields of technology and industry.

What are alternatives to engagement rings?

A: Engagement rings are popular alternatives to wedding bands, but there are a wide variety of alternative choices available. The most obvious is wearing nothing at all on your finger, but you can also wear other types of jewelry like a bracelet or necklace. Theres even the option for more casual designs if you want something less formal and not as expensive!

What gem looks most like a diamond?

A: Diamonds are the hardest known type of gemstone, so any other gems that look like diamonds have a hardness value. However, their color may be different than true diamond colors due to impurities in the rocks composition.

Related Tags

  • non traditional engagement rings no diamond
  • moissanite engagement rings
  • ethical alternatives to diamonds
  • diamond alternative
  • aquamarine engagement ring