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The 8 Most Popular Non-Diamond Engagement Rings

While diamonds have long been the traditional choice for engagement rings, more and more people are beginning to go with other gemstones or materials for their engagement rings. And we are not surprised!

There are many other gemstones that are more beautiful than diamonds. Appearance is subjective of course. But if you want an engagement ring that isn’t colorless like diamond, then you have to look at other gemstones.

Without a doubt, cost is a big factor too. Gemstone alternatives are almost always cheaper and larger compared to diamond rings.

In this guide, we look at popular non-diamond gemstones that are used in engagement rings:


Sapphires are extremely durable and come in a variety of colors. While blue is the most well-known, white or “ice” sapphires can also make a good diamond substitute.

Princess Diana’s (and now Kate Middleton’s) 12-carat Ceylon Blue sapphire engagement ring is one of the most famous sapphire rings in the world.

Sapphires are typically cut into cushion or oval shapes. This might appeal to those who enjoy a vintage or traditional aesthetic. Its deep color might make it more suited to those who prefer a larger stone that can stand alone.

Price. Natural sapphires can range greatly in price. From approximately $800 to $2,000 per carat for a good quality gem. Lab-grown sapphires can be significantly cheaper at a few hundred dollars per carat.


Moissanites are highly popular for the reason that they look very similar to diamonds. Most people and even jewelers might not be able to tell the difference between moissanites and real diamonds. As one of the hardest gemstones next to diamonds, they are highly durable and suitable for daily wear.

Moissanite has more brilliance (or “fire”) than a diamond. This means it has more colorful light reflections and a more beautiful sparkle and shine.

Originally discovered in a meteor crater, moissanite is now synthetically produced. This makes them a more affordable and environmentally friendly choice.

Price. A one-carat moissanite gem can range between $300 – $600, depending on the quality and where it’s purchased.

Learn about diamond simulants which are natural or synthetic stones that look like diamonds in our other article.


Rubies are renowned for their deep, rich red color. They’re a symbol of passion and love, making them a meaningful choice for an engagement ring. Rubies are also very hard and durable.

The vibrant color of rubies stands out in any size and can be cut into various shapes. Those who love to make a statement might enjoy a large, cushion-cut ruby.

Price. Good quality rubies can be more expensive than diamonds. They cost around $1,000 – $3,000 per carat, although high-quality specimens can go much higher. Lab-created rubies can be a few hundred dollars per carat.


Emeralds are known for their beautiful green color. It can be associated with fertility and rebirth, and are considered the symbol of new love. However, they are softer than diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Emeralds are often treated to fill inclusions, so they require more care.

Emeralds are often cut in a rectangular step cut, known as the emerald cut, which has a sophisticated, classic appeal. Those who enjoy bold and distinct jewelry might prefer a large emerald.

Price. Prices for natural emeralds vary widely, from $500 to $3,000 per carat for a good quality stone. Lab-created emeralds can be much less expensive, typically a few hundred dollars per carat.


Morganite has a lovely pink to peach color and it has been gaining popularity as an engagement ring choice. Similar to emerald, morganite is a type of beryl but it’s slightly more durable and less likely to be treated. This makes it a good choice for a ring that will be worn every day.

The soft color of Morganite looks best in larger sizes where the color can truly shine. Those who enjoy a romantic, soft or feminine aesthetic might like a heart or oval-shaped morganite.

Price. Morganite is typically less expensive than many other gemstones. Their prices are in the range of $100 – $300 per carat for a good quality stone.


Aquamarine is another member of the beryl family and is known for its light blue color. It is reasonably durable but is often more included than other gemstones. This can affect the gemstone’s clarity.

The aquamarine stone has a soft sparkle and is often cut into oval or emerald shapes, which might appeal to those who enjoy subtlety and elegance.

Price. A good quality aquamarine might range from $100 – $500 per carat. The price can be higher for deeply colored stones or stones with fewer inclusions.


Pearls offer a timeless and classic appeal. However, they are not as durable as other gemstones and can be easily scratched or damaged. This makes pearls better suited for individuals who do not have a highly active lifestyle.

Round and lustrous with a soft, romantic appeal, pearls might appeal to people who prefer a vintage or minimalist aesthetic. Pearls are typically not very large in engagement rings.

Price. The price of pearls varies greatly depending on the type. Freshwater pearls can be quite affordable, while high-quality Akoya, Tahitian, or South Sea pearls can be several hundred to several thousand dollars.


While opals are not as durable as many of the other stones on this list, their stunning play-of-color can be a draw for those wanting a unique engagement ring. Extra care will need to be taken to ensure the opal stays in good condition.

Opal’s “play-of-color” is one of the gemstone’s defining characteristics. It refers to the shifting, shimmering colors that seem to move within the opal stone as it is viewed from different angles. This effect can make an opal appear to glow with a kind of internal fire, displaying a variety of colors, including blue, green, red, yellow, and more.

With their unique play-of-color, opals can be quite eye-catching. Those who enjoy a bohemian or artistic style might like a large, cabochon-cut opal.

Price. Price for opals also varies widely, depending on the type and quality of the play-of-color. You might pay $50 – $100 per carat for a decent quality opal, but high-quality Australian black opals might cost $1,000 per carat or more.

Remember, the most important thing about an engagement ring is the commitment it symbolizes, not the ring itself. If you and your partner prefer something non-traditional, that’s what you should go for. It’s a deeply personal choice, and there’s no right or wrong answer.


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