10 Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings

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Diamonds have been strongly associated with engagement rings since the mid-1900s and are highly prized for their exceptional strength and brilliance. However, before diamonds came into vogue, engagement rings featured other precious and semi-precious gemstones, with sapphires and rubies being two of the most popular. With gemstones coming back onto the scene in recent years, we’re excited to see many traditional and modern diamond alternatives reappearing. Here are ten of our favorite ideas for custom gemstone engagement rings:
  1. Sapphire

    The most popular of all diamond alternatives, blue sapphires have started to appear on the ring fingers of royalty and celebrities in the past decade and we expect their popularity to continue to rise. Offering a hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are nearly as strong as diamonds and offer a natural resistance to wear and tear—making them an ideal choice for a ring you plan to wear every day.

    Consider placing a blue sapphire in a halo setting surrounded by diamonds or in a three-stone setting with diamond or Swiss blue topaz accents on either side. Blue sapphire goes equally well with white gold or yellow gold, but we personally think that the rich blue color pops when set in a band of white gold, platinum, or palladium.

  2. Ruby

    Originating from the same family as blue sapphires, rubies are associated with fire and vitality and are highly prized by jewelry lovers around the world. A rose-gold ruby halo ring is a classic choice, closely followed by oval ruby halo rings in white gold with diamond pavé. To make your diamond alternatives engagement ring more budget friendly, we recommend choosing a three-stone setting with a smaller ruby as the center stone and pink tourmaline accent stones on either side.

  3. Garnet

    Associated with protection and safety, garnet is an abundant gemstone that is a popular alternative to rubies for those seeking more affordable diamond alternatives. To bring out the natural warmth of garnet, consider pairing it with a yellow gold or rose gold band in combination with diamonds or pink tourmaline. To create a contrast and help the deep red color of garnet to “pop,” go for a band of white gold, platinum, or palladium for your custom gemstone engagement rings. As garnet is much softer than rubies and sapphires with a 6.5-7.5 hardness rating on the Mohs scale, we recommend choosing settings that embed the stones in the metal (as opposed to a solitaire setting) and taking your ring off for swimming and bathing.

  4. Pink Tourmaline

    Feminine and strong in bubble-gum pink, pink tourmaline is a relative newcomer to the range of diamond alternatives and offers a superior hardness to garnet with 7.0-7.5 on the Mohs scale. Combine this stone with rubies or garnet for a feast of color, or place it as the centerpiece in a halo, solitaire, or modern setting. If you turn pink tourmaline gemstones towards the light, you will notice that they display a fascinating property called pleochroism. As you vary the angle of the ring in relation to the sun, the gemstone actually appears to change color from a light pink to a hue that is closer to purple!

  5. Amethyst


    Worn throughout history as a symbol of wealth and power, the rich purple amethyst gemstone has traditionally figured among diamond alternatives in beautiful antique engagement rings, paired with a band of yellow gold. Consider a diamond-studded halo ring in yellow gold to bring out the rich tones of this majestic gemstone, or pair it with white gold for a delicious contrast that looks stunning with accent stones in diamond or Swiss blue topaz.

  6. Aquamarine

    Another choice for classic custom gemstone engagement rings, aquamarine offers a sense of calm and tranquility to the wearer—something that every bride-to-be needs as she goes about planning her wedding. For those seriously considering diamond alternatives, our favorite design with aquamarine is a princess-cut gem in a solitaire setting with white gold. For a heritage look that is destined to become a family heirloom, we recommend a round- or oval-cut aquamarine surrounded by a sparkling diamond halo in white gold or yellow gold.

  7. Swiss Blue Topaz

    Associated with creativity and peacefulness, Swiss blue topaz is a choice among diamond alternatives that is becoming increasingly popular for engagement and everyday rings. When found in nature, blue topaz is much lighter in color and typically undergoes an irradiation treatment to achieve the brilliant blue that we find so attractive. Swiss blue topaz offers a hardness rating of 8—making it suitable for use in classic ring styles like solitaires and halos. You might also consider combining Swiss blue topaz with amethysts or peridots for an eye-catching sea of color.

  8. Peridot

    Known to the Romans as “evening emerald,” the bight-green peridot gemstone has an intrinsic vibrance that glows just as brightly in the twilight as it does in the day. Thought to enhance spirituality and expression, this beautiful stone is a unique choice for an engagement ring among diamond alternatives and adds a sense of playfulness to your outfit. For custom gemstone engagement rings, combine peridot with yellow gold for a feeling of bright warmth. You can also pair small peridot gems with diamonds, aquamarines, or Swiss blue topaz for a colorful masterpiece that will be prized for generations.

  9. Citrine

    Citrine is a warm and vivid gemstone that ranges from the color of sunshine to an earthy umber. Associated with abundant energy and mental clarity, this luxurious gem is more affordable than many stones in its color range but does require special care due to its fragility. Those looking for diamond alternatives might enjoy a bright and sunny citrine ring with yellow gold or a contrasting three-stone citrine ring with white gold and diamonds.

  10. Black Onyx

    For a modern, one-of-a-kind ring, black onyx could be the gemstone you are looking for. Thought to provide a sense of power and protection, black onyx is a relatively strong gem that offers great versatility for engagement ring designs. Pair with diamonds on white gold for a minimalist black-and-white effect, or alternate with the colored gem of your choice to highlight the brilliance of the colored stone against the jet black of the onyx.

Order Custom Gemstone Engagement Rings at AZEERA

With so many options from which to choose, diamond alternatives for a one-of-a-kind engagement ring have never been more attractive. Consider matching your choice of gem to your birth month or favorite color, or choose a gemstone that has a special meaning for your relationship.

As you begin dreaming and building your custom ring, don’t hesitate to contact our design team for step-by-step advice and support. Our handcrafted rings come with free, fully-insured shipping and a lifetime warranty. Shop our gemstone engagement rings for a truly unique expression of your love today!

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