Ditching Diamonds: Stunning Engagement Stone Alternatives

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If a diamond ring isn't your thing, check out these gorgeous alternatives to the traditional wedding band. Make your engagement ring your own by finding the perfect gem for your style.
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As fashion progresses in this modern age, traditional diamond engagement rings are seeing competition from styles adorned in other gorgeous gemstones. Some rings don’t even include gems, and they still make for beautiful statements of love and individuality. Whether you don’t want a diamond ring for ethical or other reasons, there are endless options of engagement bands that will look beautiful and unique.

First, consider what’s important to you in a ring. Do you want to choose a durable material that can stand up to daily wear? Mohs Scale of Hardness is used to describe the durability of a stone, and diamonds are a 10–the hardest substance around. This is why they are so hardwearing; a diamond will leave a mark on a softer surface, but it’s rare for the diamond itself to be scratched or scuffed.

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For this reason, certain gemstones won’t hold up as well as others. Opal, moonstone, pearl, emerald, and garnet are all beautiful, but they’re highly susceptible to scratches. Because these gems are typically less expensive than diamonds, you can replace them more easily when they wear down. However, if you want a gem that lasts, consider some of the other, harder stones you’ll find in this list.

These stones will make for some of the most stylish and unique engagement bands around. You can even adorn one of these stones with another to add even more individuality to your look. Play around with color, shine, and shape to craft the ring of your dreams!

Moissanite

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Moissanite gemstones are special in that they’re actually shinier than diamonds. They reflect light just a little bit better than diamonds do, making them that much more brilliant. However, it’s difficult to tell a diamond from moissanite if you’re not looking closely.

Moissanite ranks slightly lower than diamonds on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, coming in at a 9.25. This means they’re still quite durable, and the best part is that they’re not as expensive. With a moissanite, you’re getting more bang for your buck.

Emerald

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What’s more dazzling than an emerald gemstone? It’s a variety of beryl, so it’s a 7.5-8 on the Mohs Scale, making these gems durable, but not invincible. That’s not a big deal, though, as this green stone is sought after for its beauty and boldness.

Throughout the centuries, emerald stones have symbolized all the qualities you’d want in your marriage: vitality, strength, and peace. Ancient healers believed wearing an emerald would promote wellness of the heart, and to this day these gems are considered useful in promoting soothing energy and a lively spirit. Above all else, though, they look absolutely stunning when worn as jewelry!

White Topaz

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Topaz ranks at an 8 on the hardness scale, and as close as that seems to 10, it perils in durability when compared to a diamond. However, this doesn’t matter much if you’re open to replacing your topaz stone every now and then.

A white topaz gemstone will sparkle and shine differently than a diamond will. It’s a softer stone both physically and aesthetically, but that further lends to its unique beauty. And since it’s white, you can easily adorn it with other gems of any color.

Tanzanite

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Tanzanite has a unique purple color that was first introduced to the market by Tiffany & Co. in 1968, only a year after they were first discovered in Tanzania. Keep in mind that tanzanite is only a 6.5 on the Mohs Scale, so it has to be worn carefully.

The gorgeous hue of this stone is enough to turn heads, and if you love to stand out, this is the perfect option for your engagement ring. While there are other gorgeous colored gems on the market, this one is noted for its pleochroism, an optical phenomenon in which a material appears in different colors when observed at different angles.

Jade

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Another great option if you don’t mind a softer rock is the gorgeous jade. Jade, which has a hardness of 6-7, is known for its green varieties, but there are yellow and white jades that are equally beautiful.

Jade rings are amazing because they come in such a vast range of designs and styles. They’re also incredibly affordable, making them the perfect engagement ring for someone who loves style and value.

Morganite

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Morganite is a sometimes orange, sometimes pink variety of beryl that is found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique, and the United States. This subtly stunning gemstone has been rising in popularity as an engagement ring option since 2010.

This gemstone was first discovered in 1910, making it a relatively new fashion statement compared to the other stones on this list. It wasn’t until about 2011 that major jewelry stores even began to consider selling pieces featuring morganite.

Its pale, soft colors are reminiscent of rose gold and rose quartz, and these gems rank at a 7.5-8 in hardness, making them a solid choice for an engagement ring. They are also linked to unconditional love, strength in spirit, and connection to the divine.

Blue Apatite

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Apatite is only a 5 on the hardness scale, but as we’ve discussed, durability doesn’t have to be a priority if you love the look of a certain gem.

This stone is affordable enough to be replaced if you want to do so, and it will dazzle as an engagement ring. Apatites also come in a variety of gorgeous blues and greens. Some stones will even cast a cat’s-eye effect in the right lighting!

Wood

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Wooden engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular as time goes on. These bands are eye-catching in their simplicity, and they represent so much through their material. Wood represents natural strength, longevity, and mutual generosity, making it an excellent choice for an engagement band.

Wood also comes in such a great variety of colors and patterns that you can tailor the look to fit your style perfectly. With the right inlay and coating, a wooden band will last a long time.

Ruby

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A ruby gemstone is a stunning choice, one that is sure to stand out. Most rubies come from Burma and Mozambique, and they’re quite difficult to find. Because rubies are so rare, they’re more expensive than other gems on this list. Rubies are also quite durable, ranking at a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This makes them an excellent choice for everyday wear.

Rubies have been used as love stones and engagement rings for centuries. As the stone of the heart and passions, it’s a perfect representation of your everlasting love. Jessica Simpson and Victoria Beckham both have rubies in their engagement rings, and the stone is rising in popularity among newlyweds everywhere.

Tourmaline

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Tourmaline is a brightly-colored stone that comes in various hues of red, green, brown, and blue. It ranks at a 7-7.5 for hardness. Some ultra-fluorescent tourmalines will appear in a gorgeous pink, and as an added bonus, this gem displays major pleochroism.

A tourmaline engagement ring is sure to delight both its wearer and all who come across it. They’re also far less expensive than diamonds, but a whole lot more interesting!

Blue Sapphire

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Throughout history, these stunning blue stones have been prized as treasures. Many kings wore blue sapphires around their necks to defend them from harm and bring them luck. By the Middle Ages, blue sapphires were known as symbols of joy, innocence, health, inner peace, beauty, and positivity.

Like rubies, which are also a variety of the mineral corundum, blue sapphire gemstones are a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. While red sapphires connote fiery passion, blue sapphires represent a softer side of relationships. Both make for the perfect symbols of the love you have found.

Peridot

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Looking for a gem that really sets you apart? Peridot isn’t often worn as an engagement stone, but one look at it makes you wonder why not. This colorful stone shines in different green hues depending on the light it’s in, which makes for versatile and intriguing jewelry pieces.

With a 6.5-7 on the Mohs Scale, this gem is tough, but not too tough. This may be why it has long been believed to promote good health, peaceful relationships, and balanced emotions. It is also the stone of compassion!

Aquamarine

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This pale-blue variety of beryl always makes its wearer stand out. Aquamarine is a common gemstone, so it’s far less expensive than other engagement ring options. It is much rarer to find the maxixe variant, however, which is naturally deep blue in color; these will be more expensive, if you can get your hands on one. However, there’s no need to overextend your budget. Diamonds are not nearly as scarce as some believe, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful.

Aquamarine, which comes in at a 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, is known for having calming properties. Its color makes one think of a mellow sea, and in the old days, couples would wear stones of aquamarine to build true love rather than lust. It is said to help eliminate deceit, heal a broken heart, and even reveal the true nature of your partner. Ultimately, this stone is a gorgeous statement of eternal bonding.

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