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The Best Diamond Alternative Engagement Rings

The Best Diamond Alternative Engagement Rings

Getting engaged to the love of your life is one of the most unforgettable moments you will experience (besides your actual wedding day, of course). This is why choosing an engagement ring that symbolizes the love you and your partner have for each other is just as meaningful and memorable. 

While classic diamond rings offer timeless elegance, for some couples, diamonds aren't on the top of the list when they think of the perfect gemstone. One of the most common things our couples tell  us is that they want their engagement ring to be unique and not “like everybody else’s”.  They really are looking for guidance on what their options may be besides a traditional diamond. 

Luckily, numerous diamond alternatives are equally as luxurious that many couples may not be aware of. Therefore, today we are going to be diving into five alternative engagement rings that offer that wow factor. 

5 Diamond Ring Alternatives

Although diamond rings didn’t become popularized until the 1930s, there is no shame in choosing alternative engagement rings if you’re simply not in love with diamonds!  Fun fact: Engagement rings prior to the turn of the century were NOT usually diamonds. They were often made from sapphires  or other colored stone that represented their birth stone color or had a special significance to the couple. 

Let’s take a look at some beautiful substitutes: 


First, on our list, we have sapphires. For couples looking for a touch of old-world elegance, sapphires are a flawless choice that exudes refined excellence.  Choosing a sapphire ring also provides couples with a wide selection of hues when it comes to the gem itself. 

From the classic deep Ceylon blue to beautiful shades of pinks you are looking for a touch of color that will stand out and complement your skin tone, sapphires are an excellent choice. 

We also completely obsessed with Montana Sapphires which have become very popular lately and are perfect for the alternative bride. Montana sapphires, as the named suggests, are mined in Montana. They can range in color from a deep Caribbean Sea Blue to a gorgeous Mermaid teal green.  

Every stone is completely unique and there are even some color changers that come available on occasion. Color change Montana sapphires will appear slightly different colors due to the light and even heat. Color change Montana sapphires are rare but when we do find them they really are amazing.

Frederica Montana Sapphire Ring

If you would like have the same look and feel of a diamond but would like it to be more cost effective, a white sapphire is an excellent choice. Often, you can get a much larger white sapphire compared to a diamond.  A very high quality, white sapphire can be comparable to a diamond.  

Diamonds and white sapphires do reflect light differently and diamonds do have more brilliance and fire. However, that is only if you are purchasing a highly graded diamond. If you are debating purchasing a lower quality diamond vs. a high quality white sapphire due to budget constraints, a white sapphire may be a better all around choice!

Another option to be aware of in the sapphire family would be lab-grown sapphires which we also offer at Rough Luxe. These are chemically and structurally identical to naturally mined sapphires, except they are grown in a lab. This enables them have less inclusions and also for us to have more access to unusual and hard to find colors.

For example, Padparadscha and Champagne sapphires are very hard to find but we can obtain stunning lab-grown ones for you at a fraction of the price and with much higher quality.  

One more wonderful quality of sapphires besides their rainbow of unique color, is that they are very durable and have excellent wearability. They are second only to diamonds on the hardness scale which make them an excellent choice for an alternative engagement ring. 

Today’s women tend to be very active and having a stone that can withstand daily wear and tear is pretty important. No one wants to pay thousands of dollars for a ring and have it crack, chip and/or scratch in very short order. We want our engagement rings to a symbol of our enduring love and become a future heirloom.  

And while the price of your engagement ringwill depend on the size, color, shape, and quality of the stone itself, on average, a one-carat diamond will cost much more than that of a sapphire which is something to keep in mind when you are shopping around for diamond alternatives.  Sapphires not only are the perfect alternative to diamonds but they are also much more budget friendly.

SALT and Pepper Diamonds

For couples who prefer to stick with a diamond setting but are looking for a more contemporary, modern look,  a Salt and Pepper Diamond may be an excellent choice. The term salt and pepper refers to diamonds that naturally embody black and white speckles that offer a silky and mystical tone that is unique and elegant. 

They can also have an amazing celestial sparkle when in the sunlight. One of my favorite things about Salt & Pepper Diamonds is that they are traditionally rose cut. Rose cut diamonds were very popular in the Georgian and Victorian era. 

Salt and Pepper Diamond Halo Ring
Scarlett Salt & Pepper Grey Diamond Ring

Unlike brilliant cut diamonds, rose cut diamonds are flat on the bottom and are shaped into a dome at the top. There are a prism of facets cut into the top which allows the stone to almost glow, as if by candlelight. The term “rose cut” comes from the top of the stone appearing to resemble a rose. 

I find grey rose cut diamonds incredibly romantic, subtle and enchanting. My own engagement ring is a 3ct. grey rose cut diamond, so you can see how much I personally love them.

Salt and pepper diamonds are cultivated naturally on the earth's surface, while some stones will reflect a lighter and speckled appearance, others will gift a darker and misty grey color that almost draw you in. They are completely different to other alternative engagement rings offered on the market. 

I find that the brides that I work with that fall in love with grey diamonds love their organic & unique qualities. They don’t see their inclusions and crystallization as a negative, but rather prefer to embrace their imperfections. 


 If couples still have their hearts set on having an engagement ring that resembles a diamond as closely as possible, Moissanite is a very cost effective alternative. Known as a gemstone that comes straight from the stars, Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 after a meteorite fell from the sky. 

While it is pretty rare to find Moissanite naturally in the environment these days, scientists are able to create it synthetically in labs. This offers couples the ability to purchase a gemstone of brilliance that is more affordable and eco-conscious that does not require any mining. 

Even though Moissanite is a colorless stone, it shines a bit differently than a natural diamond.  It tends to have rainbow flashes of light and quite a bit more fire and sparkle than even diamonds. In other words it can have a bit of a disco ball effect, especially in bright sunlight.  Although, many people like this extra “bling” factor, some people find that it is a bit too much. It really is a matter of personal opinion.

Pear Shaped Moissanite Ring

As far as durability , Moissanite is a 9.25 our of 10 on the MOHS hardness scale. What this means is that it ranks extremely high and makes it a great choice for everyday wear, even for those that are very active. 

As we mentioned before, one of the biggest selling features and one of the reasons it has become a popular choice for engagement rings is the cost. It is not unusual to be able to get a 2ct + engagement ring for a fraction of the price of a naturally mined diamond. Again, this is going to appeal to those brides that want more bling for their buck. 

At Rough Luxe, we can recreate most of our designs in Moissianite for our clients and are very happy to do so. We are happy to draw up custom quotes for your stone size & preference. 


Morganite engagement rings are the perfect solution for couples who are looking for subtle feminine diamond alternatives. Morganite can range from a beautiful light rose pink to  a gorgeous, subtle peach pink. It is known to be very clear and transparent with very few inclusions. In the industry this is known as eye-clean and is a great quality of Morganite. 

Morganite is usually heat treated which enhances the peachy-pink hues and will make the colors more vibrant. This is a pretty standard for most colored stones, including sapphires, and by no means undermines the value. 

Although Morganite is non-traditional when compared to diamond, these eye-catching gemstones are the ideal balance between romantic & modern aesthetics.  I find that my brides are drawn to its romantic and whimsical beauty. 

Morganite is usually mined and cut from a larger sized crystals and offers a beautiful depth in both hue and character. The stone originates from Brazil and is celebrated for its checkerboard facets that gift you a stunning reflection of light as the sun hits it in the daytime.  

While the color can range, morganite seamlessly compliments any gemstone. It is one of the best alternative engagement rings distinct in nature without losing its touch of elegance.  Fun fact: Morganite is has meaning as aa healing stone. Since it has a sweet pink energy, it has been linked with the heart and heart Chakra. It is believed to be associated with unconditional love and balance.  

We would love to chat with you about creating your alternative engagement ring in Morganite. Any of our engagement rings at Rough Luxe can be customized to include a Morganite as its focal stone. It really can be so very stunning with any of our diamond halo engagement rings.

Rose Gold Halo Ring
Gwendolyn Rose Gold Halo Ring


Last but not least on our list of alternative engagement rings, we have lab-created diamonds. I know we were mostly speaking about alternatives to diamonds for your engagement ring, but these can easily fall into that category and we love being able to offer them to our clients.

Lab-grown diamonds are growing in popularity and with good reason. They are a very cost effective method of getting the same look and feel of a naturally mined diamond, but at a fraction of the price. Often they are 30-50% lower in price.

Lab created diamonds contain the same physical, chemical and structural properties as a mined diamond, except that they are grown in a lab. People often ask if they are “synthetic”.  The answer is no. These are actually diamonds, not a material that was created to mimic a diamond. 

Technological advancements in recent years have perfected the process of creating a diamond in a lab and the result is pretty impressive. You will find that lab grown diamonds often come with a higher color and clarity grading for the money.  

Lab grown diamonds are actually made of the same carbon atoms found in nature and replicate the beauty and sophistication that you would receive if purchasing a natural alternative. With that being said, lab-created diamonds are usually a higher color and clarity which offer more refractive properties that will illuminate more appealingly in the sunlight as compared to natural diamonds, which is something to keep in mind.  

Lab-created diamonds are also more affordable, therefore allowing you to purchase a larger carat to spoil your soon-to-be fiancé even more. You are also provided with the ability to choose a hue to add a more personalized and romantic touch to your partner's preference should they wish to add a pop of color. 

At Rough Luxe all of our engagement rings have the option of being made with Lab grown diamond. Since each and every ring is made to order and handmade with heart, we are always happy to customize each and every ring and work with you to find the perfect match.

final thoughts...

from dream to reality

As you can see, nowadays, there are boundless opportunities for diamond alternatives that are available to couples on the market. While diamonds are timeless, modern couples are now choosing to purchase more contemporary engagement rings that offer the same elegance but are unique and budget friendly.

Whichever engagement ring you end up selecting for your soon-to-be fiancé, there is one thing that we know for sure –is that they will love it almost as much as they love and appreciate you. 

Here at Poetry of Luxe Jewelry, we take pride in offering customized engagement rings, each one is hand made with love. From diamond settings, sapphire, custom rings, to salt and pepper, whatever gemstone you are searching for, we can help bring your engagement ring vision to life. 

For more details, head over to our main page to find out a little more about what makes us special. Browse through our selection of offerings that will have you ready to get down on one knee in no time. 

Heather Charlick

Heather Charlick

Hello There! I'm Heather-a jewelry artist living with my beloved husband & horses in the rolling hills of Tennessee. I make vintage inspired engagement rings for the romantic bride. I would love to help you custom design your dream ring, so feel free to contact me anytime.