Are you planning to pop the question? It’s tradition to propose with a diamond ring, but quirky proposals and bespoke alternative engagement rings are forever evolving. The tradition of men getting down on one knee has been challenged by women over the recent years and we have seen less use of the traditional diamond ring. 

From gold rings and stunning emerald green gemstones to rare, romantic red stones, the choices for the perfect engagement ring has dramatically increased. Engagement rings have grown in popularity overtime and unique gemstones may come to dominate the engagement ring world. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore ten substitutes for the traditional diamond engagement ring, in case your partner wants to add a bespoke sparkle or pop of colour to their finger.  

1. Amethyst 

Amethysts are a purple variety of quartz and owe their stunning purple, violet colour to irradiation. If cut to perfection, they can make beautiful engagement rings. Amethysts aren’t as hard as the traditional diamond ring, but they’re still very durable and cost a fraction of the price. Pair this delicate purple stone with silver or rose gold for a gorgeous, romantic setting. 

Amethysts are said to have amazing healing powers and some believe they can even boost your energy levels, keep negative energy away, and are helpful for stress relief - making them an extra special alternative to diamond rings. 

2. Sapphire

Sapphires are precious gemstones that are typically blue but come in other hues like peach, yellow, green, pink and white. Sapphires are the third hardest mineral, and make the perfect substitute for diamonds. It may not catch the same sparkle, but it will look almost as good and give a stunning pop of colour. 

Sapphires are believed to symbolise wisdom, virtue and good fortune. When placed in an engagement ring, a sapphire means faithfulness and sincerity, giving your proposal a loving meaning. 

3. Emerald

With its distinctive green tones, the luxury stone makes the perfect engagement ring. Over recent years they have fallen out of style, but added to a simple modern setting they can look timeless. The bright green hues give them the ‘wow’ factor and are an easy way to add a pop of colour and glamour to your style. 

They’re a popular choice for engagement rings, as emeralds symbolise love and new beginnings. Emeralds are divine and represent compassion, love and connect you to your energies, opening your heart and mind - ideal for declaring your lifelong commitment to your partner. 

4. Pearl

For many people, meaning and symbolism are truly important when choosing an engagement ring. Pearls are an elegant, unique option and symbolise loyalty, purity, generosity and integrity. Pearls are an eco-friendly and stylish alternative to the traditional diamond ring

Select pearls if you only plan to wear them occasionally, as they can easily scratch and tarnish. However if you choose smaller pearls set in a surrounding of harder gemstones, it will make a chic modern ring, fit for anyone. 

5. Topaz

A natural choice for engagement rings, topaz can be found in an array of stunning colours and tones. They’re naturally a clear coloured stone, but due to imperfections their blue, orange, red, green and pink hues are created. The stunning, quirky imperfections make a standout stone for any engagement ring. 

Symbolising honour and strength, topaz is believed to bring longevity and wisdom to anyone's life. An extremely durable stone, they make a great choice for couples looking for that huge stone and a bling look. 

6. Ruby

A very traditional stone choice for engagement rings, these red coloured gemstones are believed to represent wealth, romance and success. Similar to emeralds and sapphires, rubies are one of the most precious stones which makes them an extremely popular option. 

Rubies will survive the toughest of conditions and are perfect for sitting on the busiest of hands, however these qualities are reflected in the price. They‘re rare, beautiful and very durable, making them an expensive, yet classy choice for your engagement ring. 

7. Tanzanite

A rare, beautiful gemstone that was only discovered in the sixties. It's a thousand times rarer than diamonds, making the stone one in a million and extremely pricy. It’s estimated that there’s only a 30-year supply in the world, making it a precious, impressive choice for an engagement ring. 

A beautiful, indigo coloured gemstone, tanzanite is believed to represent heart and intellect, along with intuition and purity. The stones are used to symbolise truth, judgement, dignity and longevity, making them a stunning option for an engagement. 

8. Opal

Symbolising loyalty and good luck, they create a beautiful unique cluster for an engagement ring. Over the last few years they have been seen as old fashioned, but they are slowly making a comeback. Available in black, white and crystal, they are seen to reflect the entire rainbow as they move, dazzling at every glance. 

With their unique rainbow sparkle, no two rings are ever the same. Avoid choosing a dull stone and look for opals with pretty patterns and unique settings. If you don’t mind a little tarnish and want a ring that is personal to you, opals make the perfect option. 

9. Garnet

Garnet gemstones are a group of silicate minerals that are found in igneous and metamorphic rocks across the world. Available in deep, rich reds, garnets are fast becoming the most common alternative to diamond engagement rings. 

One of the most complex gems in the world, they are known to symbolise higher thinking and self-empowerment - it’s a stone of safety and strength. Often found in a unique setting, paired with pearls and more, the garnet makes a romantic, timeless ring - a stunning choice for less. 

10. Turquoise 

Over the last few years the turquoise gemstone has grown in popularity, making it a trendy, chic alternative to diamonds. It can range in colours from a bright blue to pale hues with flecks of metal, so you can easily pair them in a setting of smaller diamonds for a luxe finish. 

The captivating sea-green gemstone represents protection, good fortune, hope, wisdom and tranquility, offering positive characteristics ideal for declaring your love. Turquoise gemstones are rare and extremely valuable in finer grades, making them a prized, much-loved stone. 

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For more articles like this, check out the Hatton Jewellers blog.