Classically, diamonds are the stone of choice for engagement rings. Their durability and shine make them ideal for long term wear, but that doesn’t make them the sole option when choosing engagement jewellery. There are many precious and semi-precious stones that boast hardness and beauty, making them suitable for engagement and increasingly popular. The best feature of these alternatives is their uniqueness and variety; a bride-to-be can have any colour, clarity or size they wish for.
There are some factors to consider when choosing alternative stones. Moh’s scale of hardness is the tool we use to measure the durability of a stone, which ranges from 1-10. For reference, diamonds are a 10 on this scale and it is recommended to wear stones that are at least a 7 for long term wear. Each of the stones on this list are at least a 7, so they will be safe when showering, swimming, doing household chores or manual labor.
There are also lab grown stones, which are physically identical to natural gemstones but are less expensive and more sustainable. These are great options for those who are looking for a more budget friendly engagement ring, which will still last forever and have the same shine and colour range as stones from the earth.
Moissanite is a stone that is commonly lab grown today. It is very physically similar to a diamond, however; it has a different molecular makeup and sits at a 9.5 on Moh’s scale. This makes it the second hardest mineral, just behind diamonds, and to the untrained eye they are just as sparkly and bright. Moissanites are the perfect alternative stone for anyone who likes the appearance of classic diamonds, but would like a more affordable option.
Sapphires are commonly associated with a deep blue colour, like in Princess Diana’s engagement ring, however; many people don’t realize that sapphires naturally occur in many different shades. Peach, pink, yellow, pale blue, green, purple and even bright white like a diamond. Sapphires are 9 on Moh’s scale, making them perfectly durable for a ring to wear everyday. For the customer seeking a unique colour of stone, sapphires are the perfect choice.
Morganite is an increasingly popular stone for engagement rings, beloved for its soft pink colour that resembles a pink diamond. Morganite is a beryl stone, related to emeralds and reaching an 8 on Moh’s scale. Not only are they beautiful, they can stand the test of time.
Salt and Pepper Diamonds
While these stones are indeed genuine diamonds and maintain that impressive 10 on Moh’s scale, they differ from classic diamonds because of their beautiful inclusions. Inclusions are imperfections that result from carbon spots, cloudiness, cracks or chips within a naturally occurring stone. Salt and pepper diamonds have unique black and white inclusions; these are the perfect stones for a bride who wants to stand out from the crowd and still have a lasting, precious stone.
Check out our collection by Point No Point Studio, a jewellery designer that creates beautiful engagement rings with salt and pepper diamonds in every shade, shape, colour and size.
Aquamarine is known for its aquatic pale blue hue. Its name can be translated into "water of the sea", making it a great gemstone for the bride who prefers cool toned jewellery. Aquamarine is a semi-precious stone with beautiful clarity and a durability rating of 7.5-8 on Moh's scale. It is a beryl stone, in the same family as emeralds and morganites.
Look at the unique engagement ring with a centre diamond accented by two sparkling aquamarine stones.
Emeralds are a classic choice for all kinds of jewellery, both vintage and modern. Although they are popular, not many people consider them for engagement rings despite their suitable properties. Emeralds have a rich green colour, and can be brilliantly cut to shine like a green diamond. They are 8 on Moh's scale of hardness, so an emerald engagement ring is extremely durable.
Check out this engagement ring with a stunning oval emerald and two brilliant diamonds.
Rubies are a rare, precious stone that have been valued highly for many years. Because of their deep red colour, many people associate rubies with love. This description is fitting for a bridal piece, and having a 9 on Moh's scale makes them even more perfect for a ring meant to be worn forever.
Take a look at this hexagon ruby ring set in a beautiful 18k gold.
An engagement ring can be made with any stone, and these are wonderful options that you may not have considered. Weather you decide to go the route of a diamond or something completely different, the choice is up to you.
If you are interested in creating a unique piece that's all yours, head to our custom jewellery page or stop by any of our stores for a consultation.