Top 10 Diamond-Alternative Gemstones for Engagement Rings

Although diamond engagement rings are still popular today, more and more couples are considering a number of options of alternative gemstones to use on their engagement rings. This may be because of the couples personal attachment to a certain gemstone's characteristics, meaning or colour, or maybe they just want something that will set them apart from the diamond-lovers out there, and some people simply just don't find it practical to spend thousands of dollars for something that looks like glass.

Well, whatever the reason is, each couple has their own right and freedom to choose as to which gemstone will perfectly symbolise their genuine love and affection with each other. So after careful consideration, Brilliyond came up with these 10 diamond-alternative natural gemstones for an engagement ring you might want to consider that is guaranteed to be as stunning as diamonds on that moment she says "YES".

1. Sapphire

sapphire gemstone fashion

Did you know that the world's most famous engagement ring is not diamond but, in fact, a blue sapphire engagement ring? It is none other than the iconic blue sapphire ring of Princess Diana which is now worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Sapphires are typically a blue precious gemstone, but they do also come in other hues like pink, yellow, green and white. Scoring a solid 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are the third hardest mineral, and at only about a third of the price of diamonds, they make the perfect alternative for your engagement ring. Brilliyond is the leading online Sapphire Engagement Ring stone in Australia with 100% pure Ceylon (Sri Lanka) sapphires in our inventory. Visit our exquisite sapphire engagement ring collection here.

2. Ruby

ruby gemstone colour fashion

Ruby is the birthstone for July and is another variety of corundum just like sapphire. In fact, the only difference between sapphire and ruby is the colour. Ruby is even called a "red sapphire" and is one of the most precious and most expensive coloured gemstones in the world. 

Also scores 9 on the Mohs scale, rubies are among the most durable coloured gemstones and even often reach values as high as diamonds. As a representation of love, passion and even success, ruby is a perfect centre stone that is definitely worth taking your time to consider as another diamond-alternative for your engagement ring. Explore Brilliyond's ruby engagement rings here.

3. Aquamarine 

aquamarine gemstone colour

Aquamarines is a stunning light blue gemstone reminiscent of skies and seas that have beautiful clarity making them look expensive. They are also known as a “lucky stone” and is named after seawater because of its pretty pale blue hue. Because this blue beryl gemstone is very affordable, you can opt for a larger gem for your engagement ring making this a great option for a two or three-carat centre stone.

Aquamarine is the March birthstone and score a 7.5–8 on the Mohs hardness scale and is a durable engagement ring gemstone. This semi-precious gem has a modern and trendy vibe when worn as an engagement ring. It is absolutely stunning when set in white gold especially when paired with little diamonds accent stones. Discover our aquamarine engagement ring collection here.

4. Amethyst

amethyst gemstone colour fashion

Did you know that amethyst is the most well-known purple rock and was once only available to royalties? Scoring a solid 7 on the Mohs scale, amethyst makes a quite a durable gemstone for your engagement ring as well as giving you more carat per buck because it is at the more affordable end of the gemstone spectrum. 

Amethyst's lavender hue pairs well with white gold but if you want a more unique finish, choose coloured metals such as yellow and rose gold as this contradiction in colours will make your amethyst stand out. See our exclusive and extremely affordable amethyst engagement ring collection here.

Amethyst was actually one of the 5 cardinal gemstones. This purple gem ranked alongside diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies but when large deposits of amethyst were found, its value plummeted making this amazing gemstone accessible to all. Lucky us! 

5. Garnet

garnet gemstone colour fashion

Garnets actually come in every colour imaginable but the most popular variety is the dark red garnet.  The name “garnet” is actually derived from the Latin word “Garanatus”, meaning “seedlike” in reference to a pomegranate fruit. This reference makes sense as small garnets look like the bright red seeds you find inside in a pomegranate. It is the birthstone for January and Capricorns, as well as the gemstone that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of marriage.

At 6.5 to 7.5 on Mohs scale of hardness, garnet is not quite as hard as their ruby counterparts. However, garnet is much affordable making them a good choice for a gorgeous but less expensive engagement ring. With proper maintenance and care, many people have had garnet engagement rings that have lasted a lifetime. Our unique pieces of garnet engagement rings are available for sale here.

6. Peridot

peridot gemstone colour fashion

Peridot is the birthstone for August and is one of the oldest natural gems used as jewellery dating back to ancient Egypt. Despite its oldness, it continues to dominate the jewellery world for its magnificent vivid green colour with a slight gold tinge outlook.  Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour which is an olive-green. 

This gem-quality variety of the stone olivine is found throughout the US, Africa and Asia. Because of the resemblance, peridots are sometimes mistaken for emeralds but at 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, they're not quite as hardy as their fellow green rocks. The upside, they are as gorgeous but is not nearly as expensive. Browse through Brilliyond's peridot rings here.

7. Emerald

emerald gemstone colour fashion

This stunning variety of the beryl family is widely known for their vibrant green colour and classic timelessness. Emeralds dances between 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them fairly durable stones.

Although they might have fallen out of style over recent years, With the right setting or combination of gemstones, an emerald engagement ring, much like diamonds, can be forever too!

8. Citrine

citrine gemstone colour fashion

Citrine is the yellow variety of quartz family and its name comes from the French word "citron", meaning lemon. Citrine has been popular for thousands of years and used to be revered for its rarity. In the late 17th century, Queen Victoria become fascinated by the beauty of the citrine gemstone and as a result, it has been used by Scottish men in kilt pins, shoulder broaches, and to adorn their swords and the handles of their daggers.

As a variety of quartz, citrine can vary wildly in hardness so we strongly advise that you talk properly to your jeweller about the purity of your gemstone if you are planning to use one on your engagement ring. Citrine is a symbol of prosperity and is also known as the "money stone".

Together with topaz, citrine is the birthstone for November. Here are some of the citrine rings in our collection but you can actually request a personalised design just for you.

9. Topaz

blue topaz gemstone colour fashion

Another birthstone for November, Topaz with its dazzling array of colours and excellent clarity has widely become a natural choice for engagement rings since older times. This natural gemstone is found in a wide range of gorgeous colours but most of the natural topaz is usually colourless. With symbolism linked to friendship, topaz makes an excellent choice for an engagement ring centre stone.

Topaz is a radiant stone with high levels of clarity and transparency. It is quite a hard gemstone too, ranking 8 on the Mohs scale and has very good durability. Depending on the colour of the topaz gemstone that you choose, you can pick any type of setting or metal that goes well with it. Blue topaz looks stunning, especially when set in rose or yellow gold and paired with diamonds.

Check out Brilliyond's topaz rings in here. (just like citrine, you can contact us for a personalised topaz engagement ring design that is uniquely yours)

10. Tanzanite

tanzanite gemstone colour fashion

Tanzanite is a rare natural blue gemstone that was only discovered in the sixties near Mount Kilimanjaro. It ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Tanzanite is much rarer than diamonds and exhibits a deep blue hue that can rival even the more expensive blue sapphire. Only found in Tanzania, this rare stone is heat-treated (either naturally or artificially) to produce its strong violet-blue hue.

Tanzanite is a fitting stone to give your one in a million for a reason that there is only an estimated 30-year supply left in the world making this gemstone a particularly precious choice for an engagement ring because, in a few decades, it is estimated that there will be no more tanzanite in nature.

So there you have it mates, our 10 diamond-alternative gemstones suggestion for your very own engagement ring.

Whatever your reasons may be in going down the non-traditional route for an engagement ring, it is always a wonderful thing to explore your different options. By doing this, you are actually doing yourself and your partner a favour by giving more meaning to your engagement ring as a symbol of your lifetime commitment than just simply doing something because that’s how it has always been done, right?

Hey! We’d also love to hear about your own ideas for diamond-alternative gemstones for engagement rings so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Rafael Green

Alice Carter

Alice is a fashion blogger based on Melbourne Australia. She loves travel, food, and often show up in fashion talk shows as well as in famous jewellery shows and exhibits.

Comments (0)

Write your review