Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Diamonds?

December 06, 2023

Engagement rings are a key piece of jewelry in a couple's journey, often showcasing a striking, colorless diamond as the centerpiece. This traditional choice resonates with many brides, reflecting a unique style and aesthetic. The settings, metals, and accent stones of these rings vary greatly, tailored to echo the wearer's personal taste and style.

Diamonds have long been favored in bridal jewelry for their captivating brilliance and unmatched durability. Their ability to reflect light beautifully makes them a standout choice, symbolizing the bright future of the couple. Additionally, diamonds are among the strongest naturally occurring stones on earth, an attribute that is crucial for engagement rings worn daily. This durability is not just a practical feature; it's a symbol of enduring love and commitment, a sentiment famously captured in De Beers’ ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ campaign.

The choice of a diamond engagement ring speaks to the timeless bond between a couple, blending traditional elegance with a bride's unique style. It's a testament to the strength and beauty of their relationship, an emblem of love that is as enduring as the diamond itself.


So, Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Diamonds?

No rule dictates that an engagement ring must have a diamond. A fair number of celebrities, especially those known to be rulebreakers or non-traditionalists, have opted for or been gifted engagement rings with various unique gemstones, and that trend is also finding its way to the general public.

Emma Stone’s engagement ring features a stunning pearl accented with diamonds, and Kate Middleton’s ring includes a 12-carat sapphire that famously belonged to Princess Diana. Other popular choices include emeralds (Halle Berry, Dakota Johnson, Megan Fox), sapphires (Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz), and rubies (Katy Perry, Eva Longoria).

Tons of different gemstones can be used to create one-of-a-kind engagement rings. If you’re looking for a diamond alternative, there are plenty of options, but each gem has other factors you should consider.


The Pros and Cons of Diamond Alternatives

Let’s start by looking at the pros. High-quality diamonds and those with exceptional color, clarity, and cuts come with high price tags, while other gemstones can be more affordable. That is especially important if the center stone’s size (carats) is a major factor. Of course, this isn’t always true, but if you want to spend less and still get a sizable stone, a diamond alternative could be the right choice.

Non-diamonds can also make your ring stand out more, so they can be a great option if a truly unique ring that reflects your style is a top priority. Bold, colorful gemstones can also be more fun to wear, and some can have a more personal meaning, such as highlighting the wearer’s birth month or representing something special related to the couple’s engagement story.

The biggest con of choosing a non-diamond engagement ring is that many stones are not as strong as a diamond. Diamonds are at the top of the Mohs hardness scale, earning a 10. Pearls and opals are softer, earning 2.5 and 5.5 on the scale, respectively, making them less practical for everyday wear. Some people might also find that while green emeralds or red rubies are head-turners, they don’t go with their entire wardrobe or other jewels like a colorless diamond.


Popular Gemstone Diamond Alternatives for Engagements Ring


The gorgeous green color of an emerald is hard to resist. Emeralds earn a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, making them a more durable alternative to other options, although not nearly as tough as a diamond. If you want an emerald as the central stone in your ring, be prepared to take it off when working with your hands, and make sure to store the ring safely so the stone doesn’t get damaged.

VMK Diamonds, a renowned jeweler in the diamond industry, expertly crafted this bespoke ring. It uniquely showcases two different yet complementary stones: a dazzling diamond and a radiant emerald as the center stone. This design choice highlights VMK Diamonds' innovative approach in combining traditional elegance with modern creativity.

 Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Diamonds emeralds


Rubies have come to symbolize passion through the ages, and some believe they have healing powers. They earn a 9 on the Mohs scale, making them an excellent diamond alternative that will stand up to daily wear.



It’s hard to resist the allure of an aquamarine – it’s like gazing into the sky or sea. Like emeralds, aquamarines have a hardness rating of 7.5-8, so you must be cautious when wearing your ring. A bonus of having this stone in your engagement ring is that you’ll already have your ‘something blue.’

Thisring has a 2.72 carat aquamarine with 1.62 carat morganites on either side:

Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Diamonds aquamarines



Sapphires, with their rainbow of colors and impressive hardness score of 9, are not only ideal for daily wear but also require minimal upkeep, making them a versatile ring choice for any jewelry collection. These gemstones are highly sought after for their aesthetically pleasing appearance, commonly used in jewelry, especially in bridal sets.

Their durability and vibrant hues make sapphires a popular choice due to their appearance, blending both beauty and practicality. If you're looking to help you design a unique piece, sapphires offer a range of options to create a ring that your partner will enjoy wearing every day. Their versatility extends beyond engagement rings, making them suitable for a variety of jewelry styles and preferences. Whether set in a classic or contemporary design, sapphires elevate the overall look, ensuring an elegant and timeless appeal.



Moissanite, a lab-made gemstone, emerges as an excellent choice for those seeking jewelry that's both less expensive and durable enough to last a lifetime. Resembling diamonds in appearance and nearly matching their hardness, moissanite offers an affordable alternative for active individuals. Its cost-effectiveness does not compromise on quality, making it a smart option for anyone looking for a long-lasting and beautiful gemstone used in their jewelry.


Fancy Colored Diamonds

When choosing the perfect ring, especially one that you'll want to wear for a lifetime, it's important to consider all aspects, including the neutrality of color and its usage in jewelry. Fancy colored diamonds, known for their durability and vibrant hues, offer a unique solution. They present an extraordinary range of colors, allowing you to select a piece that resonates with your dream ring vision.

These diamonds not only add a pop of color to traditional jewelry designs but also promise longevity. Their ability to last forever makes them ideal for everyday wear and ensures they retain their value over time. This aspect is crucial for those looking to invest in a piece that can be passed down as a valuable heirloom.

With years of experience in crafting and choosing fine jewelry, experts often suggest fancy colored diamonds as a perfect blend of durability, style, and timeless elegance. Their neutrality of color in various settings makes them versatile for different styles and occasions. Therefore, when selecting a ring that you'll cherish and wear for years to come, consider the unique appeal and lasting value of fancy colored diamonds.


Pink Diamonds

Blake Lively, Anna Kournikova, and Mariah Carey have all been given pink diamond rings. Shades range from soft blush to deep pink. They can easily stand alone in a ring but also look stunning next to other colored stones.  

Take the classic three stone setting to another level with 1.65 carats of pink diamond and blue diamonds:

Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Pink Diamonds

Yellow Diamonds

Yellow diamonds also come in various color intensities and have been spotted on Carrie Underwood and Heidi Klum. White gold and platinum settings help this sunny gemstone stand out.

This ring features a 0.91 carat heart shaped yellow diamond with a double halo:

Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Yellow Diamonds

Brown Diamond Rings

Brown diamonds are the most commonly found colored diamonds and can be more affordable than other colors. Their tones range from light browns, sometimes called champagne diamonds, to deep, rich browns, referred to as chocolate diamonds. If you choose a brown diamond, you’ll be in good company as Scarlett Johansson sports an incredible 11 carat pear cut one.

This eye-catching ring has a stunning 5.89 carat Cognac diamond:

Do Engagement Rings Have to Be Brown Diamonds

Buy a Diamond for engagement and wedding rings

When it comes to symbolizing love and commitment, nothing compares to a diamond engagement ring. A natural diamond, revered for its unparalleled beauty, becomes the centerpiece of your expression of eternal love. Choosing a diamond for your engagement and wedding rings is not just a tradition; it's a powerful statement.

Diamonds have long been the gemstone of choice for bridal jewelry. They carry significant meaning, embodying purity, strength, and the unbreakable bond between two people. Placing a diamond ring on the ring finger has become a traditional and popular choice, deeply rooted in history and cherished in contemporary culture.

In selecting a diamond, focus on finding a color that you absolutely love. The beauty of diamonds lies in their variety - each stone possesses a unique character and charm. This variety of options ensures that you can find something unique, a diamond that resonates with your personal style and the essence of your relationship.

Customizing your diamond engagement ring adds another layer of intimacy to this already meaningful piece. Whether it's the cut, setting, or design, personalizing your ring makes it a true reflection of your unique bond. Wedding rings, too, offer a canvas for creativity. From classic designs to modern interpretations, there's a style to suit every preference.

Remember, your choice of a diamond goes beyond mere aesthetics. It's a testament to your journey together, a symbol of enduring love and commitment. With a variety of options available, from traditional cuts to innovative designs, you're sure to find a diamond that captures the essence of your love story. Make your engagement and wedding rings the ultimate emblem of your union, a timeless reminder of the love you share.

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