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Non-Traditional Engagement Rings

Nope, I’m not engaged! But I will be.. sometime. 😉 When we do get engaged, we will be picking out the ring together. Like many women, I always thought of a colorless diamond solitaire as THE default / traditional engagement ring.

I’ve mentioned before that I’d rather have a great trip than an engagement ring. Then my friends started getting engaged (one in particular has an especially gorgeous ring!) and I was surrounded by diamonds. What’s wrong with having a great trip AND a ring, right? In a moment of bling-induced weakness, I told CB that, er, perhaps I DO want a diamond. I believe my exact words were: “I know I am a sucker for all the marketing, but they are so shiny…”

Say what you will about the diamond industry and its many problems (and let’s be honest, I don’t think mining for any type of gemstone is sunshine and roses), DeBeers is a branding genius and market maker and credit must be given where credit is due. Diamonds are fiery, precious, and hard enough for every day wear, and just beautiful from an aesthetic perspective.

Upon closer reflection, however, I realized that while I like and appreciate diamonds, I just don’t want a diamond enough to spend $5,000 or $6,000 it will take to get something that we like or to spend $1,000 and get a diamond of lower quality. A little voice inside me says, “$6,000 amortized over 50 years of marriage (optimistic one, aren’t I?) will be just a little more than $100 a year! So if you really want a diamond, go for it.” Then another little voice chimes in, “but do you really, really truly deeply do want a diamond?”

Once I started to move beyond the “diamond = engagement ring” paradigm, I started thinking about something a little bit more nontraditional. For example, how about something colored AND not a diamond? When I was growing up, ruby was my favorite gemstone. Red is my favorite color, and is, conveniently for me, also the color associated with love. When started googling ruby rings. I’ve found a picture of the ring I really like (see above): a large ruby surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. Best part is, many gemstones can be created in labs, which means they are cheaper than mined stones and free from the ethical issues that might arise with mining.

I am not 100% confident, but it’s looking more and more likely that I will be sporting a nontraditional engagement ring.

Do any of you have a nontraditional engagement ring? (i.e, a color gemstone or a non-diamond engagement ring?) How did you come to that decision? Have you regretted not getting a diamond?

  • Becca - I have a traditional diamond (although I had always dreamed about a gorgeous emerald, I love the ring my husband pain-stakingly picked out for me!). BUT a friend just recently got engaged with an absolutely stunning deep blue (almost navy) sapphire. It's breath-taking and non-traditional and definitely a conversation starter! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Navy sapphire rings always remind me of Princess Diana's ring. :) ReplyCancel

      • Vanessa - I have ALWAYS wanted a sapphire ring :) it is my birthstone and I love the depth of the color. I am so glad other women agree that diamonds aren't the only precious stone. ReplyCancel

    • L@Spillingbuckets - I have an emerald ring :) I LOVE it! My wedding and engagement rings are both gold with emeralds. I told my (now) husband anything bright, but secretly hoped for a sapphire or emerald. ReplyCancel

  • David H. - I gave my wife a white sapphire ring. She didn't want a diamond ring at ALL, and actually wanted a pearl ring at first, until I researched it and a jeweler said that pearl rings were pretty fragile (because of the shape of the pearl and the setting on the ring). Sapphires/rubies are nearly as hard as diamonds (being gemstone versions of corundum, which is a 9.0 on the hardness scale). My wife didn't want any kind of color for whatever reason, so I ended up with a white sapphire. My wife thinks it looks better than a real diamond since it "sparkles" differently, and her conscience feels better about the sapphire than the diamond would have.

    We have no regrets about not getting a diamond whatsoever. :-) ReplyCancel

  • TanyainBrooklyn - I really, really wanted a sapphire, but my husband came with an heirloom 2 carat diamond (his grandmother's)… and, well, free, ethical, history-laden & pretty > expensive, ethical, and gorgeous, ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Your ring sounds beautiful, and the fact that it's a heirloom jewelry must mean so much to you and your husband. ReplyCancel

  • Alicia Blogs - My engagement ring is a diamond but has a great story behind it. The main diamond is actually the diamond that my husband's father gave to his mom back when they got engaged. His father passed away and years later his mom remarried, so she gave Jose's her original engagement ring to give to me. So he took the diamond out of that ring and designed a new one for me. He placed it in the middle and to put 5 small diamonds on each side of it. 5 stands for our age difference being 5 years and 5 days, and he asked me to marry him on our 5 year anniversary. So it is definitely something I will treasure forever! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - That is such a lovely story! I like how this stone has meaning for everyone involved. Sounds like 5 is your lucky number. :) ReplyCancel

  • Matt - I thought I was making my wife's dreams come true by picking out the diamond on my own and surprising her completely with a ring. But it turns out now that she wishes she would have chose the diamond, she liked hers at the time when we were engaged, but not that her friends are receiving rings, she wishes she got to choose a little bit more. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I'm sure your wife loves the ring because you chose it with her in mind. I have to say though, I don't envy guys who have to pick out a diamond ring… it'd be like me buying my boyfriend a REALLY expensive something that he is supposed to love and want for the rest of his life and that will symbolize our commitment. Talk about pressure! ReplyCancel

  • payingmyself - I had mentioned to B. that I don't want an engagement ring at all but then I told him later that that wasn't true, I do want something. I have talked about non-traditional rings or fabricated diamonds and flip flopped between them and a traditional ring. I can't really discern at this point what I truly want from what society is telling me I want. Hopefully we can figure it out if and when the day comes! ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Well, I am pretty sure I'm not getting engaged any time soon. But if I were to get engaged, I have no idea what I'd want my ring to look like. I know I want it to be pretty, and not cheap looking, but other than that, I have no clue.
    I liked David H.'s comment because he gave me lots of new ideas! I never even thought about white sapphire, only the colored sapphires (like ruby, blue sapphires, and other colors…they vary based on impurities).
    Other gems you can get are moissanite, which is often lab-made. It's silicon carbide, so it's tough, and is just as pretty as diamond (it's a diamond simulant).
    A friend has an engagement ring with a diamond in the middle with Alexandrite around it. Alexandrite is cool because it changes color depending on the type of light shined on it.

    Basically, I like a lot of these different gems because I'm a materials scientist and ceramist, and a lot of these materials are showing up in the scientific community as well as the jewelry community. It's just cool science! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Yeps moissanite is pretty cool… came from a meteor! But I'm shying away from diamond simulants because I don't want people to assume I have a diamond when I don't. If I'm going the nontraditional route, I'm going all the way. ReplyCancel

    • Emma - alexandrite is an awesome gem! My grandmother gave me her alexandrite ring at my graduation, and I got the matching necklace this Christmas (with the bracelet to come sometime later). For me, the alexandrite is greeny/blue in sunlight, and a purple in artificial light. ReplyCancel

    • Angel - I'm thinking about getting a Moissanite engagement ring instead of a diamond. They can have more fire than a diamond, are less expensive and are more durable than other gemstones, 9.25 on the MOHS hardness scale. It is not a diamond simulant as most people assume, but is a completely different gemstone, just as you wouldn't call a sapphire a diamond simulant, you wouldn't call moissanite one. It is an interesting stone. I would look into it. ReplyCancel

  • The Saved Quarter - I have a ruby. I didn't want a diamond because of the blood diamond issues. I love my ring! :) ReplyCancel

  • Cate - I have a gorgeous lab-made ruby in a tiffany setting. The band is white gold with delicate etchings that remind me a little of elvish. 😉 I knew I didn't want a diamond (even though white is my favorite c.olor!) because of the whole blood diamond thing, and I also wanted to break from tradition a bit. It's lab-made because the lab-made diamonds were so much prettier than the "real" ones at the jeweler's. I'm 100% happy with my ring. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Where did you get your ring? Did you have to buy a loose stone and then find a jeweler to get it set? ReplyCancel

      • Cate - My husband used a local jeweler's that his dad had always sworn by. He said what he did was go into the jeweler's and pick out the band from a book (he looked at some in person, but the book had more options). He told them he wanted a ruby, so they ordered about a dozen stones for him to look at (natural and lab-made) and called him back a week or so later to go in and look at them. He picked one out and in another week or two it was ready for him to pick up, after they'd put the stone into the setting. He said that even his very small-town jeweler wasn't surprised by us not wanting a diamond. ReplyCancel

  • Abby B - I have a moissanite engagement ring, and if you do go that route, be prepared to have jewelry stores give you an attitude when you go shopping for a wedding ring. I can't believe how many jewelry salespeople tried to convince us there was nothing wrong with diamonds or that moissanite was completely inferior. Just something to consider! ReplyCancel

  • Christy - I have a cousin who has a lucite engagement ring. She is pretty non-tradional and it fit her personality perfectly. ReplyCancel

  • David - http://greenkarat.com/ is a wonderful source for ethical jewelry. I got my wife's engagement ring (and wedding ring, and my band) from there – recycled gold and lab-grown emerald, and it's absolutely gorgeous. And while I'd agree that triumph of technology is not the ideal symbolism behind a ring of this kind, it's certainly better than the blood and oppression of a natural diamond (depending, I suppose, on your views on marriage…). ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Thanks for the site! I have no problems with lab-created gems as long as sellers are 100% honest with customers about the type of stones they are buying: natural, lab-created, heat-treated or otherwise enhanced, etc. On the other hand, a big reason why I am considering lab stones is because they are cheaper and many times have better color and clarity than natural stones. If lab stones were 2x the price of natural ones, I don't think I can afford them even if they are better in terms of ethical concerns. ReplyCancel

  • eemusings - I definitely want a non traditional ring. Diamonds are beautiful but more than anything I love colour – maybe a sapphire, or ruby (my fave colour AND birthstone.)

    I'm def. torn on picking out the ring. I want to be PRESENTED with one during the proposal. But at the same time…that presents a lot of practical difficulties. ReplyCancel

    • David - Pick something out and tell your friends – hopefully the info will get back to him? ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - I have a traditional engagement ring and love it. My fiance and I went shopping together so he could get a sense of what I liked; the shopping process was quite interesting because he knows a licensed gemologist who let us look at some loose diamonds under a microscope and taught us (well, my fiance) quite a bit about the 4 Cs. Anyway, he proposed a little over a year later and improved upon the original design of the ring I had told him I preferred. But I would have considered the ring beautiful no matter its design as it came from him!

    I didn't really consider a non-traditional ring but they can definitely be nice. Most of my close friends/family who are engaged or married now have traditional rings so it's fair to say I was influenced by them. ReplyCancel

  • Emma - I was given a diamond ring, which I appreciate, but I didn't want. I tried to drop hints and had been showing my fiance colourful rings that I liked, but he didn't seem to have gotten the hint.

    What I really wanted was a ring with three coloured gems (one of which I wanted as an amethyst – my birth stone – plus a bright pink gem and turquoise gem). I wouldn't have protested if he had put little tiny diamonds around either. I just really wanted something colourful.

    Instead, I have my standard ring. Yes, it's very pretty, and I do appreciate the time and effort he put into finding something for me that he felt I would like, and that wasn't just your traditional engagement band, but he was swayed by the power of marketing, and felt that an engagement ring is not an engagement ring unless it's diamond. He did hear my concerns about blood diamonds, and did purchase from a company that claims to only purchase from legitimate sources that comply with the UN requirements, but it is still a diamond.

    It's growing on me. I just really would have enjoyed something with more colour.

  • Hedy - I'd rather a trip than a $$$ ring (just a cheap ring, seriously. Like crackerjack box). I plan on using my grandmother's wedding ring, so it might need to work with it. ReplyCancel

  • Kari - I'm torn on this issue as well. While I like the idea of something nontraditional and unique, I am susceptible to the marketing and already have beautiful rings in the other stones I would consider (sapphire and ruby) from my bf. In fact, I wear my sapphire ring as an engagement/promise ring on my left ring finger. We have discussed a colored diamond. He bought me blue diamond earrings in the Bahamas last year, and I love them because they are unique. Luckily, we are waiting to get engaged until he's finished law school so I have time to decide. ReplyCancel

  • Saturday Share & The Jets | 20 and Engaged - […] Non-Traditional Engagement Rings from Well Heeled Blog. Duh, we’re getting married! I may have my ring, but I do love jewelry. […]ReplyCancel

  • Lovely Leverage - Let me tell you what my boyfriend told me. He told me he will ONLY buy me a synthetic diamond ring. He argues that he doesn't believe in "blood diamond", but we both know synthetic diamond is way cheaper than the real stuff. I literally whacked him in the head after he said that.

    But after a little research I found that synthetic diamonds are actually real diamonds, however they are grown by man in a couple of days instead of millions of years. Nobody can tell they are man-made, they look just like a natural diamond. The savings you get from buying a man-made diamond is nearly 75%-80%, which really is a fraction of the cost!

    I know this may not be acceptable to you but this way you can have a fabulous trip and a beautiful ring. ReplyCancel

    • Cate - The jeweler my husband bought my ring from (lab-made, because we were worried about blood diamonds, etc) told him that even jewelers can't tell the difference between natural and lab-made diamonds. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - You're right, synthetic diamonds are real diamonds, they are just made in labs instead of mined. And I have absolutely no problem with synthetic diamonds. The problem is that synthetic colorless diamonds are actually almost as costly as mined diamonds, and the technology to make bigger stones is not yet there. That means that synthetic colorless diamonds are generally smaller than 0.6 carats, and are not that much cheaper than mined ones. Colored synthetic diamonds are a little cheaper than the very expensive colored mined diamonds, but they are still more than I can afford! ReplyCancel

  • SAM - I didn't have an engagement ring and didn't miss it. I have a beautiful wedding band which I treasure and strangers regularly compliment. I've even had acquaintances (not even friends!) ask to try it on. We saved thousands of dollars by not going the traditional solitaire diamond route, and I still have something stunning to show off :) ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - I have a non traditional engagement ring (that I picked out with my husband). It's an eternity band with three rows of diamonds. So I still have diamonds, but they're a lot smaller and totally different than what most other people have. I didn't want a big stone sticking off my hand (I have kind of small fingers), and after looking at a ton of options, I decided on the eternity band (my husband said that when I put it on at the store my face lit up and he knew that was my ring). And so for my wedding band I also have an eternity band, but it's one row and a different setting. The two rings can stand alone or look great together (also something to consider, what your wedding band would be as well). ReplyCancel

  • fabulouslyfrugirl - I was just talking about this with my girlfriends!

    I was pretty set on not wanting a traditional diamond engagement ring, I can't fathom spending $5,000 and more on a piece of jewelry. But I realize that that doesn't mean I don't want anything at all! 😉 Especially since, everything (cash, house, car, etc.) is shared after marriage, it's nice to have something beautiful (and sparkly) and entirely mine.

    Green is my favourite colour, and I wonder if emerald has the same hardness level as a sapphire or ruby. Thanks for talking about this. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Here's what About.com says about the stone: "Emerald hardness ranges from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Compare turquoise at 5 to 6 and diamonds, the hardest substance, at 10. Even though emeralds are relatively hard stones, the presence of cracks and inclusions in emeralds can affect their durability." ReplyCancel

    • SAMONE - Emeralds are great great choices.
      IF you want a TRUE emerald, look for unenhanced, unheated, untreated. 100% natural! XO ;] ReplyCancel

  • Helena - I have a beautiful sapphire ring set with 3 diamonds on each side. A friend of mine has a gorgeous pink diamond set in a band of tiny diamonds. These are 2 of the favourite rings I've seen! Frankly speaking, I'm sick of seeing the typical princess cut rings. Why do we spend so much effort in having a unique elaborate proposal and wedding but all end up with the same rings lol and all because DeBeers was a genius ReplyCancel

  • SS4BC - I'm so torn on this.

    My logical mind thinks "I don't need a diamond, a little silver or platinum band is all I really need. It is just a symbol and with my job any ring I get could get ruined very easily."

    But then there is another part of me that wants a beautiful stone (I'd prefer sapphire or topaz) is some small diamond setting. Just for the bling. It isn't practical, it isn't really a good idea, but part of me just wants it! Stupid commercialization! I'd rather spend the ring money on debt, a vacation or on a nicer wedding. ReplyCancel

  • Little House - I have a very non-traditional ring. Years ago when my husband and I were planning our wedding, we had very little money. So instead of going deep into dept for a diamond, we decided to buy a non-traditional stone (okay, maybe some people would be mortified). It looks beautiful and no one can tell the difference and I don't feel guilty about sporting a "blood" diamond. I am not a jewelry nut at all (I never wear jewelry) so I really was just fine with our compromise. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - What kind of stone is it? When I was younger I was kind of a gem nut so I have this big book of different types of gems. (And I made my dad take me to the Natural History Museum where I'd spend all day looking at stones). ReplyCancel

  • Lulu - My engagement ring was a ruby. I did not want a diamond because I wanted something that stood out and I did not want him to spend tons of money on a diamond because I don't even really like jewelry. ReplyCancel

  • kwisatz haderach - I have an emerald engagement ring. I liked the idea of picking a fragile stone that requires care and as a symbol of what love & marriage are.

    Also, emeralds are a lot cheaper, especially if you get them during their birthstone month (July, I think). Frugality is the ultimate expression of love! 😀 ReplyCancel

  • Kara - I had a sapphire engagement ring and loved it. If I were to do it again the second time around, I think I'd prefer to avoid the e-ring entirely though, and spend the money on something for my sweetheart and I – a trip, something for our home, etc. ReplyCancel

  • LittleMissMoneybags - I think I always knew I'd get something other than a diamond, if I had a chance to pick out my own ring or express my wishes. I have a ring with three stones — the center stone is an amethyst and the outer stones are white topaz. My wedding band is cubic zirconia. I'm really pleased with how much (or rather, how little) we spent on my jewelry — less than $100 total for both rings. I admit to getting jealous of the sparkles other women's rings throw off, but I know that we put that money to better use for us. Someday I might get a diamond (second-hand, Canadian or manmade only) as a 25th anniversary ring or something, but right now, there are other things I want to do with our money.

    For what it's worth, many people have commented positively (at least the engagement ring; probably they assume the wedding band is small imperfect diamonds) about my choosing something different, and no one has been surprised at the choice of purple, which is not my birthstone but my favorite color. I think the concept of the diamond solitaire as the only appropriate engagement ring is on its way out. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - How is your ring holding up to daily wear? One of the things I've concerned about is the hardness of the (hence my consideration of rubies or sapphires). I've seen some really beautiful lab-created ruby rings on Overstock, for under $150. So that's always an option. Even if I go real ruby, it'd be around $1,000. Which is still much cheaper than a diamond of comparable size. ReplyCancel

  • Life as a Purse - I want a diamond, but I want a lab-made diamond for environmental and social justice reasons. The diamonds are flawless and beautiful but much less expensive. I want a traditional Tiffany setting with a circle-cut diamond solitaire. Even like a 3 carat ring would only set us back like $1,000! ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - I would be very happy with ruby and have made it clear to BF that he does not need to spend a lot on a ring. Ruby (July) stands for both of our birthdays AND it's our dating anniversary, too.

    I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Tiffany stackable rings, my favorite of which is just over 1K. I'd be thrilled with that as a ring. ReplyCancel

  • Michele - I knew for years before getting engaged that I wasn't interested in having a diamond engagement ring. First of all, the diamond industry disgusts me – from exploitative mining in developing nations, to the suppression of lab-manufactured diamond technology, right on up through the top-brass dictating that one should spend a specific number of months' salary on a ring. It is all truly ridiculous. But beyond that, I was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of wearing an asset so valuable on my hand.

    When it became obvious that my husband and I were heading for marriage, we talked about style and stones and such, and I told him I particularly loved blue stones, such as sapphires, and would prefer white gold over yellow. I showed him a few rings online that I liked the design of so he could get an idea of what my style is (since I don't ordinarily wear jewelry), specifically looking for ones that were well under the $1000 mark.

    Ultimately, he worked with an artist to design a custom ring that is truly beautiful and does feature a gorgeous sapphire.

    One day when discussing our insurance policies, the value of the ring came up and I was STUNNED to learn what he spent on it. It was many multiples of what I was comfortable with and far more than I'd imagined any non-diamond ring could possibly cost.

    And while I do love the ring, in retrospect, I really wish we would have talked more specifically about budget, because to this day, it makes me uncomfortable that he spent so much.

  • Janet - I'm not engaged, and I don't know much about rings and diamonds, but I know what I like when I see it. I think something unique with some flair would be more my style than traditional bling. That's the kind of style I sport with my costume rings, anyway.

    Not to be a total snob, but I want my ring to come in a little blue box … or an equivalent. My amazing bf bought me a diamond necklace and earrings, but the Zales packaging just won't get me stoked when it comes to the popping of the question. ReplyCancel

  • First Gen American - My ring is a diamond and pretty boring actually. I didn't get to pick the stone, but I did get to pick the setting. I completely cheaped out and just picked the simplest thing. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have put a little more thought into it. I'm not sure if I'll ever reset the stone, because I still don't like to spend money on jewelry. Perhaps I can do it for my 10 or 15 year anniversary or something. I think a colored stone is very cool. ReplyCancel

  • Lori - I wasn't sure I wanted a ring at all, engagement or wedding. My husband and I did eventually find a non-traditional ring that I use as both. It does have diamonds but is in a vine and leaf pattern that goes all the way around the ring. Total cost was around $2000, which is way more that I would want to spend on a piece of jewelry but my husband insisted. ReplyCancel

  • Carey - The online site Blue Nile has far better prices on diamond (and other) rings and jewelry than traditional stores such as DeBeers, Tiffany's etc. They're all certified on their specs, and they have free overnight delivery and free returns. My now-husband bought a diamond solitaire engagement ring from them and not only is it amazing but it is far nicer than what he could have afforded from a conventional store. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I like BlueNile, my bf got me a beautiful pearl pendant from it one year. BlueNIile is definitely cheaper than physical stores. Unfortunately, 30% off really expensive diamond is still a little more than what we probably should spend. ReplyCancel

  • jack880 - i am also not engaged but i have a great interest in collecting and knowing more and more about diamond engagement rings. ReplyCancel

  • Sandy @ yesiamcheap - One of the girls at work has a beautiful ring that was custom made for her. It's a gold flower with some kind of stone but not diamonds. Another does not have diamonds either because she said there was no way to tell if little kids did not die to get a diamond. I love both of their rings and would consider one that is not a diamond too. Who wants to be like everyone else? ReplyCancel

  • thewanderingbudget - I just got engaged about a month ago and was also totally torn about the diamonds. I hated the how unethical they are, and had read years ago about how DeBeers had essentially created the myth that you "need" a diamond ring when you get engaged (so powerful though!). I wasn't sure how JZ was going to negotiate that as I had no idea what I wanted otherwise!

    He nailed it perfectly by proposing with his great-grandmother's engagement ring. It is 102 years old, with rose gold and a beautiful, unique setting. I'm actually not sure what the stone is- it's red and I assumed ruby but it could be tourmaline, garnet, etc. At some point I'll take it to a jeweler to figure it out- but it really doesn't matter! I love the story behind it and I love that his mum wanted me to have it. ReplyCancel

  • DiggingOutAndUp - I'm surprised that with all the conversation about blood diamonds only one person mentioned anything at all about Canadian diamonds. ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel - My ring is an emerald-cut aquamarine in white gold. I didn't want a diamond because I wanted something a little more unique, and I have loved aquamarines since I was a little girl (they remind me of the ocean). ReplyCancel

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  • Engagement Rings - Great idea. I like the non traditional ring like diamonds specially i like colored one. Thanks for this post. I have been looking for such stuff. ReplyCancel

  • Business Suits - Actually, I am having a traditional diamond but my friend just newly got engaged with completely stunning deep blue sapphire. This is exactly breath-taking and non-traditional. ReplyCancel

  • sullivus - Would you mind sharing where in Boston you had the ring made? I'll probably be looking for a custom made ring as well – hopefully with an emerald :) ReplyCancel

  • How much would you spend on an engagement ring? « Graduated Learning: Life after College - […] part of the wedding and/or the marriage?  Would you skip the diamond all together and opt for a nontraditional engagement ring (like those discussed at Well Heeled […]ReplyCancel

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  • getrealweddings - I have a sapphire engagement ring and I wouldn't change a thing! I also think that emeralds and rubies make a great choice too. I would suggest not to get one that is created in a lab. You can get a real gemstone and it doesn't have to be $5,000. We got ours from gemsny.com. They have an awesome selection and you can even build your own ring. Good luck with the engagement and the wedding planning! ReplyCancel

  • Engagement Rings - Diamonds are beautiful and shiny. I mean even fish stare at the wondrous gems. But I also love the idea of a non-traditional engagement ring. There are other precious gems, and other metals besides platinum, gold and silver. Wonderful post! ReplyCancel

  • Ryan VD - 3.I am currently working on a project for school for A Jeweler near my hometown. When an employer of the company was informing us of all the information they needed for the project she shared some very interesting information with us. She told us the a vast majority of people who are looking for engagement rings come in with their significant other to get ideas on what type of rings the like. I was very shocked by this, I always believed that it was the man's job to surprise his lady with a ring and engagement. Obviously when you are shopping for ideas on engagement rings with your significant other it takes out the element of surprise. Just wondering if this is something more people are turning to, or if this is going against the tradition of engagements? Please share your thoughts.

  • claudia - Just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this year, and my husband gave me a stunning pink morganite set into rose gold. I love the ring so much, that I had a wedding band made to match and packed away my original band and diamond engagement ring. Morganite is 7.5 to 8 on the mhs scale so it's pretty durable but I don't wear it around the house cleaning. I didn't wear my diamonds while doing chores either. I really like the idea of choosing something different. Although diamonds are the hardest gemstone they can still chip and you need to take care of any gemstone that you choose. If you want something that looks like a diamond but a fraction of the cost, look into a natural white zircon, not to be confused with cubic zirconia, a zircon is a real gemstone with as much as or sometimes more brillance than a diamond, and very affordable. However they aren't as hard as a diamond and need a litle more care but the difference in the price is worth it. ReplyCancel

  • Susie - My guy proposed with a very traditional engagement ring that his family loved. But I didn't. I opted for an oval royal blue sapphire–my birthstone that I think I am so lucky to have– with a diamond halo (it didn't take much convincing, he figured if I have to wear it then I should definitely love it). Therefore, I get the pretty gem and it still has the diamonds that seem to appeal to everyone. I love it, it's very old school, and is just as sparkly as a diamond ring. No one I know has a non-traditional ring and my mother absolutely adores it. And if people see it and realize that a non-diamond ring can still be stunning, then I'll be happy with that. I mean, how many diamond rings can you look without getting bored? ReplyCancel

  • Sunday evening round-up - TotallyMoney - […] Well Heeled thinks about non-traditional engagement rings […]ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I have a non-traditional 3 stone aquamarine ring which is my birthstone. I did not want a traditional "everybody's got one" white diamond (especially not since I already inherited my grandmother's diamond ring). I've always preferred color but had no desire to have my fiance spend the extra time and money hunting down a pale colored blue diamond (that would almost certainly have been a blood diamond) when I have always LOVED my precious aquamarine. I'm a little disappointed to say that because the design is obviously an engagement ring and the color is really pale, if I'm more than 2-3 feet away most people assume it is a colorless diamond. On the other hand, I really do get a kick out of the look on people's faces wondering what kind of stone it is when upon closer examination they spot that blue/aqua color. It's definitely a conversation starter; something I know no one else has; and uniquely suited for me. Even if you are going to go with a diamond go with a non-traditional colored diamond or a white diamond set in rose gold. It's your ring and should make you stand out from the crowd. ReplyCancel

  • Monica - I make them! I just made a ring with a rose cut diamond and two opals in a grungified white gold that I carved out of wax to fit the stones and I'm working on one with a black marquise diamond because the couple is very into gooood coffee and it looks like a coffee bean! I'm PhBeads on Etsy.com. I can't even tell you how many couples have been married with my blackened silver black diamond rings! It's very fun for me to be creative and make these very special and meaningful rings for my clients. It's exciting because I get to do something different all the time. ReplyCancel

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