Looking for an engagement ring that is a little different than the traditional diamond solitaire platinum setting? As an alternative to classic engagement rings, many brides choose to stand out with an alternative engagement ring style. There are many appealing options for an alternative engagement ring. Read on to learn how you can bend tradition—slightly or substantially—when making this meaningful and symbolic choice.
Pick and choose among these possibilities, or combine styles to design your ideal engagement ring.
Choose a center gem that’s not a diamond
You are not beholden to a diamond as the centerpiece in your engagement ring; many other gems are equally beautiful. A popular non-diamond choice is a sapphire, favored for its durability and ease of everyday wear. Sapphires are available in a range of hues on the color spectrum, though deep blue is the most popular. Another option is to lean more sentimentally for your engagement ring gem—consider the gemstone that represents the month of your birth. Keep in mind that some gemstones may be more susceptible to surface scratches, and may not be as durable for daily wear. Consider your lifestyle and day-to-day activity level and decide what color and gemstone appeals to you.
Choose an alternative shape
A lot of what you see when shopping for an engagement ring features either a round cut or princess cut (square shaped with sharp corners) diamond. There are other magnificent diamond shapes that could fulfill your vision for something different. Look at stunning non-traditional choices like oval, marquise, and pear shapes for your ring. Larger diamonds in these fancy shapes look spectacular, especially when offset by a delicate band. They can be a great option for a unique diamond ring.
Choose a contemporary engagement ring setting
A surefire way to break from tradition is to select an engagement setting that has a more modern feel. Consider something that features a bezel-set gem (where the center gem is bordered by metal), or a finish that is matte, brushed, or hammered rather than high polish. Rose gold engagement rings are also a popular choice for brides looking for a unique, fashion-forward precious metal option. Often, it is occupation or lifestyle that influences the engagement ring setting for brides. For example, the low profile of a bezel setting may be a terrific choice for anyone who actively uses their hands throughout the day. Other contemporary engagement ring settings include gemstones that are set horizontally rather than vertically and those that have a more structured, wider band. Of course, many of these modern style elements can be combined to create something especially avant garde. View our modern engagement rings.
Choose an engagement ring without a “featured” center gemstone
Some of the most exquisite rings do not feature a large center gemstone. Engagement rings do not have to be formulaic; many brides-to-be would rather have something a little different than the traditional larger gem centered on a precious metal band. Some seek a pop of color, others want something quite detailed and with vintage appeal, and a few opt for an eternity band (which features gemstones all the way around) to symbolize their love and intention. Many of these alternative engagement rings can be layered or paired with unique wedding bands for a truly incredible look.
Choose “something old” to forge a new tradition
Perhaps there is a special diamond or gemstone in the family that could make a beautiful engagement ring. You can keep the family heirloom exactly as it is, preserving its unique history, or you can reset the center gem to create a ring that suits your style and with details that speak to you. This is both an ultimate expression of tradition and also a deeply romantic alternative engagement ring choice.
Choose to design a custom engagement ring
If no one suggestion from those above entirely satisfies your quest to find an alternative engagement ring, consider designing something completely custom and one-of-a-kind. Working with Brilliant Earth to create a custom engagement ring is a thrilling and rewarding process, and the resulting ring is your own definition of perfection. Let other styles inspire you, but you decide how your commitment should be represented.
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