Blog Cover Photo for 10 Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings

10 Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings

March 6, 2022 • 7 min read • #lab grown gemstones


Are you planning on proposing? While it's customary to propose with a diamond ring, we're seeing fewer people choose a mined diamond ring. This article will look at ten alternatives to the traditional mined diamond engagement ring.

From stunning emerald green gemstones and gold rings to relatively uncommon, romantic red stones, the options for the ideal engagement ring have expanded dramatically.

Exceptional gemstones may very well dominate the engagement ring sector as engagement rings have increased in popularity over time.


1. Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds offer excellent value. They are less expensive than a mined diamond (30 - 40% difference) for the same quality and size.

If you weren't already aware, a lab grown diamond is exactly the same as a mined diamond. The only difference is how they're made. One is grown sustainably above the ground in a lab, while mined diamonds are dug out of the ground with a significant cost to the earth.

Lab grown diamonds have a very clear supply chain where you can see the process all the way to the manufacturer.

So, if you want a fancy coloured diamond or one with a large carat weight, consider buying a lab grown diamond. Learn more about lab grown diamonds here.

Four Words Lab Grown Engagement Ring

2. Moissanites

Moissanites look very similar to diamonds but cost significantly less (around 2-3 times cheaper than a mined diamond). Their unique faceting pattern displays a slight rainbow sparkle, creating a shiny effect. The gems brilliance (sparkle) is the largest visual difference between them and diamonds.

Moissanite rings are stunning in solitaire designs or together with diamond accents. They are also number two on the Mohs scale at 9.5, coming second behind the diamond's hardness.

If you choose a moissanite make sure to pick a jeweller who can cut them properly, like Four Words. Many jewellers cut moissanites the same as a diamond, but this can cause them to appear hazy and look cheap.

Below is a recent piece we did for one of our clients. Learn more about moissanites here.

Four Words 3ct Moissanite

3. Sapphires

Sapphires make a fantastic diamond alternative for engagement rings. They are one of the most durable natural stones. Its strength helps to withstand everyday wear and tear, along with its lustrous beauty and dazzling colours.

Sapphires can appear in many other colours, such as purple and yellow. But the most popular engagement ring is a blue sapphire.

Like lab grown diamonds, you can also have lab grown gemstones (e.g. sapphires, emeralds or rubies). These are exactly the same as their mined equivalent but without the negative environmental and ethical impacts. The best part is they are significantly cheaper.

Below is a recent piece we created.

Four Words Client Sapphire

4. Aquamarines

Aquamarines are attractive, soft blue semi-precious gemstones. The gems are in the beryl family of minerals that includes emerald.

Aquamarines are more valuable due to their rarity and natural colouring. People love the gems for combining beautiful blue shades with brilliant clarity. The gems score 7.5-9 on the hardness scale, making them ideal for everyday-wear engagement rings.

Below is a recent piece we created.

Four Words Client Aquamarine

5. Emeralds

Emeralds are rare gemstones that make beautiful choices for engagement rings. Emeralds have had the highest value through time, alongside rubies, diamonds, sapphires, and pearls.

Since they are royal gems, people believe that they can protect against evil and cure diseases. The gems are also a variety of beryl.

We grade the gem's clarity with our naked eye since their inclusions are visible. Natural emeralds have more inclusions than lab emeralds.

Below is a piece we created.

Four Words Emerald

6. Rubies

Rubies are among the four original gemstones (the others are emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds). Rubies are associated with passion and love – making them a strong focal point for your engagement ring.

Since we also associate the gems with royalty, the crimson red colour is excellent in vintage rings. We prize the brilliant stones more due to their colour and clarity over the overall sparkle.

The light going through them offers more shimmer than a reflective sparkle because they have a deep colour.

Rubie Example

7. Amethysts

Archaeologists date amethyst jewellery as early as 2000 BC. We also associate the mystical stone with many legends.

The gems come in various colours ranging from deep purple to pale shades of soft lavender and sometimes even pink. The reddish-purple shade is the most expensive hue, though we love all amethyst shades.

The gem's clarity is exceptional, with a good quality amethyst having no visible inclusions. They are also available in many cuts and carat weights.

Four Words Amethsyts Example

8. Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a versatile and exquisite gemstone ideal for an engagement ring. We refer to the tourmaline as the rainbow gemstone. That is so because it comes in a lot of different colours.

There are many types of tourmaline, but the most popular varieties are green, pink, watermelon, and Paraiba. The gem's hardness rating is between 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale.

The gem will have many inclusions, so check your stone to know if it is eye-clean. Note that inclusions do not downgrade the value for the pink and red tourmalines.

Pink Tourmaline

9. Garnet

Though garnet is in all colours, the dark red garnet is the most popular. The gems are eye-clean and have high levels of clarity and transparency.

The gemstone is also affordable and comes in all sizes and shapes for jewellery. Garnet's hardness ranks at 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale.

When you maintain and care for the gems, the engagement ring will last you a lifetime. They are also almost identical to rubies, so it is easy to confuse the two. But, since rubies are much more expensive than garnets, it makes it an excellent alternative!

Red Garnet Collection

10. Topaz

Topaz comes in a range of gorgeous colours. Topaz is heat-treated to produce various hues, especially brilliant blue. But, the most natural topaz is colourless.

The gems are also quite affordable, with high levels of clarity and transparency. Topaz is also very hard, ranking at 8 on the Mohs scale with fantastic durability.

Choose any setting for your engagement ring depending on the colour you pick.

Clear Topaz

Consider Mined Diamond Alternatives for Your Engagement Rings

We all have different reasons for going down the non-traditional path for an engagement ring. So, it is a fabulous idea to explore the various diamond alternatives.

Why limit yourself to one gem when there are many choices to pick? You can add more meaning to your engagement ring by being different.

At Four Words, we will help you design the perfect engagement ring. Unlike any other engagement ring brand in New Zealand, we only exclusively work with lab grown diamonds, moissanites and lab grown gemstones.

We will never sell or use mined diamonds or gemstones in our rings. Why? Because lab grown stones are exactly the same as their mined equivalent (down to the atom!) and we firmly believe that is no reason to choose mined stones over lab grown stones.

Get in touch with us now to get an amazing engagement ring.

Diamond Illustration

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