Diamonds may be forever, but that doesn’t mean they are for everyone. Non-diamond engagement rings are appearing on the hands of many brides, and we can’t get enough! Non-diamond engagement rings are rings that do not have any type of mined diamond, where the traditional center stone would be. Whether you’ve never seen yourself wearing a diamond, or like the idea of sporting a more unique, sometimes colorful look, or have budget limitations, non-diamond engagement rings have become a favorite over the years. If this sounds like you, know that there are plenty of choices out there when shopping for an engagement ring that go beyond your traditional diamond ring.
The most popular diamond alternatives that are out there are gemstones, Moissanite, and Cubic Zirconia. Gemstones, or also known as precious stones, semi-precious stones, or fine gems, are typically a natural piece of mineral crystal that has been cut and polished. There are collections of gemstones that are not formed from minerals such as pearls, which come from oysters, and amber, which comes from tree sap. However, all other gemstones are created inside the earth, and to qualify as a gemstone it must be hard and tough enough to resist scratching. There are over 200 gemstones, the most popular for non-diamond engagement rings being morganite, sapphires, red rubies, green emeralds, aquamarine, and tanzanite.
Many future brides like to choose their own birthstone for a non-diamond engagement ring as their stone, which adds beautiful custom color and uniqueness to any setting. It is important to keep in mind the hardness of birthstones, with some being better choices than others for engagement rings. If you happen to be born in May, the emerald, or October, the opal, these gemstones can be fragile. If you choose to have these gemstones in your ring, you must be mindful and provide extra caution to your ring, especially if you work with your hands or live an active lifestyle. Harder stones that are recommended are July: rubies; September: sapphire; and December: blue topaz.
Moissanite is its own unique gemstone, not to be confused with a diamond or cubic zirconia. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, which is a naturally occurring mineral, discovered in 1893. This is a popular non-diamond choice due to its low cost and ethical standards. Similar to lab-grown diamonds, it is conflict-free and ethically sourced. Moissanite is far cheaper than a mined diamond, and a great choice if you want the diamond look but are unable to afford a higher cost. Moissanite comes in many shapes, similar to diamonds, providing sparkle and clear color, but it is important to remember that it is not a diamond duplicate, and rather a unique stone on its own.
Cubic Zirconia, or CZ, is another diamond substitute that is sometimes used for engagement rings and jewelry. However, unlike Moissanite or natural gemstones, Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic gemstone made of the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. These are exclusively lab-created, but unlike lab-grown diamonds, they have no chemical characteristics of a natural diamond. The price difference between a lab-grown diamond compared to a CZ is also huge. A 1 ct CZ is around $20.00, a lab-grown diamond starts around $1,200.00 and a mined diamond starts around $2,500.00. CZ’s also reflect light much differently than a mined or lab-grown diamond, resulting in less brilliance. Cubic Zirconia is somewhat durable but tends to scratch and cloud easily. Thus, we would not recommend cubic zirconia for your engagement ring or fine jeweler because it does not hold up over time or provide the same brilliance as a lab or mined diamond.
Non-Mined Engagement Rings
A lab-created diamond is “grown” inside a lab using cutting-edge technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process. The result is a man-made diamond that is chemically, physically, and optically the same as those grown beneath the Earth’s surface. Lab-grown diamonds are the only diamond alternatives that have the same chemical composition as a natural diamond. Lab-grown diamonds receive the same grading and certification process as mined diamonds, grading their cut, clarity, color, and carat. Each diamond is graded by independent labs, like GIA and IGI. Lab-grown diamonds have become extremely popular over the years because of their ethical standards and lower cost. Lab-grown diamonds are 100% conflict-free and environmentally kind due to the diamond being created in a lab vs dug up from the earth. Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds because they have a shorter supply chain, as they are skipping the mining process. However, you will still receive the same quality and brilliance as a mined diamond, just without the murky ethics and bad mining practices.
Reasons For Picking a Non-Diamond
For most, one of the biggest reasons they do not choose a mined or lab-grown diamond for their engagement ring is because of the cost. Choosing a gemstone, cubic zirconia or moissanite is a more affordable option for non-diamond rings. While the price of a mined diamond is the most expensive option you can choose, a lab-grown diamond is a popular choice because it is still a real diamond, but at a fraction of the cost, 20-40% less in fact.
For eco and socially conscious couples, traditionally mined diamonds may be completely out of the question. Thankfully there are plenty of options to create a beautiful engagement ring, without compromising what’s important to you. First, Moissanite, gemstones, and lab-grown diamonds are your best options when it comes to looking for conflict-free, and sustainable stones. Many brands also offer recycled metal for the setting, which is another great way to add an extra eco-friendly element to your ring.
Another reason why brides are choosing a non-diamond wedding ring is because of personal preference. Many women just aren’t into diamonds, and that’s totally fine! This is a piece of jewelry that will be worn most days of your life, and you want to look down at your hand and love what you’re wearing. If a diamond doesn’t cut it, go with any gemstone, or no stone, that makes you happy to wear.
Wedding & Eternity Bands as Engagement Rings
If you are looking for engagement rings that aren’t diamonds, there are still plenty of styles to choose from. From modern to vintage and everything in between, who says you need a center stone at all in order to have a fabulous engagement ring? Clean Origin offers tons of bands in different styles and metal colors, with or without diamonds decorating the band. For a more modern take on your ring, try our Braided Band, which can add an extra touch of drama to an otherwise simple band. Or if you’re looking for a little bit of sparkle, our Largo Vintage Band has the perfect touch of elegance. We have a large selection of eternity bands, with styles for every type of bride.
When it comes to searching and picking out your dream ring, know that there are plenty of options no matter which road you choose. Big diamonds, no diamond, sapphire stones, simple metal band, the options are endless and there are some stunning designs that you can create. Your ring should represent you and what your style is, and remember that there are other options besides the traditional looking engagement ring.