An engagement ring is a special representation of the connection between two people. And just as no two relationships are identical, many couples prefer that the design of their ring be as unique as their love. Sometimes, this means finding a classic design or emulating a current trend that really speaks to them.
And sometimes, it means entering uncharted waters and going with something completely new.
Just as traditional weddings are becoming less and less common, non-traditional engagement rings (and by extension, alternative wedding rings) are becoming increasingly popular. So, if you’re interested in a ring that you haven’t already seen on a thousand different fingers, consider taking the path less traveled, with these 5 non-traditional engagement ring ideas.
Use a Lab-Grown Diamond
One of the many perks to choosing an alternative engagement ring is that it puts you more firmly in control of every aspect of the piece. That means, among other things, that you’ll be able to select a stone that you can be proud to wear, and that is ethically sourced and completely conflict-free. Lab-grown diamonds give you all of the positives that you would want in a diamond, with none of the worries.
Lab diamonds are physically, chemically, and structurally identical to mined diamonds. The major differences are that, unlike mined diamonds, lab diamonds are totally eco-friendly, and have essentially zero chance of being used to finance conflict throughout the world.
Another plus to purchasing lab-grown diamonds is that they are competitively priced and can cost anywhere from 20-30% less than mined diamonds. With lab-created diamonds, you can enjoy a guilt-free, 100%-real diamond engagement ring, and all without breaking the bank.
Switch Up the Band
The band is an underappreciated part of the wedding ring. It doesn’t get as much praise and attention as the ring’s diamond. But that doesn’t mean it can’t catch people’s eye and provoke an “I love your ring! Where did you get it?”
Non-traditional engagement rings allow you to add your own style and flair to the band, and not just the diamond setting. Platinum, white gold, and yellow gold will always go down as the timeless, classic choices when it comes to the band. That said, rose gold is a unique alternative that can set you apart from the traditionalists, as well as leave your finger looking stylish and ahead of the trends.
Go with a Unique Diamond Shape
Classic engagement rings are centered around the magnificent and breathtaking diamond. But while round diamonds, princess diamonds, and emerald diamonds are among the most commonly used in engagement rings, they’re certainly not your only options. After all, diamonds come in a variety of shapes. Here are a few that are trending in the world of alternative engagement rings:
Strikingly oblong and undeniably eye-catching, marquise diamonds are football-shaped gemstones that feature 58 facets. Their elliptical contour makes them appear larger than most other diamonds of the same carat weight. Additionally, marquise diamonds have a lengthening effect, making the fingers they’re worn on seem longer and thinner. And, because marquise diamonds use the brilliant cut, their shine is almost unmatched.
If you enjoy the vintage glamor of the art-deco style, then consider an Asscher diamond. Square shaped and angular, Asscher diamonds are designed for exceptional shine — in fact, they’ve been called the jewelry equivalent of a hallway lined with mirrors. And, thanks to newer cutting techniques, modern Asscher diamonds have 74 facets, for increased brilliance.
Few shapes say ‘love’ and ‘romance’ quite as clearly as a heart. So why not include it in your engagement ring? Heart-shaped diamonds are basically pear diamonds that feature a rounded cleft — creating a unique heart shape. Heart diamonds are some of the most modern options, while also being rare enough that your ring will be more likely to stand out from the crowd. And, they look great as a solitaire stone, so don’t feel like you have to jazz them up with a bunch of other diamonds.
Make the Setting Your Own
Everyone is unique and has their own story to tell. The setting can symbolize something meaningful in one’s life. Of course, you can always go with the classic prong setting that is timeless and simple. Or you can use your setting to highlight things such as your beloved’s favorite flower. Maybe a setting in the shape of a crown could provide a daily reminder of just how special your loved one is. Whatever the case may be, non-traditional engagement rings (and non-traditional wedding rings) give you the chance to create a personalized setting all your own.
Think Outside the Box
There’s a lot to be said for tradition. But there’s also something exciting about coloring outside the lines. Here are a couple of options for those who want engagement-jewelry that pushes the boundaries.
- No-stone engagement rings
There’s no denying that diamonds are the archetypal stone for engagement rings. But what about those who aren’t interested in including a gemstone at all? Much like many traditional wedding bands, stoneless engagement rings are classy, understated, and timeless. And if you’re worried that leaving out the diamond will mean settling for something plain, you should know that many no-stone bands feature intricate detailing, braiding, and engraving.
- Other jewelry options
Rings are the most obvious piece of jewelry to represent the marriage union, but they’re not the only option available. For those who work with their hands (and for those who just aren’t interested in rings), consider other diamond jewelry. Necklaces, for example, have the advantages of being wearable at nearly all times. And, unlike rings that remain on the hand, diamond pendants rest close to the heart — romantic symbolism at its finest. Other non-ring solutions include bracelets or even earrings, so discuss your options with your partner and find a piece that fits their unique needs and style.
An engagement ring is a special representation of the connection between two people. However, with that special representation comes leeway and personalization to make the ring as personal as possible. From choosing a lab-grown diamond to going with an outside-the-box setting, there are nearly infinite ways to show your commitment. After all, every love is unique and personal… just like your ring should be.