Yay, engagement season is upon us. Break out the wine and self-loathing and prepare to see no less than 10 engagements on your combined social media channels. If you’re the one getting engaged and are dropping hints left and right for your idiot partner to pick up, it may be time to explore options outside the normal engagement ring, i.e. not necessarily a diamond. Don’t @ me—if a sapphire ring is good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for you. Let’s explore some diamond alternatives, shall we?
One of the four precious stones (along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds), emeralds are the birthstone for May, super green, and perfect for the unique betch. JFK actually proposed to OG Betch, Jackie, with an emerald ring. Word of warning, though—emeralds are softer than diamonds, rubies, and other stones, so be careful which setting you choose.
Princess Diana chose her 12-carat sapphire ring from a jewelry collection available to common folk, but it’s still arguably the most well-known engagement ring ever—especially now that Kate Middleton is sporting it. Sapphires are said to promote tranquility and symbolize faithfulness, so they’re a nice choice for a ring signifying that you’re going to forever put up with the same person. They’re typically blue, but they can come in green, white, pink, and even yellow. They’re also super durable, so they’re good for those of you prone to slamming your hand in drawers.
Moissanite is a gemstone that literally came from space à la meteorites, so if you’re v into your horoscope and the phases of the moon and its effects on whether you’re being a psycho or not, this could be the stone for you. Naturally occurring moissanite is super rare, so a lot of what you’ll find today is lab created. However, it’s nearly as hard as a diamond and can be cut well enough to fool everyone. Plus, it’s cheaper and shinier, so yay!
4. Lab-Grown Diamonds
Okay so this doesn’t technically fall under diamond alternatives, but it does in the sense that lab-grown diamonds are not your traditional diamonds. If you aren’t super pumped about blood diamonds and are doubtful about your rock being conflict-free, it could be time to explore lab-grown diamonds. They’re usually about 15 to 20 percent cheaper than natural diamonds and chemically are EXACTLY the same. The biggest difference is that they aren’t billions of years old and weren’t found in a mine by an underpaid worker; they were grown in a lab by nerds. Clean Origin is a company that launched earlier this year, and the majority of their lab-grown diamond rings are 30 percent cheaper than their natural diamond counterparts. They’re graded exactly the same way, are just as gorgeous, and are, still, literally, a REAL DIAMOND FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE COME ON PEOPLE.
Rubies can actually be just as expensive as diamonds. #Themoreyouknow . Sarah Ferguson, kind of former Duchess, had a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Mark Zuckerburg, reptilian overlord, proposed with a three-stone ring with a ruby at the center flanked by a diamond on each side. Rubies are said to symbolize passion and love with their rich red color (aww). They’re also pretty tough and can survive being banged around at SoulCycle or while washing dishes.
Not into stones and diamonds? That’s chill—maybe think about telling everyone you’re engaged with a ring with a knot tied in it. Maybe you’re just a super literal person, and you’re super serious about TYING THE KNOT so you need a KNOT ring. C’mon guys, this is so fun.
7. Claddagh Rings
If you and your intended just, really, LOVE Irish and Celtic culture (maybe you’re living in Ireland or met in Ireland while studying abroad or you’re Irish), think about proposing with (or asking for) a Claddagh ring. The traditional Irish ring dates back to Roman times (cool story, Hansel), and was actually used as an engagement and wedding ring in the Middle Ages.
For the low, low price of probably free, you can guilt Grandma into forking over her vintage two-carat emerald and diamond ring so that you can strategically give it to your fiancé-to-be and force him to propose. On the other hand, dudes, you can get Aunt Diane’s classy heirloom sapphire ring and promise to “finally marry that lovely Jenny girl.” Heirlooms can be much more meaningful than just heading to the store and picking out something totally new, so it’s worth thinking about.
Images: Anne Edgar, Unsplash; Glencara; 1stdibs; Audrey Rose; Jeen Jewels; Clean Origin; Brilliance; Overstock; ShyGems
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.