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
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Ding ding ding! I’m here to judge you again for your choices! This time I’ve set my sights on engagement rings. I get that having an engagement ring at all from the person you love and want to marry blah blah is amazing. But I and others are still totes allowed to think your giant yellow on yellow ring is a travesty and should be exchanged for literally anything else. The thing is, everyone loves classy engagement rings. But the problem is that not everyone understands what “classy” means.
Trendy is not classy, and bright, loud, or obnoxiously large engagement rings do not for good taste make. If you’re wondering whether your ring falls in the hot or not category, you should probs consult our list. Oh, and be sure to tell me what a bad person I am in the comments. Love ya, mean it!
Tacky Engagement Rings
Adiamor French Cut Basket Setting Diamonds 1/2 Way In 14K White Gold with a 0.70 Ct. Heart Cut Diamond
Sorry, but it’s true. Lady Gaga’s pink heart engagement ring worked for her because she’s Lady Fucking Gaga. You, on the other hand, likely work a corporate job, spend a lot of time at home or in sweats (same), and are MUCH less edgy than you think. The heart doesn’t really work for you, Lisa Frank. On the other hand, you may be a backwoods moonshiner who loves the heart shape because you’re actually 14 and this ring means the start of a new life outside Crusty Acres, Alabama. Good for you!
Disney-Inspired Engagement Rings
Zale’s Enchanted Disney Belle 1/10 CT. T.W. Diamond Rose Ring in 10K Rose Gold
If you want something Disney-inspired for an engagement ring, you’re probably too young to get married. We’ve already discussed why Disney weddings are just unacceptable, but now apparently y’all have decided to test our limits with Disney engagement rings, and just no. Do you really need the ring that Belle would have worn to signify her devotion to the Furry movement? Or the diamond for which Princess Jasmine def would have let Aladdin show her a whole new world with? What about the engagement ring Pocahontas wouldn’t have had because the early English settlers were terrible human being and would have stolen it and given her a smallpox blanket instead? Let’s think this through and embrace adulthood.
Baby West Holds Kim & Kanye's Ring – https://t.co/C5hGbvZRA8 @KimKardashian #northwest #babywest #kimkardashian #kim #kardashian #kanyewest #kanye #west #diamond #engagement #wedding #ring #therock #cute #style #design #women #woman #jewelry #marriage #propose #proposal #newyear pic.twitter.com/YRCRH4JNs4
— UnusualRingsReview (@ringsreview) January 2, 2018
Yes, that’s so amazing and you’re so #blessed that your fiancé spent last year slaving away selling car insurance or whatever he does to buy you a four- to six-carat ring. However, it’s so big it looks fake. You know what I mean. Unless you’re Beyoncé or the owner of a yacht, chateau, and small island, the giant diamond looks a lil off on your un-manicured finger. Maybe be a tad more modest.
Bright Pink Anything
YIKES. Jeulia Flower Design Round Cut Created Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring 6.34CT TW
If your ring looks like a mashup of Claire’s (RIP) and Care Bear feelings, it may not be a good choice for you, friend. Not only will a bright pink diamond or gemstone look fake, but it’s hella tacky and ultimately not a solid choice. Look at that shit. Are you gonna want to rock this at age 55? Maybe if you’re weird and into motorcycles, but likely not.
Overly Trendy Shit
Monroe York Diamonds Noire – Black Diamond Engagement Ring 3.40ct
Just because halo rings or black rings or charcoal shit or twine is in style, that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for an engagement ring that you’ll (hopefully) wear forever. Trends don’t last, and unless you remain v weird, artsy, and into fringe electronica dance music well into your 60s, this may not be a great fit for you down the line.
Classy Engagement Rings
The Tiffany Cut And Setting
YAAAAAAS. The Tiffany® Setting
Girl, yas. I don’t care how against the patriarchy/corporations you are or claim to be, everyone fucking loves Tiffany’s. The fact that there is a specific and special Tiffany cut just goes to show that when you operate an amazing business for like, over 100 years, it pays off. Getting engaged with a classic Tiffany cut solitaire on a platinum band is a gift in and of itself. That shit will never go out of style, and the beauty of the diamond will never go out of style.
Vintage, Estate, Or Inherited Rings
Sofia Kaman La Jolie-Vintage Engagement Ring
I’m not going to shit on anything that was a hand-me-down, inherited, estate, or vintage piece. Any ring that has a story behind it is awesome. You have my blessing. And yeah, the yellow gold band with the miner’s cut may be a little outdated, but you can make that shit look good. Hell, you can even have it reset once your mother-in-law dies!
Gemstone Diamond Combos
Lucie Campbell London Antique Platinum emerald diamond ring signed and numbered JE Caldwell estimated 2.2cts centre stone
Rings that use gemstones as the center stone or incorporate both gems and diamonds are inherently betchy. They’re just different enough to be noticeable, but they don’t go overboard. I mean, shit, if it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for us. It’s also a great way to incorporate birthstones if you’re into that sort of thing. Diamonds are classic, but a splash of color from a ruby, emerald, or sapphire lends something special.
Classic Cuts And Simple Bands
Ritani Solitaire Diamond Cathedral Engagement Ring With Surprise Diamonds
Classic is classy, end of story. A classic solitaire, or an emerald cut with surrounding diamonds, a cushion cut—they’re all timeless. That’s probably the biggest takeaway for classy rings—they won’t age. They won’t seem trendy in three years (I see you, halo rings), and that’s kind of the point.
Images: Bridget Flohe / Unsplash; Giphy (2)