Content By Bernice Lam

Photography by Mikhail Kayl


It's becoming increasingly popular for people to choose diamond alternatives for their engagement and wedding rings. Some people cannot justify the expense of a diamond and others simply do not want to contribute to unethical mining practices that harm low-paid workers. Whatever your reason for not wanting a diamond in your engagement ring, you do not have to forego quality or beauty when picking another gem. There are a variety of gorgeous, durable gemstones that you can use to create your perfect engagement ring.

1. Sapphires

Sapphires make excellent engagement ring gemstones because they're extremely durable. Sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Sapphires are still not quite as hard as diamonds, which rank 10 on the Mohs scale, but they are still incredibly durable. If you choose a sapphire as your gem, you will have a stone that will last your lifetime with little to no damage. Additionally, sapphires are extremely versatile! You can get sapphires in a variety of colors and pick whichever suits you best. Sapphires can come in the colors blue, pink, green, orange, yellow, purple, and black. You can also find colorless sapphires if you prefer a stone that will look similar to a diamond.

2. Rubies

Rubies are a classic alternative to diamonds for an engagement ring. A ruby is just as durable as a sapphire, also ranking a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. The gorgeous red color of the ruby has been historically treasured and will look stunning on any skin tone. If you are hoping for a gem that looks similar to a diamond, then a ruby will not be the stone for you as it only comes in shades of pink or red. Rubies are also fairly expensive, costing nearly just as much per carat as a diamond. If you're looking for affordability, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you want a classic ring that looks as if it came straight from the Victorian era, a ruby is the perfect choice!

(Photography by Kwangmoozaa/Shutterstock)

3. Moissanite 

Moissanites are a fantastic option for an engagement ring as they look just like diamonds. Anyone who is not an expert in gemology will not be able to tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond. In fact, moissanites have even more brilliance than a diamond, so if you like sparkle then you may want to consider a moissanite. Moissanites are a fraction of the cost of a diamond so anyone who is looking for a cost-effective option should look no further. And although moissanites are still not quite as hard as diamonds, they come very close! Moissanites rank 9.25 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them the second most durable gemstone next to diamonds. If you choose a moissanite as your engagement gemstone, you can be sure it will stand the test of time. 

4. Lab-Grown Diamond 

Technically, a lab grown diamond is not an actual diamond alternative. But if you are looking for diamond alternatives for ethical reasons but haven't fallen in love with any of the other precious gems, then a lab-grown diamond is a great choice. Not only is a lab-grown diamond more affordable than a natural diamond but because no mining is involved, no lives were endangered in the creation process. Lab-grown diamonds are made of the same exact material as a natural diamond but are cheaper to make. And you will never have to worry about who was hurt in the process of retrieving the stone that sits in your engagement ring. 

Although diamonds have been associated with engagement rings for many decades, there is no reason why you have to stick with tradition. Pick the gem that best fits your style, your morals, and your pocketbook. Choosing any of the gorgeous gem alternatives listed above will result in a unique ring that you can treasure for the rest of your life. Make the symbol of your love work for you.