Exploring the World of Alternative Engagement Rings

engagement ring

When it comes to engagement rings, the classic diamond solitaire has long held the spotlight. However, as more couples seek to express their unique personalities and values, the world of alternative engagement rings has flourished. From different coloured gemstones to unconventional materials, alternative engagement rings offer a myriad of choices for those who want something truly special. Here, we delve into the diverse options available, highlighting their beauty and significance.

Gemstone Rings: A Splash of Colour

One of the most popular alternatives to diamond engagement rings is the use of coloured gemstones. Sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and other vibrant stones bring a unique flair however, each gemstone carries their own symbolism and meaning:


  • Colours: Typically blue, but available in a range of colours including pink, yellow, and white.
  • Hardness: 9 on the Mohs scale, making it very durable.
  • Meaning: Symbolises wisdom, virtue, and good fortune. Often associated with royalty and considered a stone of fidelity and sincerity.


  • Colours: Rich green.
  • Hardness: 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. They can be more prone to chipping due to natural inclusions.
  • Meaning: Represents rebirth and love. Known as the stone of successful love, it brings loyalty and provides for domestic bliss.


  • Colours: Red.
  • Hardness: 9 on the Mohs scale, similar to sapphires.
  • Meaning: Symbolises passion, protection, and prosperity. Often associated with love and commitment, making it a fitting choice for engagement rings.


  • Colours: Near-colorless.
  • Hardness: 9.25 on the Mohs scale, excellent for everyday wear.
  • Brilliance: Higher refractive index than diamonds, making them very sparkly.
  • Meaning: Represents brilliance and clarity. Known for its exceptional sparkle and fire, it signifies an everlasting and luminous bond.


  • Colours: Pink to peach.
  • Hardness: 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Symbolises divine love and compassion. It is associated with attracting and maintaining love, making it ideal for engagement rings.


  • Colours: Light blue to blue-green.
  • Hardness: 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Represents tranquillity, harmony, and clarity. Historically, it was believed to protect sailors and ensure a safe voyage.


  • Colours: Varies widely, known for their play-of-colour.
  • Hardness: 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale, requiring more care.
  • Meaning: Symbolises inspiration and creativity. It is also associated with love, passion, and desire.


  • Colours: Purple.
  • Hardness: 7 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Represents peace, balance, and calm. Known for its protective and healing qualities, it is also associated with clarity of mind.


  • Colours: Typically red, but available in a variety of colours.
  • Hardness: 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Symbolises passion, energy, and regeneration. It is considered a stone of commitment and devotion.


  • Colours: Deep blue to violet.
  • Hardness: 6-7 on the Mohs scale, more delicate.
  • Meaning: Represents transformation and spiritual awakening. It is also associated with calmness and clarity.


  • Colours: Wide range of colours.
  • Hardness: 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Symbolises protection and grounding. Each colour variant has its specific attributes, with pink tourmaline often associated with love and compassion.


  • Colours: Various, including blue, pink, and yellow.
  • Hardness: 8 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Represents strength, intelligence, and beauty. Blue topaz, in particular, is associated with communication and clarity.


  • Colours: Green.
  • Hardness: 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale.
  • Meaning: Symbolises strength and vitality. It is associated with growth, renewal, and healing.

When selecting an alternative gemstone for an engagement ring, it’s essential to consider both the aesthetic appeal and the durability of the stone. Harder gemstones (higher on the Mohs scale) are generally better suited for everyday wear. Additionally, some gemstones require more care and might need protective settings to avoid damage.

Unique Metals: Beyond Gold and Platinum

While gold and platinum are traditional choices for engagement ring bands, many couples are exploring alternative metals for a distinctive look. Some unique options include:

  • Palladium: A member of the platinum group, palladium is durable, hypoallergenic, and has a natural white sheen. It offers a similar look to platinum but is lighter and often more affordable.
  • Titanium: Known for its strength and lightweight nature, titanium is a modern choice for engagement rings. Its sleek, contemporary appearance makes it ideal for minimalist designs.
  • Rose Gold: With its warm, pinkish hue, rose gold has gained popularity for its romantic and vintage appeal. It’s an alloy of gold and copper, which gives it a distinctive colour.

Vintage and Antique Rings: Timeless Treasures

For those who appreciate history and craftsmanship, vintage and antique engagement rings offer a treasure trove of options. These rings, often sourced from specific historical periods such as Victorian, Edwardian, or Art Deco, are unique pieces with intricate details and a story to tell. Vintage rings are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly, as they are a form of recycling.

Customised Designs: A Personal Touch

Perhaps the ultimate way to ensure your engagement ring is one-of-a-kind is to have it custom-designed. Working with a jeweller to create a bespoke ring allows you to incorporate personal elements, such as birthstones, meaningful symbols, engraving or a combination of gemstones and metals that reflect your relationship. Customised designs ensure that your ring is a true reflection of your love story and is something that we can most certainly help you with here at The Goldmarket.


The world of alternative engagement rings is vast and varied, offering endless possibilities for those seeking something different from the traditional diamond solitaire. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant colours of gemstones, the ethical appeal of lab-grown diamonds, or the unique charm of vintage rings, there’s an alternative engagement ring to suit every taste and value. Embracing these options not only allows for a unique expression of love but also often aligns with modern values of sustainability and ethical consumption. As you embark on the journey to find the perfect ring, consider the myriad of beautiful, meaningful alternatives that can make your engagement truly special.

If you are looking for an engagement ring for someone special, we would love to help. Our team at The Goldmarket are a bunch of romantics who can help you find something that truly reflects your love story and is personal and meaningful to you both. Pop in and see us at 23 High Street, Weston-super-Mare or contact us to find out how we can help you.