When it comes time to think of marriage, diamonds are often the go-to stone for engagement rings. While sparkly, radiant, and very reminiscent of starlight, they may be too expensive or pale for those who like a little color. For something a little more unique, here are some gems and stones that offer a different kind of dazzle.
The gemstone sapphire is a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it the third hardest mineral after diamond (10) and moissanite (9.5). Sapphires are usually blue with violet hues, but they come in a variety of colors that make them a very attractive option. You can choose from yellow, pink, green, orange or peach, or white. There are even rare color changing sapphires that can appear as purple, green, pinkish, or reddish under different lighting.
Rubies come from the same mineral as sapphires, corundum, but are strictly shades of pink and red. Red has long been a symbol of love, passion, and romance, and whether on a vintage ring or in a modern setting, rubies are sure to draw every eye and heart. A ruby engagement ring looks stunning set in a band of gold or rose gold and would stand out more if paired with a diamond halo.
Right behind diamonds on the Mohs scale, moissanite is almost as sparkly as them and less expensive. This diamond alternative was discovered fairly recently, 123 years ago, in a crater left by a meteorite in Arizona. Moissanite in its natural form is actually rare, which means that moissanite used today is synthetically made in labs. This means there is a smaller environmental impact which, on top of the smaller price tag, is a definite plus.
Pearls have always been well-loved and are thought to be classy and unique, although more delicate than harder stones. Natural pearls can be quite expensive, but synthetic ones give you the same cherished look. Pearls are great alternatives for engagement rings as they bring to mind the depths of the ocean, the beauty and abundant life within, and the ideas of innocence and purity. Pearls come in different shapes as well as colors, all of which perfectly suit either silver or gold bands. While pearls require a little more TLC than other gemstones, you’re guaranteed to have a ring that is the very essence of ethereal grace.
Morganite is quickly gaining popularity for engagement rings. Rated at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, it is pretty durable and a beautiful alternative to diamonds. With colors that range from light pink to peach or rose, it seems almost made for gold or rose gold bands.