The Best Diamond Alternatives For Engagement Rings in 2020

Whether or not you support the diamond industry, these beautiful and unique diamond alternative engagement rings will dazzle without the high pricetag!

Shannon Capri

Published on April 18, 2019

Does an engagement ring have to have a diamond?

Absolutely NOT! The diamond industry has worked tirelessly to make people feel like a diamond is their only choice.

“Diamonds are forever” is a popular slogan pushed on people, as if anything else won’t portray everlasting love. Nowadays people get engaged with no rings at all, a tattoo, or giver other small trinkets to show their appreciation.

That being said, most women or partners will still expect an engagement ring that follows tradition, but do not need an expensive diamond to prove their love for you.

There are countless diamond alternatives available to you that won’t bust your budget and sparkle just as bright.

Is there a “best” diamond alternative?

Diamonds are very popular because they are rare, hard to find and also extremely durable. However, you will notice that there are quite a lot of different alternatives that you can opt for, but none are naturally “the best”.

There is also the completely unique option of wood wedding rings. These rings will still often cost a few hundred dollars, but are very durable and come in amazing styles, designs, and patterns.

What we do know is what some of the most popular diamond alternative engagement ring styles are, and we’ve compiled them for you below!

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Amethyst is one of the most beautiful natural gemstone options for an engagement ring. It offers amazing & impressive shades of pastel lavender, pink, and deep purples, and comes from the Quartz family. Amethyst is very tough and resistant to scratching, so if you’re active, don’t worry – your ring will stay in good shape.

The value of an amethyst stone can usually be told by the darkness of the purple coloring. Very dark stones with rich purple colors are often more expensive than the lighter colored pink stones.

Because of its intense purple & pink colors, amethyst engagement rings are perfect for someone who wants to make a statement. Ancient Greek culture also believed that this stone helps prevent intoxication and fortifies the body.


Pictured: Dazzlingrock Collection | 1 Carat Pear Cut


Moissanite on the other hand is very strong and it’s super hard as well as extremely durable. It looks great, but the surface will lose a bit of lust as you wear it. However, if you want a good combination of brilliance, beauty, toughness and durability this might be the right option for you.

Not graded on color, moissanite diamonds are usually similar to GIA-K colored diamonds, and will have a slight hue to them. The hue is normally yellowish, or even green, but is hardly noticeable during normal wear.

Moissanite is a very strong material, clocking in at 9.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which is very close to a real diamond’s score of 10. No other gemstone compares when it comes to the toughness factor.

Although you won’t get the true diamond sparkle with moissanite, it is a lot cheaper, and can maintain it’s shine if regularly cleaned.


Pictured: Houston Diamond District | 1.15 Carat Halo Cut

Is moissanite as good as diamond?

That all depends on what you expect from a diamond to begin with. If you want durability then there’s no other stone better than a diamond in that regard. However, moissanite does have a lot more sparkle and fire, and it comes with reflective properties. Since reflection is the thing that a lot of people want from diamonds, it does make sense to use this diamond alternative. It’s not really the same thing, but it can end up bringing you some amazing results and benefits.

Also, you do have a much lower price too, which is exactly what you really need when you want a diamond alternative. Some of the other precious stones you can use as a diamond alternatives are also quite affordable, so affordability has to be a major point of focus at this time.

Moissanite is also known for the fact that it’s a lighter stone when compared to a diamond. Even if you get the same carat for both diamonds and moissanite, the latter one will always be lighter. Which is a good thing, because very large diamonds can be extremely hard to wear around your neck or on your hand.


Sapphire is considered to be a great option just because it looks amazing and its color always makes the engagement ring shine. It’s also super durable when compared to other stones and its visual appeal is outstanding to say the least.

Normally a deep, dark blue color, sapphires symbolize & represent royalty, virtue, and general good luck. The stone is also known to be tied to wisdom & knowledge, so it is a perfect option for the naturally curious,

Despite being a rare stone, sapphires are a lot cheaper than diamonds, and a great engagement ring alternative. If you are in the market for a traditional stone without color, white sapphires are also available, although we love the natural blue!

Green sapphire stones are often the cheapest and easiest to find. Pure green is rarer, and most sapphires have yellow or blue hints to them, giving them a rich and unique color styling. You can also find pink sapphires, although they are more expensive and difficult to find.


Pictured: Voss+Agin | 3 Carat Princess Diana Cut


Morganite is great specifically for rose gold engagement rings and it’s just a pleasure to wear. It has a stellar clarity and brilliance. The natural shades of pink and warm tones within the stone are visually appealing, and are sure to stun anyone who catches a glimpse.

A good stone for an engagement ring, Morganite is very durable, so don’t let it’s cute & polished looks fool you. On the Mohs scale of hardness, morganite clocks in anywhere between 7.5 – 8, with a 10 being the hardest (a diamond). This makes it a great “daily-wear” option for people that are active or use their hands a lot and fear breaking their rings.

Not only that, you will save a pretty penny, with quality morganite selling for around $300 per carat, if you opt for getting a custom design. You will find cheaper prices when purchasing pre-designed rings produced at larger scales.


Pictured: RJewelry | 1.25 Carat Emerald Cut


With a hardness scale of 7.5 – 8 on the Moh’s scale, Aquamarine is a great, durable alternative to diamonds. The totally unique, yet distinctly recognizable blue-hue of aquamarine has made it a favorite among many people.

Often thought to symbolize both a willingness to communicate and courage that matches the heart of a lion’s, this stone fosters feelings of love and openness between lovers. Always there to remind you that your love is as deep as the ocean, and there are always new realms to explore together, aquamarine is a beautiful choice for couples looking to save some cash for other endeavors.

Good quality aquamarine stones usually range anywhere from $100-$250 per carat, depending on the cut and clarity of the stone. The darker blue colors are usually more valuable, and the purer the color of the blue, the rarer it is. Most stones are a nice shade of light blue, and can be purchased at much lower price points.


Pictured: Diamondere | .30 Carat Round Cut


Emeralds have been used for a very long time in engagement rings, and have a very nice color tone that can be matched with almost any outfit. They are clear, very easy to work with, and emeralds always have a unique shine and glow to them. Emerald clarity is easy to see with the naked eye, so you can easily figure out if the stone is genuine or not when shopping around or looking at pictures online.

One of the pricier options on the list, emeralds of high quality usually fetch around $1,000 per carat. This is mostly due to the fact that it is a softer stone, making it difficult to design and cut. This leads many jewelers to simply not work with the stone, and opt for harder, more popular gemstones instead.

Despite rating a 7.5-8 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, the natural surface breaks that give the stone its beautiful look also makes it prone to break, or easily crack. If you use your hands a lot, or plan to work with tools when wearing an emerald ring, plan to take it off to avoid chipping the stone over time.


Pictured: Lanmi | 2.04 Carat Emerald Cut

Roman Glass

Roman glass is a truly unique and spectacular centerpiece for an engagement ring alternative to diamonds. Wrapping both beauty and history into one, roman glass was produced throughout the empire of Rome, and now offers us a way to travel back in time through its beauty.

Made by mixing silica and soda, this two ingredient stone is somewhat fragile and needs to be cleaned carefully by lightly polishing the outer surface without any soap or materials that could harm the shine.

Prices for engagement rings with roman glass vary wildly depending on the value of the piece. Since the pieces are heavily regulated, most smaller shards are sold to locals to then resell to jewelers. Here you can find some deals, but high quality glasswork set in gold can fetch a heavy price tag in the thousands.


Pictured: PZ | .925 Genuine Sterling Silver Oval Cut


Turquoise is an excellent diamond engagement ring alternative for unique and creative people. Composed of natural minerals, aluminum, and copper, Turquoise is a beautiful blue-green stone that is sure to catch anyone’s eye. Ranging between 5-6 on the Moh’s scale, it is also pretty tough and can withstand most drops or scuffs against hard surfaces, but is more likely to break than other stones on this list.

With a history of being regarded as a beautiful and rare stone, the turquoise engagement ring is very natural in appearance, often showing beautiful patterns and shapes depending on the cut and quality of the stone.

If you are getting married in December, or marrying someone born in December, Turquoise will also be their birthstone. Also known as a “healing stone”, Turquoise is believed to help and benefit the entire body and soul, making it perfect for daily wear. Specifically well-suited for helping with respiratory and immune system problems, choose this stone for both beauty & benefits.


Pictured: Silver City Jewelry | 1.76 Carat Oval Cut


Opal is symbolic of love and passion, and the fire that shines within this beautiful gemstone proves it. Wearing an opal ring has also been known to symbolize faithfulness and loyalty. With a hardness rating between 5.5 – 6.5, you can still comfortably wear opal everyday, but take the ring off if you’re going to be doing anything rough with your hands like yard work.

Although opal is a soft stone, as long as it is taken care of you can wear it for a lifetime. We recommend cleaning opal once every month or two to keep it crack-free

A somewhat pricier stone, only because opal is very rare and has an unusual beauty to it, often showing flickering fire when exposed to light. The easiest way to verify if the opal stone is of high quality is a white hue, the stone shows layering, and it has a brilliant shine in the sun


Pictured: Tommaso Design Studio | .90 Carat Round Cut


Pearls are a classing and elegant diamond alternative. Pearls are known to symbolize perfection, purity, innocence, and loyalty making them a loving choice for your future bride.

Another reason to opt for a pearl ring is that it works with just about any outfit or color with its shiny white exterior. They are not commonly used as engagement rings anymore, so you will truly be choosing a one-of-a-kind ring.

Because of how rare and natural they are, pearl engagement rings do require some cleaning and care, but if maintained properly will last forever. Even though they are naturally made, they do not deteriorate or fade in brilliance unless they are exposed to acids like lemon juice, or harsh cleaning solutions. We recommend washing and cleaning with warm water and a soft cloth.


Pictured: The Pearl Source | 8mm Akoya Cultured Pearl


The red ruby has always been known as the gemstone of love with its bright red brilliance. Though to restore youth and provide vitality, this red hot stone is sure to fire up the passion between you and your future bride.

Ruby rings have become more popular as an engagement ring option in recent years, mainly due to its lower cost and practicality. The ruby clocks in at a 9 on the Mohs Hardness scale, making it a very durable stone that can last a lifetime.


Pictured: Gem Stone King | 1 Carat Solitaire Cut

Herkimer Diamond

These brilliant, earthy stones are not really diamonds, but quartz crystals that are believed to harbor serious energy.

Despite having diamond in the name, this rare and unique stone is actually a gemstone. They come in a variety of colors, with most being clear or see-through.

In fact, they are nothing like diamonds, and often do not have the traditional sparkle a diamond does. That being said, they still shine beautifully and are very strong stones that should last a lifetime and are truly unique.


Pictured: RAW by Olivia Mar in Copper Setting

Cubic Zirconia

This stunning and elegant gold-plated halo cut engagement ring is a show stopper, and all at under $20.

Cubic Zirconia mimics the natural shimmer and shine of diamonds, leaving none the wiser on the price-tag. This stunner can be worn with any outfit and impress.


Pictured: AllenCOCO 1.3 Carat Halo Cut

What Is The Best Quality Diamond Alternative?

Although there are tons of amazing quality gemstones, there are only a few that truly look like and mimic the dazzle of diamonds.

What gemstones make good engagement rings?

You will see different ideas and options based on price and a plethora of other factors. A lot of people prefer cubic zirconia because it’s not super expensive and it has the same brilliance of a diamond, at least at first.

As time goes by you will end up with issues because it’s easy to scratch and not as durable as a diamond. But if you want to stand out without having to pay a lot of money, then a cubic zirconia stone might do the trick.

The same thing applies with Swarovski crystals: they are very similar to a regular diamond, but they won’t age as well, and over a few years the shine will fade and perhaps lead to needing a replacement stone.

What gem looks most like a diamond?

As we mentioned above, moissanite can pull off a great fake diamond look just because it already looks very similar. If anything, moissanite can come with even more brilliance and that on its own will offer you just about all the features that you may want from a diamond stone.

And then there’s Roman Glass. While it might not look exactly like a diamond, it definitely comes with a great shine and impressive visual sparkles when it catches the light.

What is the best alternative to a diamond?

Overall, it’s not that hard to find the right diamond alternative engagement rings. It all comes down to figuring out what stone you like the most as a replacement, and what colors or textures speak to you.

You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars as you try to find a good quality diamond. Do consider the fact that every stone listed here looks great and it can definitely be a stellar alternative to a diamond for any engagement ring.

Granted, it’s not as valuable, but if you want to save money on an engagement ring then this is the way to do it!



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