When you think of engagement rings, what comes to mind first? For most, it’s a large, sparkling diamond ring because for years,it’s been the most traditional choice of men around the world. And while diamonds may be considered the epitome of true love and an engagement ring staple, they’re certainly not the only gemstone on the market. They’re also not the only stone you should consider for your engagement ring. Before you make a decision, let’s take a look at some of the other options available and how they compare to more traditional diamond pieces.

What Else is Out There?

The first question you probably have when considering diamond alternatives is what else is even out there? Well, the short answer is, a lot. There are many other gemstones to consider. A few of the most popular include the more well-known sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and aquamarines, but other – and oftentimes more unique choices – can be found in opals, tanzanite, tourmaline, morganite and even turquoise. Moissanite is another option, and this one resembles a diamond closely enough to be mistaken for one.

Cost and Value

Compared to a diamond engagement ring, you may be able to save quite a bit of money with an alternative gemstone – depending on the type of stone it is. Some stones, such as emeralds or rubies, can be had less expensively, while others like tanzanite can be quite pricey. Like diamonds, the cost of gemstones will vary based on the size, cut, clarity, and the rarity of the stone itself. In short, purchasing a non-diamond engagement ring can result in some savings – or it could cost you even more.

Pros and Cons

There are a few pros and cons to buying either of these types of engagement rings, so let’s look at both. Some of the advantages of going with a diamond is that they’re durable and easy to care for, they can be worn with anything, and they’re a traditional symbol of love and marriage. However, they are also expensive, it’s a style many choose, and many are the result of human rights violations. Alternative gemstones, on the other hand, are unique, colourful, and may have special meaning for you and your partner. While you may be able to save some money with a non-diamond alternative, you also run the risk of discovering that your ring isn’t as hardy or resistant to damage. You may even find that wearing a coloured stone clashes with some of your wardrobe, which may or may not be an issue.

Personal Preference

What it really comes down to when choosing between a diamond or other gemstone engagement rings is personal preference. Talk to your partner to see what she or he likes. Head to a local jeweller or check out selections online to compare and contrast and see what strikes your fancy. Finally, don’t forget to do your research. If you find a particular stone you like, learn all you can about it to ensure it’s something that you’ll be happy with for years down the road.