It’s coming. The most wonderful time of the year.
Nope, not Christmas.
I personally find engagement season super exciting. I love seeing people fall in love, scrolling through the announcement photos on Facebook, and sharing in the joy of their happiness. And the best part of all? Drooling over the engagement rings.
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Most rings that I see on my Instagram tend to fall somewhere in the range of white gold + diamonds which is stunning. But what about for the girl who wants something a little different?
Look no further, I’ve got ya, pal! Here are some engagement ring alternatives for the bride who wants to break the mold.
Maybe the idea of a diamond isn’t right for you because diamonds are so stinking expensive. It’s difficult to find a diamond engagement ring for less than $1k, with BRIDES magazine concluding that most couples spend closer to $5k on the rock. Holy cow!
If you still want the prismatic look of a diamond without the price tag, you’re in luck. Enter moissanite.
According to Moissanite.com, this gemstone is a silicon carbide that naturally occurs in meteorite strikes. As you may have guessed, this makes naturally occurring moissanite exceedingly rare, but lab-created moissanite is readily available. Moissanite is a white stone that looks very similar to a diamond. In fact, in some light moissanite can be even more sparkly and prismatic than diamonds, throwing off rainbow prisms instead of just sparkling white like a diamond.
Another great thing about moissanite is that it is nearly as hard as a diamond so chipping or cracking is impossible. AND since moissanite is lab-created, you don’t have to worry about any of the ethical sourcing that come with diamonds.
And the best news? Moissanites are about 1/3 the price of a diamond. The picture above is a one karat moissanite with a price tag of less than $700. This is a great option for the gal who wants the sparkly diamond look without the hefty diamond price tag.
If a colored stone is more your style, gemstones are a great option. Some popular gemstones for engagement rings include sapphires and rubies. Again, these rings tend to be a more affordable option than diamonds and can be stunning as solitaire settings or set with other gemstones.
One thing to consider with colored gemstones is their hardness. While most gemstones are pretty hardy, it’s worth checking out their rank on the Mohs scale. This scale runs from 1-10 with a diamond ranking at ten as the absolute hardest stone. Anything with a rank of 8 or higher is a pretty safe bet but a bride who is careful with her jewelry could get away with something even lower.
If you’re cool with skipping out on the sparkly altogether, consider going a more traditional route. An Irish Claddagh ring has deep symbolism and meaning. Claddagh rings have two hands holding a heart with a crown on top, depicting the phrase, “Love and friendship reign.”
The ring is worn different ways depending on the status of the wearer. A Claddagh ring worn on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingernail means the wearer is single and their heart is open to love. The ring worn on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist means the wearer is in a relationship. Switched to the left hand with the point of the heart towards the fingernail means the wearer is engaged to be married and (you guessed it) flip the point of the heart towards the wrist on the left hand and the wearer is married. For the bride willing to forego a sparkly gemstone, a Claddagh ring is definitely a cool alternative.
What if you’re a bride who wants to skip the jewelry entirely? You’ve still got options! One way to outwardly symbolize your relationship is with a tattoo. They say diamonds are forever, but a tattoo really means it. You could consider getting a ring finger tattoo if you still want the traditional left-hand symbolism or you could also consider matching/coordinating tattoos with your partner. Matching/coordinating tattoos used to be seen as taboo, but a killer design and a great artist will leave you with a piece that you’ll both love for years to come.
What better way to show your commitment to your partner than getting a pet together?! Nothing says love like puppies, amirite?!
Plus picking out the perfect dog with your partner is a relationship builder in and of itself! I would highly encourage you to look in shelters and adopt a pet instead of buying one from a breeder. Take a weekend to visit different shelters in your area and spend some time with the perfect companion before making a commitment. Even if you have a certain breed in mind, check around at local shelters and rescues before buying from a breeder. There are millions of loving animals waiting in shelters for you!
Put the money towards something else
If you don’t care to symbolize your engagement with something material, putting the money you would have spent on a ring towards something important is also an option. Maybe the $3k you saved can go towards a down payment on your first house together. Or maybe you could put it towards a pre-wedding trip or even stash it in the honeymoon fund. You’re saving a lot of money by skipping the ring, so you’ve got a little wiggle room! Get creative!
There are lots of engagement ring alternatives out there! Hopefully, this list has inspired you to buck tradition and go your own way. Do you have other engagement ring alternatives? Leave them in the comments below! Now let the engagement season commence!