9 Alternative Stones More Unique than Traditional Diamonds

9 Alternative Stones More Unique than Traditional Diamonds

Traditional diamonds are gorgeous, but they’re not your only option anymore. There are so many unique and stunning stones out there, perfect for your custom engagement ring for any alternative bride. From stones you’ve heard of like Sapphires, to some you might not have like Spinels and Morganites, we’ve got nine alternative stones to make your custom engagement ring unique and personalized to you.

There are dozens of possibilities when it comes to choosing a stone, with positives such as price, color, shape, and uniqueness, there is something special for everyone. This list includes all natural stones, each with its own properties to draw you in. We’re starting this list with alternative diamonds, and moving away to the stone most unlike a diamond we could find. Read through to be surprised by our final choice, and why it might be the perfect stone for you.

1. Champagne Diamonds

We’re starting this list with Champagne Diamonds not only because they are an absolutely drool worthy choice, but they are the closest to traditional diamonds within this bunch. Classified as one of the fancy diamond categories, champagne diamonds are typically light brown or champagne colored, and come in a wide range of shapes and cuts. They get their color through traces of nitrogen trapped during the formation of the stone, with the higher the nitrogen content creating a deeper color.

Mined largely from Australia, Siberia and Africa, champagne diamonds are plentiful and easy to find. They are slightly less expensive than a traditional white diamond, and therefore can give you a bigger rock for your buck. We love to work with these both as the center stone or as the accent stones to give a more subtle, warm vibe to our rings—as can be seen in this band that’s shown with champagne diamonds.

2. Brown Diamonds

While there are brown diamonds such as champagne diamonds, they are completely different than this rustic brown diamond shown here. These diamonds, like the one pictured here in our “Aubrey” crescent band, are heavily included—but that’s what makes them so gorgeous.

Like little landscapes of their own, they have the shine of a clear diamond, but they have a multitude of colors and inclusions within each and every stone, giving it a very earthy look. Typically cut in rosecut shapes, these diamonds are lower profile, which has a lot of benefits that I talk about here, including being great for the hands-on bride.

They’re speckled or streaked with colors and inclusions, making each one completely unique—perfect for any nontraditional engagement ring.

3. Salt and Pepper Diamonds

Salt and Pepper Diamonds are so unique that virtually no stone looks quite like another. They are colorless like a white diamond, with heavy black, white or grey inclusions that give them a uniqueness like no other—hence being called Salt and Pepper Diamonds. Being much more affordable than a traditional diamond, these diamonds are cut typically in larger rosecut styles to show off the beautiful and intricate patterning within. They resemble everything from ice formations to space and black holes. They can be deep and dark to light and airy.

Some look like bubbles, some look like stars trapped within them, some look like carbon is slowly taking over the stone. To me, they’re the more wild, ethereal cousin to the traditional diamond, something to be celebrated for their unusual attractiveness.

Stones like these are available though custom order with us, and can be set in a variety of ways to create the perfect ring for you.

4. Tourmaline

Next I want to talk about a stone very special to my heart, the tourmaline. They can be anywhere from pink, green, purple, grey, yellow, blue—you name it. The most common are pink and green, typically called watermelon tourmalines, for their very watermelon like hues. You can also find these with bi-color or zoned color gorgeousness, meaning it has a blend of two or more colors, but we’ll get to that in a later article.

Tourmalines are slightly less hard than a diamond—the hardest stone at a 10 on the Mohs scale—but at a 7-7.5, tourmalines are perfectly well fit to stand the test of time in an engagement ring setting. Mainly from Brazil and Africa, this stone has the amazing ability to be found naturally or heat treated to all these various colors.

One of the exciting aspects about tourmalines is not just their pop of color, but they are typically much less expensive than diamonds. You can find a ring from around $600-1500, which can allow room to add on extra bands and diamonds to get the perfect wedding ring stack to blow everyone away.

This ring is available in our shop, and can be paired with many of our bands like the custom bands pictured here.

 5. Spinel

Spinel is another stone that comes in a wide array of colors, from reds and purples, to grays and blacks—typically a very cool toned stone. If you’re an Autumn, this stone is definitely for you. They naturally form in cube shapes similar to that of a diamond.

Spinels have a lot in common with diamonds—while being more affordable and containing a vast array of colors you wouldn’t typically find. They’re durable (8 on the Mohs scale) and singly refractive like diamonds, and fairly on the rare side, making them unlike most other stones. Spinels are found typically in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Tajikistan alongside sapphires and rubies, but for some reason they’ve been left out of bridal jewelry until recent years. You don’t have to worry about them being treated as they’re naturally this gorgeous, and cut and color can produce intense fire within the stone. These stones are perfect for anyone looking to add pops of color to their nontraditional engagement ring.

6. Sapphires

We have all heard of sapphires, and we of course know they are common in engagement rings, but I would like to specifically talk about Montana and Parti Sapphires. These guys come in the most exquisite cuts and colors you can find today. With completely ocean vibes, these stones come in a variety of light blues and greens, sometimes with yellow rays of sunshine within them as well—very different than the deep dark blue we usually think of. 

For the last 100 years, Montana sapphires have been only mined from—you guessed it—Montana. They are completely exclusive to the area, making them incredibly unique and rare for your custom engagement ring.

Parti sapphires are found in Australia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Madagascar, and have the most beautiful peacock-like colors you can find. Both are durable (9 on the Mohs scale) and perfect for rings, creating the most beautiful water like vibes for the nature and ocean inspired brides.


7. Morganite

Here’s one for the brides obsessed with pink. From just a hint of pink like these clear geometric cuts to a more blush or deeper peach stone, these stones are an amazing replacement for diamonds. They have a diamond like feel when they’re this clear—almost like that of a white diamond, but are much more affordable—and again, that can mean a much bigger stone for a smaller price tag. If we’re being honest, a lot of us want the best deal for the biggest stone.

They can be cut in traditional styles or the more modern engagement ring styles like these shown here, to give that perfect oomph to your ring. This is a demure stone that makes me think of blush wedding dresses made of tulle and pink chrysanthemums with the sunlight kissing your ring. There’s something so magical about the color of pink and blush, perfect for the most feminine brides. Stones like these are available for custom work with us.

8. Sunstone

Another peachy pink stone we included is the sunstone, unique for its freckle like inclusions of copper. These stones have an incredible flash or fire from within the stone. They can actually come in blues and greens as well, but we love to highlight these peachy pink and blush sunstones for our brides.

Found specifically in Oregon, Norway and Sweden, these stones can actually be found on the beach. They are some of the softer stones, ranking between a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, but are still heirloom quality when taken care of. One of the most attractive qualities of a stone like this is its affordability. Not only can you have a gorgeous ring, but you can typically have it for less than $1500.

Here it’s shown in a smooth cabochon—or a stone without facets—but can be faceted like any other stone. We love this stones smooth surface and size for showing off its freckles of copper. 

9. Dendritic Agate

Did we surprise you with this stone? We get questions all the time such as: is this painted? How did you create that image? What’s inside that ring?

The answer to these questions is the same—this is a completely natural stone that forms these amazing tree or fern like images. They are PERFECT for the most nature loving brides out there. No stone can ever be the same, as it is formed when dendritic crystals grow inside the stone, leaving you with a truly unique ring no one else will ever have. This one is white with a brown tree like image, but the base color can be anything from clear to white or gray, with the dendrite crystals anywhere from brown, orange, red or black. Each one is truly unique, and can be set in a variety of settings paired with other stones to create a truly amazing, one of a kind piece.

This ring is available in our shop, and can also be customized with a halo of diamonds.

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