Alternative Engagement Rings: Your Guide to Diamond Alternatives

Marquise Cut Moissanite Ring from Pure Brilliance.

Diamonds are popular for a reason, but for those who prefer other looks, like to do things differently, or are looking for more affordable stones, there are plenty of alternative engagement ring stones to consider.

Engagement rings don’t have to be synonymous with diamonds. There are many bright and beautiful alternatives to diamond engagement rings if you’re looking for something different and untraditional. Using alternative engagement ring stones is one of the growing engagement and wedding ring trends, with people often looking for more colourful options.

At Made You Look, we believe the best stone for your engagement ring is the one that you like best. Our jewellery designers are experts at creating custom jewellery in Toronto. Whether you’re looking for alternative engagement rings in Canada or the more traditional diamond engagement ring, our designers can create the perfect ring for you.

With that in mind, there are some things to consider when choosing an alternative stone. We’ve put together this guide of what to look for and some of our suggestions for the best alternative to diamonds for your engagement ring.

Benefits of Choosing an Alternative Stone

Diamonds have been tied up in the imagery of traditional engagements and weddings for decades. If you like to do things your own way or don’t feel your relationship fits in with a conventional style, opting for a different stone can better represent your relationship.

In addition to having the ability to provide a more fun or accurate expression of your love and relationship, using a stone other than a diamond opens up the doors to bigger sizes and more shapes.

Another significant benefit can be affordability. The popularity of diamonds comes with a price, one that may be undesirable or out of reach for some couples.

Ultimately, if diamonds don’t speak to you and your engagement for any reason, there are many stunningly beautiful options available.

Alternative Stone Considerations

While you can technically choose any stone you want for your engagement ring, there are some essential things to consider. You’ll likely be wearing your engagement ring every day and for various tasks and activities. There are many reasons why diamonds remain the most popular choice of stone, and one in particular is their hardness.

The Mohs Hardness Scale is how minerals are identified and compares their resistance to scratching, which is measured by scratching the mineral against another substance on the Mohs scale. Minerals are placed on the Mohs scale between 1 and 10, with talc at the bottom at a 1 and diamonds at a 10 at the top of the scale.

When choosing between alternative engagement ring stones, it’s important to look at their hardness. After carefully selecting your ring, the last thing you want is for it to be scratched up by everyday living. Even dust comes in at a 7 on the scale, which means it can scratch a stone lower on the scale if it’s not cleaned properly. For engagement rings, it’s typically recommended to stick to stones with a hardness of at least 8 to ensure it can stand up to what life throws at it.


One of the best options for alternative stone engagement rings, sapphires work great as alternatives to diamonds. While brilliant blue sapphires might be the first thing that comes to mind, sapphires actually come in every colour of the rainbow – peach, pink, teal, yellow and white are all fantastic options. If you still want a diamond-like look, white sapphires have a similar look while generally being more affordable.

Sapphire engagement rings symbolize loyalty, making them perfect for engagements. These stones also stand at a 9 on the Mohs scale, making them an excellent option for engagement rings.

Sapphires are elegant and classic, which has been noticed by royals and celebrities alike. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wears the sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to her husband’s mother, Princess Diana. Penelope Cruz, Elizabeth Hurley, and Empress Josephine have all had engagement rings with sapphires.


As alternatives to diamonds, the deep red of rubies is an enchanting choice. Highly valued for thousands of years for their uniqueness and beauty, they are considered one of four original gemstones, in addition to sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds. Their regal look has long been sought after by queens and kings and is still associated with royalty. Ruby red has long been associated with passion and love, making it a great symbolic choice for an engagement ring.

And with the ever-growing popularity of antique and vintage-inspired rings, rubies look great in both vintage and modern settings. Their ranking of 9 on the Mohs scale means they’re resilient to daily life. They come in a variety of shades, from deep pink to red.


If you’re looking for an alternative stone for your engagement ring that still looks similar to a diamond, moissanite, in addition to white sapphires, are good choices. There are certainly visible differences between the two, but moissanite looks the closest to diamonds at a more affordable price. They are the second hardest gemstone at 9.5 on the Mohs scale and stand up strong to day-to-day activities.

The clear colour makes moissanite incredibly versatile, and they have their own brilliance and sparkle that’s sure to dazzle. All of its attributes have led to it becoming the most popular alternative stone for engagements. According to this report, moissanite now makes up more than a quarter of non-diamond engagement stones.


If none of those options appeal to you, you can consider other stones like emerald or topaz, which are a little further down the hardness scale. While these stones are considered wearable for day-to-day living, they should be treated with more care and should be removed for certain activities, like hard labour, heavy lifting or working with tools. These stones also require some special care for cleaning.

Whether you’re looking for a diamond or alternative engagement ring in Canada, we can help you find the ring you’re looking for. At Made You Look, we offer many services, from jewellery repair to engraving in Toronto. Browse our site or come visit us in person at our Parkdale store. We’re happy to discuss anything from friendship bracelets to custom engagement rings in Toronto.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.