Our top picks for the contemporary bride looking to stand out from the crowd.
Perfect for people who love the look of a white diamond, but not the price tag. Moissanites are second only to diamonds in hardness on the Mohs scale, making them a great option for everyday wear. These stones are also 100% conflict free, so you can show off that sparkle with a clean conscious.
Originally more popular than diamonds for engagement rings, sapphires were widely preferred up until the 20th century; you may even have one lying around in a piece of heirloom jewelry! They rank at a 9 on the Mohs scale, meaning they are also a fantastic option for anyone looking for guaranteed durability. You may only be familiar with the classic blue sapphire (as pictured above) but these gemstones come in almost every color.
Best known as the October birthstone alternative to Opal (which has a hardness of 5.5) Tourmalines have gained popularity in the alternative bridal world because of their wide ranging color spectrum. Contemporary jewelers like A+T artist Jenni Dowie are opting for bi-color tourmalines as the focal point of their work, using diamonds as accent stones to compliment what some have called wearable rainbows.
Salt + Pepper Diamonds
Our most requested conflict free stone for custom engagement rings this year, Salt + Pepper diamonds get their name from the mix of black + white inclusions found within the stone. Their colors range from cloudy grey to almost charcoal black, and they are just as durable as a white diamond at a fraction of the cost. These stones have a beautiful luster and are sure to set your ring apart from the crowd.
While they may have the same ranking on the Mohs scale, black diamonds are thought to be even harder than their colorless counterpart. The high level of carbon found in the stone is what gives them their deep black pigment. These stones symbolize eternal, flawless, and unchanging love. What could be more fitting for an engagement ring?
A lesser known gemstone, Spinel is another stone that stands the test of time. Spinels rank at an 8 on the Mohs scale and will hold up well for anyone who is looking for an affordable gemstone with great clarity and many color options. You can find these gems in various shades of red, pink, lilac, blue, and grey.
Often set in antique yellow gold jewelry, Garnets symbolize fire, passion, loyalty, and love. These stones are strong as well as affordable, and range from deep red to a rose pink in color.
Aquamarines, like Morganites, are members of the "Beryl" gem family. These stones have great clarity and come in a range of beautiful pale blue tones. While they'll look radiant in any metal color, we love the way they contrast our rose gold Marchesa setting. Consider Aquamarines if you want a durable stone with subtle character.
Viviana's personal favorite! We recommend Citrines to anyone who is interested in getting a larger stone on a budget. These gems come in an array of amber tones and look stunning in intricate yellow gold settings, as seen in our Maria ring pictured above.
Interested in learning more about alternative gemstones for a one of a kind engagement ring? Schedule a consultation with designer Viviana Langhoff at our Logan Square jewelry studio to discuss custom engagement ring options, view conflict free & fair trade gems, or swing by the shop to try on our selection of vintage-inspired fine jewelry.
Designed + made by hand in Chicago.