Diamonds might not be forever anymore. There’s nothing wrong with a diamond for your engagement or wedding ring, but many couples are opting for more non-traditional options. Simply put, diamonds are no longer the only option for declaring your love.
When it comes to custom designs for a ring, you can choose the stone, band, setting, and gem shape to create a one-of-a-kind ring that perfectly reflects the wearer’s style.
So if traditional diamonds just aren’t calling to you, try these non-traditional and unique designs to signify your love.
There are so many more stones available than diamonds. But for a long time, diamonds were seen as the only gemstone that could be the centerpiece of an engagement or wedding ring.
But in recent years, you may have seen someone with a non-traditional wedding ring that features another gemstone. These are only a few of the non-traditional stones to use in a custom ring.
1. Salt and Pepper Diamond
When it comes to a traditional diamond, many people try to have as few inclusions as possible. Inclusions are small imperfections that affect clarity. Little to no inclusions are what give traditional diamonds the bright, colorless look.
But salt and pepper diamonds put the inclusions front and center. These inclusions make the gem appear black and white, with colors ranging from dark to bright to almost gray.
Moissanite is a stone that looks the most like a traditional diamond. This gemstone has the colorless look of a diamond and is almost as hard, which has made moissanite one of the most popular diamond alternatives for engagement and wedding rings.
One of the main reasons people choose moissanite over diamonds is the price. Moissanite is much less expensive than diamond, but with a similar look. Moissanite also has more sparkle than a traditional diamond, which has drawn people who want to see their ring shimmer more in the light.
Versatile and beautiful, topaz is a great option if you’re looking for an engagement or wedding ring to feature a little color. You can find topaz in yellow, orange, pinkish and purplish red, blue, green, and even colorless.
Topaz is also the birthstone for those born in November, making a ring that features this stone even more personal. The blue topaz is the stone for a fourth anniversary, and the imperial topaz is the stone for a twenty-third anniversary. So if you’re nearing these milestones, a topaz ring might be a great idea.
Many are drawn to morganite’s soft pink color, which makes this the perfect ring for those who are feminine and romantic. This is one gemstone that has become popular in recent years.
The color can range from a soft pink to an orange-pink, similar to salmon. Morganite also has tremendous sparkle, radiating and glimmering in the light.
Vibrant emerald is a beautiful gemstone that is sure to catch the eyes of anyone who see it. Though emeralds are a more traditional stone, they’re still very uncommon for engagement and wedding rings. The deep verdant shade is the perfect ring for anyone who loves the color green.
Emeralds evoke a feeling of old-world luxury. They’re the perfect gemstone that bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary jewelry design. They glimmer like diamonds but add a bit of color to the finger.
Non-Traditional Settings and Bands
Jewelry trends are creating new engagement and wedding ring ideas that feel a little more contemporary. The traditional engagement band often features a solitary gem with a simple band or a pavé band that features small diamonds set into the band.
Though these traditional settings and bands are timeless and elegant, many people are now opting for more contemporary designs. These non-traditional settings and bands show off any gemstone in a new way.
Traditional engagement rings have the gem sitting perpendicular to the band, meaning the orientation is vertical. But with an east-west setting, the gem sits horizontally on the band. This orientation gives a fresh, contemporary perspective to the traditional ring.
East-west settings work best with elongated gemstones like oval, emerald, and marquise cuts. The traditional square and round cut are symmetrical, meaning it’ll look the same no matter which way you turn it. But these elongated shapes add an unexpected element to this important piece of jewelry.
7. Moi et Toi
One of the most popular non-traditional ring styles is the moi et toi. French for “you and me,” these rings feature two stones side by side, often meant to represent two people in love.
These are one of the best wedding ring ideas because they’re so fun to customize. You don’t have to choose the same stone for both settings. You could choose both of your birthstones or stones that feature the wearer’s favorite colors.
Choose the unexpected with a cluster ring. The setting features an assortment of stones in various cuts, types, or sizes, all placed closely together. Unlike other multi-stone rings, the cluster setting doesn’t have a main center stone.
Cluster rings are great for anyone who wants to step outside the box and are especially great for customizing. You can choose the assortment of stones, choosing ones that are meaningful to create an even more customized ring.
9. Double Band
You can combine your engagement ring and wedding ring with a double band. A double band is just as it sounds: one ring that features two bands in the design. And there are plenty of ways to do it.
The bands can split, merge, curve, or run parallel to create a completely unique ring. And the stone can sit on one, both, or in between the two bands. Double bands are ideal for anyone who plans to stack their jewelry or only wants to wear one ring for both engagement and wedding jewelry.
10. Twist Shank
A modern wedding ring with a twist—literally. These bands have become increasingly popular because of the texture they provide. The two intertwined bands give off a feeling of whimsy and romance, representing intertwining your lives and love together.
Twist shank bands can have pavé stones set into them to give them a bit more shine and sparkle. They also look great with an added solitaire stone on them or stones adorned with a hidden halo.
Non-Traditional Stone Shapes and Cuts
The most popular shape for engagement and wedding rings is round. Many traditional rings feature a round diamond with smaller round diamonds set in the band. Other traditional shapes include square and emerald. And for cuts, brilliant cut has been popular for over one hundred years.
Though some of these shapes and cuts have been around for almost as long, they’ve only recently gained popularity. These unique shapes and cuts show off the beauty in new and exciting ways.
11. Elongated Diamond
The elongated diamond shape, also called a kite or shield shape, is a contemporary trend that many people love. But they originally rose to popularity in the 1920s and 1930s.
The kite shape evokes an Art Deco elegance, bridging the contemporary and antique into ring designs. Stones in this shape are sure to stand out and grab attention because of their rare cut.
Hexagon rings are a stylish and contemporary alternative to a classic round-cut diamond. This shape is geometric and feels fresh and modern, but also isn’t too out of the ordinary.
This shape is pretty rare in the ring world, which makes them perfect for anyone searching for a non-traditional wedding look. Be sure to use a hexagon-shaped setting to highlight the unique shape.
One of the most unusual shapes for gemstones is the trapezoid. Resembling the geometric shape, trapezoid stones are traditionally set on either side of larger square- and emerald-cut stones.
But recent years have seen this stone shape stand alone on its own ring. Whether they’re small or large, trapezoid rings are sure to stand out because of their non-traditional shape.
14. Rough Cut
Most gemstones you’re familiar with are shaped and polished, giving the stone a sparkling appearance. But the rough cut goes completely against that. Rough cut, also called raw stones, are made into jewelry in the most natural state possible with little polishing and shaping.
A rough-cut gemstone will completely defy tradition but still provide a stunning option for an engagement or wedding ring. Most rough-cut gems have a subdued shimmer thanks to the uneven surface.
15. Rose Cut
A rose-cut stone features a flat bottom and a domed top. This means the stone doesn’t have a cone-shaped underside and can contain between three to twenty-four facets. You can think of the rose cut as a round brilliant diamond but only the top portion.
The rose cut gets its name from resembling the petals of a rose and initially gained popularity in the mid-1500s. This antique cut is coming back into style for its Old World charm and romanticism. They also appear larger than the traditional brilliant cut when viewed from above.
Show Off Your Love With Custom Designs for Engagement and Wedding Rings
There’s no one way to declare your love. Diamonds may have been the go-to choice for over a hundred years, but they aren’t the only gemstone for engagement and wedding rings. There are plenty of gemstones that are just as beautiful and will make stunning centerpieces for a ring.
When you choose custom designs, you’re creating a piece of jewelry that represents your one-of-a-kind love. Allow these non-traditional ring ideas to inspire you to create a stunning ring design.
Are you ready to declare your love with a unique piece of jewelry? Our design process is simple and led by artisan jewelers. Schedule an appointment today to start designing your dream ring.