Cheap Alternatives to Diamond Engagement Rings

January 25, 2013Gifts

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1971 Rings [CC-BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

1971 Rings [CC-BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

‘Tis the season for love and proposals. Many will be on bended knees professing their undying love and asking for a hand in marriage. Many will have broken the piggy bank to find the perfect ring for her but alas, there is hope. You can get a flawless, durable real diamond-like stone or other precious gems that are less expensive and just as beautiful.

What I am talking about are precious, semi precious and naturally formed stones that either look like diamonds or have their own characteristics. Here are some stones that are as precious and valuable as diamonds are.

Diamond-like gems


Public Domain

Public Domain

This gem is precious and is a meteorite which makes it stronger than diamonds. It would be since it literally came out of space! Anyway, the mineral make up is different but when you look into the actual stone,. the composition looks similar to diamonds. It is rated on the same scale for clarity depending on the flaws found in it. I would proudly wear a ring containing this stone.

Now, before you make your purchase you need to find out if this mineral is real or was it made in a lab. You should be able to get a certificate of authenticity if it is real. In some cases it has been synthesized in a lab so be careful about your purchase, unless you don’t mind.

White Topaz

Another natural mineral that is closely related to crystal and is prismatic in its formation which makes it very beautiful when light passes through. The white topaz is the pure form of the mineral but there are other colors as well such as wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown.

White topaz is colorless and pure but when tinted by impurities is where it gets it various colors. Even though naturally occurring in nature, topaz has to be treated to bring out its brilliance. The cost of Topaz is way less expensive than diamonds and should be considered as an alternative.


  • January – Garnet
  • February – Amethyst
  • March – Aquamarine
  • May – Emerald
  • June – Moonstone
  • July – Ruby
  • August – Peridot
  • September – Sapphire
  • October – Tourmaline
  • November – Citrine
  • December – Tanzanite

I deliberately left out April because the birthstone for that month is diamond and we are determining alternatives to diamonds. My recommendation for April is getting a diamond-like stone such as the one mentioned above, Moissanite.

Other alternatives to consider


There are two types of onyx, the black onyx and the banded color version where there are streaks of various colors which when treated and polished makes for a very unusual but beautiful stone. I recommend the baned color version of this gem.


The mineral name for this gem is cordierite. This gem was discovered in 1813 and was named after geologist Louis Cordier. Iolite is transparent but not colorless. The word iolite comes from the Greek word for violet. This gem was used by vikings to determine the direction of he sun on bleaky days. When taken outside on an overcast day, light which is scattered by the molecules in the air will polarize. This forms an angle with the other end pointing to the direction of the sun. Then they would know what time of day it was. Very interesting gem, don’t you think?


Jade is green in color and not very lustrous but beautiful to look at. Comes in all sorts of shaded from gray-green to deep green to almost white. Mostly used for ornaments and can be made into tiles, bathroom accessories and pottery. This gem is also used in making jewelry and is very inexpensive compared to other gems in its class. One of the oldest gems used in the Eastern world. Artifacts have been found to date back to 202 BC.


Alternatives to Diamond Engagement Rings

Opal: CRPeters [CC-BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

When you look inside an opal stone or rock you will be amazed at the array of colors. They will take your breath away. If your girl likes colored gems she will love this one. Get her a precious opal and she will love you for life. Opal can be made to look pale or lustrous depending on its treatment.


Another favorite of mine, this gem is comes in several varieties with different color ranges. Rock crystal is very clear and some sections are pure. The crystal can be substituted for a diamond but will also be prismatic in appearance as light passes through, however will have a brilliance compared to the precious gem.

Other quartz gems include amethyst, ametrine, chalcedony or tiger’s eye, Herkimer diamond, jasper, citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz and flintstone.

The Herkimer diamond is the closest of the quart to the diamond and is as brilliant, not as crystalline and when compared hard to tell the difference. This quartz is very rare but less expensive than diamonds and will make any woman happy when worn in an engagement ring.



A precious ring doesn’t have to be expensive. Birthstones are the least expensive of the lot because they are more common. So budget wisely and decide on your choice before making your purchase.

It is also good to consult with your spouse prior to purchasing the ring in order not to make a wrong choice. If you want to surprise her, get her an empty ring and offer to take her stone shopping to choose the stone of her choice. Let her know beforehand that you can’t afford an real diamond but there are precious stones that are as valuable. She will understand.

Remember, saving today will benefit you both tomorrow. Shop wisely and stay in love.

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