Diamonds may be some girls’ best friend, but they’re not for everyone.

Yes they’re beautiful, durable, sparkly and timeless, but they’re also rather expensive and perhaps a little too classic, if you’re the kind of lady who wants to wear something different on your ring finger.

If you’re on the hunt for a unique engagement ring, you’ve come to the right place!

Many grooms do feel they have to splash out on the traditional sparkler when it comes to popping the question, but the modern custom for diamond rings that cost three months’ salary was actually only introduced as a marketing campaign by acclaimed jeweller, De Beers back in the 1930s. And it stuck!

But you don’t have to follow suit.

Whether it’s a clear stone that looks almost as sparkly as the real thing (no one has to know!), or a coloured stone that will set your ring apart, we’ve come up with 20 gorgeous alternative gems that will look just as precious as a diamond engagement ring, when you say “Yes!”.

Emerald

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Emerald, with their distinct rich green tone, are beautiful, luxe, and precious, which makes them a popular stone for engagement rings.

While some may think that they have fallen out of style, not so!  Added to a modern setting, they can look both chic and timeless, and at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, emeralds can be forever too!

Rubyruby7

Like emeralds and sapphires, rubies are one of the four precious stones, making them an extremely popular choice for engagement rings with their rich, luxurious blood-red tone.

At 9 on the Mohs scale, rubies will survive on even the busiest hands, this is reflected in the price though, with the finest rubies often fetching more that their diamond counterparts. If you’re shopping for a ruby, look for the same four Cs as diamonds (with a rich colour being the most important) but also ask about the origin – Burmese rubies tend to be the most expensive.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare and beautiful gemstone that was only discovered in the sixties. It ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Tanzanite’s name was actually given to it by Tiffany & Co (who are big fans of this blueish purplish stone) after its place of origin, in Northern Tanzania.

tanzenite81000 times rarer than diamonds, Tanzanite is a fitting stone to give your one in a million, and with only an estimated 30-year supply left in the world, this is a particularly precious choice for an engagement ring.