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Trend Report: Alternative engagement rings

When you think of engagement rings, we typically imagine large, expensive diamonds. While the diamond engagement ring has long been the obvious choice, choosing other gemstone types is becoming increasingly popular among modern brides-to-be.

An engagement ring is a longstanding tradition that symbolises a couple’s decision to get married, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use the opportunity to express your individuality. We’ve seen ceremonies move out of chapels, receptions move into farm barns and motorbikes in the place of wedding cars. Couples are becoming more and more experimental with their big day and this can be the same with your engagement ring.

If you think outside the solitaire diamond box, the options for alternative engagement rings are endless. A coloured gemstone can be a stunning alternative to diamonds, with so many beautiful and unusual options available. Rather than picking something that will look just like every other bride’s engagement ring, why not be a little different and express your individuality in the process?

Along with endless styling options, gemstone engagement rings don’t come with an extravagant price tag. This makes alternative engagement rings great for budget reasons and means you can put more towards your honeymoon instead!

With a world of options available in the alternative engagement ring market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. To help you find something that you love, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites from the Shiels collection.

Rose Gold

Rose Gold Engagement Rings

Pictured rings left to right:

  1. Rose Gold Cushion Cut Rhodolite Garnet Ring with Diamonds
  2. Rose Gold Created Ruby and Diamond Ring
  3. Rose Gold Oval Cut Morganite and Diamond Ring 

Rose gold is a modern option even when sticking with the more traditional diamond engagement ring. However the beautiful warm tones of rose gold look even more stunning when paired with bold red tones like rhodolite garnet or ruby. These red gemstones bring out the warmth of rose gold, creating a ring that is hard to look past. The union of morganite and rose gold is also a beautiful option. Both the metal and the stone share a similar blush gold shade that makes for a subtle engagement ring option. We especially love the oval cut morganite ring, which still holds the shape and feel of a traditional engagement ring, only with more experimental colours and stone choice.

White Gold

White Gold Engagement Ring

Pictured rings left to right:

  1. White Gold Diamond and Natural Sapphire Ring
  2. White Gold Created Emerald and Cubic ZIrconia Ring
  3. White Gold Emerald Cut Aquamarine and Diamond Ring


White gold is not an uncommon metal choice for engagement rings, however you can experiment with a bold coloured gemstone. We love the overall cool feel of the three ring options above. Blue and green shades such as sapphire, emerald and aquamarine look stunning against the bright silvery gold, making for an alternative engagement ring that will stand out. The first blue sapphire ring is a great option for anyone who was a fan of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, with a halo of small diamonds and a radiant cut natural blue sapphire. We also love the overall contemporary feel of the third aquamarine ring. This one is slightly softer in colour and has a modern boho feel that is simply stunning.

Yellow Gold

Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

Pictured rings left to right:

  1. Yellow Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Ring
  2. Yellow Gold Amethyst and Diamond Ring
  3. Yellow Gold Natural Sapphire and Diamond Ring


Yellow gold will forever stand the test of time when it comes to metal choice for engagement rings - and looks just as stunning when paired with all kinds of coloured gems. Perhaps the most alternative options out of our selection, these three rings are miles away from the traditional choice, but nonetheless beautiful stand out pieces. It won’t be hard to express your individual style with these unique modern designs. We love the bold colour choice of the blue topaz and amethyst options, both sharing an abstract boho look. The natural sapphire ring is more detailed and intricate, exuding a vintage vibe yet still a modern choice for an alternative engagement ring that we adore.

Browse Shiels’ extensive collection of rings online today and find the perfect one to express your individuality.

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