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Engagement Rings – Does It Have to Be A Diamond? Stone Choices

Engagement & Weddings
Engagement Rings – Does It Have to Be A Diamond? Stone Choices

Purchasing an engagement ring can be one of the most exciting moments of your life. It can also be challenging, especially with so many available options. While many adore the classic option of a simple band with a solitaire diamond, your bride may prefer a dramatic or alternative design that showcases her one-of-a-kind style.  

John Atencio features world-class jewelry designs that have made him one of the state’s most celebrated designers. In addition to his iconic engagement rings and use of brilliant trillion-cut gemstones, John provides a full spectrum of stone options and distinctive pieces forged to echo your personal tale of love and commitment. Let’s look at some of the most popular stone choices for non-diamond engagement rings. 


A timeless option for engagement rings, the ruby is one of the few precious gemstones that will maintain its beauty decades after you buy it. With an impressive Mohs’ Scale hardness rating of nine, this stunning stone is as strong as a diamond. The beauty and durability can come at a cost, however. Some top-quality rubies can actually cost more than diamonds.


Before diamonds took their place as the engagement stone of choice, sapphire was at or near the top of the list. Typically blue, this stone is actually available in varying colors, including purple, yellow and even orange. Sapphires also boast a Mohs’ Scale rating of nine, providing considerable long-term durability and scratch resistance.


With a dazzling, unique sea-green color, aquamarine is a popular alternative engagement stone. In certain instances, lighter aquamarine stones can even be mistaken for diamonds. With a Mohs’ Scale rating between 7.5 and 8, aquamarine can show signs of scratching over time if exposed to extreme wear. With proper servicing and care, however, this lovely green-blue stone will typically last a lifetime. 


Symbolizing love and new beginnings, green emeralds are one of the more popular choices for non-diamond engagement rings. Their vivid color provides a “wow” factor and pairs quite well with the styles of most women. With a Mohs’ Scale rating between 7.5 and 8, the stones are relatively scratch-resistant. Despite their good hardness factor, they could be susceptible to chipping and cracking due to natural inclusions. If you select a quality emerald with a center inclusion, you shouldn’t have a problem. You can ensure this by purchasing your ring from a reputable jeweler. 


Traditionally given as a gift for the 14th year of marriage, opals have become a popular option for modern-day non-diamond engagement rings. With a lovely transparent hue, the stone offers a unique look that also camouflages any potential surface scratches. Although opals are not the most durable option for everyday wear; you can ensure that it lasts by taking extra precautions and choosing a reputable designer. 


Another timeless option, the pearl has seen a resurgence in contemporary engagement rings. Simple, elegant and understated, pearls are popular among no-frills brides. With so many available choices, including cultured pearls, freshwater pearls and saltwater pearls, it’s easy to find a ring that fits your individual style and budget. It’s important to remember that pearls only have a Mohs’ Scale rating of between 2.5 and 4.5, making them susceptible to discoloration and scratching. With thoughtful care, however, you can make your pearls last a lifetime.  


When it’s well-cut, this lovely lavender stone can look truly beautiful in an engagement ring. At 7 on the Mohs scale, amethysts aren’t as durable as diamonds; but they still hold up relatively well with proper care. Pair the purple hue with rose gold or silver for a dazzling romantic setting or set it along with other colors for a modern, quirky look.


Feminine and romantic, morganite has become one of the more popular alternative stone options for engagement rings. The pink to orange-pink variety of beryl, morganite is in the same stone family as emeralds. With a 7.5 to 8 rating on the Mohs scale, the stone offers good durability, depending on the cut and quality of your chosen stone.


Garnets are available in a diverse array of colors, but most brides are drawn to the romance of the deep red hue. Often included in antique settings, these bold stones look very pretty paired with pearls or gemstones of other colors. Rated 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs’ Scale, garnets aren’t quite as durable as rubies, but this is reflected in the cost.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on the right engagement ring for that special person. By working with established experts in the jewelry business, you gain access to a wider variety of choices and the expertise to help you decide on the perfect ring. Whether you’re looking for a unique, show-stopping style, a classic diamond ring or a vintage-inspired style that distinctly reflects who you are, the experts at our store in Denver’s Cherry Creek Shopping Center can help you choose your engagement ring today.

Contact us or visit the John Atencio flagship store in Cherry Creek Mall.