If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a MILLION times – brides today aren’t necessarily sold on the traditional diamond engagement ring, and we are here to celebrate that. Gemstones are the perfect choice if you’re looking to move away from the traditional diamond center stone. Because more and more people are learning the truths behind what goes on in the diamond mining industry – on top of the insane markup on diamonds in general – couples today are looking for ways they can make a change. Not only are they ethical, they are much more budget friendly and really allows you to create an engagement ring that is unique to your love story.

One of the biggest factors to consider when deciding on an alternative stone is its hardness. Every stone has a hardness rating (1 out of 10) to give you an idea as to how resistant a stone is to damage and if it can withstand every day wear. For example, a diamond is a 10 out of 10 on the hardness scale, meaning it is extremely resistant to damage however that does not mean it can’t be broken or chipped at all, it just means it’s harder to damage than other stones out there.

We’re breaking it all down to make it super easy for you to chose your fav alternative stone. Keep reading to learn more about our top 5 fav diamond alternative stones!



01. RUBY

Ahh, the ruby – a gemstone that has truly withstood the test of time. This colored beauty, scores a 9 out of 10 on the hardness scale – so, it’s just about as durable as a diamond and would be great for everyday wear. However, because of the uniqueness of color, some rubies may come with a higher price tag then other colored stones so it’s always something to consider when considering your must haves for a center stone.




Before diamonds were named the center stone of choice for engagement rings, sapphires were actually even more popular! If you’re looking for something super durable that will withstand the test of time, sapphires are the perfection option. They have a hardness rating of a 9 as well, making them perfect for every day wear and long term durability. One of the coolest factors of sapphires is that they come in a ton of different colors (some even showing more than one color) so each stone is truly one of a kind and gives you a ton of amazing options. Colors can range from green to blue, to yellow, purple, and even orange! Some of our favorites to work with are Montana sapphires and Padparadscha sapphires.




One of our most requested center stone options is the opal. We love them for engagement rings because each stone is so different from the next, you’re truly able to customize your piece with a stone unique to your story. Colors range from a more translucent white with flecks of color, to hues of green and even blue. Though opals are a softer stone – think the hardness of a wine glass –  if you follow the recommended care guidelines your opal will live a long beautiful life (they score on the lower side of the hardness scale at about a 6)!




For the brides that aren’t afraid of a little color. Emeralds are a super cool choice for an alternative stone as they symbolize compassion and universal love. They are guaranteed to create a show stopping, one of a kind piece with their beautifully rich green color. They rank at about a 7.5 to 8 on the hardness scale which lends to your every day wear. We love pairing these guys with a warm yellow gold setting to really compliment their color.





Looking to keep things a bit more traditional? Moissanite might be the perfect option for you! Though genetically different than a diamond, moissanite is visually very similar to them without the hefty price tag – which make them the perfect diamond alternative. And, they score over a 9.5 on the hardness scale so they are super durable and will last a lifetime (or long after – hellooo heirlooms). We love using Moissanite for the center stone and then pairing with conflict free diamonds or alternative stones to really create something unique!


The Perfect Alternative Engagement Ring

We pride ourselves in doing things differently at Saint Mae. Our number one piece of advice – stay true to you. Create your dream ring. And if it doesn’t fit inside the tiny little box of ordinary. Good. Embrace it. Run with it. Stay wild. Let’s create something uniquely you.

If you’d like to learn more about our custom process or have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you!