The classics will always have their place, but how do you approach choosing an engagement ring if your style is anything but standard issue? Whether you’re picking a ring yourself or in need of alternative engagement ring ideas for a less than traditional partner, we’ve got your ultimate offbeat engagement ring edit.
Speaking of which, sustainable British jeweller Sophia Perez reckons that individualised rings are the future: “Each bride or groom-to-be that I meet has a unique aesthetic and personality, so it makes perfect sense to me that their engagement ring reflects this.
“I’m seeing more and more people choosing their own engagement ring, which I really love. They no longer want to be given a conventional ring that looks like so many others. Our clients know what to look for in a ring – they want to know about the ethics behind particular pieces and they also want it to be one-of-a-kind.
“My team and I love creating something new each time and enjoy the process of working together with couples on the design of a ring and the choice of stones. We offer unique diamonds so that each one is totally different from the next and we find that often our clients are drawn to one stone in particular that they feel reflects a part of themselves or their relationship. This, combined with their own design being handmade, creates a ring that’s incredibly special as well as being visually unique.”
Whether you go bespoke or not, be inspired by these non-traditional engagement rings that are anything but run of the mill.
The Best Alternative Engagement Rings for Non-Traditional Couples
1. Abacus – Blackacre
We have to shine the spotlight on one of Blackacre’s own creations, the Abacus ring. It features an oval-cut natural white diamond centre stone and a matching pair of green sapphire side stones. The use of mixed metals (gold and platinum) is a hallmark of many of Blackacre's pieces. It layers into the sophistication of the design with a fresh and organic feel.
Sizing: Made to order
Pros & Cons: Like all Blackacre rings, this design is made to order, so every detail can be tailored to your exact needs. Whilst at the more expensive end of the spectrum, this is reflective of the quality of the creations and, for those that are able to, will result in a piece to be cherished for a lifetime.
2. Grace Design Emerald Cut Engagement Ring - from £3,500, Rêve Diamonds
If you're head over heels for all things vintage, this show stopping art deco-inspired ring is sure to make your heart sing. It combines a dazzling emerald-cut diamond with captivating trapezoid and bullet side stones for a truly one-of-a-kind piece that everyone will admire. Available in platinum, yellow, rose and white gold, with diamonds from 0.30ct. to 10ct, it can be made bespoke to your taste.
Pros & Cons: The diamonds can be natural, or lab-grown if that's your preference, plus it's designed and made in the UK.
3. Edwardian 18ct Gold Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring – £6,500, Antique Ring Boutique
This 'You and Me' crossover style ring is so apt for an engagement ring as we love the symbolism that it represents you and your partner. "Antique rings carry an enduring appeal, filled with characterful patina and charm. There’s something so alluring about an engagement ring that has been inspired by past style periods – rather than a simple diamond," says Sam Mee, engagement ring specialist at Antique Ring Boutique.
Pros & Cons: As this is a rare find it only comes in one size but it can easily be re-sized and a complimentary re-size is even available.
4. The Serena Ring – from £2,820, Kimai
A pear-cut diamond crests above a wave of white diamonds in a recycled gold band. This is part engagement ring, part a work of fine art. It gives a clever illusion that the diamond is simply floating on your partner's finger which is a look not often seen.
Pros & Cons: This statement ring is best worn alone with minimal jewellery - if your partner doesn't typically wear rings, they will be over the moon with this beauty.
5. Pebble Solid Gold Diamond Engagement Ring – £685, Alison Moore Designs
Another floating diamond option, this time centred in a pebble band. The ring is available in white or yellow gold at different karat levels to cater for all tastes and budgets. It features a thin band which will slot nicely next to a wedding ring.
Pros & Cons: This accessory proves that you don't have to go too out there to have a non-traditional engagement ring. It is the fabulous band that sets this ring apart from the rest but it keeps the look traditional with a claw set diamond centre stone.
6. Pear Shaped Pavé Set Diamond Ring – £4,000, Sophia Perez
Salt and pepper diamonds are a chic combination of light and shade and this pear-cut sparkler set in a grey diamond-studded 18-karat rose gold band showcases the unique stone to the max. See even more salt and pepper engagement rings here.
Pros & Cons: Salt and pepper diamonds are typically much more affordable than a white diamond and no less beautiful! This is a great pick if you want a large stone and lots of sparkles for your money.
7. The Billie Ring – from £2,710, Kimai
If picturesque, off-kilter placement appeals, this perlee recycled gold band with a suspended oval cut lab diamond will take your breath away. Engagement rings don’t come more unique than this and we reckon it is a style that fashion-forward couples will adore.
Pros & Cons: The large oval diamond stone reminds us of Kourtney Kardashian's engagement ring, yet the band gives it a unique finish that is personal to you.
8. Solid Gold Pear Cut Emerald Ring - from £212.45, Esty
We’re obsessed with the rich shade of green in this emerald - perfect if you’re after a coloured engagement ring that you want to stand the test of time. You can choose from varying gold types but we love how the green looks next to yellow gold.
Pros & Cons: Engraving is not possible for this item as the band is delicate and thin, however this does allow for a thicker wedding ring to be placed next to it which you could easily get engraved.
9. 9ct Rose Gold Pink Spinel Floral Engagement Ring - £650, Antonia Lawes
If you’re pink-obsessed, then it seems only logical to continue the theme with your engagement ring. Not only is this pink gemstone ring great value, but you can even get a bespoke wedding band to match.
Pros & Cons: With a floral rose gold band and pink centre stone, this engagement ring is certainly suited for those who like pretty jewellery. The inner band can be engraved with a special message or date.
10. Alexandrite and Diamond Cluster Engagement Ring - from £513.65, Etsy
Stones don’t come much more unusual than dreamy alexandrite. Famed for its colour changing properties, alexandrite is perfect if you’re looking for something totally unique, and this ring ticks all the boxes! Available with moissanite or diamonds to suit your budget.
Pros & Cons: The design itself is quite classic but this non-traditional engagement ring will look different colours depending on what angle you are at - it doesn't get more unique than that!
11. Marquise Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring - from £243.17, Etsy
If you want to tell the world you’re engaged, then this is the ring to do it with. Make a statement with this marquise ring, which, thanks to the fact that it has a simulated diamond ring, is as affordable as it is impressive!
Pros & Cons: A marquise cut stone is super flattering on the finger - something we are sure your partner will appreciate (especially when taking engagement rings selfies).
12. Entwined 9ct Yellow Gold Pearl & Diamond Ring - £380, Lily Designs London
June babies, if you want to stick to your birthstone then this could be the ring for you. Made from 9ct yellow gold, the twisted setting for the freshwater pearl makes this piece unusual but timeless. It's giving us Arianna Grande celebrity engagement ring vibes!
Pros & Cons: This ring comes with a complimentary engagement ring box. It'll still sparkle, thanks to the diamonds adorning the setting but it won't be too much if your partner prefers something a little less glitzy.
13. Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring - £1,550, Anthony Blakeney
Love the idea of a diamond solitaire but with a twist? Allow us to introduce you to this rustic gold and diamond engagement ring by Anthony Blakeney. Cast from rose tree root to create its unusual texture, the ring is available in 9-carat and 18-carat rose, white, yellow gold or silver.
Pros & Cons: If you are planning the pop the question with an outdoor proposal, this is ring is so fitting. The hammered band is great for everyday bumps and knocks as it already has rustic appeal.
14. Rough Orange Diamond Engagement Ring - £950, Caroline Brook
We just love this simple orange diamond engagement ring from Caroline Brook. It's unique, glowy, and a perfect option if you're looking for something a little different. The orange diamond has been completely un-touched which gives it an understated and relaxed look.
Pros & Cons: The handmade claw setting mirrors the textures of the raw diamond and they compliment each other beautifully. We recommend that you check the ring size before ordering as an additional fee is added should you need to arrange a re-size.
15. 18ct Gold & Green Tourmaline Offset Engagement Ring - £900, Claire Troughton
If you’re after something modern and sleek, then this gold and green tourmaline ring by Claire Troughton is well worth adding to your list. Handmade in 18ct yellow gold with a flat profile, it features a slightly offset green tourmaline for a contemporary look.
Pros & Cons: This ring is finished to a high shine which is an unusual take on sparkles that typically come from the addition of diamonds. A unity band can perfectly fit underneath as a wedding ring as the setting is flat.
16. Art Deco Opal Engagement Ring - from £57.49, Etsy
What could be better than an opal ring? Well an opal ring with cubic zirconia, of course! Available in solid gold, rose gold, white gold or sterling silver, this is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a dainty engagement ring.
Pros & Cons: We do love a vintage inspired engagement ring with a twist - in this case being that glorious opal centre stone. It's so dreamy and is a lot more affordable than other gemstones.
17. Lavender Amethyst Vintage Ring - £15.95, Etsy
For something a little different, why not opt for amethyst? This unique pale purple stone has been set in solid sterling silver and plated with rhodium for durability - not bad considering its price point! You'll often find rubies, sapphires and emeralds in coloured engagement rings so lets give some love to the amethyst!
Pros & Cons: This ring comes in adjustable sizing which means it's a great option if you aren't entirely sure on your partner's ring size but don't want to give the game away by asking directly.
18. 9ct Gold Handmade Ianthe Star Blue Sapphire Ring – £825, Liberty London
If you want an engagement ring that really goes against the trends, then this sapphire ring by Liberty is sure to make a statement. With sapphire stones set in stars, the ring shows off an Art Nouveau flair sure to complement your love’s artsy side. If you're not sure where to turn for your partner’s engagement ring, it may be time to reach for the stars!
Pros & Cons: Is a celestial wedding on the cards? This is the ideal engagement ring!
19. 9ct Yellow Gold Ruby Half Eternity Ring - £520, Goldsmiths
Have you considered an eternity design for your engagement ring? It has beautiful meaning behind it, symbolising that you and your partner will be together forever, and it looks amazing as well. This style from Goldsmiths features seven sparkling rubies on a yellow gold band. This would also be the perfect wedding band for a ruby engagement ring.
Pros & Cons: Part of the Goldsmiths By Request collection, each piece is ordered directly and made bespoke to each order. It'll be completely unique to you!
20. Gold Sapphire and Diamond Stacking Rings – £1,585, AMULETTE
If your partner loves a bit of bling, these stackable rings by might just be the perfect way to propose. With a sapphire ring in the centre and two diamond rings encircling it on either side, the set glitters in an elegant way. Choose from yellow or white gold.
Pros & Cons: They can be mixed and matched, letting your partner get creative with how they wear them.
21. Vanilla Gold and Sapphire Ombre Ring – £1,999, Ernest Jones
If you are looking for a truly unusual engagement ring then this ombre sapphire engagement ring from Le Vian collection at Ernest Jones could be just what you have been searching for. A swirl of ombre sapphires cascade around a diamond band to create a stunning wave effect.
Pros & Cons: This engagement ring with sapphires will wrap around your partner's finger beautifully. The colour gradient is truly breath-taking!
22. Sapphire Engagement Ring with Tanzanite and Multi-Coloured Sapphires - from £2,180.74, Etsy
If your partner loves colour then they are bound to be excited about this unique dazzler by William White on Etsy. The sapphire in the centre is perfectly accented by an array of smaller gems in a vivid palette. A piece of artwork for your love!
Pros & Cons: This engagement ring won't be to everyone's taste as it is pretty quirky, but for those who want a coloured engagement ring, this could be the one.
23. Twig and Leaf Engagement Ring - £1,919.05, Etsy
Those that love nature will adore this elegant ring. A delicate leaf contrasts the bright blue sapphire, all along a band that resembles a branch. Choose from a rose, white or yellow gold leaf. This would be lovely if you and your partner have a connection to Canada, or love the autumn.
Pros & Cons: We've not seen an engagement ring quite like this before and bet your partner won't have either. It's unusual yet totally beautiful.
24. Triple Rainbow Moonstone Ring – £44, Wanderlust Jewellery
If you're after a something a little more unique, this triple moonstone ring by Wanderlust Jewellery could be it. Featuring one large moonstone and two smaller teardrop cabochon moonstones with ornate swirl details, it'll make a stylish statement.
Sizing: J & M
Pros & Cons: As the moonstone here has a blue tinge to it, it's a lovely nod to the teardrop design. We're big fans of the intricate setting, but be mindful that it doesn't catch on any clothing.
25. 14k Rose Gold Moonstone Engagement Ring – £356.12, Etsy
Another gloriously coloured moonstone is this grey tinged gem. It compliments the rose gold band perfectly and the unusual design will stand out from the crowd. If you want a thicker band that is available, plus it will arrive in a pretty engagement ring box. Discover more moonstone engagement rings here.
Pros & Cons: If your partner isn't a fan of sparkles, this moonstone engagement ring is still special without being over the top. Keep it shiny by polishing monthly.
26. Wouters & Hendrix 18-Carat Yellow Gold Emerald & Pearl Ring – £643, Farfetch
If you'd prefer an engagement ring that has an emerald element, rather than having the stone as the star of the show, this gold ring is a very chic option. The emerald pairs well with the freshwater pearl.
Sizing: EU50 & 54
Pros & Cons: Not only will the large pearl stand out from the crowd, the chain link style band will too! It has a smooth inner to ensure a comfortable fit.
27. 18ct Rubellite & Diamond Engagement Jacket Ring - £7,800, Annoushka
We've fallen in love with Annoushka's Love & Commitment collection featuring gorgeous pieces that can be worn alone, or stacked alongside each other in countless combinations. One of our favourites has got to be this striking design that includes two stunning rings - a rubellite engagement ring nestled between a diamond encrusted ring jacket.
Pros & Cons: Although this is one of the more expensive picks in our edit, if you remove the diamond encrusted ring jacket it'll look just as fabulous and cost less.
Engagement Ring Alternatives
28. Silver Diamond Bezel Necklace - £349, H. Samuel
If you're on the hunt for engagement ring alternatives, a necklace could be just the thing. It's still a lovely piece of jewellery that can be worn everyday but it's a great option if your partner works with their hands and a ring wouldn't be convenient. This style from H. Samuel is simple, sweet and oh so romantic.
Pros & Cons: We love how this accessory still has elements of a traditional engagement ring thanks to the diamond. The chain can be upgraded if you're not a fan of the larger link design.
29. Tissot Carson Watch - £450, Goldsmiths
Engagement watches as an alternative to an engagement ring are becoming increasingly popular with couples as they are pretty as well as practical. This design from Goldsmiths is a fail-safe option - it is classic, stylish and sophisticated. The design is understated enough to be worn everyday, yet special enough to be suitable for this momentous occasion.
Pros & Cons: This watch is a timeless alternative to a men's engagement ring and can be passed down for generations.
30. Little Diamond Ring Temporary Tattoo - £9.80, Etsy
Getting a tattoo instead of an engagement ring is certainly a bold choice but undeniably unique and romantic. If you want to declare your love with an inking, take a look at our wedding ring tattoo ideas for inspiration.
Pros & Cons: As this tattoo is only temporary, it serves as a brilliant way to try out your design before you commit. For less than £10, you can't go wrong.
31. Bracelet Forever Together - £89, Thomas Sabo
Let the one you love know that you want to be with them forever with Thomas Sabo's 'Together Forever' bracelet. The eternity band detailing is gorgeous and features the same sparkling details that you might expect on a classic engagement ring.
Pros & Cons: The sentiment behind this bracelet makes it a really thoughtful choice. If your partner typically wears silver jewellery, they'll be overjoyed to add this to their collection.
What is a Good Alternative to a Diamond Engagement Ring?
"Ever since de Beers launched their unbeatable slogan ‘a Diamond is Forever', diamonds have been synonymous with engagement rings, to the extent that sometimes it seems there’s no other option. Don’t get me wrong - I love a classic diamond engagement ring, but it’s important to remember that there is a whole world of gemstones out there, and it’s definitely worth exploring," explains engagement ring specialist at Antique Ring Boutique Sam Mee.
If you are looking for diamond alternative engagement rings, have you considered a coloured stone engagement ring? You don't have to pick a really unusual design but the option is there if that is your taste.
Those wanting to steer completely clear of a ring could look to other accessories such a necklaces or bracelets and if you're feeling really brave a tattoo is one way of declaring your new status!
So now you've picked the ring, but have you thought about the all-important engagement announcement?