Groom puts ring on finger
Dabl At Home Dec 2020
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Dabl at Home

Here’s Why You Don’t Need To Propose With A Diamond Ring

When you’re ring shopping, make sure to look into these equally beautiful and often more affordable diamond alternatives!

By: Catie Kovelman, Updated 02/10/2022 

Did you know that an estimated 6 million Americans get engaged each year on Valentine’s Day? It’s also a great opportunity to surprise your spouse with a new proposal to renew your wedding vows. But if you are planning to pop the question during the month of love, you’ll first need to find the perfect ring! 

While diamond rings are very pretty, it’s no secret that they are extremely expensive. To illustrate, the average price of a one-carat diamond engagement ring in the U.S. is $5,500. That is a lot of money to spend for a ring that likely won’t maintain its value. Of course, there is no question that diamonds are naturally stunning and their inherent beauty and durability have made them the engagement ring of choice. However, we believe that you don’t need to go broke to declare your love to your future husband or wife when there are so many other beautiful and more affordable options out there. 

While it may feel strange to break away from the tradition of proposing with a diamond ring, many couples take pleasure in doing something different. Aside from the high cost, some couples choose not to support the diamond industry because of unethical mining practices and violence that has occurred in the past. While conditions have improved in recent years, the diamond industry has a dark history of human rights abuses, including forced labor, torture, and even murder. The same weak regulations that allowed violence to occur has also allowed diamond mining to irreparably harm the environment. 

On a lighter note, some people simply prefer other gemstones to diamonds. If your betrothed is going to be wearing this ring for life, it really should be something that he or she will absolutely love! Before you jump on purchasing a traditional ring, make sure you look into these stunning alternatives that could show your love even better than a shiny diamond! 

White Sapphire

White Sapphire

Blue sapphires have been beloved for years, and white sapphire gemstones are quickly becoming more popular. White sapphire gemstones resemble diamonds, but are typically sold for a quarter of the cost. The only way to tell the difference between diamonds and white sapphires is that white sapphires sparkle a bit less and appear slightly more transparent. They rank at a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which means white sapphires are extremely hard and are less likely to show signs of wear and tear when compared to other gemstones that rank lower on the Mohs Scale. However, white sapphires do need to be cleaned frequently to keep them looking as brilliant as the day you purchased them. Typically, at home cleanings are sufficient for this purpose. 



Moissanites look and act like diamonds, but have a different molecular makeup and cost significantly less to purchase. Of all the white gemstone alternatives, you won’t find one that looks more like a natural diamond. Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who actually believed he had stumbled upon diamonds because of their striking resemblance. The only real difference is that moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance from diamonds because the gemstones have different faceting patterns. Moissanites sparkle with a disco ball effect when exposed to light, while diamonds reflect light and colors in 3 different ways to achieve their brilliance. Moissanites rank at a 9.25 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making them durable enough to wear every day for years without showing signs of wear and tear. They are also lab-grown, which means they are created ethically with minimal environmental impact. 

White Topaz

Blue Topaz

Although Topaz can come in many different shades and colors (most commonly blue), white topaz is a gemstone that is often mistaken for diamonds. Although they are both naturally occurring gems with lots of sparkle, White Topaz is significantly less expensive. However, white topaz rings may not be durable enough to be worn for the rest of your significant other’s life. While they will look beautiful when purchased, White Topaz only ranks at an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which means it will eventually show signs of damage from everyday life. That said, if you are shopping for a ring on a budget and are planning to upgrade your spouse’s ring in the years to come, a white topaz ring could be a perfect placeholder for now! 

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is a synthesized mineral made from zirconium dioxide in a lab. When made well, cubic zirconia is colorless and can be mistaken for a real diamond. This is another option that can be purchased on a budget, and should probably be replaced with a more durable gemstone once you can afford to do so. Cubic zirconia is not a good choice if you are looking for long-term durability, as it can eventually chip, break, or crack. 

Lab-Grown Diamonds 

Lab Grown Diamonds

If your heart is set on purchasing a diamond engagement ring, make an effort to choose one with a lab-grown diamond. Lab-grown diamonds have the exact same molecular composition and optical properties as a diamond grown in mines, but are made ethically in a laboratory without any negative environmental or social repercussions. Even diamond experts can’t tell the difference! Since they are made in an extremely controlled environment, lab-grown diamonds are typically as pure and flawless as possible so you can be sure you’re getting a high quality gemstone. Lab-grown diamonds are still expensive, but are usually slightly more affordable than a mined diamond. It’s ultimately a better deal when you are getting the same durability and sparkle as a mined diamond because you are paying less for the same thing or better. 

Alternate Gemstones 


There is nothing written in stone that mandates your engagement ring has to use a white gemstone. If your partner has a favorite gemstone besides diamonds, it may be a better and more affordable choice when it’s time to pick out a wedding ring. Don’t discount other gems simply because they have color. Alternatively, you could select gemstones that represent something meaningful for you and your betrothed, such as your birthstones. Emeralds, rubies, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, tsavorite, and tanzanite are all high quality, colored gemstones that would look beautiful on an engagement ring. 

Unlimited Options For Customization 

Engagement Rings

Choosing not to use traditional diamonds on your wedding ring may mean that you can put your money toward designing a one-of-a kind engagement ring that will mean the world to you and your partner. For the price of a diamond, you may be able to use larger or more gemstones instead to make something truly spectacular. Your betrothed will be touched that you went through the effort to customize a ring that’s just for them. 

When all is said and done, what truly matters is the love that you and your partner share. The wedding ring is a symbol of that love, and the type of gemstone you use or how much money you spend on it shouldn’t be indicative of how much love you feel. In other words, spending $500 on a ring versus $5,000 on a ring doesn’t mean you love your betrothed any more or less. You know your partner best, so as long as you put thought and care into making a meaningful purchase, he or she is sure to be delighted by the engagement ring you chose. 

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